Friday, 10 May 2013

Personal Development Portfolio : Relection

Pdp reflection

For our honours year we had to record our personal developement throughout the year, we had to establish our skills that we felt we needed yo develop for me these were.

Sketching - although i wouldnt say its my weakest points i definetely felt i needed to improve my traditional drawing skills especially the human body.

Photoshop - despite having used it for over 3 years i still felt that i knew very little and it was having an impact on my digital work.

Graphics tablet - this is a small extension and a rather small thing, but i wanted to improve my work using graphics tablets. I usually draw a concept sketch first using pen and paper and scanning it in. 

Maya - what would prob be considered as my achilies heel, i dont really like 3d modelling and the only thing i really like is the animating on maya. Theres alot of things people mention in maya and just assume you would know but it is still another language to me. Maya isnt that significant to me as i dont see me becoming a 3d modeller but i do enjoy texturing stuff/animating them

Pixel art - the big one, and the most important to do with my honours project, for obvious reasons. My grand total of pixel art prior to this project stood at the grand total of 2 possibly 3 as concepts for a game i was intending to make over the summer but before that i always had a fond memory of the technique but up untill now never got round to actually look into it seriously.


So throughout the first semester, i attended life drawing classes to try improve my traditional drawing skills.

 with added strawberries

apologies for the quality of the images

My understanding of the human body has greatly improved due to these classes and im disappointed in myself that i didnt continue on after the christmas holidays. This was due to being more focused/worried about my project.


Using photoshop has greatly improved for me, as my efficiency with the software has greatly improved, a great deal of useful shortcuts i have learned and also knowing what has gone wrong when a accidental button press has been made, so i feel a lot more confident in using the programme and theres a new found liking for it. However in areas in like animating i still struggle but i think that may just be software as in all tense and purposes photoshop still is rather fiddly with this aspect.

Graphics tablet - this is a strange one, although i think i have improved i still far rather start with pen and paper i like being able to rotate the page when I'm drawing ( i know you can do that on photoshop but its just not as fluid as i like ) but also for pixel art... I do find myself just using the mouse as since your zoomed in so close pin point pixel accuracy isn't much of a necessity .

Maya - in modelling i don't feel anythings really improved that much but like what was talked about earlier that didn't really bother however i do feel more confident around uv unwrapping.

Pixel art - since i was such a beginner of pixel art and my honours project was based on it so this skills gap seen the greatest development.  As stated before my knowledge on pixel art was very slim so i had a lot to learn.

anim jam :

pixel art in terraria/looking into how paul robbertson does his pixel art (was at first for a bit of fun but actually taught me alot):


Timelapses was the best for analising my work, i did more than what i have but the file sizes are massive and took forever to upload onto the blog.

this showed in my early work that pretty much had nothing good going for it in pixel art terms other than it was a recognisable object

before learning about clean lines
My outlines were un clean (lots of jaggies and uneven outlines. Also the very way that i was making them wasnt focused on the pixel side of things atall.

This was improved with looking into alot of pixel art tutorials from various sources most notabley from sites such as,

They all helped me greatly in some aspect for example cg cookie taught me the understanding of colour theory more ( something of which i havnt spent a great deal of time with ) this understanding made my pixel art have more depth and three-dimensional.


left: before learning about colour, Right: after learning about colour

Pixel joint gave me a general idea of ehat pixel art is, and that it is not just that its using pixels and more in the method of how you use those pixels. The general idea is if you change a pixel in your work and it has a significant effect on your work then its more likely to be pixel art.

It also taught me that fortunately this doesnt mean you have to put every pixel in individually and the use of some shortcuts that software allows these days is acceptable and encouraged for example the paint bucket tool.

Derek yu was possibly the most useful and the one that benefitted me the greatest. His tutorial taught me what made good pixel art, from the resolutions of your work to what makes a clean line etc.

He also taught me various photoshop shortcuts that help greately in making things easier for when your are doing pixel art these are as follows,

B - pencil/brush for pixel art you will need to put on the pencil tool as bruch puts in anti ailising automatically.

i - inkdrop tool this selects the colour that the pixel you clicked on has.

X - swaps your background colour with your foreground

E - this selects your eraser as with your brush tool you will have to change the 

w - your wand tool selects all the pixels of the same colour

G- paint bucket fill a specified space with the selected colour

Along with this i also learned myself that photoshop loves to try anti-ails everything for you which is a bad thing when it comes to pixel art certain things like the wand tool and  paint bucket will have to have it unticked at the options bar. Also when scaling an image if you want to scale up to a larger resolutions you have to make sure that "preserve hard ages" is switched on also to keep things even for example 

Keeping the pixel size in proportion to the image you want to keep the pixel the same size therefore you need to double the initial size of your image thst you were working with for example 16x16 - 32x32- 64x64 and so on.

I am really happy with my development i feel more confident in my area, i would say that i still have a lot to learn but with this new found knowledge i can see my basic skills increase significantly. 

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