Finished this only one minute to midnight, but it’s been a long day. The theme for the day was Miner, and considering that I love fantasy dwarves and their antics, I thought it only proper to do something about the dwarves from the game Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress.
This time, I’ve got quite a few in-process shots, so I’ll just share them all with you.
First I did the rough sketch for the main animation work in the piece, the dwarf. As you can see, it’s really rough, but it’s supposed to be – it’s a sketch.
I then make the proper model and set it over the sketch, which is on a separate layer, with lower opacity to make it easier to tell which pixels are supposed to be there and which ones are temporary. Please note the lack of a helmet. Don’t do this at home.
Helmet is added, and also a slight tippy toe on impact with the ore, so that it shows that there’s some oomph behind that hit.
Finish up the sprite, and add small details, like the moving moustache and tabard by mistake.
Add some more small details and refine the animation, adding a little bit of torso movement while getting the pick overhead, some beard movement (it’s a dwarf, that much was a given). Sparks on impact (they’re there but hard to see), and dirt while dragging the pick back.
Final touch on the animation – a little bit of smear to denote the speed with which the pick is moving. This is the first time I’ve tried this effect, and I think it looks rather fancy. I’ll need a lot more practice to make it actually look good consistently. The dwarf also still looks rather stiff.
And this is the final product. A little bit of a hastily done background, a T-Rex skull, a couple of stalactites that shouldn’t really be there, some adamantine for the dwarf to dig greedily and deeply, as well as the danger involved in digging for such precious metals (and the reason he keeps peeking behind). Also the water droplet, I love how well that turned out.
This is actually my first ever character animation, and it was very fun to work on – I’m looking forward to doing some more of them.
EDIT: wzl, who has been doing pixel art for quite a while longer than I have, has been kind enough to do an edit on my dwarf animation. So as a comparison between a beginner (me) and someone with lots of hours of practice under his belt, here’s his edit:
Quite a difference, don’t you agree? Click his name and it’ll take you to his Picarto stream where he pushes pixels rather nicely.