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Andy Tran

Tutorial on Doom Sprites

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I've rewritten the tutorial that focuses on making doom style sprites. It can be found at my website which can be found below.


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Great stuff man, reading it now. :D

EDIT: short, but sweet.

Now my few cents if I may.

The things You mentioned at the beginning lack one thing: *doom pallette *graphics program *knowledge of sprites AND
+ general art knowledge (basics of anatomy, perspective, lighting and how to build form with it and color).

I kinda disagree with removing out the outlines tough as it leads the sprite to "stand out" more against the background with brighter pixels as the outline were anti-aliased (tough if You look closer, the Plasma Gun's frame HAS buggy anti-aliasing ;) ). Anti-aliasing the lines seems fine tough (tough not the outline, but the line, You know what I mean).

On a side note, You could also take a more paintig approach when making sprites-especially for backgrounds (if You want to paint Doom textures the pixel way for instance). Instead of the outline, paint the shilhouttes of Your forms with the desired color (but remember to know Your form and paint in 3d, not flat ;) ) and shade it from there (You can use a sketch on a Multiply layer as a guide-that's why I DO reccomend graphic programs that support layers). This can be tricky as without a guide in form of the line You can loose proportions, but if Your mind knows them so well it does them automatically it does things the proper way.

Another thing I don't fully agree is making colors so smooth they look like gradients. This all depends on Your surface and texturing, for instance, metal looks better if it has less shades and more contrast, opposite to non-glossy materials (plastic, so Your rocket looks kinda like plastic or synethtic material instead of metal. Making things more contrasted would do it better).

The Doom pallette itself isn't the best one when we talk about colors-the shades are basic lighting and saturation changes, but there's no hue changes (like in the real world), hence the sprites can look dull sometimes if You use to much of the same color (vary color, but stick to low saturated ones. browns, pinks, those olives, not greens, not blues and definately not violets). However, I've recently spoted that smart using of colors can lead to some hue changes (like brown could become the olive in more lights, this was done on the BFG projectile sprite well-the yellows were added in the middle of the projectile to enhance the glow of it, while there aren't THAT bright greens in the Doom pallette-the yellows done the job of a "highlight". Interesting in the least.

The sprites should be packed with plenty of detail because they were, even when they were resized from hi-res photos of detailed models, they're still crisp and sharp. If they are low on details they will look more like rendered models i.e. less realistic, which we aim for ;)

I've noticed the lighting in Doom sprites is not upper-right, but frontal-above (kinda like for fighter sprites). It's probably because sprites were lit by frontal lighting like in a photo studio, but this also has meaning when it comes to mirroring sprites. Frontal lighting, if mirrored won't look bad, but if it was upper-right, when the sprite was mirrored it would became upper-left. That WOULD be noticeable immiedeatly by the viewer and would look rather odd.

Great effort tough, now I'd like to see a tutorial on animation, or a walkthrough in creating a sprite from start to finish, I would surely like to see that.

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