Sunday, 30 September 2012

Concept Development: Research, Research and Research


So this weekend has been focused on mainly reading into pixel art trying to get a better understanding of the medium how its done and looking into a bit of the history.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any "making of" DVDs or books for any of the more recent games that use pixel art which was thoroughly disappointing  and rather surprising since all of them were extremely popular games that were credited for their use of art.

However I did find a few forums that helped a great deal and one or two tutorials,

both these discuss pixel art in great depth giving a few dos and do nots, I dunno how credible the writers are but I am going to register to the sites and try get in contact with them.

I have also decided it would be a good idea to study into older games in the 1990s and earlier when pixel art was how art for games were produced, I plan to create a sort of timeline from the start where pixel art was popular to recent.

Also I plan to select two main characters of old Sonic and Mario and pick them apart (how many colours and pixels are used etc) I think these icons would be good to pick since they have been around so long and have evolved over time.

I have also been downloading pixel art gifs to try break them down and understand more,

Todd vegan attack by paul robertson (scott pilgrim vs the world: the game)

  • look and ready making of books/dvds of games that use pixel art, fez scott pilgrim etc. *
  • research into how pixel art is used in old consoles such as the Nes and Master System and the ones of today such as Swords and Sorcery and Fez.
  • Try and scour the internet to find forums and communities that are interested in pixel art.
  • discover the pipeline on how pixel art is made to try speed up and make life easier than the way I am using right now

  • *None seem to exist that i have found so far

    Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Meeting with: Lynn Parker


    Yesterday my internet was plagued with problems making it impossible to do anything that required it, so was unable to make this post until now.

    I had another meeting today so another post consisting of text for you to read,

    Today I had a meeting with Lynn to discuss my idea and thoughts on the matter. The meeting helped alot for me as she pointed out things I didn't think about, which has given me a new plan of attack in terms of research however shes glad that I am doing things which is good to know that I am still somewhat on top of things.

    So here is my plan of research,

    1. look and ready making of books/dvds of games that use pixel art, fez scott pilgrim etc.
    2. research into how pixel art is used in old consoles such as the Nes and Master System and the ones of today such as Swords and Sorcery and Fez.
    3. Try and scour the internet to find forums and communities that are interested in pixel art.
    4. discover the pipeline on how pixel art is made to try speed up and make life easier than the way I am using right now
    thanks for reading,

    David M

    Should have another post up later today discussing what I got upto today.

    Thursday, 27 September 2012

    Concept Development: Running Banner prt.2

    Hello folks,

    As you may have noticed the banner doesn't animate, and its completely beyond me why this happens to be the case the file size and frames are all 'supposedly' fine according to the specifications.

    but ahwell here is how it was meant to look,

    But yeah, thats me done with making blogger look pretty for now.

    Posts of art will slow right now as I have focused my attention more on doing things lately than the researching but that just means you'll get to see a whole bunch of characters In preparation for our presentation in the 4th week.

    Today, during our 2 hours in uni we were taught to create our jellyfish of questions and thoughts for your project this was in the attempt to discover the foundations of your question for the dreaded dissertation. Thankfully I found it rather helpful as I got more stuff down on paper, thanks with a little friendly help by Neil P and the lecturer. Which will hopefully help me when I go in to talk to Lynn in the meeting I have tomorrow.



    1. Read - Pixel Art books *
    2. Look - Games, Music Videos, Books and other mediums that use pixel art
    3. Draw - characters
    4. Animate - Basic movement in pixel art
    5. Read - Animation books
    6. Look - For other mediums that use pixel art such as Tv Shows aswell as the ones stated in task 2.
    7. Develop - My "jellyfish" and hopefully my Question.
    8. Analyse - Scott Pillgrim vs the world : the game, write down what i did/didnt like
    9. Do! - More Pixel Art.
    * Pixel Art books that discuss the practice in depth are impossible to find.

    Wednesday, 26 September 2012

    Concept Development: RunBanner prt.1


    Today I have been playing more with animated gifs, you may ave seen my first attempt before but i decided that i could do better.

    first off I had an idea in my head and sketched it out very roughly,

    I decided to start it right at the most complicated part that being the running character, which eventually turned into me.

    so first i drew out a rough sketch of how the character will be placed in each frame,

    After i ironed out a few missed frames i then moved onto the pixel outline. then base colours and finish off with shading and detail.

    ta-daa, i now have a pixelated me, tomorrow i shall be adding in the rainbow cape, if you have played bit.trip runner or have seen/heard the annoying nyan cat video then youll get the rough idea of what it will hopefully look like.

    during doing this i have realised that doing a full short animation make take far longer than what i have available.

    anyways, thanks for reading and check back later for more.. As a side note if you do wish to be immortalized on my blogger for ever drop me an email/comment and i shall turn you into pixels ( this is for my  background layout so that my log looks a bit different and practice)

    thank you,

    David M

    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Concept Development: New Banner, Animated.GIF

    Unhappy with not getting anything done I decided to redo the banner for my blogger, not strictly honours related but it still counts as practice.

    so this is the finished animated picture,

    Ignoring the few mistakes and stuff it doesn't look to bad,

    the text and background were done in photoshop whilst the clouds i did in graphicsgale then ported them over,
    as you can see they suffered a bit when it came to upscaling them in photoshop since it likes putting anti-aliasing on everything, i will need to find a way to remedy this.

    but yeah theres some pictures for you to look at to make up for the wall of text in the post earlier today, planning on making it better, animation more fluid and the clouds less blurred maybe even animated themselfs to stop them looking like just one big solid mass.

    - David M

    Meeting with: Robin Sloan

    I had a rather reassuring talk with Robin today that helped calm my nerves over the lack of research i can do ( reading wise ) on pixel art and just being new to pixel art.

    So we discussed since pixel art is rather scarce in research materials what parallels it has with other mediums,

    • abstract art
    • abstract films

    The idea of how that the story, how it can be told and the characters thoughts and feelings are more important and can be expressed more creatively or even effectively than if you tried to tell it as close to real life as possible.

    after the meeting I feel more relieved as Robin doesn't think I am behind, and the lack of a research question is good in moving forward, however I can feel one bubbling away in the back of the brain, either that its all this surplus goo that seems to be making its way out my nose and mouth.

    all in all a good day in terms of finding out where I am, a bad day in the creative department though so no pictures to show today.

    but shall get up more tomorrow just to make up for this, the colds finally on its way out so soon I can get back on top of things once more.

    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Concept Development: Week 2, Minimalist pixel characters

    So, that is us onto week 2 now our lecture was talking alot about different types of research there is out there. which made me think more about the sheer lack of materials they are of pixel art there is out there making me believe more and more that pixel art may not be a valid pursuit for my honours project, however I have a meeting with Robin so I shall atleast get an opinion from him whether I can or cannot.

    Regardless I have been working away mainly with more sketches in my sketchbook/on random pieces of paper, but i have also been making these guys,

    Me: at 31x12 pixels i upscaled it for this.

    Below is  boxer type dude at the same pixel resolution as above

    Another issue i have been having is although i wanted to do something for 4th year that was new that has interested me for a while, pixel art may be too much to learn in a little time, this recent case of pessimism may be due to my illness slowly running me down, but like i said i have a meeting with Robin so hopefully he will be able to shine some light on the situation.

    David M

    Sunday, 23 September 2012

    Concept Development: Illness,Starbound and Meetings

    Well, I have been hit by the illness that seems to be spreading across dundee recently so my work has slowed down to a snails pace, but its a Sunday so I decided that it would be ok to have somewhat of a rest and not to burn myself out, hopefully this illness will go away pronto and i can pick it back up again.

    However, to my surprise i have managed to get chatting with one of the artists behind the upcoming pixel art game "starbound" he answered a couple of questions i had and was happy to help as he agrees that pixel art is hard to come by, which was nice and hes happy to keep in contact.

    We also discussed my first attempt for a bit and he gave me some tips on my next effort, one of them being to start doing characters with the least amount of pixels then work up. 

    so thats my work decided for tomorrow :)

    anyways today I also have planned to email a few lecturers that could help me in my project so shall be doing that in 3...2...1...-

    -David M

    Saturday, 22 September 2012

    Concept Development: Sketches ,Pixel Test and Problems

    Well I have spent yesterday and today doing some sketches of random characters and a few pieces of fan art.

    I have just finished a test, trying to use photoshop but the result was not what I had in mind atall, which has resulted in me having to research into if there is any decent programs built specifically for pixel art.

     My result with using photoshop Cs5

    I had'nt used the sketches i have in my sketchbook, so i did this entirely in photoshop.

    Anyways after encountering this problem I am going to research into tutorials and also going to see if i can get in contact with Paul, Edmund and Phill to see if they can help me in where to look.

    I will also start to post up timelapse videos of my art pieces from start to final piece when I can get VLC to capture properly.

    anyways, untill next time.

    -David M

    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    Concept Development: Introduction + Project ideas

    Hi all,

    This is a blog documenting what I get up to during the development stages of my honours project. Please follow and give me feedback it would help me to keep motivated and post regular updates.


    Week 1 

    Week one was our introduction to the year, what is expected from us now that we are in 4th year and generally making everyone panic/excited of whats to come.

    Project Idea

    Pixel Art and animation using sprite sheet is common practice in 2D games, however I have not seen (as yet) an animation story told using that medium and want to research into that area.


    Paul Robertson is an Australian based Pixel Artist/Animator, this guys work is mind blowing and if you find something online that is made of Pixel Art then this guy is most probably the one responsible. 

    Ire Vs Taito by Paul Robertson

    Anamanaguchi Airbrushed (single) Cover Art by Paul Robertson

    These are a few of Pauls art pieces, I am not sure exactly why they appeal to me so much, I like how over the top everything is.

    other inspirations, 

    Edmund McMillen

    Phill Fish


    However my main problem is I haven't dabbled in pixel art myself so I am planning on getting myself a new sketchbook and do some doodles and get them uploaded, asap.

    My other, is that pixel art articles and such about the history and practice seem to be rather hard to come across and my project might have to change so that I will able to do some proper research.