Author Archives: Stoo

Football sprites… I wondered I did…

Posted: February 8, 2016 at 11:15 am
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I was sitting on the sofa, as you do (or don’t if you have successfully mastered the art of levitation), when a thought crossed my mind. I pondered I did, I pondered again and this time the thought went a little something like this..”I wonder how many times  I’ve drawn football player sprites over the years?”

Hmmm I thought, followed quite closely by an ahhhh, swiftly with a thought of making a drink before I log off. (tea of course!)

The first thing I should clear up is that I didn’t work on the original Sensible Soccer, my old mate Jon Hare created the graphics for this back in the dark ages when the Amiga was the new kid on the block, although I did create the small 16 colour Sensible logo seen here which was used in the game. This itself was based on the rather splendid air brushed version we used to have on the office wall.

Jools’ hand actually writing Cannon Fodder! History in the making!
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Pinball game you say?!

Posted: May 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm
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Sometimes you’re offered a project that ticks all the boxes right away. Let’s go back to September 2012 when one such project fell in my lap.
The game was called Looksi Pinball and was intended to work with a hardware overlay for an iPad or iPhone to provide.

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International Amiga Day 2014

Posted: May 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm
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So it’s International Amiga day 2014!

I wasn’t going to post anything, but then I thought to myself, do you know what, a good chunk of my working life was spent in front of an Amiga computer of some sorts during most of the 1990s perhaps a few lines is deserving of a machine I still have fond memories of.

I started out with an Amiga A1000 which cost some silly amount but was so worth it as it had a piece of software on it called Dpaint. The grandfather of pixel art software and one I spent many years using creating the art for a lot of my earlier Amiga graphics.

I recall seeing the Amiga demos on display and it immediately showed the power this new machine possessed , it was back in the late 80’s light years ahead of the current computers of the time.  The most famous bouncing ball demo which later became an emblem of Amiga Inc. is one the better known examples but for me the one I remember most fondly was a demo that showed a funky looking street scene with robots walking about, imaginatively titled Robo City.

Over the years I’ve owned and worked on most of the Amiga models, which surprisingly I still own, though whether they still work or not is something I’ll have to find out in the future. The last machine I used was an A4000 and absolute wonder of a machine.
So  to mark the date I’ve knocked up a quick collage of some of my old Amiga art from back in the day.

Viva Amiga, you may be gone, but you will never ever be forgotten.

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1995 – some pixel texture art I did for Joe Blow

Posted: November 4, 2013 at 10:50 am
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Here’s some old pixel art I made in 1995. Only thing I’ve added to it is a scanline filter (after x2 scale) original image was 320 x 256 , drawn 1 pixel at a time. I’m such a sucker for hand drawn anti-aliasing!


Molotov Man Concept Sprite

Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:53 am
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Meet Molly, nickname for the main character from the unreleased unfinished and unsigned game called Molotov Man developer to work on the Super Nintendo.


Ye olde strong man illustration

Posted: March 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm
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Another one of my Indie Royale illustrations has recently hit the IR website and this time it’s for the upcoming “Mighty Bundle” which of course I cannot say anything about until it goes live when all will be revealed!

It’s funny when you create artwork as you can sometimes go through a couple of rough sketches, maybe try a few ideas out, but this one had none of that. I mean what’s to do when ‘old fashioned strong man lifting weights’ is requested? All I needed was a nice cuppa tea and off I went a doodling…

As with most of my recent work it was sketched, inked and painted in MyPaint and then cropped for export using GIMP.

I do so enjoy using quality Open Source software.


Zombie Boy Doodle

Posted: March 1, 2013 at 11:23 am
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Funny what a doodle in MyPaint can turn in to isn’t it? Take this one I did yesterday. I’ve called him “Ronnie Stump Sticks”, a zombie boy with out any hands, poor thing.


Not having any hands doesn’t stop him from getting on with the afterlife. Oh no, he’s quite a resourceful boy and uses all sorts of things in their place, you know the typical every day items like, spoons, forks, drum sticks, celery(Apium graveolens dulce), ok maybe not celery but you get the idea.  Using such a wide variety of things does take its toll on his poor arms and as you can imagine it can get a bit messy as the blood just goes everywhere. Though I have to say it isn’t too noticeable when eating his favourite food, cream of tomato soup!

And on that rather small blog post of total nonsense I’m off to make a nice cup of tea.


Another Indie Royale illustration…

Posted: February 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm
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When asked to draw something pertaining to the subject of “Debut” for the upcoming Indie Royale bundle, you could say my creative brain had popped out for a scone and afternoon tea. Nope, no ideas forthcoming until Graeme (IndieRoyale bundle master) suggested a stage with curtains, and thus the image of an old theatre and it’s rather rouge stage dressing made it’s presence known in my mind! That’s it I thought and promptly scribbled down some ideas using my favourite digital painting application, MyPaint.(I sound like an anorak!)

Here’s the final result currently live on the Indie Royale site, though once this bundle goes live this link will of course be outdated!

If we look at my original rough below it doesn’t look quite like the finished one seen above..Here’s why…

I wanted the art to stand out more from the screen than this initial sketch and one quick trick is to use our old friend perspective. For the finished art I would need to draw some perspective lines for the wooden planks on the stage, so why not carry those lines out a little further and use them as a guide for not only the stage, but also the curtain tops too! Seen below you can just make out my blue guide lines which form the basis on which the planks were drawn.

By curving the front of the stage downward not only do we force the perspective out, we also draw the eye towards the centre as the whole stage takes on a bowed appearance. This is re-enforced once I added in the microphone stand. Although the vanishing point is masked behind the red curtain it is important enough to create just enough perspective in order to draw the eye in and complete the illusion of depth. Compare the original rough to the finished illustration and you can see this in full effect.


*Created on my ageing laptop using MyPaint 1.1, Gimp 2.8 and a Wacom tablet running under Linux Mint 14 KDE, which I have to say runs rings round my windows Vista desktop PC that I normally use.

ET is here and taking our cows!

Posted: February 14, 2013 at 11:14 am
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One of my recent projects was to design the artwork for a pinball game. The first table had the theme of Aliens and UFO’s. So not wasting any time I came up with these little chaps who fly about the Nevada desert looking for things to abduct with their dazzling tractor beam of light. OK it’s actually a blurred out line with an alpha blended gradient and all that other artistic malarkey, but you get the idea.

Initially I did a concept sketch , why break from the norm eh? After a quick scan into the computer I loaded the newly digitised drawing in to Inkscape where I recreated it using vector lines before colouring in using quite a few layers of fills and gradients, oh and the most important ingredient Tea!. The beauty of vector art is it can be exported to pretty much any resolution. This is  brilliant for those times in your life when when 6 months down the line you’re asked to do a HD+++ version for iPad Mega Retina 9 or the need arises to create a version in print.

As a test I took the art I’d created for the table  and produced a canvas print for my studio wall, the results were excellent.

To finish off here’s what the flying saucer looked like prior to me adding colour and shading.

 


Indie Royale Icons

Posted: February 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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Lettuce have a bit

I recently started working with the guys at Indie Royale, providing title art for each of their new games bundles.

My first piece of art was this rather hungry giant tortoise for their Evolved bundle.
The art style on the website had to be adhered to so my first job was to familiarise myself with the existing look and feel and create the new art in this style.


Penciltastic

To give you an idea of how the initial sketch differs from the finished artwork here’s the pencil sketch I did after I’d been given the design brief. I was later told it needed to be a giant tortoise, just as well as this one don’t ‘arf look a misery guts!

See the shells

As an after thought, the banner graphics for the website needed filling out so I also added some eggs too! The finished art also has a couple of babies hatching from the eggs, just to finish it off. As you do!!

For this job I used the most excellent MyPaint in conjunction with Gimp for the odd bit of cutting out and colourising.