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Submitted on
October 27, 2012
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12.7 KB


43 (who?)
Shiny Swadloon by Operia Shiny Swadloon by Operia
...uses Hyper Beam?
EDIT: Just to let you all know, I have no intentions of spending any more time on this work. I'll instead use all the advice given on bigger pixel projects :)

I've been working on this on and off for the past 2 months. I'm still not 100% happy with the result, but I'm not sure what else I can do with it :hmm:
Critiques wanted severely. Thank you in advance.

This pixel may not be used by anyone else in any way without my prior written consent! Sorry, but this is NOT for use as a dAvatar, guys.

Software: Adobe PhotoShop Elements 9
Time Spent: Approximately 30 hours

Shiny Swadloon belongs to GAMEFREAK
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Hi! I'm here to critique this, so here I go...
Vision: 4.5/5
I really like the vision, it's subtle and clear, but the lines are out of shape. (The leaves are rounded more.) Although, that barely effects it, I suggest trying to use the curve tool more often.

Originality: 5/5
This is a very unique image. Not many people consider animating in this style, and of a creature (although simple) needs all parts just right so you know what it is.

Technique: 4/5
Yes, the technique is very seeable. I agree with a simple technique as this to help make animations like this, but it would be better with a faster speed (maybe 0.5 faster?)

Impact: 4.5/5
I'm unsure of impact, but if you mean the feelings of this picture, I'd say it is very nice. It actually adds to my liking of your art.

Altogether, this art is VERY enjoyable. I also like your type of style to the shading, as it remind me of some very nostalgic games.

~ Blossom-Forth
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

Hi c: This is a very good effort, I can see you've put a lot of time into this, and it shows a particularly good result with the animation in particular.

Firstly, I think the outlines themselves are fine, and it's nice that the character is looking off to the side rather than front on, as it adds depth.

Secondly, I think the most pressing thing that stands out for me, is the need for hue shifting, this is a concept I find very hard to explain in words, and I'm in the process of making my own tutorial/article that might better explain it, but in the mean time, I will do my best to explain here.

Hue shifting means that we move between hues as well as darkness/lightness, when choosing colours for different areas. Green is one of the easiest that I've found to learn. You have a green area, such as the body of Swadloon here, and you usually choose a green, then move the slider towards blacks for the shadows and whites for the highlights, however, there is a much better way to go about picking colours in a more natural way. Whilst you do need to move towards the blacks to make something darker, in order to make the image pop and prevent it seeming flat, we also move the hue slider slightly too, although how much you move is a matter of personal taste and just getting used to the movement.

In this case, you start out with a shadow colour in the cyan range, this might feel very unnatural at first but makes sense when it all comes together. Make sure that it is fairly dark (but not black) so that there will be a good amount of contrast overall. Then to pick the next colour, move towards the lighter end, but also move the hue towards the greens/yellows end of the spectrum, but a smallish amount. I tend to pick even finger spaces between colours but it depends on how many you are picking as to how far between you'll want to go.

Continue moving towards the lighter end of the colours whilst also moving towards the warmer end of the hues, ending with highlights in the yellows area. This doesn't have to be hugely over exaggerated, and sounds a bit weird, but trust me, it has changed the way I approach all my artworks, not just pixel art.

So to recap on that, the shadows start in the cooler hue to the colour you are shading (you are shading green, so you have cyan shadows) and move through the greens until you get to warm highlights (yellow being the warm side of green).

For more in depth information on the process, look up the tutorials from *Kiwinuptuo, who was the artist I got the idea from originally.

Don't despair if this seems confusing and overwhelming though, it took me well over a year before I had a moment of understanding, and it finally made sense to me, and even now, it can still be hard to apply it.

I would also like to mention that the light source is a little hard to detect the direction of, and that is something that happens for me a lot too :P Beware of pillow shading and always try and find a way to make the lighting direction as obvious as possible. This might mean that you don't have the darkest colour of your palette for the entire outline, but use the lighter colours on the area that is hit first by the light.

Lastly, the dithering is nice, but I would say that I personally feel that checkerboard level dithering is usually not enough on it's own, and although it can be tricky to master, you might consider looking at adding more of the dithering levels that are not so well known: [link] (there are a lot of areas mentioned there but in particular it shows the additional levels of dithering that go with the checkerboard one). In this particular case, and considering the typical style of pokemon sprites, I would perhaps suggest that dithering is not needed at all, especially once you have a nicely hue shifted palette to work with. *zerudez is an artist who has done really well at applying the pokemon style of pixel shading to his work, and there are some tutorials out there that can actually step you through how to make them in that style (down to sizes and number of colours each pokemon has) although I understand that may not be the look you're going for here.

I hope that this amount of information is not too overwhelming, but I think that you have made such a strong start, that with these concepts, you can take your work to a whole new level, as I have found that they changed all my work very much so and continue to, as I practice them and come to understand them a little more.
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ScarabsCorner Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
aww cute
L-I-NX Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Looks amazing :D
Operia Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks :)
L-I-NX Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
You're welcome :D
wezenbeesje Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Professional General Artist
Wow that's a lot of time you spent on it!
You know, I know a pixel animation program and it's free and online (so no installation required). I'm sure you can make pixels like much faster with that. :D It's called Animaki and you can try it here: [link] (doesn't work in IE by the way)
Operia Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Most of that time was drawing the individual frames...which was quite tedious ^^;
That link doesn't appear to like me :hmm:
Thanks anyway, I'll look it up some time :)
wezenbeesje Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yeah, I saw too late the link doesn't work. :( But it will be fixed tomorrow.
Operia Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Alright, thanks for the heads up :)
Roos-Skywalker Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hard to make for sure!
Operia Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, very much so :hmm:
But I'm glad I finished it ^^;
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