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Looking for art opinions. I doodle with pixels

#1 User is offline Linaru 

Posted 13 November 2015 - 11:09 AM

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I am starting work fleshing out the custom art for our sonic hacks levels and I wanted to post few bits up and ask opinions.

we are trying to use 100% original art, but at the same time I want the look and feel of game to be for lack of a better description 'very sonic'
my previous experience with pixel art has mostly been on more modern indie games with a much darker feel, adapting my style to the mega drive and trying to match sonic games is challenging,
especially as each sonic game seems to have a completely separate pixel art style.



I wanted to start the hack off with a less grassy feel as so many sonic games start with some variation of a grassy zone.
so I've more or less decided on a sort of nordic forest zone which will be a mix of grass and snow patches, trees etc..
for the level background im taking alot of inspiration from the mushroom hill zone


Posted Image

I have tried to draw this grass in a very sonic style and I like how its come out, but id like some opinions on the rock.
a lot of level surfaces particularly in sonic 1 and 2 are very plain and un-detailed
so I am worried my slightly more hectic rock texture might look out of character for a sonic game?

I figured that the upper parts of the level might be mixed with branches and platforms in the trees them selves so as not to rely to heavily on this stone.

here is a mockup of the levels background some parts of this are based heavily on other sonic background assets.. the trees are from mushroom hill and the leaves are from launch base.
Posted Image
I wanted it to feel more open than mushroom hill did.. like your able to look out of the trees across a lake.
This post has been edited by Linaru: 13 November 2015 - 11:10 AM

#2 User is offline Atendega 

Posted 13 November 2015 - 11:40 AM

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I very much like the idea of a less traditional starting zone, and a Nordic forest is a very original idea for a Sonic zone. I love the assets you've come up with so far, and I wouldn't worry about them looking out of place. You should define your own art style. The only complaint I have is that the background doesn't match the art you've made and looks too similar to existing backgrounds but, as you said, it's just a mockup. Good work!

#3 User is offline Jayextee 

Posted 14 November 2015 - 06:25 AM

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Topic title said:

Looking for art opinions.



OH BOY HAVE I GOT THOSE. :P

First things, there's not a lot to judge from but I'll say that your choice of colours is amazing there; especially in the forest background layer (shadowing down to brown instead of black? Lovely! And is a nice contrast versus the blue sky and lake). Since you mention hacks, I worry that they may not conform with Megadrive RGB limitations, which may take away the subtlety. Unless they're already in Megadrive colours (can't check right now), in which case good job there.

I'd say it's worth compositing those foreground chunks against the background to see if they 'pop' out -- it's possible that the icy blue-grey you've got for the soily part of them could totally get lost against either the sky or lake at a glance. Good rule of thumb? Backgrounds should be slightly desaturated and/or lower contrast, whereas foregrounds should be more saturated in comparison, and definitely of higher contrast.

As mentioned though, what you have so far is great! :D

#4 User is offline DerZocker 

Posted 14 November 2015 - 12:11 PM

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Very good start :) I especially love the mountains in the far bg. Just two small nitpicks. The shading on the rocks looks a bit hard, maybe a bit of transitional dithering could help. But maybe this is just a personal preference of mine. The dithering on the sky on the other hand actually is pretty harsh. A smoother dithering gradient would make it look a bit more natural, I think.
I made quick example. It's not really the best, but you get the idea

Posted Image

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see a full mockup :)

#5 User is offline Linaru 

Posted 14 November 2015 - 09:51 PM

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changed up a the sky a bit.. as you suggested.. also threw some basic floor tiles over the background so we can see how they contrast with the water etc.

Posted Image

#6 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:19 PM

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View PostDerZocker, on 14 November 2015 - 12:11 PM, said:

The dithering on the sky on the other hand actually is pretty harsh. A smoother dithering gradient would make it look a bit more natural, I think.
I made quick example. It's not really the best, but you get the idea

Posted Image

Actually, your dithering wouldn't actually work as you intend on an actual Mega Drive, as it would be showing separate horizontal lines crossing the sky.

See Vectorman for details on how to do dithering on this system (I.e.: vertical lines).
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 15 November 2015 - 07:25 PM

#7 User is offline Linaru 

Posted 17 November 2015 - 08:44 AM

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im far from finished with the first acts forest art work ( I need to sit down and draw some trees)
but I wanted to post this other mockup of level art and get some opinions.

Posted Image

I wasn't really sure what I was aiming for when I made this floor and wall texture. but with a bit of tweaking I am thinking it could be a robotropolis factory type level theme?

#8 User is offline DerZocker 

Posted 17 November 2015 - 09:13 AM

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Again, this looks pretty cool. Reminds me of Chrome Gadget Zone.
Though, I'd strongly recommend to remove, or at least invert the anti aliasing from the spikes. They look a bit fuzzed out at the moment

@ICEknight: I suppose you mean the same dither technique Sonic Next Level uses for the transparency effects, don't you? I just looked at the various Sonic backdrops and almost every zone uses just a flat color for the sky. The only exception I can come up with right now is Sandopolis, which uses standard dithering on the sky.
Posted Image
I'll check out later how it looked on real HW, especially as there's also the heat haze.
Also would be best if I use composite instead of RGB for the intended effect, right

#9 User is offline Linaru 

Posted 17 November 2015 - 11:20 AM

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View PostDerZocker, on 17 November 2015 - 09:13 AM, said:

Again, this looks pretty cool. Reminds me of Chrome Gadget Zone.
Though, I'd strongly recommend to remove, or at least invert the anti aliasing from the spikes. They look a bit fuzzed out at the moment


yeah those spikes are wip.. there's no anti-aliasing as such... I just messed up the shading while trying out a few diferent shading styles.

#10 User is offline Natsumi 

Posted 17 November 2015 - 11:53 AM

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Posted Image

this is how it looks on my model 1 Sega Mega Drive with RF cables.

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