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Nia Walk Test by Dualmask Nia Walk Test by Dualmask
Testing, testing, one, two, three...

Nia Black Jonathan Price
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:iconwbd:
wbd Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Looks good so far- her steps are purposeful and strong.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! Figuring out how to make a woman walk with a gun in each hand and making it look believable is tricky. I have some other ideas in mind that I'll be trying when I have more time to work on this.
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:iconjaquier:
Jaquier Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it's great. Maybe if you added a few more frames, then it would look awesome :)
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I'll try to add more frames. It's harder than you might think.
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:iconjaquier:
Jaquier Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can only imagine
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:iconrandommode:
Randommode Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Alright!
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Student General Artist
I will say that the lack of motion in her back and shoulders is making her look a little stiff...that said, the motion so far is clean and consistent, there's something to be said for that.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah...making her back and shoulders move is difficult given the way I'm animating--doing my best to avoid having to draw every frame by hand individually because it's time-intensive. There's likely some kind of workaround.
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Student General Artist
Not really. The best animation is hand-drawn anyway...
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
:headbang:
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Professional General Artist
:thumbsup:
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That I agree with. But my approach gets the job done.
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Student General Artist
Fair enough.
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
There is not avoiding it!!!! Welcome to my HELL!!!!:evillaugh:
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, there's always a way...I can shade her torso so it looks like her shoulders are tilting, or I can just say screw it...after all, I can't think of anyone who didn't buy a game because the avatar's animation wasn't perfect. Consider Castlevania: Circle of the Moon for GBA; the character sprite had a four frame run cycle. Didn't make the game any less fun... In fact, a similar sprite animation method was used in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin for NDS, with the character sprite's run cycle was done with the character torsos never changing while the arms and legs moved.

It would be unforgivable for a cartoon animator to take such shortcuts, but focusing on the big picture and making things more efficient is a core essence of game design. However, I do have a front facing upper torso part...I think I'll try incorporating that into the walk.
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
That would depend on the size of the sprite. I would imagine that your sprites would be bigger then that of GBA Castlevania. Although, I still have no idea how your game will play, but I still would think your sprites would have enough of a size to display some sort of detail and body movements.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
There's no doubt they could be better. The question is, is it worth it? I'll do my best to make these sprites as well animated as possible, but I'll also be more than willing to accept average animation if it's good enough to get moving on the MANY other aspects of game development. :nod: For one thing, I'm still struggling with level design approaches. I seem to have a mental block when it comes to coming up with ideas and details for environments, and tweaking sprite animations isn't going to break down that block any faster.
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
I sent you so time ago an approach to level designing. I am guessing it never got to you. Your animations are fine, I just did not want you to go that route like you mentioned about the Castlevania thing. Thank goodness. Although I was told by someone who's name eludes me at this moment that all the details that I put into my sprites are always lost after compression and sizing. So I can kind of see your point.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I did get your message, it's just I haven't gotten the chance to act on it yet. Really, my struggle with level design seems to be less about my skills and more about my ideas. Like, I can say, "Level 1 takes place in a laboratory building" but when I sit down and try to design that, my mind goes blank. Whether I use Photoshop or Illustrator (which I don't really know how to use, coincidentally) or what, it's more about not knowing what I want than not knowing how to make it happen.

I would never be so lazy as to settle for a four frame run, but you're right that a lot of detail will be lost as you apply your sprites to a game design (particularly if you want to keep the game running efficiently) so it's really not worth it to try to make 16-32 frame animations for a every sprite's every move. You have to consider that you're making a game, and you're going to want to engage the player with a lot more than character animation. Sound, gameplay, features, the HUD, enemies, environments...you run the risk of putting too much emphasis on the animation and neglecting what are arguably more important aspects of game development. You'll end up stifling your development and losing sight of the goal. If some shortcuts are good enough for a big budget Konami game, they're good enough for me.
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(1 Reply)
:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
Looking great, some questions I have however. I am looking at the way her arms swing. It looks like it conveys a certain type of attitude or swagger as they say. It looks as if she pushes down her arms when she puts weight on the leading foot. Was that purposely done? Also, what program is this done it?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Honestly, I was trying to go for a subtle bit of attitude in her walk, but I reneged in favor of a standard stride, but didn't renege enough, I guess. I'm actually thinking of going back and changing it so she's holding her guns up as she walks, rather than just swinging her arms freely. After all, guns are dangerous and she should look like she knows what she's doing with them.

I have a lot of ideas. Should she even have the guns out while she walks at all? Or should the game have some kind of ready action where the player toggles between "firing mode" for gun combat and "standard mode" for interaction and melee? (These are rhetorical questions, I'm asking myself, not you or anyone else, though suggestions are always welcome.) Decisions like that will affect how this evolves.

I built a character rig in Flash and exported the animation frames to Photoshop so I could make a GIF which Game Maker can recognize. I intend to shade the frames so the colors aren't flat, but I won't bother doing that until I'm content with the animation.

Thanks for checking it out. :)
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
To throw some answers to your rhetorical questions. Holding the guns down makes her look more bad@$$. Holding them up gives a much more feminine look. Think like Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. No matter what he pulls out his weapon when it is time for action, but when there is nothing going on and he is running for a certain period of time, notice he will put his sword away automatically. Not a bad idea for her to do, it would just add to you workload of animations though. Now if the game had stealth elements, then yes, she should be able to put them away have the option of using other attacks, or perhaps a nice Pistol whip move.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm focused on keeping the design simple. Even a seemingly basic platformer like Mario is an ambitious game design for a single creator. My basic plan is that Nia will have guns and melee; melee meaning a few kinds of kicks, just the basics (jump kick, front kick, sweep kick). I'm not really considering stealth elements right now, even though if I follow Nia's story to the letter as framework for the game, she would take part in a couple of stealth missions.

I actually never played NG for Xbox, but I get what you're saying. That might be more ambitious than needed right now, but it's a cool idea.

I'm looking at a lot of gun-based platformers for systems like NES and Genesis (Rolling Thunder 3 is a great one) and the characters tend to only show their guns when actually attacking; they have normal walk cycles otherwise. I might go with that.
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:iconwolfgriffin:
WolfGriffin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
GunStar heroes, guns and melee attacks.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Another great one! :nod:
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:iconadekii:
adekii Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice! There's something nice and solid about her steps.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I've been doing a lot of practicing with walk cycles.
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