Author Topic: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience  (Read 1559 times)

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Offline GigaLem

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Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« on: August 23, 2017, 09:00:33 pm »
I would've never thought of designing a graphic or rather a whole game's worth of them for Lemmings

I guess that's what happens when you use gstool for a long time, over the many years of designing levels and the last couple of years of putting together graphic sets I want to elaborate on how one designs a good graphic set

What do I recommend?
If you think you can sprite then I recommend starting with MSpaint (Its not dead, you can grab it from the windows store if you're using Windows 10)
Mspaint is the most beginner friendly when it comes to just simple spriting.
Though if you're more experienced I recommend other programs such as....
Paint.net
Photoshop
Paint tool SAI
If you know your ins and out around those tools you can possibly make a prettier graphic set
As seen here, through some experience Namida has learned to improve on making graphics of his own

just compare it to this

Everyone is gonna start rough, you'll not be able to make a perfect set on your first go. I will say this as a word of wisdom.
To succeed, you must fail.
Failure will lead to experience which will then lead to slowly making better projects, and then more you improve you'll end up seeing how far you've come.

Okay you've recommended where to start if I want to sprite but, how do I sprite?
The best way to start is to look up tutorials, knowing how to design a sprite, how to shade it, and what not.
You'll also need to study sprite animations like, how does this lemming die? or how does this lemming teleport?
To that I'd suggest looking up sprite sheets such as this one

This sheet will give you reference on the lemming itself, what matters is what you do with said lemming
which is why you look up other sheets for figuring out what trap you want to animate.
and of course, Spriters resource is your friend.

What if I want to make one using graphics from another game?
As long as you have the tiles available, that's fine (oh and credit too, don't forget that)

What is necessary to making a good graphic set
First the requirements
This is what objects are needed
at least these are required

and here's what's optional


Now for Terrain whats required for that?


And what's are some ideas for making a good graphic set?
1.Try limiting yourself to below 80 pieces or Don't do too many things at once, Sticking with a single theme is important
2.Be organic with the graphic set

Don't design it like a "Mario platformer" you limit yourself to grid base puzzles, and really run the risk of it not looking god
Do Be organic and with the graphics, choose any size (as long as it isn't too big) and start spriting away
Loophole! while pipes or thin-stripped pieces (as seen above) are grid based, they're able to be placed organically
with an organic Graphic you can make levels look artsy :thumbsup:
3.Scrap pieces and try again if you have to. If you must stress for pieces to look right, you have the option to try again and again, practice makes perfect after all
4.If you're making a detailed background, make a new palette for said background
One fault with my freedom planet graphic sets is the backgrounds, the problem everyone has with them is "What's what?"
I didn't want to go with a simple background because I was going with the staying fateful to the source material.
I've thought of an update I can do with the sets and that's giving them a BG color, though I have a suggestion for the new format
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Upon the Issues with the FP backgrounds, I feel that the only way you can tell what's terrain and what's a bg without using clear physics mode is if you've played Freedom Planet

What about Importing to gstool?
As of the time of this post, we're still not complete home free in the new format so I'm going off the old format here
-Terrain can only be one frame
-If its steel, click the check so autosteel function can work its magic
-If its using the magenta color as seen in the loophole above click "use transparent color" and the magenta will be hollowed out
-If you're importing from Lix or Lemmini check "source is Lemmini" then change the transparency, the tool will automatically shrink it
for Objects
-If you're importing a strip, count the frames before importing
-Entrances, single use traps, locked exits, and switches use the last frame as the first frame, if you've exported a strip of any said here from a pre-existing graphic set you'll understand why
-check "Show trigger area", start with 2x2 then place its x and y co-ordinances  and change the size to see fit
-to go with the above tip, make sure the trigger area is at most 2 pixels below the object. It'll most likely be on terrain, with that in mind it'll be able to register the lemming's position and perform the action
-Traps (and some other objects) will need a sound, if you're able to make a custom sound, export the sound in a .wav format then go to options and select custom sounds, clicking a sound will ask for you to import a .wav file, then you can implement easily
for the color seen in the minimap
-You have a RGB format, have paint open, use the eyedropper, go to custom colors and copy the RGB co-ordinances to the tool
-if its a simple background, to be safe make it a dark color

Anything else?
It really depends on the theme so here is an example
If you have dirt based pieces, add some grass

I'm sure there's more I can list but I can't think of any though anyone is free to suggest

Is that all?
AFAIK yes, all I can tell you is, if you can do it, get to work
and also save your progress often, you'll never know if something inconvenient happens

I'm pretty sure I might've missed a few things but aside from that, this is what I can tell you.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 12:30:07 am by GigaLem »

Offline Raymanni

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 09:29:20 pm »
This is a nice and helpful idea for beginners. :D I'm going to give a few tips that helped me to get started:

-Paint can be good for beginners but I presonally recommend Gimp. I have been using gimp for years and I feel the most comftorable with it. It's also free. :D
-The best way to learn how hatches, exits and other traps are animated is to take a look at pre-existing graphic sets with GSTool and experimenting with them.
-Even the simplest lighting can make your graphics come alive: Try to think of a direction where the light is coming and shade the graphics based on that. (Check the attachments for an example image!)
-Use your imagination and go crazy! :thumbsup: If you are in need of ideas check this topic: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=1585.0

Offline GigaLem

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 11:40:53 pm »
Why did I make this topic Sticky?
If anyone else has their own tips on making a good graphic set, I want this to be here always when people need it.
If you have tips for making sets good or even great, please come forward ;)

Offline geoo

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 08:46:03 am »
I think Lucki from IRC linked to these pixel art tutorials,
which I found quite interesting to check out.
There are a lot of specific ones on that blog, but I think
in particular these ones on pixel art basics, shading and
smooth animation cycles could be useful for NeoLemmix:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pixel-art-1-6971422
https://www.patreon.com/posts/pixel-art-part-2-11225146
https://www.patreon.com/posts/shading-13869731
https://www.patreon.com/posts/seamless-7346998

Funnily, I feel like the trees tile set from the first posts
violates a lot of those basics: Lots of noise, orphan pixels,
needless dithering, pillow shading...

I'm not much of an artist but I found those tutorials
interesting nonetheless. I also use GIMP for whatever
(non-vector) drawing I do, it takes a bit getting used to
but it's very powerful and configurable.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 03:50:26 pm »
Funnily, I feel like the trees tile set from the first posts
violates a lot of those basics: Lots of noise, orphan pixels,
needless dithering, pillow shading...

I think that's the point Giga was making in observing how much namida has improved :P

Offline NaOH

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 11:09:37 pm »
wow, I wish I knew about those pixel art tutorials a few years ago when I made this tileset



Just look at all these clashing styles :lix-sick:

Offline Colorful Arty

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Re: Tips on making a Graphic set based on my experience
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 01:27:49 am »
If it makes you feel better NaOH, I love your Forest tileset. It looks so natural and realistic.
My Youtube channel where I let's play games with family-friendly commentary:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiRPZ5j87ft_clSRLFCESQA

My levelpack: SubLems
For NeoLemmix: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2787.0
For SuperLemmini: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2704.0

Upcoming levelpack: ArtLems
Development Topic: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=3166.0