Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TIAM: Work smarter, not harder

Hello again internet!  How many of you who said they'd play along with me are still doing it?  Please, tell me all about your progress in the comments.  We'll keep each other motivated 'till the end!

I made a whole lot of trees, some other plant types, more pumpkins (3 just wasn't enough), fixed up the garden tiles I started yesterday and started on a few of the sprites.  I'm still deeply missing the presence of a good orange and I realized I don't have a base to make the sprites from.  I asked Despain for one, but if that doesn't work I'm just going to have to skip making characters for this pack.  I'll fill in the gap with something else, icons or battlers or something.  It wasn't as much as I wanted to get done, but not bad at all considering how sick I've been feeling today.  I'm glad I built in a little leeway into my plans, but it worries me to be needing it so soon.

Today was all about doing things once and then modifying them into lots of different things.   Copying, transforming, recoloring, whatever got the job done fastest.  They're important tools to use when making tilesets, not using them at all makes things take far too long and doesn't really improve quality.  Of course, when doing those sorts of things it's important to always touch up afterword.  The copied and transformed things really just serve as a base, a way to get to the same place faster than if it was made from scratch.  It's also important to be aware when starting from a copy is going to make things look stale.  Despain used a lot of these techniques when making the original set, as well as things like bilateral symmetry.  Using them in this set helps keep it feeling like part of the same thing.

The way I understand it there's a different mindset between commercial and fine art.  With fine art it's more about the journey than the end result.  With commercial, the journey doesn't matter so much as long as you get the right result in the end.

Working on tilesets is a commercial endeavor.  It's easy as artists to get caught up in perfection and tweak things endlessly, but the customer often is more interested in quantity than they are quality.  Neither is actually better than the other, but in commercial, that quantity should be the focus.  The nice thing is, those two things aren't mutually exclusive, you can work fast and still get high quality.  It's just a matter of balancing things so that the efforts to make something high quality doesn't take too long.

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