Character sprites

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Talaroc
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Character sprites

Post by Talaroc » 14 Feb 2005, 01:43

Ok, so I guess I lied before about not making character sprites. :wink: I didn't see any forward-facing ones, so I created one, using the forward-right diagonal as a guide. I improved upon the base design a little, in that I used a greater variety of color to add a little more depth, and included more transparency (as well as a blue shadow... real shadows aren't grey!) for better effect in a wide range of settings. I'm still going to do a little bit of tweaking (just minor stuff; individual pixels that are bugging me), but it's basically done.

Let me know what you think, and if you all feel like this is good, I'll go ahead and do the other three directions as well.

sprite: Image
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Post by Bjørn » 14 Feb 2005, 02:03

Haha, what a funny dude. He looks like a born hero, only he doesn't know it yet. As usual I think his head is too big, but other than that I think this kind of guy is pretty much what we're looking for.
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Post by Talaroc » 14 Feb 2005, 02:25

Like I said, I just went off the other pic for proportions and such. It'd be easy enough to scale back the size of the head, but then it would also make facial expressions (in as much as there is a face; I guess you could say "eye expressions" :wink: ) and cool hairstyles that much harder.
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Post by Talaroc » 14 Feb 2005, 03:53

Ok, revision 2. I'm actually happy with the sprite now.
Things I changed: not a whole lot, actually. There were a few breaks and rough spots in the outline that I fixed (particularly around the feet). I also got and implemented two good ideas from surfing around, looking at other sprites on the web (particularly those of Ragnarok). First, I got rid of the blue eyes. If this character graphic is going to be used for a wide range of characters, it would be rediculous for them all to have blue eyes. Plain black eyes looks fine in Ragnarok, and they've got bigger graphics than we do, so I don't think there's any problem there. Second, I moved his left leg and hand up one pixel, so that now he's standing a little bit askew. It's a body language thing, to give him a little more personality (get rid of the toy soldier feel). Subtle, but it makes a difference. Up one more pixel, and he'd probably look challenging or arrogant. And, in light of the new pose, I repositioned the shadow a little. Again, let me know.
sprite: Image
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » 14 Feb 2005, 09:20

Here is the current state of development for the player sprite, maybe you should talk to neko-mon and cooperate with him on the player sprite.

http://themanaworld.sourceforge.net/wik ... evelopment
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Post by Talaroc » 14 Feb 2005, 10:16

I had already seen the page in the wiki; I was a tad concerned with how flat and "lego-man-ish" the animation there (all I can see there is the one walking animation at different frame counts) looks. I looked around and saw some newer stuff neko-man did, and that concern evaporated. Didn't realize that it was an in-progress animation.

In any case. I'll contact neko-man about helping out. I'd also like to run this idea by you guys: since transparent pngs are being used, an interesting possibility sprang to mind. Hair, clothes, and equipment are to be laid down on top of the sprite, so I was thinking about one additional layer, to change skin color. It would be simple to have a variety of different skin colors, by simply making a dark brown shape in the appropriate position to cover the skin, with varying degrees of transparency to account for shading. The whole thing could be done with various overall transparencies, so that you could have things like:
overlay with 100% transparency-->"white" character
overlay with 75% transparency-->light brown character
overlay with 50% transparency-->darker brown character
overlay with 25% transparency-->"black" character

Once sprites for various actions (and both genders) are completed, I could whip up the overlays in about 30 seconds each. Wouldn't take much work at all, and it doesn't seem like it would be very difficult coding-wise, for a substantial gain in character diversity (between that, male/female sprites, hair, and clothes/equipment, you'd virtually never see two identical characters--big win over RO). If the overall transparency of a sprite can be altered in the code, it could make for even more diverse characters; have some sort of sliding percentage bar for skin tone or something in the character creation screen. This would also drastically reduce the number of overlay sprites used to achieve the effect.
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » 14 Feb 2005, 11:11

This idea should be evaluated, but as a first thought maybe it's better to have premade spriteset with different skin tones: to create them you can use the technique you just showed, but in game not using transparency will mean better performances. Having 5 or 6 playersets shouldn't be so much trouble I think.
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Post by Talaroc » 14 Feb 2005, 11:19

Well, if you want, I can do that. just bear in mind, that's going to be a lot more sprites, especially if there's several shades. No difference in the amount of work for me, in any case.

Why, if you don't mind my asking, will transparency reduce performance?
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » 14 Feb 2005, 11:28

Well transparent bliiting it's slower than normal blitting, I think because of extra calculations to interpolate pixels between the source and dest color.
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Post by Bjørn » 14 Feb 2005, 13:09

We could consider something like "caching" the sprites that walk around on your screen. So that they'd be composed only once and then the result is repeatedly drawn. While this would be no problem with an extra SDL surface, I wouldn't know how to do this with OpenGL though, and in OpenGL it would probably actually be better not to start dynamically creating large textures so often. In any case the SDL and (not existing yet) OpenGL graphics backends could be rather separate and implemented differently.

Talaroc, I think the leg and eyes did improve the dude a bit, but there's one thing that bothers me a little and it's the blurry parts, especially the hands. Also about the shadow make sure it's easy to remove it for now (maybe separate layer?) because I think it may be nicer to put a blended blob below the character. I've done this in another game I was working on:

http://rpgdx.net/uploads/screenshot461.png
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Post by Talaroc » 20 Feb 2005, 11:35

Having been unable thus far to contact Neko-mon, I decided to take a crack at a few things that were bothering me in the animations of his that I've seen. Below is the result.
**Pre-viewing notes: please read these first**
1. I hate animated gifs. For the simple reason that they don't allow transparency, and thus mucked up the nice result I got smoothing out the outline. As such, when watching the animated gif, please bear in mind that it's not showing everything correctly. For reference, each frame in original (.png) format is in order below the animation.
2. As I said above, one major thing I did was to smooth the outline. I think it got a good result; a lot less pixelly-looking.
3. In everything below, I took out all shading, excepting large-area shading. I was only working with basic stuff tonight, and don't want to embark on full 3D-esque shading (takes a long time) unless and until I know I'm good to do so.
4. Other thing I did: changed the shape of the arms and legs somewhat. That the character animation didn't have hands or feet bothered me. Yeah, he's a little skinnier now, but that just means he's less chibi, which in my mind is a good thing. I always have a hard time taking the "ultimate warrior" idea seriously when said warrior looks like a little kid. I also made the hips a little bit thinner, for the same reason.
5. The subtlest change: I got rid of the blue eyes and replaced them with black, for the same reason I did so in my stand-alone sprite.
6. The fact that, in the animation, he moves a pixel laterally was an accident. However, looking at it closely, it seems to have been a happy accident; not only do his feet line up better, but the walk seems a bit more natural. To me, anyway; I've been staring at this graphic for some hours now, so I might be way off in terms of what looks natural at this point. ^_~




animation: Image
frames: Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
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Post by ElvenProgrammer » 20 Feb 2005, 11:56

Mmmm the legs seems to need more work
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Post by Bjørn » 20 Feb 2005, 12:08

Ok my main three problems:

* Legs stand strangely apart, feet too wide (hands as well, like wearing gloves).
* Sprite going left/right
* Number of frames too high, I'd prefer a 6 or 4 frame animation as on the Wiki
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Post by maci » 20 Feb 2005, 18:51

hm well
if i point my view to the legs.. the char seems to be handicapped
but this is a really good start
the char even whips to the left and the right while walking ^^
Sprite going left/right
well isnt this like a real person ?
ElvenProgrammer wrote:Maci: don't be rude, we're here to help people ;)
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Post by Bjørn » 20 Feb 2005, 19:42

maci wrote:
Sprite going left/right
well isnt this like a real person ?
Maybe a little, we've drawn sideways moving in another project I've been working on too. Maybe it just looks strange because the whole body is moving sideways, and because the change doesn't match the smooth movement of the rest of the character. Here is what the main character looks like in the other RPG I've been working on:

Image

Also notice the the relative size of the hands and arms. Of course I realize with a lower resolution and number of frames, it's easier to get away with some lacking detail.
Last edited by Bjørn on 08 Mar 2005, 22:41, edited 1 time in total.
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