Pixelicious GFX Pack: Now Available

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Pixelicious GFX Pack: Now Available

Postby Hans_Lemurson » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:52 am

Graphics Pack NOW AVAILABLE!!! :shock: :o :D
Yeah, I finally finished it and I'm tired. Tomorrow I'll make a dedicated thread for it, but for now, I'll just give you all a nice happy linky-link.

http://db.tt/RgMxt3Gd <--There it is! (updated April 20th)

Extract it in your "[usename]/Salem" folder provided by Ender's client, and then run it and you're off to pixeltopia. Yayyyy pixels!

...Wait, if I love pixels so much, then why did I just spend a week eliminating 90% of them? :?
Anyways I'm tired and my work here is done.

Old post below:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This past week I've been working on making a graphics set of my own to satisfy the needs of my poor laptop's integrated graphics card.

My goal has been to balance two conflicting factors:
-High performance
-Still looks good

Looking through Salem's unpacked resource files, I am continually appalled by the ludicrously high resolutions being applied to the most trivial of objects. Default terrain textures are 128x128 pixels, which is really quite a lot of pixels when you sit down to think about it.
128x: Allows for wonderfully smooth and detailed biome boundaries. Sooo pretty!
64x: Indistinguishable except when zoomed in
32x: Looks a tad pixelated, but few noticeable distortions
16x: Pixels are obvious, but the overall character of a texture is preserved
8x: Many textures lose important details, and things look blurry overall. This is where I'm at!
4x: Why are you even bothering?
2x: You call this a texture? I've got a word for it...
1x: Pure Minimalism.

Between 16x and 8x is the "**** Threshold", and 8x8 is where I decided to do my work. This requires an artistic tightrope walk which is rather more difficult than just globally reducing texture resolutions, because you run into problems where the lines between features end up being as fat as the things they were supposed to delineate. If you aren't careful, a field of flowers becomes a greenish blur, wooden floors become an inconsistently stripey mess, and cobblestone is indistinguishable from gravel. (Other textures like "grass" are a piece of cake though.)

Making sure an 8x8 texture looks good and preserves the character of the original tile takes a lot of tweaking and testing, but I believe the overall results are favorable. Here is an example of a forested area that I've completed all of the terrain textures for:
Image
Maybe I've been staring at pixels too long and my sense of beauty has become distorted, but I don't think it looks half bad. :)
This is the intersection between Autumnal Woods (leaf.res) and Mixed Forest (fen.res) with a stream running through it (water.res).
Note: (The trees, stumps and rocks are from Chiprel's 32x graphics pack, and are not my work, and the cliffs look unchanged.)

As you can see, I have also included a grid pattern in the textures because the tiles DO have in-game effects and you need to be able to see them. At the same time, I felt that a black line would be a bit much given how few pixels I have to work with already. The grid-lines are on the Left and Top edges of the tile, and so the intersections are not perfectly correlated with the vertexes of the terrain, but I feel that this is acceptable given that you can only dig or place dirt if you have access to the tile to the SE of a vertex anyways. So although the grid intersections are off-center, they are off-center in a way which makes them more accurate. Wrap your head around that!

So yes, that is what I have been working on, for the benefit of all. I should be finished with the terrain-Tiles soon and then I can begin work on tweaking the terrain OBJECTS. Those have high resolutions and performance costs too, especially when illuminated by a torch or campfire...
Last edited by Hans_Lemurson on Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Low FPS? Love Pixels? Try my new graphics pack! It's Pixelicious. :)
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby Ornery » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:58 am

Nice work, keep it up. I'll be downloading it for sure when you finish
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby bmer » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:15 am

Do you finish faster if I whip you like I whip my computer?
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby Hans_Lemurson » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:13 am

Hmm...I'm currently stuck on how to reduce Cobblestone pavement.

The stones are distinct entities down to 16x, but at 8x it all turns into a blurry mess.

My current idea is to try to create a synthetic cobblestone tile not based directly from the default textures. This is a little bit more difficult and the result won't quite as pretty.

Alternately I could just deliver a blurry mess that looks vaguely cobblestone-like if you squint.

128x
Image

64x
Image

32x
Image

16x
Image

8x
...Aaaand this is where it turns to ****. :?
Image

So my dilemma is how do I make the 8x texture NOT look like ****. Ideas? :)
Low FPS? Love Pixels? Try my new graphics pack! It's Pixelicious. :)
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby qbradq » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:42 pm

Great work! I am so excited for this!

I'm not sure how you fix the cobble. I mainly do 8-bit stuff. All these color gradients are strange to me :D
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby iotuegli » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:58 pm

Hans_Lemurson wrote:Hmm...I'm currently stuck on how to reduce Cobblestone pavement.

The stones are distinct entities down to 16x, but at 8x it all turns into a blurry mess.

My current idea is to try to create a synthetic cobblestone tile not based directly from the default textures. This is a little bit more difficult and the result won't quite as pretty.

Alternately I could just deliver a blurry mess that looks vaguely cobblestone-like if you squint.

128x
Image

64x
Image

32x
Image

16x
Image

8x
...Aaaand this is where it turns to ****. :?
Image

So my dilemma is how do I make the 8x texture NOT look like ****. Ideas? :)



use strong contrast (<--i used google translate for that word) and grey+black (or light + dark grey) for the pieces... try watching minecraft texture pacs
i'm the one who run :|
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby Hans_Lemurson » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:29 pm

I tried increasing the contrast, but it didn't help much. Minecraft texture packs tend to be 16x16 anyways, so won't quite help here.

The problem fundamentally has to do with the symmetries available for each number.
With 8 pixels, you can do tiles that have 1, 2, or 4 elements in them.
With 16 pixels, you can do 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 8, which is a lot more flexibility.
If I ever do textures in some future project, I'm going to stick to a 16 pixel minimum.

I'm thinking that I'm simply going to have to use larger stones in the texture, either cutting out good looking 8x8 pieces from shrunken textures, or trying to "cobble" together something of my own. (pun intended)
Low FPS? Love Pixels? Try my new graphics pack! It's Pixelicious. :)
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby bmer » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:22 pm

Can we see the result of increasing contrast?
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby Hans_Lemurson » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:35 pm

Image Unaltered
Image More Contrast
Low FPS? Love Pixels? Try my new graphics pack! It's Pixelicious. :)
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Re: Pixelicious GFX Pack: Coming soon

Postby NinjaArabStrategist » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:48 pm

Those graphics are SUPER-AWESOME! I like them more than original Salem one's. I would love to use them =]

About cobblestone, why not create one from scratch?
I have totally no talent nor skill, not even artistic sense, so I'm able to make ugly **** like below, but you are certainly much better than me!
Image
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