Pixel Art Animation:
Introduction to pixel art animation Q & A:
Introduction: This is week 3 of our 8 week term. We were tasked last week with reading and taking notes about animation blogs for two different games. Using our knowledge from those notes and our seminar with our tutors, we were taught to do some basic animations (Below are the GIFs and screenshots).
At first we had to set up our Canvases on Photoshop. This is isn’t all that important but it can affect how difficult the Pixel art and the animating of it would become, for example; if you were to do a 24 x 24 canvas and make a 8 x 8 pixel art to animate it would be a lot easier than doing a 64 x 64 canvas and a 24 x 24/32 x 32 pixel art. This would increase your time consumption for each scene/layer exponentially. how we set it up in this example was loaded up Photoshop and then pressed file, New (CTRL N) changed the size from centimeters to pixels and changed the values to 24 x 24.
We were spoken to and shown how to do the animations by our tutor, we took notes and then we were tasked with the objectives of having at least the basic Punch/Jump/Walk done so below are screenshots and GIFs of what I’ve come up with. once we had made a new document in Photoshop done what was required of us we could then sort it out, so for example go to Window then go down the list till you’ve found navigator this shows us our work without our pixel grid lines so we could see how others see it, Another thing we had to do was go on show, then do gown the list till we saw rulers which would then be at the top and the left of our screen. This would allow us to be able to set guides so we know how far we can draw our sprites too (Indicated by the can blue lines within the pictures). The last thing we would’ve needed to do was bring out frame time line this would allow us to see and edit our frames. Once you’ve found the timeline there would be a drop down arrow next to some text saying create “Create Video Timeline” press the drop down arrow and change it to “Create Frame Animation” Then you were done setting it up. This is our document set up for us to be able to do what we needed to do.
History of Animation:
Everything that we know today can be dated back to a few old dinosaurs within the animation category. One of the first if not, the first pieces of machinery that could make animation would be the magic lantern that came along in 1603. It is an image projector using pictures on sheets of glass. Since some sheets contain moving parts, it is considered the first example of projected animation.
How will this task help you to meet the current requirements and parameters of your project?
my teams game idea is a 2D Platformer sidescroller which features Nikola Tesla these are the basics parameters of our game. This task in particular will help me by taking a look at just few of the many things i’ll have to do for my Nikola Tesla sprite and the enemy sprites.
What research activities did you undertake in order to help you create your animation? Were these effective? What other research activities could you have undertaken?
The research I undertook was primary research (Taking notes during a demonstration) however there is other possible ways I could learn/research 2D animation within Photoshop. Another way aside from note taking from a demonstration could be watching some YouTube videos of how to 2D animate on Photoshop.
How will this task help you to plan and organize your work on the current project?
This task well help me plan and organize just what exactly i’ll need to do for my current project as my current project will require me to
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 the same way I play my games. As thoroughly and as fully as I could. I learnt a whole new set of skills whilst doing these sprites as a had no clue of what to do for pixel art due to my previous lack of knowledge. (Screenshots presented below)
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?
I Thoroughly thought threw what I Had to do for my solutions
Basic Punch: GIF
Screenshots of all my animation layers.
The frame Timeline we use to organize and change what we see.
Screenshots for my punch animation.
Screenshots for my jump animation.
Screenshots for my walk cycle.
Homework task – Article feedback
Why do you think the developers chose these art styles?
There wasn’t a particular art style originally when they were first making the game (Super Time Force), that is because when it was developed it was made for the purpose of going to a games jam (An event where everyone makes games and then shows them off at the end of the time limit). as this was an event and they had a time limit, they didn’t have time to developed their own art style but when the game got big they would have plenty of time to make it into it’s own fully fledged game.
What creative problems do pixel artists face? What problems does pixel art present as an art style?
Pixel Artists face some problems that only they will face but also some problems that other artists face; some of these include: Having to sacrifice certain features of people or items to give it more depth and life This of course depends on the size of the pixel art being made and whom you’re making too.
What are the advantages of pixel art as an art style?
There is a few distinct advantages of using pixel art; some of those advantages being: that it would be less time consuming than 3D art due to you having to worry about that 3rd dimension which you do not have to worry about for the 2D art style. People love it! it can bring back a lot of memories from when they were younger perhaps, proc that nostalgia feeling indefinitely.
What problems do animators using pixel art face?
There are some drawbacks when it comes to making pixel art, one of the main problems being it’s pixel art, you won’t get all the details in there. You have to sacrifice some major details in order to get colours right (An example of this is when we did our Harry Potter pixel art, we had to basically miss out the scar altogether).
What are the advantages of using pixel art for animation?
Pixel art is great for time! It’s way less time consuming than say doing 3D.. you’d have to make it, Unrwap it and then texture it with pixel art its as simple as changing the colours of the pixels you see on screen, of course it’ll be more difficult the bigger the size you’re working at but still way less time consuming.
How do the requirements of game genre, technology and players affect creative decisions?
Game genre can be a really big thing for pixel art as it can completely change the way your whole level looks, your character looks and your overall art style can actually change depending on if you have to do something completely different so for horror – action.
Technology can be quite a big hindrance if you’re planning on doing a lot, you need to make sure you got enough space to save everything, if your PC/Laptop can run everything.
Players will ultimately change the way you make things. in my case i changed my player to suit the task which was walking, but it can quite easily be the other way around, you can change your game or yours actions within the game to suit what your character looks like for simplicity.
What creative decisions did they make in tackling these problems?
They made many decisions for STF one of those being, they “added as much lush visual effects and attention to detail befitting a console game” as they also said that “the insane design and technical hurdles to bring it to life demanded it” which prompted them to defend themselves and their ideas by saying “so each member of the team felt the same way” The whole of the studio loved what they were doing which is evident as they were all “Kept in tune” they could happily work on it again and they did just that because they added more stuff to it.
What were the alternative solutions?
Instead of channeling emotions through facial expressions they basically finely tuned the bodies to reflect the personalities of all the individual characters rather than facial expressions.
This week entailed us (Our class) having to scour the articles and links given to us in order to find the useful information which we could potentially use for our work. The links were were instructed to use were highly informative and useful for bit and pieces of our work.
Our name was hard to write about due to our group coming up with multiple names and then we couldn’t decide on which of those names we wanted to go with this resulted in our group leaving the choices of the our names up to the public (Rest of the class) for them to choose.