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Old 03-19-2018   #1
Chrispy's Avatar
Default Chrispy's back with yet another Sonic

Hello SRB2 community! I'm back and going full-speed ahead into making another new character WAD. This design is heavily inspired by Saturn Sonic (Sonic Jam and Sonic R) however his gameplay and animations aren't all going to be dictated by those seen in those games. Aesthetic over accuracy here.
The shading style here is simple and uses minimal AA in favor of easier animation. This is going to animate rather differently from what you're used to seeing in SRB2 as all the animations are being done completely from scratch. All poses that are asymmetrical are going to get 8 frame rotations instead of the usual 5, like what is shown in the idle animation.
Not only do I want to make the existing animaitons unique, but I also have plans to make frames for things that other characters don't have, like a unique brake frame and a peelout ability. However, I'm an artist and not a programmer, so I will need help on the lua scripting when it comes to that.
What I'm looking for from this thread is CC on the artwork and animation decisions, as well as suggestions to make this character play uniquely from your average SRB2 character. Currently the plan is double jump ability with peelout custom ability

Spoiler: old frames from original post

Last edited by Chrispy; 04-11-2018 at 08:42 AM. Reason: added newer frames to first post
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Old 03-19-2018   #2
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Hype! This'll go perfectly with the Saturn Sonic Md2!
(Will he have separate Super frames?)
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Old 03-19-2018   #3
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Originally Posted by GreenKnight9000 View Post
Hype! This'll go perfectly with the Saturn Sonic Md2!
(Will he have separate Super frames?)
Yes, they'll look like his super in Sonic R with the stretched up-facing spikes
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Old 03-19-2018   #4
Zwip-Zwap Zapony
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I feel like the shading of the belly looks a bit odd in those sprites; You have a darker shade in the lower middle of the belly, but you have a medium shade around the darker shade. The medium shade even creeps its way under part of the darker shade, which looks very wrong to me.

As for the walking animations, it looks odd to me that the darker shade of the belly gets an extra pixel of dark-shade-ness in the upper corners for one frame or so each out of the eight(?) frames.

Speaking of the eight(?) frames of the walking animations... Being used to the level of polish of FSonic and Chuckles and such, it looks very odd to me when the legs/arms change every frame while the head/spikes only change every other(?) frame.

Another thing I don't really like is that the shoe "ribbons" seem pink rather than white (which it does because you're using red to shade the ribbons rather than grey, unlike the gloves/shoe "cuffs").

If I have to be a little extra nitpicky, I'd say that I also find it weird and odd-looking that Sonic's pupils seem to have a different shape in the death sprite (looking more like one side of a circle as opposed to the rectangle/pillar/line in the other sprites), and the bright spot on his nose seems to constantly change between being 2 and 1 pixels wide in his walking animation, and his belly is slightly differently shaded in his death sprite compared to his other sprites.

Though the biggest nitpick I have is probably that in the walking animation seen from behind, there's basically like a 2x2 pixel square on the middle head spike that mostly just stays in place (and bobs a little up and down). It's a little distracting to me (due to the way it seems to stay in place while the rest of the head tilts a bit to the sides), but I don't really know how you could avoid that with the style you're going for.
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Old 03-19-2018   #5
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The angle on the diagonal back sprites for the standing pose looks a little too biased towards the side? It doesn't really seem like it's the halfway inbetween the side and back angles, especially with the width of the spines being the same in the diagonal and side sprites.

That's my only major gripe. Other than that I'm super happy to see my favorite Sonic design ever in sprite form. Godspeed, Chrispy!
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Old 03-19-2018   #6
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When shading in pixel art using base-shadow-dark shading at every instance causes banding, so sometimes you have to use shadow-base-dark to show depth. this causes the belly to appear more rounded. The round shadow also serves to convince the brain that what it's seeing is spherical.

It makes sense that these sprites would appear less polished than those finished, complete wads because this is still a work in progress. This walk animation still has as many unique head frames as those sprites. it just moves differently from how they do. FSonic's head only rests in the middle for one frame, where my sonic does for two frames.
I intend on redoing the walk heads to be looking downward more, so the front and back frame's heads will soon change. When I do that I'll try it with the one frame middle and see how it looks.

also, when the shoe ribbons had gray shading they blended into the socks and clashed with the red on the shoes.

Here's a more polished version of the standing frame. Everything should rotate smoothly now.

Last edited by Chrispy; 03-20-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 03-20-2018   #7
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I've said this on the Discord but I love this style a lot. It's really, really clean, unlike even the best character sprites in SRB2. You limit the number of shades used to juuust what you need, so it's a lot more accommodating for the scope of 200 frames than the endless anti-alias hell we're all used to by this point.

It reminds me of fighting game sprites (ANOTHER game which has absolutely tons of frames per character), as it has a lot more focus on the line art and animation, rather than making the sprite muddy from working in all 16 shades of green.
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Old 03-20-2018   #8
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Thank you Salt, I appreciate your feedback!

Here's an update front walk animation, with the head angled more downward to give it a distinct look from the standing head sprite.
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Old 03-20-2018   #9
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Heeeee's baaaaaack! I like what I'm seeing here, it's so clean and crisp. (No pun intended, if there is one.) My only problem with it is the waiting sprites, it looks like Sonic's head is slightly moving, but the eyes look like it's staying in the same area. It bothers me.
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Old 03-20-2018   #10
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I especially love the side, back-diagonal, and back frames. Those spikes look beautiful. As TehRealSalt has already said, that clean look is absolutely gorgeous. I love the shading too. It reminds me a bit of Sonic 1 style, which is actually my favorite sprite style.

My only comment would be for Sonic's idle frame, when we are looking at his front left side (diagonal sprite), it might be good to make his belly look just a smidge tighter. I realize that might be difficult given how drastic a change one pixel width can make...
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Old 03-20-2018   #11
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While we're talking about the idle frames, here's the most recent version of those frames.

The eyes being locked looks strange in the rotation gif but feel better in-game. with the slower animation, trust me. When I add pupil movement it looks less like he's looking at the viewer and more like his line of sight just happens to intersect with the camera.
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Old 03-20-2018   #12
Tonic ze Hedgefox
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A clear improvement over your previous work, but there's still some errors that make this not in tune with the Sonic Robo Blast 2 character style:

- In the walking animation, there's only three rotations of the head while the body is moving smoothly which looks a bit stilted. That can easily be improved upon. The eyes also don't move with the rotation of the head.
- The walking animation also has a moving shine which puzzles me. You should really be thinking about where light is coming from in your sprites.
- There doesn't seem to be much depth in your spritework either. This is mostly choked up to a lack of shading (when a hand goes behind the body, the stripe on the shoe, etc) and no anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing is a key component in SRB2's style and without it your sprite looks off putting to the rest of the game. Tl;dr, use more colours to make more depth.
- Choppiness and inconsistencies between waiting frames.

Hope you take this to help you advance your spritework!

EDIT: Noticed other things too!

- The change from A4/A6 to A5 is too drastic. You should probably intune A4/A6.
- Adding to the "eye rotate" point, Sonic's vision shouldn't be focused on the camera but where he's heading. It's walking 101.
- Look at how FSonic (and Smiles, by extension) have smooth shading with several shades of one colour to represent depth. Using sources is a great way to make your sprite look top quality.
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Last edited by Tonic ze Hedgefox; 03-20-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-20-2018   #13
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Originally Posted by Chrispy View Post
as well as suggestions to make this character play uniquely from your average SRB2 character. Currently the plan is double jump ability with peelout custom ability
Why not give him the Drop Dash? New Sonic wad with the new Sonic ability, it's perfect. Though it'd have to be a custom Drop Dash script because the ones already released don't seem to keep Mania's improved spin-jump control (even the ones released after Mania).
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Old 03-20-2018   #14
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This is in no way meant to emulate srb2's shading style. Just because srb2 has 16 shades of green doesn't mean I have to use all of them, the minimal use of shades increases readability, creates an easier work environment, and shows me to focus on on the form. The depth in these are representation more by motion than shading, visible in the size change of the hands and feet in the walk animation. And @Tonic the walk animations' eyes happen to align with the camera, he is looking forward and will continue to on the other rotations
Goldenhog, that's actually a pretty good idea. I'll consider it when it comes time to look into the scripting for the wad
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Old 03-20-2018   #15
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These are SUPER cool. I love the emphasis on clean, defined shapes with simple shading compared to the (albeit still gorgeous, just in a different way) massively-detailed-in-shading base SRB2 art style. In particular with these sprites, I like your use of Saturn-era Sonic models for inspiration and styling, cause it's resulting in a Sonic with a lot of exaggerated character, especially expressions-wise!

The only crit I have right now is to stay consistent with the use of shaded outlines and the limited use of selective outlining; the head on the new walking animation contrasts heavily with the other sprites not because of the new angle, but because the head is suddenly outlined with the same darkest shade of green all around, giving it a heavier and more separated look. Oh, and the gloves on the walking animation seem a bit off, because they stay as "perfect" circles the whole time, whereas they have varied shapes in other poses. This isn't really a criticism of the simplification of their shapes, since you're using Saturn-era Sonic as a basis, but more a comment that you can vary their shape up from frame-to-frame and still maintain that blocky or simplistic feel.

If all that's just because it's a work-in-progress, then never mind! Looking forward to seeing more!!
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Old 03-21-2018   #16
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After many tweaks to just about everything in the sprite, these are the final standing frames that I'm going to be working from. I still need to add the tweaks/polish to the other frames, but this is the general look that everything else is going to go for.

Last edited by Chrispy; 03-21-2018 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 03-21-2018   #17
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I was a little skeptical of this project at first, but I respect your decision to make something different from what the rest of the community deems standard, and I'm also very glad you took some of the Discord criticisms to heart. They definitely look a lot nicer now. I love the new contrast, and the way that the lighting shifts in that rotation gif! It's cool to see someone come back to us after so long and immediately start creating content again.
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Old 03-25-2018   #18
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This is a really neat idea! It's funny, because I was just watching a video that was talking about classic Sonic's design -- in particular, it mentioned how the Toie model in the Sonic CD animation differs from most of the other ones, especially in the spines, which are more erratic and not as flaccid as classic Sonic's "official" design on the spikes.

It's really interesting to me however how the Toie model's spines bias toward one side of the screen, and I'm curious if you had considered adding a similar stylization to some of your sprites -- or perhaps if you tried it and couldn't get it to work. Because the one problem I'm seeing right now is that some of your frontal sprites have Sonic's head looking a little bit starfish-y, and I imagine that could be fixed by manipulating the perspective of the spines a little bit.

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Last edited by CobaltBW; 03-25-2018 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 03-25-2018   #19
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I actually haven't tried it, I wanted to focus on keeping the form consistent across the rotations. I do love the Toei Sonic, but this design is more modeled after his Saturn models.
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Old 03-25-2018   #20
spike tf
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great, it looks very good. I see it much more adorable than any other sonic.
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