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Custom Animated Sprites, Possible Animated Series...?

GordonShephardGordonShephard Registered User
edited September 2011 in Artist's Corner
I've been spit-balling a lot of ideas lately, namely an animated series based on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. My idea was to record a campaign, much like the podcast Penny Arcade did in association with Wizards of the Coast, and animate the characters doing what is done in the campaign. Of course I would trim the majority of the audio recording down according to logical time restraints, leaving in significant events and especially (if there are any) funny moments between the players.

A preview of some sprites and animation for one character can be seen here: http://megaswf.com/file/1171440

This is clearly early developmental work you're seeing, but any criticism would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to get as much help and as many tips now (as early as possible) before committing what little time I have to this project. What are your thoughts?

Alright. Now, flay that shit,
GordonShephard on

Posts

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    Please post pictures of your work directly in this thread using image tags. Until you do, nobody is going to even read your post.
    I mean I didn't.
    (We only tolerate this in case of movies and music).

  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    (Mayday is totally right about posting images vs. links but I did read your post and I think the basic idea has potential so please do show us your work)

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    Since the file is a swf, it can't really be posted directly, but since it's a set of sprites I'm sure they can be converted to a gif. I think the idea has potential too, but you'll get a much better response if you can post the images directly.

  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    squidbunny wrote:
    (but I did read your post)
    Oh you're no fun anymore...

    So yeah. Idea - iz gud.
    Execution- let's talk about it. I see you're planning to use pixelart as the visual style. Bear in mind there are very few people actually knowledgeable in this subject on our forum, so you might want to also try places like Pixeljoint or Pixelation. But we can certainly provide some general art tips.

    Now onto the piece itself- it looks VERY simple- and I assume that is your choice, because you'd like to focus on the writing/story part. However, since this is going to be a visual work after all, make sure the style is at least detailed enough to convey some characteristic features other than hairstyle and clothing. Maybe you know that but I'm putting it out there since you've only got one character yet.
    Also about simplicity- do not confuse it with blandness. Even when the form is simple, you have to remember to keep your colour palette interesting and your value contrast high. Right now this sprite is completely uninteresting- to me at least.

    Good luck!

    Mayday on
  • GordonShephardGordonShephard Registered User
    edited September 2011
    Thanks so much for your feedback guys! I'm very new to this forum, so the posting techniques are still somewhat blurry to me. I tried converting the animation to a .gif from Flash, but the colors became mixed up and distorted, so I decided to stick with an .swf, which has no quality loss.

    As for your critique regarding my art style and idea, I can't thank you enough for your thoughts! Now the simplicity of my sprites will hopefully be made justified once I begin animating their facial movements along with full body expression. For example, the two most important facial features in terms of how I view character animation are the eyebrows/eyes and the mouth. Now this may not apply to all styles of animation, but when it comes to very simplistic 8-bit art, like what I have shown you, as long as I can manipulate the appearance and position of the eyebrows and the shape of the mouth, I can essentially make the characters very expressive, so long as the voice acting is well done.

    Now, no matter how well the voice acting is done, all of this will be a completely futile prospect if the writing isn't superb. Now whether or not the campaign our adventurers embark on is a real life recording of an actual group, or a scripted "mockumentary" of said idea is still up in the air. Any suggestions regarding this quandary would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.

    GordonShephard on
    Alright. Now, flay that shit,
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    I think I'd be more interested in someone animating a real life recording of a D&D group, complete with stupid mistakes and "meh-not-really-feeling-the-roleplay" moments, which while maddening at the table IRL could be funny animated. I think off-the-cuff is almost guaranteed to be funnier in general (and guaranteed, period, to sound less contrived) than trying to write and act something unless you're all phenomenally talented (and maybe you are).

    That said, you might want to record a few sessions before maybe starting the game you intend to chronicle with the animations or else everyone will be too self-conscious about the recording to be natural.

    IMO, anyway.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • GordonShephardGordonShephard Registered User
    edited September 2011
    Squid, you raise a very interesting point. I have taken acting classes as well as starred in local civic plays and musicals, but my talent is certainly not suited to be regarded as phenomenal. In order to emulate, or rather not have to emulate a human experience, recording my friends and I playing a campaign could accurately generate the tone I wish to execute with this endeavor.

    My initial reasoning behind scripting lines and characters was to add a theme or moral to the story, or perhaps offer some odd off-the-cuff commentary on table-top gaming culture, but in a fleeting window of astute thought I considered how critical the campaign itself was to the story. Already my head conjures topics such as "courage", "integrity", "perserverance" and "loyalty", all of which can be expressed (perhaps more effectively) through the campaign itself rather than the players.

    I guess at the inception of this idea I imagined a more detailed look into the players' lives as opposed to their characters, but the more I think about it attempting to replicate true human interaction, especially an interaction such as D&D which can be viewed as quite foreign to the wrong demographics, is not only quite a tall order but downright unrealistic. Additionally, the prospect of attempting to write something that detailed and personal, let alone voice act it out, is terribly daunting.

    Thanks so much for your input Squidbunny! You've given me much to ponder.

    GordonShephard on
    Alright. Now, flay that shit,
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