Check out this awesome video from out Joss Whedon art show opening night, featuring our artists, Joss and Seth Green!
Super proud to be part of this exhibition. Lots of great art to check out.
The artwork for our Joss Whedon x G1988 art exhibit is now online and available for purchase!
Pixel Art - Process
To celebrate this picture being exhibited at Gallery 1988’s Joss Whedon art show, I thought it would be nice to post a process guide for how I do these types of pictures, should you be into that sort of thing.
First things first, setting up Photoshop. You need a really small canvas. This one is 320 x 200 pixels. Can’t remember why I picked that. I think it might be the original pixel ratio for an Amiga screen so it seemed right. Then zoom all the way in.
Using reference pics, I’ll do a simple layout and get an idea of how big or small the characters will be so I can change things. I use the pencil tool, not the brush one.
I’ll then start filling in the flat colours. I’m trying to find the neutral tones which I can shade or highlight later.
I build up all the colours in many many layers. I like to start at the back of the image and work forwards. I drew all the book cases before adding the books in a separate layer underneath, so I didn’t have to be so precise.
The way I shade is exactly the same way I do any photoshop illustration. I set up layers above my flat colours, right click on them and ‘Create clipping mask.’ I’ll them set them to ‘Multiply’ with around a 35% opacity and start shading with black. I’ll do this a few times to build up the right look.
The same goes for highlights, only I set the layer to ‘Overlay’ and colour with White.
Rinse and repeat with all the elements of the picture until I’m happy. I may then set up a ‘Colour’ layer over the whole thing and play around with washes at a low opacity to try and give the whole thing a bit more unity.
Adding the characters is often the most frustrating as there’s not an awful lot of pixels to play with. I’ll put in a flat colour behind them so I can see their outline more clearly.
And I shade them the same way as the background, using multiply and overlay layers.
The game options at the bottom were created in exactly the same way. I keep Monkey Island 2 on my iPad to hand to get the font characters right. This usually involves endlessly looking around Woodtick for items that contain the letter I’m looking for.
And that’s about it. When you’re finished, you can increase the image size to what ever you want, just make sure to select ‘Nearest neighbour, preserve hard edges’ from the drop down list. And a big tip is make sure you save a copy of the original before enlarging it, as once it has been increased in size, you can’t reduce it again to re-edit, without loosing the pixel effect. Any edits need to be done on the original small canvas.
So if you’re in L.A. you should definitely check out the exhibition. I’m just jealous I won’t get to go myself.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a LucasArts point and click adventure game
This was a lot of fun to do. Particularly in thinking about which scenes to draw and also realising just how suitable the Buffy stories are to this type of game. There are so many objects and puzzles to solve. It made me think it would be a good writing exercise to take your story and see if it would fit into this type of game. If it can’t then I suspect it’s probably lacking a little narrative propulsion.
There are many, many other scenes I could have chosen (I’d still like to do 70s Spike on the subway car) but I thought one for each season was nice.
Some I chose because I wanted to show a specific location. Some I chose based on a gag that I thought would be funny e.g. Cordelia’s spatula and Willow’s broken crayon.
Here’s each episode I used as reference:
Season 1 - Welcome to Hellmouth
Season 2 - Inca Mummy Girl
Season 3 - Homecoming
Season 4 - Hush
Season 5 - Triangle
Season 6 - Grave
Season 7 - Touched
I’m going to be at the Bristol comic expo this weekend selling some prints.