General tip: Consider not drawing eyes

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siddh
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General tip: Consider not drawing eyes

Post by siddh » June 19th, 2013, 2:18 pm

I'm not an expert on art of any kind, but I think it's seems a rather reliable observation that it's not worthwhile to draw distinct eyes on units in 72x72 pixel format, because the granularity does not allow doing that properly. Instead it's more efficient to draw a "face" and then shade it so that it resembles a face. I'd write a longer thread but I've a terrible headache, if anyone would be nice enough to provide "proof" as in an example of this being true through a picture with eyes drawn and without, then that'd be nice.

You agree?

EDIT: I went ahead and made an example by editing the orcish assassin from mainline (could've been any other unit, picked it randomly), I don't know if this actually serves as proper demonstration, but I'm putting it here anyway. Maybe someone else can do better.

EDIT2: Although when a unit is facing either left or right so that only 1 eye is drawn it's manageable.

Question: What would the minimum pixel count needed to draw a wesnoth-like unit properly with eyes?
(as in fullbody picture and not using up the entire hex)
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Last edited by siddh on June 21st, 2013, 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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homunculus
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by homunculus » June 19th, 2013, 2:52 pm

I support the idea 5% of the time.

But that is just my opinion.
Maybe we should have a vote to determine the ratio of time that eyes and "no eyes" versions should be displayed.
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campaign ruthless in your nearest 1.11 add-on server
some wesnoth-related drawings

siddh
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by siddh » June 19th, 2013, 3:16 pm

heh do they have a blinking animation? I've always played the game with standing animations disabled, and didn't know that, if that's the case. Or did you get crafty and create that effect just now? :D
EDIT: I tried enabling the animations and didnt see such at thing :D Nicely done :D
EDIT:

I maybe went a little overboard with this conclusion. This entire thread should probably be worked out into the phrasing:

"You can try not drawing eyes if you're having trouble with drawing a unit's face to look alright"

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Zerovirus
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by Zerovirus » June 20th, 2013, 12:23 am

I'd like to express a bit of incredulity here: Are you saying that we should get rid of eyes in all of the sprites, or are you just saying that it's okay for a spriter to not be good at drawing eyes? The first questions the entire artistic direction of the sprites of Wesnoth, and the second sounds sort of like a bad excuse for not being skilled enough at pixelart to draw eyes well.

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Crow_T
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by Crow_T » June 20th, 2013, 12:47 am

I feel as though the FF3 (or 6 depending on the country) sprites were pretty expressive with even less pixels- I dig the blinking guy btw :geek:

siddh
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by siddh » June 20th, 2013, 2:54 pm

"I'd like to express a bit of incredulity here: Are you saying that we should get rid of eyes in all of the sprites, or are you just saying that it's okay for a spriter to not be good at drawing eyes? The first questions the entire artistic direction of the sprites of Wesnoth, and the second sounds sort of like a bad excuse for not being skilled enough at pixelart to draw eyes well."

In a comment to the thread I noted that this should be rephrased to a format "If you're having trouble drawing eyes you can try not drawing them"

Regardless the issue was about granularity, if you have to draw a face/head into an area of 8x10 pixels, you might just as well go for a more realistic look and skip the eyes. But then if you have like 15x20 pixels to spare for the face/head area, it's not such a problem.

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artisticdude
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by artisticdude » June 20th, 2013, 3:37 pm

siddh wrote:Regardless the issue was about granularity, if you have to draw a face/head into an area of 8x10 pixels, you might just as well go for a more realistic look and skip the eyes. But then if you have like 15x20 pixels to spare for the face/head area, it's not such a problem.
Um, look, not to be rude, but honestly I have to question whether you have sufficient experience with pixel art to make a judgement like that. Eyes are one of those vital details that can make or break the perception of a blob of pixels that's supposed to represent a face, no matter what the pixel dimensions of that blob happen to be. How exactly would omitting such a vital detail qualify as making the face '"more realistic?" :| Furthermore, 8x10 pixels is plenty of space to draw eyes, and yes, I speak from experience here. Sure, you're not going to be able to squeeze in every possible contour of the eyeballs and eyelids, and the lashes are pretty much out of the question, but all you really need is a single black pixel to represent the eye at that scale. The size of the eyes might need to be exaggerated a little to ensure that they're readable, but given that exaggeration is a key part of the mainline Wesnoth sprite style, and of low-res pixel art in general, that isn't a problem at all.

Take any Wesnoth sprite, erase their eyes, and I guarantee you it won't look more realistic. In fact, I'll guarantee you it will look significantly less realistic, and that the face will consequently be less readable as a face.
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siddh
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by siddh » June 20th, 2013, 5:34 pm

artisticdude wrote:
siddh wrote:Regardless the issue was about granularity, if you have to draw a face/head into an area of 8x10 pixels, you might just as well go for a more realistic look and skip the eyes. But then if you have like 15x20 pixels to spare for the face/head area, it's not such a problem.
Um, look, not to be rude, but honestly I have to question whether you have sufficient experience with pixel art to make a judgement like that. Eyes are one of those vital details that can make or break the perception of a blob of pixels that's supposed to represent a face, no matter what the pixel dimensions of that blob happen to be. How exactly would omitting such a vital detail qualify as making the face '"more realistic?" :| Furthermore, 8x10 pixels is plenty of space to draw eyes, and yes, I speak from experience here. Sure, you're not going to be able to squeeze in every possible contour of the eyeballs and eyelids, and the lashes are pretty much out of the question, but all you really need is a single black pixel to represent the eye at that scale. The size of the eyes might need to be exaggerated a little to ensure that they're readable, but given that exaggeration is a key part of the mainline Wesnoth sprite style, and of low-res pixel art in general, that isn't a problem at all.

Take any Wesnoth sprite, erase their eyes, and I guarantee you it won't look more realistic. In fact, I'll guarantee you it will look significantly less realistic, and that the face will consequently be less readable as a face.
Correction: I did not intend that you would draw a face to look like it does not have have eyes, but instead that you don't need to draw eyes to do that.

Here I made an example (just now). My skills are kind of limited as you can see, but maybe this is a decent demonstration on what not to do at least :D

I wonder if you get the joke? ::)
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So I think this is a good demonstration on what not to do.
So I think this is a good demonstration on what not to do.
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well I suppose you can consider the monotonous bar as eyes, or you could've split it into two, regardless I didnt attempt to draw eyes distinct.<br /><br />Do you get the joke? :D
well I suppose you can consider the monotonous bar as eyes, or you could've split it into two, regardless I didnt attempt to draw eyes distinct.

Do you get the joke? :D
urg.png (5.96 KiB) Viewed 5969 times

siddh
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by siddh » June 20th, 2013, 7:05 pm

Well this was the joke, maybe it wasn't funny. Added another hand to make it obvious :D
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Iris
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by Iris » June 20th, 2013, 10:07 pm

That isn’t even a Wesnoth-style sprite.

Since this is just an experiment you are doing, change the topic’s title, it is very misleading.
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.

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Zerovirus
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by Zerovirus » June 21st, 2013, 1:30 am

So, yup, it is a bad excuse for not actually learning how to pixel eyes effectively and/or learning how to draw sprites that are actually pixelart.

...I'm just going to leave this here.
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siddh
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Re: General tip: Don't draw eyes

Post by siddh » June 21st, 2013, 7:34 am

well you're right and I know I can't draw much, but did anyone at least get the point?

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Iris
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Re: General tip: Consider not drawing eyes

Post by Iris » June 21st, 2013, 7:59 am

Well, no, it’s not really a valid ‘tip’. I mean, you could also post “consider not learning how to make sprites” as a tip. (Don’t.)
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siddh
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Re: General tip: Consider not drawing eyes

Post by siddh » June 21st, 2013, 8:35 am

You can also draw disproportionate bodyparts to overcome the problem of not having enough pixels for the face and then call that "style" and the "right way of making pixelart by definition". In anycase the point is that trying to force the picture to have two glowing dots or similar to represent the eyes might make it worse, because of the granularity and the perceived distance to the depicted unit. A plane which represents a larger plane might not correspond to the same algorithm specifically, there's also a great deal of modularity involved, as well as it's worth noting that we pick up the picture not on a pixel-by-pixel basis but rather as a blur.

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artisticdude
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Re: General tip: Consider not drawing eyes

Post by artisticdude » June 21st, 2013, 3:23 pm

siddh wrote:Correction: I did not intend that you would draw a face to look like it does not have have eyes, but instead that you don't need to draw eyes to do that.
siddh wrote:granularity
siddh wrote:perceived distance
siddh wrote:plane which represents a larger plane
siddh wrote:algorithm
siddh wrote:modularity
Image

Wha...? I thought I knew what you were trying to say, but apparently I didn't, and still don't... you don't need to draw eyes to make it look like the sprite has eyes? I'm afraid your example isn't terribly helpful in explaining your point, since he has a helmet that appears to be covering his eyes (also, is the joke the fact that he's apparently wearing a pink Speedo over his armor)?

Wesnoth sprites look better (a.k.a. more realistic) with eyes. I really don't think many people would argue with that. If the eyes don't look good, the eyes/face probably aren't drawn well enough, and should be redrawn.
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