Monday, October 29, 2012

Construct 2 Camera Controls

Things are still plugging along pretty well on the Superhero Game.  Yesterday I started implementing more of a dynamic camera system that will zoom out when the player is flying.  I might try and get trickier with it as I remember really liking the system in Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.  Their's allowed the camera to be placed slightly farther ahead of the player and changed as areas of interest were close.  Its way more complex than the simple in and out I have now, but its something I'd like to keep in mind for the future.

My next step is to add an invisible object that can serve as the camera's "scroll to" sprite and pin it in a more favorable position.  The current camera has the player centered on screen and I'm not loving it.  Guess I need to learn how to use the Pin Tool.

Camera Control Tutorials/Posts:  Zoom Out When Platformer Moving & Limit How Far Down a Camera Can Go

Here is a nice Youtube video explaining Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet's camera system:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sprite sheets in Adobe Edge: Follow Up

A couple of weeks ago, I had mentioned that I watched a tutorial on Sprite Sheets in Adobe Edge.  Having no success with the plugin for converting them, I was forced to go the manual route.  And boy did that suck. What I hoped would be some simple math and clever use of key frames lead to too much "eyeballing" for my comfort.  While I'm not totally against the use of the Adobe Edge, I would love to see a more straight implementation of the sprite sheets.  You can also import animated gifs.  That might end up being an easier option.  I'm just not sure at this point.

Feel free to check out the Halloween banner I created for the Rust Belt Monsters at the blog.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Thought I would throw some color on my Frankenstein sketch from the other day.  It was a fun little exercise, but reminded me that I really need to calibrate my monitor and Cintiq.  Taking it from my drawing source to the main screen showed me how grossly over-saturated it actually was.  So I'll probably take care of that this weekend.

Be sure to stop by the Rust Belt Monster Collective as we are continuing to fill out the month with Halloween-centric posts through out the month. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Superhero Game V.0001

Here is as basic a functionality as a person could show right now.  I've just got the switching between Platforming and 8-Way moving working, placed some blocks to run on, and threw some rough sketches in for where I will have some of the later animations.  Regardless, it is my character running, jumping, and flying.  In time, I will have his body position change so that he can be in a laying posture as he flies.

The major bug I'm seeing now is the sliding into a new spot when pressing the Flying Button ( F ).  I'm probably going to have to find a way of getting around it here pretty soon.  I'm leaning toward finding the location of the player box when the F button is pressed and then snapping the character to that location.  Not sure if it will work but its the first thing I'll try.

Give it a shot here: Superhero Game Super Early Test
                             Most Current Build

Arrow Keys to Move
F key to Fly
* you can fall of the stage.  Never implemented a restart.  Still very early.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Superhero Game Update: 10-21-12

Screen Capture of the Game in Progress
Hey, an update on the game!  Who would have thunk it?  I was sitting at home on a lazy Sunday and decided to crack open Construct 2 again and see if I could make a little progress on my little game idea.  So I started tinkering away with some rough sketches for flight, jumping, and falling.  I don't have diagonal flight animations implemented, but the default one is working fine for now.

Before I started any of that, though, I downloaded the most current version of Construct 2 (103.2). It had been a while for me.  In fact, I think I was still at 100 or 99.  They seemed to have added quite a bit since I was using the program more regularly, but a couple of things aren't working all.

The main problem is that I used to hit the F key to toggle on the flying (8-way movement) and the character would begin where ever he was when I hit the button.  With the new version, the player will sometimes slide ever so quickly to the left or right a couple dozen pixels.  I kind of feel like this has something to do with adjusting some of the other platform problems.  I'll definitely have to find some work around for it.

I'm uploading a bunch of pictures to Dropbox as of this typing.  I'm hoping to post my (very meager) prototype up tomorrow.

Layout of the level inside of Construct 2.  Really need to commit to an angle of perspective.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rust Belt Monster Collective: Dracula!

Rust Belt Monster Collective: Dracula!: The very OLD Dracula.  I've had Bram Stoker's Dracula (the movie) on the brain lately and felt like taking a quick stab at it.  Rather th...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adobe Edge Animate and Sprite Sheets

On the topic of Adobe Flash not working on tablets anymore, I've been looking at Adobe Edge Animate to add a little interactivity and animation to the blog.  From the research I've done, it looks to fun like a limited version of Flash but control more like Adobe Premier (at least as far as the timeline).  That doesn't give me a whole lot of options as far as Animation.  Luckily, Edge Animate has a way of bringing in sprite sheets to use for animated graphics.  The problem is its kind of a cumbersome way of doing it.  Basically, you are creating a clipping mask and then sliding the sprite sheet around to expose each frame.  Its kind of a pain because you have to do it manually.

I've yet to play around with it yet, but Antonio Lirio was nice enough to add captions to his previous tutorial which is a giant help to me.  You can see that video above.

Also, YOSHIOKA Ume on the Adobe Forums created an AIR Utility that will take a JSON sprite sheet and output a format compatible with Edge Animate.  The problem is you have very limited control over the timeline of it.  Mainly, you can't vary the amount of time held on each frame.  

Either way, big thanks for creating it: Sprite Sheet Converter 

So I haven't tried either yet, but plan to very soon.  The game plan is to put something up as the header of this blog and then try something more complex with the RBMC blog.  I'm hoping to have results soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stabbed in the Back!

Not really.  Just felt like drawing that.  Actually, I was looking for something to sketch on my lunch break and decided to pull up my copy of Facial Expressions for some inspiration.  The doodle just happened like that.  I stopped before I screwed it up because I really needed some reference for the foreshortening I wanted to do on the hand.

I'm really trying to get better with my expressions, but in this case I felt like I was drawing the reference.  It's probably best to start with the character I want to draw and then find the expression.  Like anything, it will get easier with time.

PS: If I could give one tip about "Facial Expressions", you might want to get the physical version.  While I like the ability to zoom in on a picture, its just too slow when flipping through the images to find a head shape you like.

Flash Animation and Antler Ghosts

Seems like every Halloween I start itching to do some work in Flash.  Problem is, when you only use Flash once a year, you really don't get any better at it.  Me and the RBMC were thinking of filling out the blog for the rest of October with spooky posts and I thought that this could be a good opportunity to do something different.  So I took one of Erin Schechtman's antler ghosts and tried to give it a bit of movement.  Its pretty easy to tell, but a lot of it is just sliding the parts around to look like its turning.  I'm not great at it, but I'll put this in the "good enough" category.  I'll probably tweak it a bit more before it goes up though.

I'd really like to have at least a functional knowledge of Flash as it might come in handy from time to time.  I know Toonboom pretty well, but Flash is better for moving symbols around and has a decent bone system.  Ultimately, it might end up being all for nothing as HTML5 stakes its claim and tablets continue to disregard Flash.

Either way, I'm thinking of picking up the eBooks by Adam Phillips (Bitey) and keeping them handy.  The guy really seems to know what he's doing and they're only $4.

Flash eBooks at BCA Flash

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Zombies on the Brain and Marching Bands

Walking Dead (TV series) is right around the corner and I've got zombies on the brain.  So that pretty much leads to a decomposing lunch time sketch.

Also, if you have some extra time, click the video below for one of the most phenomenal half time shows I've ever seen with Ohio State giving tribute to video games.  Good stuff.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gizmoduck WIP and Studio Arrangement

Above is a quick work in progress for this round's RBMC challenge: Disney.  I've always had an affinity for the Disney Afternoon of my youth and had Ducktales on the brain.  Tried out a new technique with a textured brush in Photoshop and trying to limit my lines and pallet.  I think I might explore this way some more in the future.  It turned out better than I thought.  

See the finished product here: RBMC Gizmoduck!

I've also had a chance to get my office finished!  So hip hop hooray for me.  I had been pricing L-shaped desks for a while and happened to see that my parents had a nice one unused in their basement.  They were nice enough to give it to me so now I have a pretty handy work station that can hold both my digital art tools and traditional.  If you look at the picture below, I have my Cintiq -> Monitor & Keyboard -> Scanner -> Animation disc.  It makes it real easy to just turn my chair and work.  And with the Cintiq on the desk at all times, it should make using more flexible.

This is of course all bundled in the excitement of the new set up.  We'll have to see how effective it ultimately is.  Either way, I have high hopes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ingenuity Fest 2012 Live Draw Montage

It was with great joy that I woke up to see Ron Caruso had cut together a montage of the 15 hours spent creating our mural for Ingenuity Fest 2012.  I really had a great time with the rest of the Rust Belt Monsters as we toiled away at this monstrosity   There was no topic going in and the whole thing just happened organically.  If you have 4 minutes to spare, feel free to take a look.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Revamping the Art Studio

This week has definitely been sweaty and dusty as I've been moving my new desk into my home office.  I've longed for an L-shaped desk that I divide between my digital and traditional art things for ease of use.  My bottom line theory is that better access leads to more frequent use.  I may use my light table as infrequently, but its a first attempt.  To be honest, this has been the most artistically productive year of my life.  Building on this momentum can only help.

Looking at the picture, I'm probably going to put the scanner in the corner and move the Cintiq to the outside.  I also need to bring the Animation Light Box closer to the inside because of the file cabinet that sits under the desk.  With any luck, I might be able to bring the drafting table back up from the dungeon.  It hardly seems necessary though.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Viking Goodness

Just a quick sketch of some Vikingy Goodness... and, No, I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Paperman Breakdown

I know I've been extremely quiet on the blog.  Redoing my office/art space is taking longer than I'd like so my creation has been hindered.  Good part is I got a new L-shaped desk that will allow me to have a computer side and an art side.  I'm sure this doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm hoping that having my Cintiq ready and available will make me more productive.

Besides all that nonsense, I came across this video yesterday showing the breakdown of Disney's new Paperman short that will be playing in front of Wreck It Ralph.  Up until this point, I had only seen stills and assumed that everything was hand drawn.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  its actually completely CG with some clever filters applied.  It seems like such a complicated process to achieve an effect that mimics hand drawn.  Kind of makes me wonder why they didn't just go with traditional animation.  Regardless, its an interesting study of the effect was achieved.