Personal Creating Sprites

Discussion in 'Art and Other Media' started by Ignysse, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. Ignysse

    Ignysse New Member

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    Hello! I was wondering if anyone here knew a good program that would help me in animating my own sprites consistently? I always see the Skullgirls hand drawn animations and wonder how they're so fluid/consistent. Something with sufficient onionskin capabilities would be helpful.
     
  2. Fizzxwizz

    Fizzxwizz lit News Writer

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    Skullgirls animations are done in photoshop, I don't remember the specific version but I think its cs6? To my knowledge you can't animate with most other versions of photoshop but I'm not an expert or an artist. I'd suggest trying things out and going with what works best for you.

    Some good options off the top of my head are Krita, Photoshop, And Flash. For lower resolution spritey things theres also GraphicsGale. I gotta stress again though, I've used almost none of these and I'm also not an artist so work with whats best for you.
     
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  3. North888

    North888 Doesn't know what he's talking about

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    I use Paint.net. it's basically a less flashy but free version of Photoshop. I've also used Paint itself in the past. I'm one of those scrubs that animated things the hard way lol. I guess it depends on how you animate which tool would be best for you.
     
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  4. Ninja

    Ninja [Jazzy Diamonds]

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    To Fizzxwizz -> The animations done at Lab Zero's headquarters is done in PhotoShop. The contract artists that worked on SkullGirls used different animation programs like Flash and ToonBoom. Also you can animate in CS 4 and CS5/5.5.

    To Ignysse -> To really get fluid/consistent animations you're going to have to practice, alot. Your going to have to get down a style that you can draw in that is consistent and from there you are going to learn how body parts move, when it's time to use stretch, squash, and smear frames in your animation, I suggest getting the "Animator's Survival Kit" to help you learn how to do basic animations like walk cycles.

    A program is only a tool to help you put your drawings together into an animated piece. It's up to you to get the fluid motion and consistency down by yourself.
     
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  5. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    You can actually animate in older versions of Photoshop too, but prior to CS4, the tools were offered in a side program called ImageReady. Lab Zero animators just use Photoshop's Frame timeline, which pretty much works in all of those, but as mentioned, some of the contractors work in other programs like Flash too. There's also that Ghibli Software that was recently made free, but not sure if anyone on the team uses it.

    But yeah. the real reason the animations in Skullgirls/Indivisible are so smooth, is because the artists are just good at what they do. It's the same type of skill that, roughly a couple decades ago, was still mostly applied with pencil, paper, and a lightbox. Once you're skilled enough, the tool is more a matter of personal taste, like picking between Coke and Fanta.

    In addition to looking up some good animation books (I'll drop The Illusion of Life here as well), you might want to look up some references for comics/storyboarding too. Skullgirls animations draw a lot from keyframes, so there's more overlap with comic art than you might initially think. Books like Understanding Comics or How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way have some good fundamental tips for movement timing and body language that can totally apply to fighting game sprites. Another good ref is Don Bluth's Art of Storyboard, but apparently those books went out of print and the prices are insane now. Keep your eye out for any good resources you might find.

    And don't forget, if you can't find a program you can wrap your head around yet, don't hesitate to whip out the paper and grind on some good ol' flipbooks! Any amount of learning you can do will pay off in the end.
     
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  6. North888

    North888 Doesn't know what he's talking about

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    Heck to add onto that, I'm just constantly doodling on scratch paper. I mostly do pixel art which is pretty easy to animate, but knowing what you're drawing, even if it's a quick 2 second doodle of it, is still good practice.

    But yeah practice and use basically anything. Can't really add anymore onto what they've already said. Nice buncha resources they put there.
     
  7. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    If you want to do it the easy, cheap and not nearly as good as the hard way, try Spriter
     
  8. Ignysse

    Ignysse New Member

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    Thanks guys, this is actually a lot more input than what I thought I'd get! It's nice learning a bit how Skullgirls' animations are put together and I did watch one of their panels that emphasized squash/smear etc. I've been drawing for about 10+years now and I've generally stuck with paper and pencil as my go-to while trying in small strides to venture into digital.

    The main reason I'm asking is because I'm part of a small game development program, and I'm the lead artist for my team. I've been doing sketches of my character sprites, but I know at some point down the line, I'd like to be able to provide my programmer with some nice looking sprites to look at/work with. I do have Photoshop, however, I'm still learning how to use it's animation features.
     
  9. Sinclair

    Sinclair smug

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    don't use spriter, it'll look cheap as fuck (i know that from experience lmao)
    if you want to use pixel based sprites, i suggest aseprite.
    When it comes to normal sprites, all i can say is just use photoshop and gain some experience when it comes to animating. everything has a start!
    I suggest you watch this too, it helped me a lot:
     
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  10. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    I specifically said it was the cheap way of doing sprites.
     
  11. North888

    North888 Doesn't know what he's talking about

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    Another thing is whether or not you're going to need compressed sprites. For example, if you're designing characters for a 16-bit game, you'll still want them to be pretty simple so the pixels are easy to animate while retaining the detail you need to make them recognizable. I guess The question becomes what kind of sprites are you animating for what kind of help we can give.
     
  12. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    I think my sprite artist uses Graphics Gale IIRC.
     
  13. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    North is right: the tools and even techniques depends on what you're doing.
     
  14. Ignysse

    Ignysse New Member

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    I probably should have stated sooner that I'm trying to avoid pixel art as I'm not as well versed in that as I am with drawing on paper. Not that I don't want to get into it, but I'd rather start with my roots and use my drawing tablet. lol
     
  15. North888

    North888 Doesn't know what he's talking about

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    That's fine. You'll probably still have to deal with resolutions and creating designs and sprites that can be compressed to fit, but that's not a super difficult thing to do with standard drawing styles these days.
     
  16. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    That's understandable. Since you're still feeling your way around animating in these programs though, this might actually be a really good time to try out some pixeling. Pixel art is still a wonderfully efficient means of doing computer graphics and animation, because at lower resolutions, you can imply a lot of movement with very small changes. It's also lightweight and easy to play around with, especially in programs like Photoshop.

    A lot of great pixelart starts on paper too. Some very popular examples come from Capcom's old Sketchbooks.

    And for some more recent examples, here's some stuff that was posted by the one-man dev of a game I've been looking forward to called Jack the Reaper:
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Heck, even for hi-res computer art, sometimes it helps to start on paper. Whatever lets you pump your ideas out faster!
     
  17. Thrasher08

    Thrasher08 Well-Known Member

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    As little advice I have to offer in regards to animation, take projects one step at a time. Don't work on anything too ambitious to begin with otherwise you'll find yourself threating over precise irrelevant details.

    Although its good to keep familiarity with your style and methods, it's good practice to experiment with all kinds of art styles and animation methods.

    The more variety of methods and styles you use, the more you'll learn to overcome future challenges when you encounter them.

    Don't get hung up on animations being perfect, experiment with various software and practice.
     
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  18. Squire Grooktook

    Squire Grooktook The wind blew all day long

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    Jack The Reaper is so fucking cute. I really need to play that already.
     
  19. DukeMagus

    DukeMagus Not A Duke; THE Duke

    Look for a program called "paint of Persia" it was made to do rotoscopic animations, but could help you into mixing your drawings and digital art
     
  20. Ninja

    Ninja [Jazzy Diamonds]

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    also if you are doing drawings and you want to scan em don't go over 300dpi after that it's just a waste of memory on your computer and you can bump up the resolution when you are working on it for a final inked in version.
     
  21. Ignysse

    Ignysse New Member

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    Ah yes, I know this artist! He goes by Rakugaki-Otoko. I became out of touch with him about a year ago but I'm glad you brought him up so I can follow his work again! That boss is very inspiring too.. Sprite-work is definitely something I have interest delving into thanks to artists like Raku and Abysswolf, and I still haven't gotten to fleshing out the actual sprites, (so far I've only done paper mock-ups) but I'm kinda having a "where do I start" moment. I suppose I should just jump into it though yeah?
     
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  22. KaboomKid

    KaboomKid Sure would be nice. ...TUNA FISH!

    Yeah man, jump right in! We're giving you all kinds of advice, but really, just have fun. Even for the project you're working on, it'll mean a lot to use this time to just play around and experiment while you have the chance.

    And yeah, Raku's a beast. There's definitely a particular skill to pixel art, but I love seeing how guys like him, Snakepixel, and Konjak etc. don't feel limited by it at all. It's still a very viable medium for making lovely 2D stuffs.
     
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