Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pixel Art Lesson: Not Really A Lesson (Cure's "Grishkin")

This song is long as hell, and it waits too long before switching things up each time, but it's still very enjoyable, just like the rest of the music for the No More Heroes series.

So I'll be straight: I don't gave anything prepped for today. I have no critiques waiting in the wings, and didn't see anything in the New Pixel Art bin this week that inspired a good critting. A couple of little things (like a Merc FCS piece) but nothing worthy of a Lesson. As such, I'm gonna do a thing I don't usually do and show off a master's recent piece.

Cure is an old pro. He's been a moderator of PixelJoint since 2005, and has been making professional-grade pixel art longer than that. He's a regular sight on the Top Pixel Art monthly posts. One of his recent projects that I loved was doing a revamp of all 151 original Pokemon Red/Blue sprites.

His recent piece that I wanted to bring attention to is Grishkin.

Yeah, that's pixel art. I zoomed to check, and everything really is damn precise. This is a pixel version of a painting he did earlier this year:
Basically, this is how the masters really work. Precise curves with extremely careful anti-aliasing, a bright and varied color range (there are only 31 colors by the way), and visually interesting pixel clusters.Also, virtually NO dithering.

Just look at that. See what the techniques I've been talking about can create if taken to their ultimate state. And if I hones my senses way into the details, I'm sure I could find some stuff to crit for him.

Here's a thing: this was created literally FROM the painting. It was resized and vectorized, then color-reduced. That's where Cure started and then cleaned up everything else to make it into a pixel piece. One half of me says "wait, that sounds kinda like cheating, we hunt and remove color-reductions". However, the other half, the better half, says that unlike a color-reduction, which is the epitome of laziness, this is mind-blowingly precise; a lot of care obviously went into it, and how he got the framework doesn't really matter.

This is a damn good piece. But remember - don't let it influence your style too hard. The way cure moves his pixels is not the only proper way, nor is it the only interesting way. If you merely repeat his techniques, you're cheating yourself out of your creativity. See it, admire and respect it, learn from it, but don't let it dictate how to work. Think first "How would I do this?", and not "How would Cure do this?". This point is the primary reason I avoid showing off master's pieces for these lessons.

End Recording,

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