tl;dr: I did Octobit!
What is Octobit?
What did I make?
Here's a quick composite video I made showing all of my Octobit art:
Also, you can see each of the art pieces I made for Octobit on Twitter. Here's a convenient link:
I animated 18 of the 31 pieces! Geeze, that's too many!
I also made time-lapse videos!
My favorite pieces
- Big bug
- I really like this concept, and I think it ended-up working well in pixel art!
- The perspective animation on the big-bug rotation took me a couple tries to get right, but I think I learned a lot by doing it.
- Also, the little fireflies were a lot of fun to animate.
- Time's up
- I really liked drawing the hourglass.
- I was a little over-ambitious with the number of different parts in this animation, but I think it all turned out pretty well!
- I was really pleased with how well I was able to draw a muscley body like this.
- And I really enjoyed animating the demolition of the building.
- I really liked how the sand texture turned out.
- And I think my edge-shading makes everything on the castle look more rounded and more realistic.
- Perfect fit
- Maybe not the best overall piece, but I was not-at-all confident that I could draw a long-haired cat with pixels, and I think it worked-out well!
Crowd favorite pieces
I shared most of my pieces in a pixel-art group on Facebook, and that is definitely where my art got the most attention.
- Latte art
- Apparently, my latte art looks like male genitalia, and the Internet thinks that's hilarious.
- "looks really good! the shading is nice, and you even got the foam dissipating into the coffee! i won't point out what's already been pointed out a thousand times, though..."
- I think this animation really captures some characteristics of Roomba behavior, and I think people find their bumbling robot assistants endearing.
- "I JUST got a robot vacuum yesterday and have strongly bonded to him already. Funny to see this lol... I've named him Dinkleburg."
- Big bug
- I think people just really liked the unexpected twist on this.
- "I like big bugs and I cannot lie🐛"
My least favorite pieces
- I really didn't like this prompt, and I think I consequently didn't put much time into the piece.
- Delivery service
- I really don't like my clouds in this one.
- And I think the shading isn't good on the sack.
- Half human
- The shading isn't very good in this.
- And I think my overall half-human concept didn't work out well with the human torso rising out of the top of the pumpkin.
My favorite prompts
- Don't touch
- I think this was just a good overall prompt, that inspired creative ideas, and wasn't too limiting.
- Time's up
- Same as above—inspired creative ideas, and wasn't too limiting.
- It was fun drawing a nice beach scene, with a blue-sky horizon.
- And I think this let folks work on some architectural angles while still being forgiving when things aren't perfect—because sandcastles aren't perfect architecture anyway!
- I saw a lot of really great art from other folks for this prompt.
- I think the flat-shading that comes from this probably made decent-looking results more attainable for a lot of folks.
My least favorite prompts
- Walking guts
My favorite time-lapses
Did I learn / grow / improve? How?
- I am much more confident at shading and perspective.
- I developed lots of little animation skills.
- Like using better reference markers / guidelines to line up the in-between frames.
- And I got a lot of practice at zooming and panning the perspective.
- At many points during the month, I found myself thinking that I really liked a concept that I'd envisioned, but I had very little confidence in my ability to make it, or very little understanding about how to approach it. But I consistently felt that these resulted in my best pieces!
How would I like to improve next?
- I want to get better at faces!
- I plan on taking a digital portrait-drawing class on Udemy at some point.
- I may also try to find some good pixel-art-specific resources on portrait drawing.
- I would like to practice limiting my palette more (like to six colors or less).
- And maybe I would try to not spend 100% of my time on Octobit next time?
- Or maybe I would try to only do half the prompts.
- Or maybe I wouldn't animate quite so many of them!
Did I get what I wanted from it?
- The most important skill I've developed is to be more able to conceptualize my art ahead of time and to be able to understand how I'll need to approach creating it, how long it will take me, and where the difficulties will be. Because of this, I now feel much more confident in my ability to create most things.
Would I do it again?
- I am absolutely glad that I devoted the last month to this.
- I think that it has had an immense impact on my artistic abilities, and I think that this will definitely pay-off in my future game development.
- However, it took my whole month!
- I think that if I had forced myself to time-bound my art—so that I could split my time with my normal work—I would have essentially had time enough only to repeat the boilerplate mechanics of art-creation, and I wouldn't have had hardly any of the time I needed to really stretch my artistic abilities.
- I think that if I did Octobit again, I would probably get diminishing returns on my artistic growth. BUT, I'm still no expert, so there is still plenty of room for me to grow here!
What about the time-lapse videos?
- I'm not sure if these were worth creating.
- Mostly, I'm not sure if anyone is ever going to watch them!
- Recording them took no extra effort. I just needed to remember to position my Aseprite preview window and hit record ahead of time.
- But editing and uploading them later took a little extra time.
- I'm at least pretty happy with the skills I've developed with the video-production pipeline. That'll definitely be useful for something in the future!
The tools I used
- Aseprite: Pixel-art image editor.
- Krita: Digital painting (for initial mocks).
- Streamlabs OBS: Video steaming/recording (for time-lapses).
- DaVinci Resolve: Video editor (for time-lapses).