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December 25, 2012
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ESS 2012 - Something square... by MafiaVamp ESS 2012 - Something square... by MafiaVamp
#EmoteSecretSanta 2012 - Gift #2 to `Synfull: Syn building a huge Rubic's Cube out of snow.

Okay, first things first. I prepared three gifts for you. :giggle: This is number two.

After I had finished the icon, I tried to think of a new idea, because the icon alone didn't seem enough.
Spending a sleepless night, the next day suddenly and idea flashed and I grabbed it before it could get lost.
I remembered you love Rubic's Cubes! So I decided to do one, only out of snow, to stick with the winter theme.
For the sky in the background tried something new and used ~zozioxp's tutorial.

:rudolph: Merry Christmas, dear!~:heart:
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:iconkrissi001:
I think it looks really adorable :squee:
First of all I have to say that I think that the transition of the hue between the darkest and the brightest blue is too abrupt.
And I am not really a fan of the dithering, for me the dithering shouldn't be too obvious, it should be nearly impossible to see. (But I am not good dithering :C ) here are 2 more tutorials/tips [link] [link]
Then I think that there is too much snow falling from the sky, I think it would look better if there were less snow. (but then they could look like stars :paranoid:)
This brings me to the next issue, tons of snow falls down but nothing of it stays on the emote or on the trees, i think it would look better if some of it stays on the "items".
Firs are such a pain to pixel :stare: You have done a good job on the outline, but the colouring itself seems to be a bit flat. It might help when the outline would continue "within" the tree to give it the shape of a fir.
I noticed that you used transparent colours to create the shadows, you could save tons of colours when you would use solid colours, but that's not really a problem with a static emote. But you shouldn't submit it to a pixel group they would be upset about it :paranoid:
And the snow itself doesn't seem to be that snowy to me it kinda looks more like ice to me. :noes: Maybe you could give it some softer shading/texture so it looks more like snow.
Here is a concept of how I would have done it: [link]

I hope I wasn't too harsh :C :hug: I hope it helps a bit.
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:iconmafiavamp:
Oh wow, I'm speechless! Your concept looks amazing, even the snow on Syn!

Thank you very much for all the advice, it gave me lots to think about. I'll be looking into the tutorials you linked (one of them was already in my faves :paranoid:) and try to apply them when dithering next time.
About the falling snow... Well, I tried the star-shaped snow in my entry for the Emote Advent Calendar [link], but wasn't quite satisfied with it back then. So I thought it might be nice to have more snow. Plus the snow Syn builds the cube has to come from somewhere, right? :D I wasn't exactly aiming for the kind of powdery snow for the cube as you displayed in your concept, but it looks much better, and it definitely can't be confused with ice blocks like mine :D
:facepalm: Of course snow should stick to the surfaces of the 'items' as well, thank you for pointing that out!
I can see what you mean regarding the firs, it indeed looks better to continue the outline to the inside. Great tip :>

About that transparency, how did you find that out? ;'D I wasn't aware you can see that at all and I always wondered how you guys count your colours... Is there a tutorial or something to find out? (Slso I wasn't planning to submit it to a pixel group anyway, but now I know what not to do ;P)

You weren't too harsh at all, I appreciate helpful tips like this alot!
I can't thank you enough, dear! :tighthug: You're wonderful :>
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:iconkrissi001:
I often dive into pixeljoint just to look at the dithering of others and most of the time it confuses me even more, since I can't reproduce the effect (or it doesn't look as good). xD oh yes I remember the piece, I have to say that I like that snow more. Maybe it would be better to create bigger snowflakes? like in these pieces [link] [link]

I have a few ways to check the colour count and to find similar colours. I often save the image and open it in photoshop then I use the magic wand tool to find the same colours.
To see the colour count I simply use the save for web option, it tells me how many colours there are. And I use it to reduce similar colours by copying the colour table, then I use the magic wand tool with different tolerances to see which are pretty much the same. It helped me when I was working on the frame by frame project xD
Another tool that can count more than 256 colours is [link] :boogie:

:heart:
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:iconmafiavamp:
D: I'm sure your dithering looks even better than theirs to begin with! But looking at pixeljoint is a good idea, I just went through some of it, soooo many amazing entries. I'm currently working on another snow piece, so I'll try to apply all the tips you've given me and maybe include larger snowflakes such as the links show, too.

Thank you very much for showing me all these ways to count colours! I'm not very familiar with PS yet, but with the help of a few tutorials/ forums I found the features you mentioned ;) Also, the page you linked to is helpful as well! I've learned a lot :>

:tighthug:
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:iconkrissi001:
I mostly just add pixels here and there until I am satisfied with it :lmao:

Which version of photoshop do you use? :eager:
Reply
:iconmafiavamp:
Yes, that and a lot of zooming in and out. :D

^^; Well, it's just Photoshop CS2.
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:iconkrissi001:
you can have 2 windows of the same document, just go to "Window > Arrange > "New Window for (document name)" but I am not sure if this works with your version of Photoshop.
No more zooming in and out :boogie:

Oh and something else: If you are lazy (like me) and you need to add dithering to a bigger piece, you can do this: (I am not sure if it works cs2) First of all you need the colours of the of the piece( [link] ), then you go to File-save for web, there you should see the colour palette, next to the colour palette should be small arrow, there you can save the palette.
Close the window and go back to the document, now you have to blend the colours ( [link] ), then you go back to the save for web window, there you have to load the previously saved colour palette.
There should be the option to change the dither style (it has: no dither, diffusion, pattern and noise) You can now decided which one you like more, pattern or noise, I like pattern more xD (pattern - [link] , noise - [link] )
This is how I did some backgrounds :giggle:
Reply
:iconmafiavamp:
Oh wow, that's really helpful! Zooming in and out is one of the rather annoying things about pixel art, even though it's nice to see how one little pixel changes the whole picture ;P

:D That lazy method worked very well in CS2, though I have to say that in my test noise looked better :paranoid: maybe I didn't blend too well... Thank you very much for showing me, you should make a tutorial about these tips ;) I'm sure it would help alot of people to get started with that.

On another note, would the 'lazy' method be considered tooling? Since you technically use the blending tool.
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(1 Reply)
:iconsnowshi:
Snowshi Dec 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Words cannot describe how awesome I think this is. >w<
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:iconmafiavamp:
:giggle: Thanks, dear!
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