The Art of Sprites, according to Ebola.
  Well, this is a some sort of article I'm making to describe how I make my sprites for Projects such as Ni'mrod : Ixnay on the Hombre and Doom Eternity.

Lets start by correcting a few minor mistakes in the other article by Skadoomer.

Once the model is made, a skin has to be made to cover the model
Luckily this isn't the case. It's entirely up to you and your program. Of course you need some sort of skin to color the model, or it would look pretty drag just using the default "material" applied by the 3d program.
In 3d studio (Wich is the program I use) you can select the special material for only a face, of the model. This alows the author to have complete control of what he's doing. I personally very rarely use custom made materials for when I made models for doom. The ones already in the program suffice fine.
This will alow me to skin the model at the same time I'm building it. And if there's something I'm unhappy with I just replace that specific material, instead of loading Photoshop and rework the "Skin" wich is a rather pain in the ass, if you ask me.

Explanations:
  

  • Skin = Grapic image that gets wrapped around a polygon-model.
      
  • Material = Pretty much like a skin, but much more powerful. Can have bumpmaps and other really cool and reality enhanching features.
      
  • Face = aka Polygon, a 3 sided plate used for making a model.

    First of all, to make sprites you’re going to need some money
    No you dont- :p There's plenty of free graphic programs floating around the web. One being a really good 3d program called Blender.
    www.blender.nl

    I've also been informed some time ago that there's a 3d studio verion to be released (or maybe already been released, that's freeware. It's skimmed down to make quake (1,2,3) models. (Quote: Since most of the quake modelers use pirated copies of 3Dstudio Max anyway.)

    I doubt I have to mention that You can get PSP shareware version pretty much anywere. ;)

    As you can see, sprite A (taken from batman doom) is drawn
    You mean Hand drawn as on paper and scan. Possible, yes. But not likely. I can't really tell, but by the look of them I'd have to think they are all hand drawn on the computer. Drawing sprites on paper first is a buttload of unnessesary work wich I doubt anyone care for.

    Ok I guess that's all of that. Now. I've always used a Dos program for my doom graphics. I used to only use this program (Autodesk Animator Pro) for all my graphics. I made an entire TC using nothing but this program to edit my gifs. I created over 14 different caracters (only about 7 or so were used though) and 8 different weapons. (only 7 were used. I made two using 3d studio also) This was all drawn by hand uisng nothing but a mouse and a good old "pixel painter".

    Here's some of my old, hand-drawn sprites.

    This was however quite a few years ago since I made them. I'm still proud of them and think they loog good. but not really compared to what I make now. Now I've been using 3d studio only, for about 3 years for caracter/weapon sprite making. The process is much faster and the product is better looking. (unfortunately it's not as fun to rework sprites from a 3d program as it is to draw them from scratch, but the joy of making the model covers up for that :p)

    Here's some of my newer, 3d-studio rendered.

    Note: These sprites aren't finished. But this was all I could find at the time of the writing of this.

    The sprites you see are: Chaingunner from Ni'mrod, Grenade launcher and crossbow from Eternity and a ION cannon I made for a project that later changed course and decided to just be new levels (Doom Resurrection, the grenade launcher was also originally for this project).

    Skadoomer also mentioned that you should attmept to create soft lighting around your clay model, to avoid shadows. I have another approach with the light however, I set up two sportlights, as in this example.


    In this example. the camera is about to take side shot of the model.

    This will set the spotlights in a 90 degree "crossfire" and the camer will tkae the shot placed in the middle between them. Also make sure that the spotlights are a bit above so they look down at the model in an approximately 45 degree tilt. This will provide a good lighting of the object and also make his arms and other attachments shade off on his leg creating cool shadow details.

    Well this is all I can really think of to write about, atm. But I'll make a part 2 of this "article" (or whatever it is) if I come up with anything more and/or anyone found it intresting or something.

    Questions, comments or hatemail. Send to: ebola_kaell@home.se

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