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Thread: Spriting Project: Gym Leaders/E4

  1. #1
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    Default Spriting Project: Gym Leaders/E4

    A few summers ago I made a backsprite for every single Pokemon to start them with a draft. I seem to work best with a discernible goal in place so I am now planning to get something much easier done: spriting all of the as of yet unsprited gym leaders and elite four members.

    Basically my strategy will come in two parts:
    1. Conceptualize each gym leader. This can either be in visual or written form.
    2. The actual spriting.

    Help with either stage of the process is welcome. Providing options is best for this project and will foster some really good work, as has been the case in the past.

    I'm going to provide a short write-up for each character as a reference point for their sprite. I'm leaving out Froy and Therma as their sprites are pretty solid. I know that there are sprites for some other's floating around, but we can work through them if no other versions emerge.

    FERNANDO: Grass gym leader. Very earthy, soft-spoken. I kind of envision Tarzan when I'm writing him. He doesn't exude much emotion, but is overall very calm and poised. He is not a stalwart defender of the environment; he is more a part of it than a protector of it.

    JANE: Normal gym leader. A dancer. She prides herself on her strength, almost having a mentality like battle-girl trainers in canon. She is beautiful, but powerful and this has to be balanced in her sprite. I would prefer her to not be a stereotype dancer, so no tutus or leotards. It has to be there, but subtle.*She and Bella are rivals, so I would like them to be dissimilar in stance/hair colour and style/ ect.

    BELLA: Poison gym leader. A chemist. She is exceedingly kind, but has a streak of anger against recklessness and carelessness. Just as Jane cannot be outwardly a dancer, I do not want Jane in a white lab coat. She is also beautiful, but is not trying to show it off. *She and Jane are rivals, so I would like them to be dissimilar in stance/hair colour and style/ ect..

    TRSITAN: Light gym leader. Tristan has strong instincts and great leadership ability. He is proud of his home city of Portwind and is the city's champion. I really want him to exude charisma. If there is a flashy appearence to create, this is the one to do it for.

    WOLFE: Dragon gym leader. Essentially a warrior. I don't want a knight either: Wolfe is more rough than that. He isn't polished, but he's confident and skilled. He is the city's protector and is well respected. He is not friendly, especially to Team Rocket, so please avoid a colour scheme dominated by a lot of black or red. I'm really feeling something mostly brown for him, to camouflage against the rocky terrain that he is fighting in.

    CRYS: Rock gym leader. This is the environmentalist scientist. He studies the rock formations outside of Enechestra city and is concerned for the weathering that is threatening their survival. Alternatively, he also studies crystals. He is also strong and confident, getting along with people on a personal level. He has to be able to hike the mountains around his city, as well as be comfortable and presentable in the public sphere. He is concerned with practicality and appearance, and he needs to show that.

    GERAD: Electric gym leader. A scientist/inventor. Also needs to exude charisma. He is not a standard canon scientist--he's got a big personality and a bigger ego. He built a floating city, so yeah. I would not completely mind him in a lab coat, but he needs to look casual. Nothing he does is a big deal to him, there is always something more exciting in his mind.

    CHRISTINA: Ice gym leader. She is bluntly honest, and comes off a little cold at first, but warms up over time. She is extremely guarded against outsiders, as well as in battle. Dress her for the cold: some Ice gym leaders in canon do not look prepared for the elements *cough*Candice*cough*, but Skobeloff Town is cold. Christina has to be prepared.

    OSIRO: Ground gym leader. Very wise, bordering on sage-like. He isn't old, long-beard kind of thing, but he is at the very least old soul-d. I'm toying with how he looks. He could be plainly Egyptian, like a left-over relic of the past, or he could be an archaeologist who lives in the ruins to study the culutre. TBH, it depends on how people want to see him. There is a theme of academics (Therma, Bella, Crys, Gerad), so having him as part of that stream might be cool.

    LAYLA; Dark gym leader. She has to be in black or dark grey, preferably some sort of dress. I would like it if she weren't looking at the player, or her face was in shadows. She feels abandoned and locked away at the bottom of the sea. She is very powerful because of it, but she has worn away all of her other purposes except power, embracing it because that is what people seem to fear in her. I wouldn't like there to be any colour here, but if one is required, a very dark blue is the only real option.
    GREYSON: Steel elite four. He is the token old member of the E4. He talks about resistance over time, so he ought to be strong looking despite his age.

    TORI: Water elite four. She talks about gaining experience over time from each battle she particiaptes in, like a river. I imagine her very water-spirity. I've already made a really bad-ass looking sprite for her (which you can see on the site), but if something else is produced we can compare and decide.

    MYRNA: Ghost elite four. A child. She is essentially not actually real, but a Mirust posing as a human. Mirust/Ferrain's pallet should be the basis for her clothes, which should be as ghostly as possible.
    A note on pallets: Other than the things I have mentioned in specific sections, certain colours need to be noted for general use. Black with red accents is off limits, as this to closely links the character to Team Rocket. So too is white and gold/yellow combination forbidden. I would also like to avoid any entirely black outfits for anyone except Layla, to make her stand out a little more.


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    I feel like Layla would benefit more from a deep purple. Not "poison purple" but something less saturated and deeper.

    Tristan I thought could be very much the Paladin. Unfortunately that puts him into grey and gold, but perhaps mithril-style blue and gold would work out?

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    Well, it's good to see at least one of us can set goals, and actually plan to go through with them. And actually provide some work for the game.

    I believe there was some concept art floating around of Fernando, that I know for sure IB helped with. I'd say find that, and work from there, as I remember it was quite good, but needed polish.

    Perhaps Jane could wear simple jeans and a T-Shirt. She is the Norma gym leader, after all. Perhaps she could have the purple half of the Rivalry Orb as a necklace, or a design on her T-Shirt.

    Bella, unfortunately, I immediately see in the vein of either Singed or Cassiopeia from LoL. If anything, could she maybe carry around a large bottle on her back, or have a small one in hand? I love little references.

    Wolfe, I can see as Tribal, with some kind of pelt on his back. That, or similar to Drake of the Elite 4, captain's hat with one scar over his right eye. I know that second will be immediately shot down, but i like it anyway.
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    I did some concept drawings for Jane and Bella.

    My thought process was to let Jane be a little more organic and simple. As Nyte said: she is the normal gym leader and being a dancer likely wouldn't be wearing too much. Her half of the Rivalry orb in on a necklace. She has a long, tunic thing that I'd probably make beige, and black leggings.
    Bella I tried to put into a structured jacket, as well as a tunic similar to Jane's underneath. Her half of the Rivalry Orb is pinned to her jacket. I didn't have any ideas for her pants and shoes, so I went generic for this first draft.

    They are meant to be pretty opposite. Jane's clothes are simple, while Bella's are more complicated. But there are still similarities, as though they were once friends who had a falling out.


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    I guess the main thing with Bella is that she doesn't have anything screams poison at you. Like thorns or vents or something. The simplest addition I can think of is a flu mask, but that might not read that well. Otherwise, it'd be great if we could have poses that aren't just standing poses.

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    Maybe draw some flowers hanging from her pocket, purple-ish hair, Drakodo plush hanging off trousers, that kind of thing?
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    Alright, I have something like a Layla concept I whipped up in an hour and a half. I managed to acquire a tablet and am currently trying to get used to it. I haven't been able to do anything with pen pressure yet but sketchy stuff has been okay. As for Layla, I'm willing to make a thousand changes, but if you're going to criticize, make it comprehensive since I basically just have to redraw her to change anything. If the proportions or other simple quality things are off, you can mention it but it's not really going to change anything since that'd be fixed in the sprite. That could actually be the rule for all non-site concepts.

    In any case, here it is.


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    The tiara and the pink at her waist I think are a little much, I'd rather she be more simple. The star detail is nice and I really like the candle. My only other suggestions are just colour related (generally darker, black hair instead of brown) and not necessary to the concept so much.


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    I think Jane and Bella look great, especially because they seem to complement each other. Some sort of thorn-type thing might make Bella more poison-like, but Jane definitely seems right for a normal-type leader.

    For Layla, I really like the dress color and the candle. Are the colors inspired by the Umbra Crest? Also, I kind of like the tiara, but I'm not entirely sure what to think of the pink at her waist. Is that a common article in some culture?

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    Yes, the inspiration is Umbra Crest. the wraps around her waist were me just wanting to break up the monotony with something that wasn't a sash or belt.

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    I like the design of it, I just think it's too light.


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    I had several darker versions of Layla and then I bsod'd and lost them all. Whoops. First time I've had a BSOD in 10 years, too...

    Here's a concept I drew up of Grayson.


    I realize that I've been clamoring for "Paladin Tristan" but after thinking about it some more I feel like he'd look best in a white suit with a cape. Still very self-righteous but less Orion-Defender-screamy. I also have thoughts on Gerad: kind of inspector-gadgetty. No hat, but kind of an actiony pose in a trenchcoat or great coat with massive black gloves and a wrench in one hand.

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    The armor looks great on Grayson. But I think he might look better if he looked a little older; maybe a lighter hair color with just a bit of white peeking through.

    I'm going to trust your judgement on Tristan, especially since Grayson seems to pull of the knight look so well, and I really like the idea for Gerad.

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    I like the Greyson concept, and we can always ramp up the armor (my only qualm, it's a little simple for an E4 IMO) and make him older when we sprite him.


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    Yeah, I can see how that kind of whitish sideburns and salt and pepper beard look could be great on Greyson. I feel like adding a lot of random trim on his armor will make it rather hard to sprite. The flecks of white in his hair might also be tough too, so we'll have to see when that comes. I also think that often the E4 have the simplest designs and are the least developed characters in a Pokemon game. I do think that ramping up a bit on their complexity to make them feel more special and unique is a direction we might want to head in (we're already kind of doing that for Tristan, anyway).

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    TRSITAN: The Light gym leader! Its not great! but tell me if it needs improvements and what?

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    I really like the effect that the bright blue on the shirt has, but isn't he a bit young? That would be fine for a Gym Leader, but keep in mind that Tristan's also going to be moving on to the Elite Four.

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    I've also seen those pants somewhere before. Hmm...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImmunityBow View Post
    I've also seen those pants somewhere before. Hmm...
    As have I. It's a recolored sprite, IB. It reminds me of one of our Cosplayer Trainers...I don't remember what it exactly was, but it was whatever the Mew Cosplayer girl was based on.

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    Is that a recolored Aaron (D/P E4) sportin' a D/P youngster cap?
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    It is, I mixed a few sprites :\ I thought it looked pretty good. but hey, sorry.

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    Mixing sprites is okay, but only to a degree. We don't want our sprites to look much like canon sprites, so scratching is a lot more preferrable to mixing. But I know: scratching an entire sprite isn't easy, so a little bit of mixing is inevitable. It has to be so that it is unrecognizable, so it takes a lot of effort.

    Your sprite is especially obvious because of the way that the body flows together: the legs are at the wrong angle for the body which makes the waist unnaturally twisted, and the hat is sloped wrong for the head. It gives the sprite a really pieced-together look, which draws attention to the parts that are taken from other sprites. You also went with very recognizable pieces in the hat, arms and pants. You're getting a bad reaction because of this fact.

    Take a look at this sprite of Alisa:

    This is a mixed sprite with a few custom pieces, but it doesn't immediately look like it. Making small edit to the pieces, and being choosy with what pieces you use is essential. For example, I used arms from two different sprites, the face off of another, and the body from another. Then I pretty much drew the hair from scratch and coloured the clothes in how I needed them to be. One of the arms I used I'm sure someone might recognize, but it doesn't come off right away because of how it fits with the other parts, right?

    TL;DR how to fix yours:
    1. try finding legs that face the right direction for the body. Edit them if you can at least for colour.
    2. Ditch your current head and hat. I can see the intention with the sunglasses, but they are not at the right perspective, and are very difficult to discern from the face, which then looks really squished. The hat is very obvious. If you can't scratch hair or a hat, do your best to edit something or use something that is less recognizable.
    3. The blue that you've used is very bright, and the outline on the left side is not really there, while the outline on the right is very dark. Work on your shading as well as balancing your outline colours.


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    Another thing I would recommend is to keep in mind the direction of the light source and to try to find out where light would fall if in 3D. That way you can add a lot more volume to the recoloured sections such as in the shirt and the boots.

    I agree with Reliability that the less recognizable your sprite is, the more excited I'd get. It doesn't really matter how good a sprite looks, when I've seen something from somewhere before, then that's all I see in a sprite and it's hard for me to judge it on its merits when what was taken eats up all my attention.

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    Tried making Jane. Advice?

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    It's an attempt, which is workable. Main advice would mostly have to do with the bottom half of her body. Did you skip on the belts for a reason? She needs more definition to her legs and fet, mostly in the form of non-black legs with more shading and things, as well as more defined shoes and correct black outlining. It's a fine starting point though for discussion. Is this the kind of pose that fits her? should her face be larger or even her sprite in general? etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImmunityBow View Post
    It's an attempt, which is workable. Main advice would mostly have to do with the bottom half of her body. Did you skip on the belts for a reason? She needs more definition to her legs and fet, mostly in the form of non-black legs with more shading and things, as well as more defined shoes and correct black outlining. It's a fine starting point though for discussion. Is this the kind of pose that fits her? should her face be larger or even her sprite in general? etc.
    Did this one in less than 10 minutes, so I may have skimped quite a lot of detail, working on it now. Also, I skiped the belts because I have no idea what color they're supposed to be.
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    i'd be up for doing some gym leaders, so just tell me what needs to be done
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    Well, we've got concepts for Jane, Bella, Grayson and Layla so far. If you could sprite something based off of those concepts that'd be great! You can even use the same poses, or change what you want. People seem to want more detail on Grayson (or at least Reli does) so you can try some of that.

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    layla test out line didnt know dimensions so i made it 40x70
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    Good start. Narrow her shoulders and increase the size of your head, and you'll be close to a good outline. Make sure you darken the colours from the concept, except where the candlelight touches. You have 80x80 to work with so you can afford to use a little more real estate on height.

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    Definitely a good starting point though!

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    Wolfe and Gerad concepts. Just quick lines and basic colours plopped down.
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    That style seems quite fitting for an electric Gym Leader. Gerad looks great, but I'm not getting a huge "Dragon" vibe from Wolfe. He looks more like a rival than a Gym Leader.

    Then again, I'm not sure how dragon-y you can get without starting to look a lot like Lance.

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    I didnt really want to go with a signature cape like all the other dragon dudes because I feel like that's not really good for rocky terrain and Wolfe sounds like a super practical person. I slapped on some dragon fangs on a necklace, and a bit of purple on his hat and stuff to try and make him more dragon-y but I guess I could try for a more wild tree-jumping approach like they did with Iris?
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    I'll try to sprite these sometime in the next little while. I REALLY like Gerad.


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    Love the Gerad art!

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    Wolfe's Cap remember me of Drake from Hoenn, and those fangs are very Dragon-y
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    Threw together a second Wolfe concept - less modern, more secluded. Complete with fur and a bit of beard and stuff.
    And while I was there I made Sugimori Art for Jane.

    Tried to give her an assertive and confident pose.
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    New Wolfe certainly fits his name. The connection to Dragons will be hard to make but since when were sailors Dragon users anyway, right? He reminds me of the police chief from Ace Attorney Investigations. I really like your Gerad concept, though let me bring up my unfinished version because it might demonstrate some ideas still. (I haven't been able to work on it for a while).



    I like yours better overall, but I think we could go a little bolder, especially in terms of the gloves, to make him more recognizable at a glance. Otherwise he looks absolutely wonderful and I really like the clipboard and his whole getup.

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    IB, I really like that concept. I can see how a few elements of it could be used in X-Antibody's; particularly the longer gloves.

    I guess I missed commenting on the new Wolfe, so here it is now; I actually think it feels right. It doesn't look a whole lot like a dragon tamer, which Lance seems to pull off perfectly. But it does seem to fit in as a dragon rider. He seems like the kind of guy who would live in caves, roughing it with his dragon-y buddies.

    As for Jane, it looks pretty good, although I'm a bit curious about the skin color.

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