Monday, 8 February 2016

Football sprites... I wondered I did...

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 have I 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!
No folks I only got involved with the soccer side of Sensible during the SWOS years and since then I've had one toe dipped in that pond ever since.

So without any further waffle here's a few soccer sprites I've drawn or fiddled about with over the years, some are Sensible, some are inspired and updated and some are just different.


First up I'd have to say was the conversion of the original Sensible Soccer sprites to the Genesis/Megadrive & Super Nintendo. I didn't need to do the actual sprites as the Amiga originals were used. I did however add some extra presentation for the console versions. Here's one of the big players that are displayed at the start of the match,  left is the Genesis version,  right is the later Jaguar version with more shades and overall a smoother look.
Working on the Atari Jaguar also meant we could colour up the sprites in more colours . As well as the kits we also had some smoother shadows and slightly more shading on the heads too. There's not a lot we could do in the tiny amount of space and without redrawing it entirley the conversion was more an enhancement than a direct no thrill port. It does in my opinion play as good as the Sega version it's just a shame the Jagaur game pad was a bit pants in comparison to the Sega.


I then did a special set of sprites for a (secret?) Sensible title but well known'ish Sega game called Sega World Championship Soccer II for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive. (read more here.. Sega World Championship Soccer 2



Fast forward a few years to Tower Studios which was like a mini Sensible in essence, and I once again converted the original sprites but this time to the small screens of the Nokia Series 40 and 60 mobile phones.
I then worked on a mobile game (Nokia S60) called 'Footy' which never really made it past the demo stage but showed promise  considering it was running on what is now rather archaic phone technology.

This was then followed by a new large version edition of the original sprites for the xbox 360 Sensible Soccer but redrawn and restyled to fit without eye strain on the HD screen of the 360.

Then out of the blue I was approached to do some designs for some footwear using "pixel" style footy players, which later become the Hobeka footy players seen on my T-Shirts designs.


So I guess the answer to my self posed question is quite a few there Stoo me ol'mucker!







Saturday, 31 May 2014

International Amiga Day 2014

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.
  

Monday, 4 November 2013

1995 - some pixel texture art I did for Joe Blow


 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! 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ye olde strong man illustration

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.  


Friday, 1 March 2013

Zombie Boy Doodle

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.







Monday, 25 February 2013

Another Indie Royale illustration...

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.




Thursday, 14 February 2013

ET is here and taking our cows!

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.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Indie Royale Icons

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! 



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.




Visit the Hobeka shop to buy some cool stuff... Pixeltastic!!!!


View more personalized gifts from Zazzle.