Digital Graphics Essay


Digital Images


Unknown

(Concept for “Zaken.”)

Concept art is used for a number of  medias and is usually a reference, pre-production design for an item, environment or character that has yet to be created, or a preliminary sketch (for illustrators) to show clients.

X-Window-System

(Windows System Interface.)

GUI or “Graphical User Interface” is software that – through graphical icons – makes programs easier to use by sparing users from having to learn command language. For example a basic component on a Macintosh is the desktop, which is the place on the display screen where icons will be, as it is meant to be representative of a real objects in real life.

piamulholland.wordpress.com

(Varius stages of Resolution and its defining Pixels.)

Pixels (Picture Elements) and Resolution have a lot to do with one another. Pixels (are tiny – or in some cases – large) dots that are the very image itself, though on a good quality picture thousands of colours will come together to smooth out the edges and give it a flawless appearance.

Resolution (often recognised through its properties with height and width,) is basically the size of the pixels which is measured in PPI; “Pixels Per Inch.”

signalizenj.wordpress.com

(Vector and Bitmap.)

Bitmap and Vector are both types of images however the quality of the two vary.

www.glogster.com

(Bitmap Image.)

A Bitmap image is really made through a collection of dots so when an image is scanned, that is what it is converted to (most commonly JPEG and GIFs.) Due to this however, when the image is enlarged the dots stretch also, which makes the picture blurred.

en.wikipedia.org

(Vector Image.)

A Vector image is defined by maths, not pixels as it is a mass of connected lines and curves. This allows for resizing without the lose of resolution.

www.library.cornell.edu

(Varying Quality With Compression.)

Compression in imagery is when the file size is reduced. Graphics often have to be compressed to allow a program to load or run quickly, or at a reasonable time: if the image gets too large then the program can crash or errors can occur.

Compressing images also has its disadvantages if done with the wrong file type, such as the JPEG which loses resolution and GIF which loses colour. PNG is spared due to a “lossless” algorithm, but this defeats the purpose of compression because the file size is massive.


Photorealism


www.forbes.com

(Battlefield 4 Poster.)

Photorealism is a computer generated art style that is meant to be indistinguishable from real life, or photo reference; helping it to make images created more immersive.

nerdreactor.com

(Until Drawn 2014 Poster.)

Until Dawn™_20150822014404

(Unit Drawn Gameplay.)

“Until Dawn” (UD) is a cinematic horror game which is completely interactive with the player with Real Time Renders. With a dark colour palette and sinister music, the game revolving around “choice,” adds a whole new side of suspense as it acts to make the player more involved and feeling responsible for the character’s survival, despite the game being in a third-person perspective.

UD being Photorealist was a good choice as it aided to make the experience all the more real, and whats happening to the characters more terrifying. For that reason Pixel Art would be unable to capture the player’s imagination and while Cel-Shaded could have worked, it might have dulled player response to what was happening on screen.


Cel-Shaded


gematsu.com

(Tales of Vesperia Gameplay.)

Cel-Shaded while similar to Photorealism is more stylised, with it integrating into both cartoons and anime making the platform more accessible to a younger age range. While cel-shaded can be hand-drawn a lot of the effects that will be applied will be 3D graphics, which will further flatten the image.

grant.heaslip.me

(Fire Emblem: Awakening 2013 Poster.)

 918thefan.com www.nettosgameroom.com

(Fire Emblem: Awakening Gameplay.)

“Fire Emblem: Awakening” (FEA) is a tactical turn-base RPG series and is known for its Cel-Shaded design however what is interesting is that there is integrated art styles for different aspects of the game: cutscenes are cinematic with it being overall Cel-shaded. On the bottom screen in Gameplay the grid and character spites are pixel art, with the top screen displaying 3D models and environments, with 2D character popups when someone talks.

I believe that it has been made this way to make FEA more emotive; gamers will be able to easily recognise main protagonists and anti-hero characters and become more attached, which is critical in a game where there is Permadeath.

For this reason, (and the art style being a stable of the Fire Emblem series’) I do not believe – that while Fire Emblem could convert to Pixel Art, or even photorealism – that it would work as well due to how many characters there are to control, or fight against and how important that those characters are liked to the game’s success in its entirety.


Abstract


hexdimension.com

(Thomas Was Alone Gameplay.)

Abstract is based off of impressions or feelings and the style is often used in puzzle games, due to how real world objects are represented by limited shapes, colours and textures. It is usually very simplistic and was commonly used in early console games due to the hardware limitations of the time.

www.original-gamer.com

(Limbo 2010 Poster.)

www.geeksundergrace.com

(Limbo Gameplay.)

LIMBO is a puzzle-platform 2D Sidescroller game. The premise of the game is (the player) guiding the protagonist through the challenges of the monochrome environments, though the no-named boy can, and will die, while the player tries to figure out the puzzle.

With no colour, film grain effects and no real music, it all comes together to merge into a very eerie atmosphere despite the character being somewhat cute in design. Mentioning that, LIMBO does have somewhat of a plot with the boy looking for his elder sister so for arguments sake, it could be made into a Cel-Shaded game, or even a pixel game might do well. However for this game to keep its dark, menacing and almost ominous feel with how LIMBO ended, Abstract was the right style for the game.


Pixel Art


indiegamemag.com

(Life of Pixel Gameplay.)

Pixel Art is often seen as old-fashioned with the graphics todays’ hardware can render and support however all games. Pixel Art is now deliberately created out of many individual pixels in order to create environments, characters and obstacles.

www.youtube.com

(TowerFall 2013 Logo.)

www.polygon.com

(TowerFall GamePlay.)

“TowerFall” is multiplayer, Battle Royale type of game where character are defeated through archery and head stomps. The game will continue until all but one is standing.

The game was meant to be made as a throwback with its Pixel Art graphics style, however there are a lot of features included that would have been difficult to create if it had been a typical era game. Such as “Power ups,” other moving targets, various environments and quite an expensive colour palette for its art style.

As similar to games like “Super Smash Bros.” as it is, I can actually see TowerFall’s in a Cel-Shaded style however I think it would take the charm out the game, and don’t believe (with TowerFall’s being an indie game) that the cost of developing it into another graphic style could happen.


References:

Digital Images

Concept Art

GUI Image

PPI Image

Vector and Bitmap Image

Bitmap Image

Vector Image

Compression Image

photorealism

Battlefield 4 Image

Until Dawn Poster

Until Dawn Screenshot

Cel-shaded

Tales of Vesperia Image

Abstract

Thomas Was Alone

LIMBO Poster

LIMBO Screenshot

Pixel art

Life of Pixel

TowerFall Logo/ Screenshot

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