Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rebuilding My Assets

Its kind of cool to get a second shot at the art assets I had so far.  At the moment, everything is being rebuilt at about 150% the original resolution.  Luckily, the tiles are only about 4kb each so I'm thinking the file size should still be pretty reasonable.  Also, it felt good to fix the wonky perspective problem I had before.  Even though the new version also has the wonkiness...this wonkiness is on purpose.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


With the recent anniversary of Hellboy, I thought I'd whip together some fanart.  Finally got some color on it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Quick Size Comparison

Just thought I'd drop the new art into the old level to get a sense of how the scale has change...and boy has it.  Looks like everything i'll be drawing now will be roughly twice the size as before.  I guess that will provide more texture, but I'm a little worried about file sizes.  I guess I'll have to be more creative with how I use tiles and such.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ReplaceColor fixed, Overlays not.

I was lucky enough to get some help from Alex Falkenberg concerning my color replace problem.  Turns out that I forgot the parameter for the color variables started with 0 instead of 1.  A real rookie mistake on my part.  Luckily, Alex saw it.

Well, I really thought that would be the last of my problems, but another one popped up.  Turns out, ReplaceColor doesn't work in Construct 2 if the sprite has any change in Opacity.  Not great when you are lowering your Overlay sprite to 35% to get the look you want.  A work around is that I can put all of my overlay sprites on the same layer and lowering that layer's opacity.  The hard part there is getting the overlay sprite layer to match the main sprite layer.  Not sure how I would exactly do it.  I'm sure its not impossible, but definitely tricky.

Above, I've added a quick cape graphic to see what it would look like.  Also, put my intended overlay on the character.  I'm going to try and use Animate Pro's morph feature to do some quick animation to the cape and attach it to the player sprite.  I'll hopefully post that soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Overlay Alternative?

So, I had a person test my overlay problem on their machine and it turns out I'm NOT crazy.  So I posted my problem and the capx file on Scirra's Construct 2 forum.  I'm hoping the problem gets resolved, but I may have found an alternative if it doesn't.  I can use a black and white image and just invert it when the player turns.  Set the blend mode to Multiply and slide down the transparency slider and I've got the effect I want.  Sure I lose the lushness of a colored shadows and highlights, but it works.

I've still got my fingers crossed for a resolutions, but who knows if that will ever come.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Replace Color" Causing Me Trouble In Construct 2

Uh oh.  Seems as if my new "overlay" obsession may be all for nothing if I can't get this problem fixed.  I'm testing out the WebGL effect ReplaceColor and instead of only affecting the color I want it to, its kind of tinting the whole thing.  It is seriously bumming me out.  Looks like a trip to the forums is in order.  Hopefully someone much smarter than myself can figure this out.

Monday, March 17, 2014

More Work Than Its Worth?

Oh boy did I make this difficult...or maybe not.  I'm still playing around with the overlays and am in the process of perfecting my palette system in Toon Boom Animate Pro.  Well, "perfecting" is a strong word.  Lets just say its getting close to working.

The problem is that I need a base color and shadow version for every line and fill.  I was going about it a strange way until I figured out that I can use some random color and use that to draw my shadow line.  That will separate the base and shadow areas and then I can just go in with the paint bucket tool and ink bottle tool and put in my shadows.

The lime green and magenta areas on the armor are the areas that I will be switching between the base armor color and the reflective white.  I should be able to change it dynamically in Construct 2 using WebGL: if player is Mirrored turn lime green to white and turn magenta to grey.  I feel pretty cool about that working for me.

Also, I was watching a bunch of old Fleisher Superman cartoons last week and really think that I can use those overlays for some cool effects during explosions or when the player is getting hit by some kind of power beam of some sort.  Hopefully I'll have a test up soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Test Animation

I finished building out the character in Toon Boom Animate Pro and decided to test a little idle animation.  First off, its definitely not final animation.  I just wanted to see how it looked moving and shrunk down.  My initial impression is that its actually a little too smooth.  There are so many frames (26 at 24 frames per second) that the strobing and de-rezing of the art work is really obvious.  I'll probably drop it down to 8 or 9 frames, add some easing, change the arm animations, and change the frame rate.

Next, I'd like to test him moving with a civilian sprite in his arms or maybe attach the cape animation.  I decided to do it separately from the main animation to break up the loop a bit.  I'll attach it with an image point.

Finally, I'll probably have to take the best shrunken version of the head and paste it on top of all of the frames for consistency.  While I think I can get away with the strobing on the body, the head might be too much.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Final Sprite Art Process

So... I may have been thinking way too hard when it came to getting art from Toon Boom Animate Pro shrunken to look like retro arcade graphics.  While I still plan on doing an overlay for shadows and lighting effects, the separating of line art and fills may have been overkill.  For the last couple weeks, I've been trying to perfect compositing the two in Photoshop.  Animate Pro has a nice feature where it can render without Antialiasing so you don't get the blurry gradations between colors.  Photoshop has an option in it's image resizing that preserves hard edges.

So I finally decided to just try exporting my actual art without the smoothing and resize it.  Turns out it works beautifully.  I'm a little bummed that I spent so much time trying to figure out the other method, but I'm pretty relieved that it worked.  Looking at the model now, I'm seeing some proportional problems, but that shouldn't be too hard to fix.

I'm really itching to animate, so maybe I'll do that next.

Edit: Did a quick test to see what an Overlay layer would look like on my sprite.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Sketch from last night's Drink and Draw.  A little Evil Dead/Army of Darkness for your day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bring Me His Head!

I'm working on finishing up the final character design and run some test on my whole Overlays In Construct 2 thingy.  I'm putting in my 3 quarters turn from yesterday's model sheet as the head and figuring out how the colors will react to the overlaying colors.  I'm also working on a way to make the armor seem shinier than the rest of the player.  I can designate an area will a color I never use, like magenta, in the parts that will be shiny.  When the player is facing the direction of the light source, I turn it white (or something lighter).  When he's turned away, I'll tun it to the base color of the armor.  I was going to do a version a section of "shine" when the player is not facing the light, but I don't think there is enough unshadowed character to squeeze in that "shine".

I'm hoping to run a quick mock up tomorrow in Construct 2 to make sure that the Overlay will move at the same speed as the player art.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Turn Arounds and Model Sheets

Boy are these challenging.  Not just the act of turning a character, but add on top of it the fact that I'm really just drawing my face...well, its not fun.  Because I couldn't find any photo reference I liked, I decided to take advantage of my webcam and take some pics in the appropriate poses.  Its pretty unbearable to look at.  Good thing I'm going for a different "type" to better contrast against the other superheroes in the area.

Next step is to do a turnaround for the body and maybe a more simplified version of the head.  After all, I'm probably going to have to draw it a lot.