Monthly archives: March, 2017

CAGD 493 – WEEK 8

Had a realization this week. I am not good enough to make a character yet. I tried for a few hours to sketch out Punch, but ended up getting frustrated near the end and just making a sloppy mess in a desperate attempt to make anything work and build off of it.

I think the concept is just a bit beyond me at the moment and I need to focus on smaller shapes. So after hours wasted on that end I decided to focus on basic geometric shapes as I realized I had never even tried this yet. I setup a canvas of 32×32 and started with flat 2D shapes. Then went back and recreated their 3D counterparts.

I’ll be using these as base shapes in my material study project, but I also plan on expanding these alone for shape studies now as well since I have identified that as a weakpoint in my pixel art knowledge.


In terms of other art skill progression I learned this week, I started learning two hobbies I have been meaning to get into for a very long time. Mainly because I had some shipments and preorders all come in at once.

The first new skill I started working on was Miniature Painting. I haven’t done any painting in a long time and I have always meant to learn how to paint miniatures. So I bought a kit that comes with 3 figures and a bunch of paints to sort of get into miniature painting. Most of this was to prep for when I get my GKR: Heavy Hitters box from Weta. I backed their project on kickstarter at the level that I should get a ton of unpainted mech miniatures to have fun with.

The next thing to work on are these figures, but first I have to reform one of their swords.

The second hobby I started, then had to put down for a bit, was sculpting. I bought a bunch of stuff for this a long time ago but was never able to get into it. Then a couple months ago I saw this book on preorder so I nabbed it. 

THEN CGCookie started their Sculpt Box Offer and I bought that. 

I am currently working on CG Cookie’s first little tutorial monster, but I have to wait for a heatlamp to come in as I have no real reliable way to heat up and soften my clay. 

CAGD 493 – Week 7

Over Spring Break I tried to tackle Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of Pixel Logic, and it is a good thing because Chapter 3 didn’t really have many exercises, the problem is that neither did Chapter 4.

Chapter 3 was mainly about color, the issue with attempting to create an exercise is that in order to create a color palette I need something to work on. It did have a lot of good information though that works in addition to common color theory.

For example when working on shadows it suggested instead of just value shifting (moving towards black) you should hue shift as well, either towards violet or towards yellow. Hue shifting towards violet is much more common due to it being the darkest hue and yellow is the lightest.

It also talked about shifting saturation when playing with shadows and light values. Playing with dull highlights/vibrant shadows, vibrant highlights/dull shadows, and other combinations like pure flat, can give you many options when creating sprites.

The last good bit of information it had was to use grey as a filler color since it blends towards the main colors complement. It helps a ton in different lighting settings. An example shown was a grey tree trunk using purple for accents in a night scene creates a brown looking color to the viewer.

Chapter 4 was all about sprite readability. Mainly talking and showing examples of how to work with detailing sprites in various sizes. Readability goes DOWN when a sprite gets smaller because you have less pixels to work with. I haven’t covered the second half of the chapter yet as it gives a lot of shape examples that I want to work though on my first pixel art.

Speaking of my first pixel art I finally have a goal to work on this week in terms of a portfolio piece.

I want to work on this character from Rocket Volley, a project I worked on 3 years ago in 3D. We had come up with some really cool character concepts and I want to see how I can flesh them out in 3D.

In addition to this I also wanted to start work on a compilation of material studies using this as an example. I will generate various material types to work on, or steal the ones shown here, and recreate them at various pixel sizes like 16×16 / 32×32 / 64×64


CAGD 493 – WEEK 6

Anti-Aliasing sprites is really interesting… and hard. The main focus of the second chapter of Pixel Logic is Anti Aliasing and how/where to use it, if at all. The main argument against using AA comes down to a couple things, Art Style, Asset Timelines, and sprite size. But I am here to learn, so I have to use it while learning!

Again this week I had to make my own little exercises, mostly by copying examples in the chapters.

The first exercise I tried with this method was a failure and I quit part way through, basically I didn’t want to keep going with it as my replication wasn’t enhancing my knowledge of the subject. I was placing the pixels where the examples showed off, but I didn’t know why, and without the images there to go off of I would have been lost.

Luckily further into the chapter the Author starts talking about the actual rules for creating AA.

The first section talked about working you way up with simple straight lines (at any angle other that 90 degree increments they are jagged). So I created a straight line, along with one using a slight curve. The Author also talked about practicing with one color first before moving onto multiple.

The next exercise is a bit more advanced, it is about using AA to create better, smoother curves with your color tints. Your Convex curves follow a pattern of the curve center using lighting colors, while the outsides use darker, Concave follows the opposite rule. The Darker colors will push into whatever you’re curving (the object with similar tones, while the lighter colors will expand it, helping create more gradual curves out of less pixels.

The bulk of the rest of the chapter was a bit more of a DON’Ts section with examples of what not to do, things like banding, where your AA has a similar thickness to your base shapes. Banding makes very blocky looking shapes and works against the goal of AA.

The next chapter is all about Color and I hope that very soon I will be able to start working on my own images, I plan to take some drawings or sketches and turn them into sprites as practice once I have enough knowledge.