Archives for posts with tag: Drawing

Good morning all. Sorry I missed last week. I was mostly still working on the new logo still and I didn’t want to publish the final finished version until I had bought my trademark for it.

But this week I’ve started work on the next world for Kana Quest. w3WIP2

So this week we are gonna look at some of the techniques I use when making these background, the way I set these things out and the inspiration for this one.

So right off the bat you will notice the biiig blank space in the second half of the picture. why is that there and what am I using it for? Well the backgrounds in Kana Quest have to repeat seamlessly. But they also have to transition nicely from the previous world. So what I’ve done here is I’ve drawn the connective tissue first but leaving a lot of room in the document so I can then draw the repeating part of the art.

Another thing about the setup of this image that you cannot see is the layer structure. Because the backgrounds will be parralaxing I need to choose what part of the background goes on which layer. And then work from the furthest back to the closest. The reason I do this is so that if there are any variations in a foreground layer’s height I can make sure the background layers still have stuff there so we don’t get a big gaping hole.

So now onto the techniques I use to make this a lot faster than hand placing every pixel. Whenever you are doing dithering (the process of creating a dot pattern to create the illusion of shading) in photoshop the paint bucket is your best fried. Let’s say we were going to make a bunch of autumn trees like in the background.

pixelart demo1

The first thing we would do is jut get some flat base colors like this. Looks pretty nasty right? But once we add some shading everything will look great. The only problem is no one wants to sit around and place all those pixels by hand.  So what we are going to do is select the areas we want shaded and use the hue saturation adjustment layer to alter those selected areas. Then we fiddle around till we have a shading color that we like. And we get this.

pixelart demo2

Then we will make a selection were we want the “in-between” of the two tones to be. I like to select the shade color with the magic wand and go to Select –> Modify –> Expand and expand an appropriate amount.

Then once we have that selection I go to my paint bucket and switch the mode from Foreground to Pattern. Also make sure you define a dither pattern beforehand (this is done in basically the same way you define a new paintbrush). Then just fill with your bucket and it will look like…. trash. But that’s ok.

Untitled-1

What we are going to do with this is use it to create a selection that will allow us to immediately fill up the black pixels with the chosen shade color and then delete the white pixels leaving us with a perfect dither pattern. Like so.

pixelart demo4

This is great because we get to have dithering in our piece without having to do any of the laborious pixel by pixel shading. Then for the final step we just repeat the previous steps for the highlights and we get this.

pixelart demo5

Seeing as these are supposed to be trees I would recommend adding some irregularity to the shading. But adding that is much faster when you have a good guide ready to go.

Finally I’m going to talk about the inspiration for the art for world three.

I wanted the first four worlds to follow a full year season cycle to begin with. The world one starts with spring and the world two is summer, so world three is of course autumn. What this means for the art is there needed to have Japan’s stunning autumn colors on display. But I also wanted to shift the perspective of the art. Spring and summer are both warm and optimistic times. Autumn is a shift, so while the color pallet is still very warm but I wanted it to be more introspective by bringing the focus to the foreground. As a result I have the brilliant red of the Japanese Maple trees the closest thing to the player. This way when we transition to world four when the mise en scene is even more cramped it wont be as much of a visual jump.

Anyway, there is still a lot of work to be done on the background before it’s finished but I’m sure I’ll get to show you the finished thing soon!

Till then, take care and have a great day!

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So this week Kana Quest has progressed slowly. Not gonna lie. But sometimes you need to take a step back from making a thing so you can continue pressing on in a healthy direction. But still I’ll show you all what I’ve made, why I’ve made it and all that.
HavaVer2So this is a character that I have made for the tutorial sections of the first world. I have a plan of how each world is going to look like and what theme each one will have. The first world is all about Sakura flowers. This is because spring signifies new beginnings in most cultures and the symbol for spring in Japan is Sakura. Another cute thing to note is the academic school year begins during Sakura season. So it makes sense to start a new journey about learning new things. Anyway this character is called Hanna because the word for flower in Japanese is Hana (I’m a sucker for multilingual puns).
So one major problem I’ve encountered this week was one coming from my own art.  So the plan for Hanna is that she will be speaking to the player via text box. And this will be overlay on-top of the background (See Below). The problem is the background commands a lot of attention and I can’t just put Hanna on-top of it. If I do it will look awful. And to be honest this has been just further frustrating me about the background art. I really want to re-do it to make it more usable but I’m afraid I will be falling into the trap of never finishing anything. So for now I am going to leave it. I will make note of future backgrounds to avoid the traps that I have put myself into from that first background.TutorialScriptSkipButton

The things I will do for future backgrounds are as follows.

  • Use less colors and stay strictly within color pallet
  • Don’t make the image a fixed size. It limits my ability to add new levels should I need to.
  • Make sure you set up the backgrounds to parallax this way worlds can be as large or small as I like.
  • Make the visual level counters an even distance apart.

 

SlimeTilesThe last thing I want to show this week is the Slime Tiles. This is the finished art of a mechanic that has been finished for a while. Basically all the Hiragana that don’t have a consonant (a,i,u,e,o) when used with another Hiragana will change the other Hiragana. For example using o (far right in above gif) with a Ka (far left in tutorial demo gif) will change the Ka to a Ko. Once used with another tile the changed tile will have that same transparent slimy color over it so the player can track the change. I really like this mechanic because it solves a couple of problems. First it makes a,i,u,e,o function differently from other kana that have both a vowel and a consonant. The reason this is important is that if they didn’t behave differently they would just restrict level design space for no real reason as they can only be matched with similar vowels as they have no consonant. Secondly they get the player to focus on the sounds of the tiles in interesting ways. This way the game isn’t just a puzzle of “how to I move the tiles around in the most efficient way”?

So that’s my progress for the week. If anyone has any questions about Kana Quest or design choices please feel free to ask!

Till next time.

 

The coloring for the cover page that I uploaded yesterday was bothering me so I went back and re-did it. I Also re-proportioned Sheila’s head so she isn’t as alien like. Anyway updates of Bogan Bots will be on Fridays.

bogan-botscoverredo

So there is this podcast that I watch called QWERPLine which is about a radio station called QWERPLine. And the makers of it are coming down to Australia for the first time for PAX. So I decided to make a full cast photo of all the QWERPLine characters so far (31 in total). This is my WIPQWERPLINEProgress.jpg

I posted another two characters in another file the other day. Which brings me to 11/31 characters drawn. Its starting to come together and I’m enjoying putting in a bunch of small references through the image. For example Ball Hinkley’s bottle of “Ray Romano” perfume, and the light rail trail that has crashed into the radio studio.

Today I just worked on my digital art. I was focusing on a couple of things today. To make better use of the different brushes at my disposal in photoshop, keyboard shortcuts and shading.

First drawing today is a field of Paterson’s CursePaterson'sCurse

Once again continuing on from Friday last week where I was working on environments. I felt this piece came out reasonably well. My main issue is with the character in the center as she feels a bit out of style in comparison to all the flowers. Other than that I am reasonably happy with this work as I feel the perspective is pretty solid, and the color work is better than what I was doing last week. So I’m pleased with this one for now. Not a hundred percent what I envisioned it to be but its passable for now.

Second drawing of the day was a bit of a cheat as I didn’t actually draw an environment. But in my defense it turned out well, and it didn’t take too long for me to paint.ScarfLAdy

I’m mainly happy with the shading and coloring in this piece as it looks a lot more polished that work I would have been producing three months ago. So for that alone I am happy with it. A couple of rough edges here and there are still present but I’m still happy with it. Anyway I will see you all tomorrow.

Today was mostly a day focusing on Kana Quest.  But the first thing I did was make a few more changes to the  drawing from yesterday.SUStudyYellowDiamondFightfinal

There is a lot more I could do with this piece, and to be honest I’m not actually happy with how it came out but I need to finish it and move onto something new. The main changes for today was increasing the boldness of the lines in the gems, and changing some of the colors in the background. The things I don’t like about this piece is it just feels kinda flat and lifeless to me. I know I’m working in a cartoon style but this drawing feels so much less dynamic than what I was going for. I think my lack of skill in shading and color theory really hurt this piece. But alas. It’s time to move on from the art of Rebecca Sugar onto a new artist. I think I might focus on landscapes and buildings after this so I look forward to having my buildings looking like boxes and getting annoyed at them.

Next up is I finally finished implementing a mechanic for kana quest from a while back.

It works like this, you have a “paint” tile that when you use it changes the vowel of any kana you use it with. So above an “a” paint tile used with an “nn” tile changes the sound to a “Na”. Most of the mechanic was already done for me today but the thing I did do was create that splotchy overlay to show that the sound has been altered. The hardest part was actually getting that overlay to go back in the correct place when the undo button was used. But I got it working despite the many bugs.

Finally today I started work on a level select scene in the game. Thus allowing players to pick and choose any level they have beaten.  This is good as it allows folk to replay levels if they have forgotten how to play. You can see the begging of the sprites I will use below.KanaQuestGUIPreview.png

So the numbered tiles will be used for the levels. I will use green borders for levels that the player can access and red ones for levels that they can’t.

And that’s everything I did today.

So today I started doing some programming trying to finish my tutorial script from yesterday. That’s still a few features missing before its done. But the second half of the day, I focused on drawing.

So on the drawing front I did two things. The first was finishing a drawing I’ve been doing for a while.shielarummeging

So a couple of things went well for this drawing and a couple of things didn’t. The positives I feel are the overall composition is good. The background desert also turned out really well. The areas that I’m not happy with is the shading on the robot lady. The shading of her skin, hair and shirt are a bit off. I think there isn’t enough contrast.

The other thing I worked on today was the beginning of a long term goal. And that was to develop my personal art style more. To do this I want to do a bunch of artist studies. So today I decided to a study of Rebecca Sugar’s art. For those who don’t know her work she is the creator of Steven Universe. So for my first study I drew this fellow. I spent about an hour and twenty minutes on this guy (including reference gathering).RebeccaSugarStudy1.jpg

So the thing I want to be able to like Rebecca Sugar is her near effortless ability to abstract and simplify the human form all while creating an amazing sense of movement. In my above study I managed to achieve a few of Sugar’s idiosyncrasies into my own work. Most noticeably in the face. The areas that aren’t quite right is basically the line work. In Sugar’s work she uses very few lines. And the ones she does are usually quite soft and loose. My lines are very hard and fast and I use a lot of them. So while I have the shape of Sugar’s style I do not have the lines.

And that’s what I did today.