Introduction to Pixel Art: The Queen.

In this introduction task to pixel art we were tasked with creating a pixel art sprite version of the Queen using a provided image. We were to make 3 pixel art pieces, 16 x 16, 24 x 24 and 32 x 32. We (Only after creating our previous 3 pixel sprites) were told to pick a name from the sack of destiny! And make the person whose name we had chosen.

What were the requirements and parameters of this visual – based problem?

The requirements of our task were that we had to make 3, 16 x 16, 24 x 24 and 32 x 32 and try to give them as detailed and as in-depth as we could make them. One those were completed we were given a secret task to create one of our fellow class mates and keep it to ourselves so others could guess who our chosen one was. We had to make sure our canvases were the correct size for what we was doing and that we were doing them in order.

What research activities did you undertake to create your solutions to your visual based problem?

The research we did was that we collected the specific reference image we had chosen from Adam’s blog (As we could choose from two) and we could also look up pixel art styles if we so chose to.

How did you apply your practical skills to solve this visual – based problem?

I applied my practical skills by using what we had previously been taught from the “Introduction to pixel Art: Harry Potter”. We had to set up the canvases again and alter them too, depending on which pixel art we was doing from 16 x 16 pixels, to 24 x 24 pixels and then lastly to 32 x 32 pixels.

We used shortcuts such as “E” for eraser, “B” for Brush tool, which we had set to pencil instead and “Alt” for the colour picker if we needed it. Although there wasn’t much to use in terms of tools, it wasn’t a simple task at all, as well as it being rather difficult as there was really any Queen Pixel art that we could simple use to look up and use for inspiration, I had to think about how to make the picture of the Queen I had to look like a silhouette. All we had to use was the reference image from Adams blog. What I had found was as the amount of pixels went up so did the difficulty of the sprite and the more time I had to spend thinking about how I would sort out this visual problem.

When doing pixel art I had to take a moment to ponder about the kinds of shading I would need to do, so what I did was a started really light cyan blue, worked my way either side of the original colour to get what I needed furthermore I placed the slightly altered colours where I thought that they were needed. Indicated in the pictures below. I had to do this for all my colours and areas to give the pixel art a more detailed and in-depth look. To make a pixel art isn’t as simple as it would be thought to do. Firstly you’re required to make the silhouette which is best to have a grey background and then work from a really light colour as then you’ll always have the option to go darker if you need to.

Next was my 24 x 24 Queen Pixel art attempt, again I had to improvise when it came to the shading and just the overall shape which I felt needed a minor change. Below is my attempt and my improvements of the attempt.

Last but certainly not least, came my 32 x 32 attempt and by this point I was better than the start of the day. I had more experience and more practice, which allowed me to be able to refine what I had done after I had finished it and made some minor changes.

How effective was my solutions in solving the visual – based problem?

I found that my solutions to the visual problems were effective as I had gotten better at doing pixel art so my craftsmanship was better. Overall I had some minor difficulties which I was able to overcome with a little help from my tutor.

Extension task.

We had an extension task which was to create a sprite of the person whose name we had chosen out of a bag. We were to give as much of the details and depth as we could within our chosen resolution.

Mind maps and Mood boards.

  1. How will this task help you to meet the current requirements and parameters of your project?

These tasks that I am currently undergoing will inevitably help by inspiring ideas based on what I have placed onto my mind maps and my mood boards. These ideas I get from the mood boards and my mind maps, could ultimately change the way I do my final project, so it’s important to takes these seriously.

  1. What research activities did you undertake in order to help you create your mind map and mood boards? Were these effective? What other research activities could you have undertaken?

The activities I undertook to make my mind maps and mood boards were asking my friends for what potentially could help me, but mostly it would be my research online. I looked up many different things, some of things were famous buildings within capital cities, stereotypical items from those places and even what the typical citizen would have looked like within the 1960s (Style of clothing).

  1. How will this task help you to plan and organise your work on the current project?

From my mood boards and my mind maps, I can see what in my head what would look good and would also be in context for my current project and I would also then know what I would have to model in pixel art for my 2D game.

  1. How did you apply your practical skills (include screenshots where relevant)? Did you learn any new skills during the process?

I applied my practical skills by finding the relevant pictures for what I needed. I wasn’t confident in my Photoshop abilities so doing this exercise helped me hone my Photoshop abilities and be more confident in what I can do as an individual.

mind-map-screenshotThis is my mind map of things I could possibly explore. mood-board-one-charactersThis is my first mood board which is all about characters.mood-board-2-objectsThis is my Second mood board which is all about objects.mood-board-3-levelsThis is my third and final mood board  which is all about levels, designs and colours

Mood boards are very important to the creative mind/ creative process as it can make us think of the most random and unique ways for us to accomplish what we are doing.

  1. How effective were your solutions in solving this visual-based problem? Consider whether you could have explored more ideas in your mind maps, or included a wider range of imagery in your mood boards. Do you think that this work will help you to solve visual, interactive and even audio-based problems in your work? If so, how?

My solutions were fairly effective in conveying what I wanted to show, however there are some things that I could have done better, these things include; positioning, size and Opacity. I possibly could’ve explored more ideas than what I had already done, however no other ideas came to mind, nor do they still come to mind now.

Within my characters mood boards it’s mostly blacks, greys etc. I could have included some more colours perhaps but I felt it necessary to keep Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla’s images in black and white; it would refer back to their original time (also the lack of coloured images were a hindrance).

Finalized Story concept

My finalized story concept is of Nikola Tesla whom has traveled forward in time, from his un-timely death in 1943. Tesla during his life supposedly made a set of blueprints for a “Death ray” which he distributed to the worlds current powers at that point in time because he believed it would bring the world together to make a giant death ray and stop all conflicts. At this point in time (1960s) there was the cold war going on, due to the war general population would have a lot if not any power/electricity so as well as trying to collect his blueprint pieces he decided to make some of his supposed infinitely generating Tesla towers to give the people some power! Nikola Tesla controlled by the player has to dodge the enemies within the game whom are modeled after people in 1960’s fashion clothes. the final boss would be Fidel Castro whom is on a mad power grab trying to construct the “Death Ray” himself. You must stop him!

Reflection

week 2 was a fairly busy week as we had all sorts of things to worry about, we had to come up with our finalized and improved story concept for our games which wasnt too difficult, We had more pixel art practice which this time it was about the queen. We were given two different image files to look at and use for a reference image.

Next thing on the agenda was to create a mind map and 3 different mood boards. One was about Characters. Another was about Objects and the last one was about Levels, layouts, and colours.

Last thing for us to do that week was to create and name and logo for our teams. My team had trouble with this due to a number of us coming up with some good ideas. That made it very difficult to choose one of them to be the names so we couldn’t decide and chose to leave it to a class vote.

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