Sprite Split Spread 2


# Man, this is such an amazing pose. I really should re-attempt this again.


# My last try didn’t quite look right. I put too much thought into realism of anatomy and joints, and lost the tension of the pose in the process. The tight stretching of her legs shows what she’s feeling.


# So I thought I’d try something. What if I use the vector-tracing approach I came up with for my large sprites, to create this tiny sprite.


# Hmm… this part is a little tricky. Her head is covering up half of her torso. I could try to guess where the right shoulder is, or…


# … or I could grab the torso from this old Flash animation that MaskedMustelid created way back in… I dunno, 2014? That’s when I downloaded it, but it might be older. The original drawing was from 2002. Wait, I might know a way to check.


# EXIFtool can read the metadata of almost any file you can imagine. It says the animation was created using Flash version 6. And when did that come out?


# Oh, would you look at that? Flash 6 came out in 2002. And version 7 came out the year after. So this animation was probably made soon after the picture was drawn.

# But big deal. How does a crusty old Flash animation help? I can’t pause it like a video.


# … But I can decompile it!


# … and export the original vector shapes!

# exported-torso1 exported-torso2 exported-torso3 tracing-the-back2

# I’ll just overlap the picture and trace this. And, well… I guess I still had to do some guess-work in the end.


# I won’t need the head because I plan to use this for a small sprite and just swap between heads to create different characters.


# The right hand is bugging me. It’s just kind of floating there at a weird angle.


# How did I handle it last time? Oh… it was also floating at a weird angle.


# I’ll just rotate it and move it around until it looks good in the small preview window. Now it looks like the hands are pressing against flat ground.

# resized-shapes sprite-outlining1

# Just like my large sprites, I’ll reduce the colors, resize it down to double the intended sprite size and use my pixel-counting technique to draw anti-aliased outlines by snapping to a 2x2 pixel grid. And from here the process should be just like all my other large sprites.


# Okay, maybe not exactly the same. If I’m not careful I could very easily overlap the hands and lose all of their details.


# So let’s try drawing the hands first and worry about overlap later.


# … or never.


# I gotta be careful not to put too much anti-aliasing on the legs or I’ll blur their edges and lose the shape. It’s very important that you can see the feet flexing downward.


# Another technique I’ll borrow from my large sprites is setting aside one extra color just for shading. I used to just skip shading my tiny sprites because there’s barely enough room for even the basic shapes. But with an extra color I guess I can add a little bit. I think I might also use it to just slightly soften the stair-stepping of the edges without making them too blurry… I hope.


# Now for the white-test. On a bright background do the edges look like an outline, or do they look like broken pixels? I think this passes. Though the feet look a little light at the toes.


# Now let’s do a comparison. Does it look better than my last attempt? Yeah… I think the legs look more tightly stretched now. The butt also looks better.


# These almost look like two frames of an animation. But I would want to re-draw parts of the first pose to fix the butt and line up the hands.