Author Topic: A Poison Green - Character Art  (Read 7333 times)

A Poison Green - Character Art
« on: 31 May 2013, 23:00 »
Hey guys,

so after lurking here for ages, starting three games and never finishing any of them, it seems I'm finally working on a serious project - check it out here:

A Poison Green

I'll be posting new character art in this thread to get some feedback. Here's the first one I'd like to improve before I start animating it (because after that, there's no going back ;)):



It's one of the main characters, Mia: "an unemployed woman aimlessly wandering through life, stuck behind ideals that never translate into acts."

Plus one character that's already animated to an extent, but there's still an option to redo him:



Also we've been getting multiple criticisms about the character style not matching the backgrounds (see this for example). I believe it's pretty much the standard for character art to be simpler (less details and especially less shading) than backgrounds, but in our case, it seems to be more obvious than usually. Any ideas on how to correct that without having to do hand-painted shadows on a zillion frames of animation?

Thanks very much for any input you care to give!
« Last Edit: 31 May 2013, 23:12 by Honza »

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #1 on: 31 May 2013, 23:15 »
Characters always look simpler, because they require animation, but it's important they work with backgrounds and I think, so far, in this game project, they do.

She might be a bit too elongated (torso is too long and head too narrow). Have you agreed on proportions for characters (like height in heads)?
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Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #2 on: 31 May 2013, 23:24 »
She is supposed to be the "elongated" type of girl :) - this is the image I used as a reference for the face (although I strayed from it later):



Question is, is the torso too long compared to the rest of the body? I used some reference images and the proportions seem to fit more or less... there are girls who have shorter torsos, but I also found ones that are like my Mia. But if it looks disproportional, I'll correct it - been staring at it for so long that I can't really tell.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #3 on: 31 May 2013, 23:38 »
Well if the proportions are the ones you want, then I just suggest to make her skull (not the whole head with hair and all, but the solid skull part) wider in the front view.
Personally I think guy's head is a bit too small as well.

But in general I like the style.
« Last Edit: 31 May 2013, 23:40 by Anian »
I don't want the world, I just want your half

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Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #4 on: 01 Jun 2013, 01:04 »
I agree with Anian that her head might be a bit too narrow in the front. I also might in the side view, if this is a resting pose, move her head back a little so the weight of it is over her shoulders more.

The issue of her torso looking long might be complicated by the fact that her actual waist is obscured by the jacket and the long shirt.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #5 on: 06 Jun 2013, 18:17 »
Eric: It's actually a walking pose (the other leg is going to be rised mid-step), so I made her lean forward a bit.

Just a quick question for everybody: how about the length of the arms? Currently they're longer in the side view than in the front view, so I'm going to fix one of those according to the other. Which length looks better to you? Thanks!
« Last Edit: 06 Jun 2013, 18:53 by Honza »

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #6 on: 08 Jun 2013, 12:32 »
I would say ( with my limited experience as an animator) that the front view arm length looks better.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #7 on: 30 Aug 2013, 15:15 »
A bit of an update:




I'm not really sure I have the time to correct anything at this point, but I'll be happy for feedback anyway :)

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #8 on: 30 Aug 2013, 18:02 »
My initial impression is it looks very nice and fluid. Her right hand may have the extreme points a bit too far (it swings a bit too far back and forth), but that's a minor issue.
« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2013, 19:51 by Anian »
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Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #9 on: 30 Aug 2013, 18:41 »
In the front and back views, her arms don't seem to swing nearly as much as in the side view, which looks nice.

Overall it looks good.  Applied to the room, it looks very nice and definitely works.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #10 on: 30 Aug 2013, 19:19 »
Very impressive!

I'm not too bothered by the difference in the arms for the side vs front/back, but maybe as Anian says, just tone down the side view slightly if you want a perfect match.

Only other small critique - I personally think the feet in the side view are a little flat as they go forward (backward seems perfectly fine). Even though it's only a slowish walk, you still do tend to lift your toes up a little further and really hit your heel on the ground when you move forward, it feels like she misses the heel hitting the ground part and then it jumps a frame so her whole foot just places itself flat on the ground.

Hope that helps, overall it looks absolutely awesome when she walks across the room, I would be happy if my game looked half as good as that!
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Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #11 on: 30 Aug 2013, 19:39 »
Anian: You're right about the arm - I actually gave it a little more swing because it seemed cool at the moment :). In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have done that...

dactylopus: yeah, I have a problem with the swing of the arms in the front and back views - I couldn't handle the 3D aspect of it, all attempts to make them swing "towards the camera" came out weird, so I just gave up.
« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2013, 19:44 by Honza »

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #12 on: 30 Aug 2013, 20:02 »
The main problem in those views is that her arms always look like they are in front of her.  They don't pass her shirt, but it is very clear that they do in the side view.

It looks passable enough, though.  So if you're not too worried about it, it shouldn't really be a problem in the game.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #13 on: 30 Aug 2013, 23:08 »
First of all, I must say that your work looks really good. Especially the in-context example.
Secondly: I'm no artist and this may not make much sense but I noticed that the girls head is bobbing quite a lot compared to the rest of her body, her shoulders in particular. This looks to me as if her neck is getting stretched out like an old accordion.
In this walk reference clip the head-neck-shoulder relation looks much more static but I guess this varies between individuals.

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #14 on: 31 Aug 2013, 00:09 »
StillInThe90s: Thanks! The head bobbing is a cartoony thing. It's not realistic, but I kinda like how it accentuates each step. Does it bother anyone else?

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Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #15 on: 31 Aug 2013, 00:57 »
I would be happier if the shoulders moved a bit more and the head a bit less on the bounce. Also, in the front view, her head looks off-center from her neck (or vice versa), and the neck seems to move side to side independently of her head. Plus there's a bit of a jerk, it looks like maybe one of the frames is a pixel off.

It's overall a very nice walkcycle and sprite, though!

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #16 on: 31 Aug 2013, 12:08 »
Snarky: You're right about the neck, it's shaky overall... I'll see if I ever get back to correct that or if I scratch it to "hand-drawn charm" :)

Here's another one:



This one I can actually still correct without wasting too much time, so nitpick away!
« Last Edit: 31 Aug 2013, 12:20 by Honza »

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #17 on: 31 Aug 2013, 13:31 »
A quick comment re characters standing out too much. I'd say this is mostly because of the backgrounds having high colour depth and very light outline, and the characters exactly the opposite - minimum colours and heavy outline. The obvious remedy would be what you are trying to avoid (hand made shadows), but perhaps you could try lightening up the outline or blending it with the filler colours?

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #18 on: 31 Aug 2013, 13:44 »
Kastchey: Thanks, I tried that, doesn't really work. Light outlines look weird when the character walks in front of a dark background. Blending with filler colors (i. e. having a brown coat bordered with dark brown instead of black) could help, but it's also a lot of extra work.

I'm doing different sprites for each room to match the color scheme - that's all I can do at the moment I'm afraid. More details and shadows are on my list of things I'd like to do if there's any time to go back and do some extra polishing. But right now, I'm far behind schedule as it is.
« Last Edit: 31 Aug 2013, 23:14 by Honza »

Re: A Poison Green - Character Art
« Reply #19 on: 01 Sep 2013, 01:50 »
To be honest, I don't think it's too bad of a choice.  It has a cel-shaded animation on a oil painting background that Disney and the like were using in the 30's and 40's.  The down side, however is that a few of the objects in the background look iffy.  The pillow, especially.  The highlights on it make it look like it's been laminated.  The plant (?) on the right could use some tweaking.  I'd also consider making the neon sign animated; a couple of frames with the highlights dialed up or down slightly would work, I think.
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