texture animation

In a Heartbeat FAQ

When will the film be released?
Sometime this summer!

Is the film done?
Yep!

Then why not post it now?
We’re submitting the film to film festivals, and some of them have rules about putting the film online. We just want to make sure we have enough time to run it through the festival circuit, but we are eager to share it with you as soon as we can!!

How much will it cost to watch it?
Free!

Where will you upload it?
Vimeo and/or Youtube - but don’t worry, we’ll post about it here, and on our facebook!

Can I share it once it’s online?
Yes! BUT - please do not share by downloading and reuploading the film to your facebook/tumblr/instagram/youtube/etc. That’s stealing. To share it, copy and paste the link (that we will provide!) or use the reblog button on Tumblr or the share button on Facebook! Thank you!

Where can I watch the trailer?
Here!

How long is the film?
A whopping 4 minutes and 5 seconds :)

Can you make it longer?
No, this is a student film made by two people - Beth and Esteban were solely responsible for all of the visual aspects of the film, including storyboards, character design, character and set modeling, texturing, rigging, camera layout, animation, set dressing, lighting, rendering, and compositing. That’s a lot of work for two people! Plus, as a thesis film for our college program, there was a required time limit.

Will there be a sequel?
Slow down! We haven’t even released it yet!

Will it have subtitles/will it be dubbed in my language?
There is no dialogue, so there won’t be any need for subtitles or dubbing.

What are the characters’ names?
Sherwin (red hair) and Jonathan (dark hair). And sometimes we call the Heart Shirley :)

How old are they?
Around 13 or 14

Did you change Jonathan’s ethnicity?
Yes! While we were designing the characters, our only consideration was that Jonathan’s eyes be (dreamy) blue. But when we got into production, we made a few adjustments so that Jonathan was mixed Latino. Esteban was born and raised in Mexico, and we wanted to give an extra personal touch to the character.

Can I draw fanart of the characters?
Sure! We’d love to see it if you don’t mind sharing it with us!

Are you still accepting Kickstarter donations?
No, our Kickstarter campaign ended in December. However, if you would like to donate for festival submission fees, we have put a donate button in the sidebar of our tumblr page! There are no rewards attached to these donations, though, so don’t feel obligated!!

Will the Kickstarter rewards still be available to buy?
It’s pretty likely that we’ll open an online store to buy t-shirts and prints, so we’ll let you know if/when that’s available! Thank you for your interest!

Thank you for your support! If you have any other questions, please let us know! <3

BG by Côme. The smoke on the ground around the man’s feet has been done by Benji. And Camille helped me A LOT with the rendering of the smokes because we had no time left:) Also I managed to loose my last animation file (clapclap) so the 2nd thing is just a part of the final movie and we don’t see everything clearly but whatever:)

Edit: No gif for today sorry it was to big so turn the HD button on it’s a bit better

Improve your pixel art sprites!

Introduction

In this tutorial, I will explain you how to use a couple techniques I used to improve Planet Centauri’s sprites before implementing them into the game (or before animating them).
Some of the rules shown here are very easy to use, and/or are purely  methodical;
so even if you aren’t very skilled, follow those simple guidelines to make your sprites cleaner.


Colors

A lot of basic mistakes will ruin the quality of your art.
Thankfully, they’re also generally quite easy to fix with some experience, and
by paying attention.


Too many colors

Pixel art is all about constraints. When two colors are very close, merge them into an intermediate one, so you see if it improves the result.
Using a small palette will help you improving your skills much more easily, and will make creating sprites also easier.
It also will make it easier to identify unwanted artifacts (i.e. misplaced pixels).


Gradients

If you are constructing a palette with gradients, avoid at any cost independent gradients (i.e. only dimmed/lighted base colors). Use gradients that depends on each other.

You can also try to use yellow-ish or cyan-ish saturated light colors, and blue-ish and purple-ish desaturated dark colors. However, avoid using an over-saturated or an under-saturated palette.
This usually ends up bad and breaks contrasts.
You should also use gradients with outspread tints to avoid washy color contrasts.

Remember never to use more colors than necessary, and use gradients with contrasted brightness.
Feel free to try using other generic palettes on your sprite to compare it with your palette so you can improve it.


Neighbor colors

Avoid as much as you can excessive contrasts between neighboring pixels.
For example, a black line over a white background usually won’t look natural.
A line that fits the background color well gives a realistic volume effect.

This is as true for outlines, which has to fit with both the inner color and the umbrage of the surface.

NB: Obviously, this doesn’t work with any graphic style.


Pillow shading

Pillow shading is a nasty effect that occurs when the light source comes from the front.

Avoid pillow shading, unless you really know what you’re doing.


Lines and curves

Perfect line: A line that has a constant vertical and horizontal step.

Perfect curve: A curve made of perfect lines which step always depends on the other parts of the curve.

Dirty line: A line that has at least one sub-segment with more than one adjacent pixel on one end.

As you may have noticed on the pictures above, dirty lines should be avoided.
You should use as much perfect lines and curves as possible.


Clusters

A cluster is a group, a pack of connected pixels with the same color.
Cluster shapes will greatly affect the final image.
Bony and crude clusters will give a sketchy aspect.
Round and straight lines are preferred so you get a precise, smooth and nice image.

Avoid lonely pixels. If one pixel is inside of a different color cluster without
any adjacent pixel with the same color, remove it.


Dithering et texturing

Contrary to popular belief, dithering isn’t as great as it seems. A lot of dithering between heavily contrasted colors will often give a dirty and noisy image.
It is also a very bad idea to use dithering when animating a sprite, because keeping coherent dithering will be awfully hard.

If you art style lets you do it, use texturing instead (the difference is that texturing does not induce color limitations).
But don’t forget, texturing means harder animation and worse clarity.
Again, it’s a matter of style.
If you want a cartoon-ish look, do not use dithering nor texturing.


Antialiasing

Antialiasing a technique that reduces the staircase effect (aliasing) which is clearly visible on two lines between two contrasted surfaces.

Internal AA

There are two use-cases for internal AA :
Simply separating two surfaces, and using lines or curves cutting through two different surfaces.

In the first case, you may just need to insert an intermediate color where aliasing is visible to reduce it (generally, when the curve abruptly changes).

In the second case, you may just need to add a small intermediate color cluster between every horizontal or vertical sub-segment.
Its size directly depends on the sub-segment size.


External AA

External AA suffers from an important restriction, unlike internal AA: The background color in a game will constantly change, so you need to have an effect that looks good on both dark and light backgrounds.

This rule is quite easy: You only apply the effect inside of the sprite.
The end of an outline that neighbors with the background should never be modified.

In this image, the internal AA effect applied on the outer part of the sprite unveils some nasty artifacts, while external AA, even if it isn’t as efficient, gives a great effect on any background type.


The end.

youtube

HEY ! So finally here’s the FX exercise we worked on during 4 weeks with Camille Guillot, Sarah Naciri, James Molle, Benjamin Berrebis et Côme Roy. It was a lot of stress but still it really was a blast to do it with them !:) And yeah it’s a trailer for a feature film, but of course it’s totally fake we won’t do the feature aha:)

And you can watch the other trailers from my awesome classmates there: https://www.youtube.com/user/gobelins/videos

4

Sneak peek of my Gemanimate shot ! Modeling, texturing and animation are finally done for those ladies, lighting still wip. I need more time and attention for Sapphire, she’s on her way. (Next step : background, rendering and compositing !)

With it, the designs I kept for the Homeworld gems. Turning silhouettes from a 2D show into 3D… What was I thinking.

C.

Here’s an animation test from before we began the animation of the film. I had almost no time to figure out the style of the smoke and a way to animate it but yeah it was fun to experiment and I’m very happy with the result !:)

Edit: So you can put 10 images up to 10MB each in one post but it seems like a single gif can’t live here on tumblr if it’s more than 3MB.. So as this stuff is mostly texture work, below 3MB there’s nothing left thank you tumblr I love you so much so much.