SubPixle Revolution

So a few days ago Mr. CandyFace (I'm sure you know of this person if you frequent these forums) showed me a link to an article explaining subpixle animation and I wanted to share my first experiment with it. There are components of this animation that alter the silhouette but I had a ton of fun moving the pixels within the animation. I have a ton of learning to do but I wanted to share anyways just to feed my ego on the interwebs. Thanks for looking and commenting and critiquing if you wish to! 



  • edited March 2016
    That a pretty good start, you've got a lot going on, that's for sure. Be careful not to dither too much though, as it tends to get hard hard to notice the important changes. The jacket fluttering in the wind looks nice and the feather too, but if you zoom out to 1x, then you won't notice all the other fancy sub pixel animation you've added to the beard, the jacket shadows or the skeleton button. Remember to zoom out a lot when you work with your sprite, and make sure you can see the changes, so they're not wasted effort.

    Also the head is not the only thing that moves, it's subtle but you'll notice you're actually moving most of the upper body when breathing, try to add that to your character.

    Mix between the animations methods, for example.. animate the beard by making subtle adjustments, and move shadows according to that. Move away from the muddy, boring color transition from gray to more gray.. experiment, use blue or purple.. saturate and add some contrast, Pyxel Edit's shading panel can be a very powerful tool for this:

    Dithering, a technique often used to color blend instead of adding additional colors to the work, and back in the SEGA saturn days, used a a way to simulate transparency. It can make your work look outstanding if used right, but when used wrong it really convolutes much of the effort you're trying to put into your work. A good rule of thumb is to only use it when you think it is a ABSOLUTE must. 

    You can read a bit more about it here:

    These subjects in particular are interesting, if you don't want to read everything ;)
    III. Terms to know
    IV. Things to avoid

    I'm looking forward to seeing your improvements ;)

  • I think the lack of colour interest comes from my apparently neglecting a light source. I'd like to go back and add a nice cool light source to give him and his beard some nice bounce light under the brim....That might help with deciding on where to go with contrasty shadows which might look awesome when scaled back? The real question is do I want to continue with this guys or move on to something else?? decisions decisions.....

    I'd like to ask the infamous "what would you do" specifically with this sprite to add interest?: which way would you take the colours? I know this is a risky question as you are being asked how you would alter art that is not yours how ever I am simply curious! Also Candyface do you have a website with your art? I'd love to see more of your work!

    Thank you again for your feedback! 

    All the best,

  • edited March 2016
    Choosing a light source is not exactly fun in my book either.. but it really is fundamental for getting great looking and interesting sprites most of the time. I like my sprites clean and saturated, so I would remove a lot of your dithering, keeping just enough to make it serve it's purpose. Then change the color of the lighting to something i think suits the character.. I'm not sure in what direction i would go.. I mostly experiment until i find something i like. I also try to reuse the same color instead of using lots of similar colors. 

    But instead of just telling you everything in text, i like to show.. because I usually communicate better in that way:3
    so I've had some fun, modifying your pirate using various techniques to add depth, and interest. I haven't animated him though, because that would be too big of a project.

    The light is positioned somewhat in front of him but also a bit high, so the light shines diagonally down. You can see that I almost always use three colors. This is just basically because you need a color for the light, a color for the base, and a color for shading, else it's hard to add depth to your sprite (although dithering can help to solve this problem). Always be clear when you add a light source, there is no reason to hide, find a good color that goes well together but also adds contrast. Notice how I use use the colors to alias edges to get a smoother feel, again by reusing colors. Be clear when you go from one part of your character to another and be consistent in your dithering. 

    I can't explain everything i've done but you're welcome to use my version for reference, and learn from it. I didn't want to alter it too much though (even though I've heavily altered it already ._.)

    About stuff i've made.. My official website is not published yet, but will be soon. In the meantime, you can check out my Deviantart, the pixel art gallery features almost all the things i've made.  
  • This is awesome :) thank you for showing what you mean, just a cleaner placement of that there dithreing. My goodness a light source does add interest, the sprite now has a mood befitting a pirate. I love the clean up on the parrot. I'm not sure I'll go back and reanimate either. Perhaps much later on an uninspired day :) I didn't think something like this would read at the larger scale but it does, It looks good small and large. 

    Thanks for literally illustrating what you mean!

    All the best,

    - Devon 
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