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Howdy! I want to get started, but not really sure how.

Started by Ulric, September 26, 2018, 01:47:38 am

Ulric

Howdy, folks! Pretty much as the title. I want to start making sprites and I'm not too sure how to get started and make it look decent. I've never really done anything "artsy", most of what I've tried looks a bit off, but I'm wanting to try to actually get to a point that I can make things that look nice.

The thing I was wanting to do to start off, was take Ramza's Chapter 1 head and put it onto the Wizard sprite. The problem I'm running into is that I feel like the shading looks a bit odd, since the hat would be gone.

So, as a complete beginner with no knowledge and honestly pretty crap skills, what would the recommendation be as far as getting started here? It could be with the sprite I mentioned wanting to do above, or if there's something else that would be better suited to learning, I can try that. I do want to do it myself though, not just have someone do it for me.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Valkirst

Hi there, so are you looking to Frankensprite which means combining different spites together or are you looking to actually modify something so that it looks like an original piece?

I came into this with somewhat of an artists background but I never knew how to sprite so that's something that I learned as I went along.

May I ask what program you are using to edit?

I stole this from Kagebunji and Lijj from a post where the videos, unfortunately, do not work 😥
http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299&PID=139322#139322
  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Ulric

Starting off, I think Frankensprite would be easier to do and I'm hoping that could lead into making original sprites. The end goal though is to make original sprites. I am using PaintTool Sai at the moment.

I've seen that link but I'm having trouble grasping the concepts that it shows. Definitely a shame the video links don't work, anymore.

Thanks for taking the time to reply, by the way!
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Xifanie

Well, you definitely won't be able to sprite with SAI. 8D
Most people just go with GraphicsGale, and very few Photoshop/GIMP.

I can't really teach much, I mean, Yeah the portrait you see is one I made myself, but essentially:
- Palettes are 16 colours each. Sprites and Portraits have their own palette.

1st row => #0 Sprite palette
2nd row => #1 Sprite palette
3rd row => #2 Sprite palette
4th row => #3 Sprite palette
5th row => #4 Sprite palette
6th row => #5 Sprite palette
7th row => #6 Sprite palette
8th row => #7 Sprite palette
9th row => #0 Portrait palette
10th row => #1 Portrait palette
11th row => #2 Portrait palette
12th row => #3 Portrait palette
13th row => #4 Portrait palette
14th row => #5 Portrait palette
15th row => #6 Portrait palette
16th row => #7 Portrait palette

- You should always try to use colours that already exist in another FFT sprite or portrait. The colour scheme of FFT is not highly saturated like, say, FFTA.
- The first colour of every sprite should be null/black and used as the background (transparency)
- The first colour of every portrait should be the beige that you can find of slightly different tones in different portraits.
- Use Shishi to see the edges of each section of a spritesheet to make sure you don't go over and verify that the animation is smooth
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Ulric

I'll give GraphicsGale a look and see if it feels better. Was giving SAI a try because it's what my wife uses for her art stuff and recommended.

I definitely appreciate the palette info! I was having some trouble finding out how many colors could be used for each sprite.

Also, to give an idea of what I can do at the moment... Anything original, I am about on par with a five year old. I'm really wanting to try to use this to improve, as I'm interested both in sprite art and the style that FFT uses. Making useable sprites here is also a fun thought because I just love the game so much and I know there aren't many spriters here.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Valkirst

September 29, 2018, 08:58:42 pm #5 Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 08:10:46 pm by Valkirst
I think it's also important help to get the Shishi editor. If you could it would also help I think if you posted a picture of what you're working with so that I can gauge what it is you're doing and where you're at. 🤔

I worked on this for a few hours today and yesterday, so you can see I had a base of what I wanted to do. I use the colors in the model from my original Fran. Yes, it took me hours just to get to a place that I liked with a single frame, probably longer than it should have. 😅
  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Ulric

I've been using ShiShi to get the spritesheets. A question about that, how would one export one of the alternate colors for generic units?

Are you wanting to see what I'm working on or what I'm using? Both? I'll be able to throw up some of it tomorrow or Tuesday
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Elric

The alternate colors are part of the same sheet... As Xif already stated above. They are the other rows...

View them with her tool PaletteEditor
  • Modding version: PSX
<@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.


Journey of the Five Youtube ChannelThe Lion War Current Status
  
Jot5 Leader :: Eventer :: OtherTLW Leader :: Eventer :: Other

Ulric

Sorry, I didn't realize that's what was meant until I re-read it. Thanks for pointing that out, as well as the tool.

Edit: What I've done a bit below. This is just trying to put Ramza's head on the Wizard body. I feel like the darker color directly under his face might be a bit too much, since that was there with the Wizard's hat. Maybe I'm looking too closely at it, though? I don't know.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Valkirst

I think you're doing fine when it comes to replacing the head. What we first need to identify it is that you have 21 colors for your sprite we need to reduce it down to just one row of 16. The name of each file describes the steps I'm doing andach row of colors is what Xif and Elric were referring to.

Don't worry about fixing the colors just yet. The first thing you need to get down is your color palette. Just let me know whatever you don't understand and we'll go from there. 👍

  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Ulric

So, that's actually really helpful. I know Xif had mentioned the palettes before, but I didn't put together that the rows were... Well, rows. Let me get a little work put into this and see if it's made better.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Valkirst

  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Ulric

  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Elric

Quote from: Valkirst on October 01, 2018, 09:46:05 pm
You are editing 8bpp color depth right ?


Thats a silly question. If all he did was export the sprite, cut out a piece and open it in GraphicsGale (which he did since you can see the palette) then of course he is...
  • Modding version: PSX
<@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.


Journey of the Five Youtube ChannelThe Lion War Current Status
  
Jot5 Leader :: Eventer :: OtherTLW Leader :: Eventer :: Other

Valkirst

Not necessarily, he uploaded as a PNG and I converted to see the colors. He could have just been right clicking the colors after cutting and pasting.


Anyway if you go to "All frames" in the drop down menu click on the color depth.
  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Xifanie

His image is 21 colours, and it seemed likely that this would happen since he just cut off Ramza's head to place it on a black mage body. People usually don't realize how much trouble headswapping can be (though photoshop can help a ton).
  • Modding version: PSX
Anything is possible as long as it is within the hardware's limits. (ie. disc space, RAM, Video RAM, processor, etc.)
<R999> My target market is not FFT mod players
<Raijinili> remember that? it was awful

Ulric

Sorry for going quiet, there! To start, yes, I'm editing 8bpp.

I'm going to upload the spritesheet in its entirety here to show what I've got done so far, I haven't finished or made as much progress as I'd have liked for the time that has passed, but other obligations and hobbies pull me away fairly often. You will notice that I haven't fixed the colors yet, the reason for that is I figure it will be easier to fix after I get the head copied over on all the different animation because I should be able to just change it all at once.

So, I know it's not a lot of progress, but the things you guys have told me are very helpful to me in understanding how to go about my colors and how they work in GraphicsGale. I really appreciate you guys taking the time out to help me learn!
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191

Valkirst

Looks good, so do you understand setting alternate colors will just be in Row 2, 3 etc? All you have to do is switch out the colors you want from the first row to whatever alternate colors you want. Let me know if you need a visual aid. 👍
  • Modding version: PSX
Completed Sprites
  • Discord username: Valkirst

Elric

Quote from: Valkirst on October 05, 2018, 10:24:51 pm
Looks good, so do you understand setting alternate colors will just be in Row 2, 3 etc? All you have to do is switch out the colors you want from the first row to whatever alternate colors you want. Let me know if you need a visual aid. 👍


Much easier to just duplicate the existing row a couplr times and then edit and play with the duplicates in palette editor (by Xif) to find alts that you like
  • Modding version: PSX
<@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.


Journey of the Five Youtube ChannelThe Lion War Current Status
  
Jot5 Leader :: Eventer :: OtherTLW Leader :: Eventer :: Other

Ulric

Yup! First row is the "main" colors, with the other rows being alternate (Hokuten, Lionel, etc.). Very simplified explanation I think, but I get it.

I'll definitely be playing around with the colors and actually looking at some of the different tools you guys have made available for pretty much everything.

Next goal is to get the head swapped onto all the frames, then fix the colors to be trimmed down to 16, then make sure everything is lined up and (hopefully) fix anything that might be out of place. Following those, I'm going to then adjust the colors to my preference and by then probably start thinking about the portrait. I feel like that last part will be the hardest, but I'll worry about that when I get to that point.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Ulric#9191