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Archive for November 2017

The last background art for Morinaga Clinic is finally completed! After four or five interiors, I can say I became pretty fast in using SketchUp and Kerkythea, since this last piece only took me 4-5 hours total. Compared to my early works, walls are even straighter and there's more order in the 3D file. Since I'm a solo dev, such progresses are really reassuring, eheh.
This time, said background is a simple corridor:

Click to enlarge
Since assets like this one doesn't require much time, I guess I can spoil the game from time to time and provide extra backgrounds for the direction's sake. Creating extra art is not exactly my policy, but as it happened for this background, which is useful for narrative flow purposes only but not strictly necessary, I can indulge a bit on this aspect. (I've planned a tutorial for SketchUp and Kerkythea, since I had some requests, but I think it needs to wait a few months...)

Items for the scene are finished as well. I want to make the game really "visual", so whenever characters get fancy about something physical - it could be a notebook or a pet, for example - I plan to create small art to show that on screen as well. For this scene, I only needed to prepare simple art, which you will see in the demo.

This past week, I also begun an art series called "Chara With Flowers", that's a series of headshots of Serenade characters surrounded by a flower which represent them. (I also plan to draw some of them with small animals instead of flowers.) I started with Kairi, whose flower is the lily. (Don't check for the main meaning of the flower, sadly, I can't yet explain the reason behind this association ^ ^"). Please, check the Gallery section for more Serenade artworks, and the Character section for further info about Kairi : ). Next one will be Fujisa. The flower I'm going to paint for her is simple to anticipate, since her name means "wisteria" : >.

Click to enlarge

Next week (27-3) I'm going to work on the coding for the scene at the clinic. So, I'm going to use the rest of the current day to get the sprites in png files and such things. Completed the coding, I'm going to send the scene to my part-time "partner in crime" and have an early opinion from an external point of view.

Before concluding this post, I want to make a small announcement. A trailer for Serenade is currently under production : ). The script is done, I only need some extra art to put it together, but I plan to have it ready way before the release of the demo. Said trailer is quite heavy in meaning for the production of the game, because it will contain... what the game is about! Eheh. After all, one thing I've never revealed so far, is the gameplay and the role of the player. Aside from the paranormal mystery to solve, there's way more to handle before that. Therefore, this trailer is going to unveil this part. I'll add further info in next entries. Thank you for reading so far, see you next week! : )

Morinaga Clinic

This I believe to be the last entry for what concerns Isahai's information. Since next week I'll move to background art and coding attempts : ) Though, Isahai's one will be the first scene of the second half of the demo I'll have ready, so expect to read more about him nevertheless : D

The two poses for the doctor are finally ready! I can't show you the second one yet, so I only provided a silhouette (Get ready, this will be a post full of mosaics...).

Click to enlarge

Secondly, I'd like to post about his office in Morinaga Clinic (森良クリニック), where the bottom wall quickly summarize his "main hobbies": his little daughter and Kairi's brain (the outlined MRI in the center). I hid one of the photos because I want it to have a bit of an impact, so I thought it was better to show that in the game : D.

Click to enlarge
Isahai is married and had his daugther (name still to be decided) nine months before his appearance in the story. He's deeply in love with her and prepared a collage on the wall of his office with her photos. Needless to say, that wall has quite the impact on every patient sitting in there for the first time. Before the kid's birth, it has probably been a boring white wall with some bulletin boards.

This is a summary of the photos I prepared to decorate it.
Click to enlarge
That's all. Next week (20-26) I'll be working on more assets for this scene, a new background and some "props". Thank you for reading, see you : >

Isahai's office

Recently I received a message from instagram user yangxixiah, who asked about canvas resolution for assets design and I decided to make a quick tutorial out of it. So, if you ever thought about painting sprites and backgrounds for your visual novel game but didn't want to mess up and create wrong sized assets, I'll try to make a post where you can gather information about it. ^ ^ I'll be honest, I know very few about it, so every comment correcting or completing my method is welcome. I'll just show what works for me.

What I use:

Game screen resolution: 1280x720 pixel.
Painting software: Paint Tool SAI.

PPI Resolution.

First of all, let's cover this issue. Generally, you would want your assets to be as big as possible to shrink and manage them as you wish. To achieve this, be sure to insert a high value of PPI resolution as well, when starting a new canvas. PPI means "pixel per inch" and it's the way you measure the density of details in your picture.

Now, what's the best value to write there? I usually go for 350 pixel. Honestly, I don't like to work with extremely huge files because I don't have time to paint them and they considerably slow my PC too. There may be people who work with 600 pixel, I prefer go for less. 

What's the difference in choosing one resolution rather than another, you may ask. Well, usually, your art program gives you a default dpi resolution of 72. That's the "web resolution". Usually pictures that are that low in PPI are also small in size and won't zoom in nicely. 
I converted my 350 PPI illustration into a 72 PPI one. The file got smaller in size and lost sharpness when I zoom in on the details.
When you turn a picture from a high resolution to a low one (for example, from 350 to 72) you get a smaller file in size and in weight. You can use this loss to get lighter files to share on the web, to say one.

Canvas Size.

Resolution alone is not what makes your art smooth to view. You may need to have larger canvas in size as well : ) Note that the larger your canvas, the more time it will take to be painted. Organize your work and method, depending on the amount of time you have to spend on it. 

These are the canvas sizes I use for each type of asset:

Background/CG art: 5200x2900

Character sprite (adult): 5700 in height. I use a 4 pixel brush for the lineart, and a 6 pixel one for the silhouette/outer lineart. 

Game screen resolution.

Since I'm creating a classical visual novel game which requires the player only to read and choose to advance in the story, I decided to save a lot of time by choosing a game screen resolution that isn't that big and doesn't necessarily work in full screen as fine (1280x720). This said, I think one should decide their game resolution and assets size depending on their own personal taste for the final result. A small game screen can provide entertainment at the same level of a larger one.


Sprite composition

Now, I'd like to cover how I compose sprite art into different poses : ) This is a simple change of pose I made for Doc. Isahai without drawing him again from scratch. I just changed the position and gesture of his right arm.

In order to do this, I simply made sure to draw arms and body (even clothes upon them) separately.

Therefore, my characters' arms will be displayed only when I check the folder for "arm 1" or the one for "arm 2". Otherwise, the sprite will lack the right arm part. 

For Doc. Isahai sprite I currently have 4 parts to assemble, and I drew them on separate layers.

Thank you for reading this basic tutorial, hope it can help : > I'll be back writing about Serenade progresses next Sunday.

If you please, follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts for further updates!

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As promised, Doc. Isahai's profile card is here : )

As already stated, Isahai is meant to be a secondary character, nevertheless I chose a bright pink color for him instead of marking him with the usual grey I use for side characters. I'm not sure if I'll change my mind about it. Moreover, there's already a character in the main cast that is marked with pink, so I'm still in the process of deciding. What I'm sure of, is that pink suits Isahai quite well lol.

Time take a glance at his profile card, then.

  • Some curiosity about his name. Haruto has the Japanese kanji for "spring season", while his surname contains the kanji for "liquor".
  • He's 33 and he had his daughter nine month before the beginning of the story. According to astrology, Aries signs are playful and always looking for something exciting, and so he is! He's the first character with 0 type blood I've shown so far.
  • About his physical appearance, he's two centimeters smaller than Kairi in height. From the picture I drew, you can see he's not very slender, I'd say quite normal.
  • As you can read by his catch phrase, my aim is to make him contribute to the comedy in the game ^ ^".
  • Another early trivia: Kairi got some kind of jealous when he learnt Isahai was going to have a kid and when he noticed that Isahai's attention was slowly driving off him for same reason. Count that Isahai, as the brain nerd he is, kind of fell in love with Kairi's case, so his change of attitude was quite the shock for Kairi.

And that's all for the doctor introduction : ) I want to complete his scene first, so for the upcoming week (6-12) I'm going to work on the assets I need for it and start the background art. 

Before leaving, I want to announce that the Download section is now open and you can get the Halloween desktop wallpaper featuring vampire Kairi. The same illustration is up in the Gallery section as well. See you next week! : >

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