Question about pixel shading.

thatonenala

  • Posts: 3
Hello, I have a small question about what's generally acceptable in regards to pixel shading.

According to what I have read, "pillow shading" is defined as shading that assumes there's a light source between the object and the reader. However, I'm drawing for a top-down game, and therefore, I am tempted to assume that the light source is above the object. In other words... between the viewer and the object, though off by a few degrees for the sake of variety and volume.

I've taken several art courses and plan to pursue art, so I do know how to shade properly. I've also seen the horrors of pillow shading and know that you're not supposed to do it. However, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to handle the lighting without making it anywhere near the viewer.

TL;DR:

1- Is something automatically pillow shaded if the light source near the viewer?
2- Are there any alternate light sources one should consider using for a top-down game?

Stipipoy

  • Posts: 33
Hello, I'm no graphic artist but i hope this will help you. Click here.
Stephen
Send me an email.

Blob

  • *
  • Posts: 722
Even if it's realistically plausible for pillow-shading to make sense in a scene, you should avoid it whenever possible because it will almost always look worse than the alternatives. On a bigger pixel art piece pillow-shading can get away with not look bad, but an angled light-source is always more tasteful, and with smaller sprites pillow-shading inevitably leads to banding, or something very close.

On a top-down shooter you should still angle your light-source. If you're having the engine automatically rotate your sprites for you then it won't look realistic because the light source will constantly change with any rotated sprites, so you can either accept that unrealism or make separate sprites for every angle the actor might face, the latter being the superior option but requires more work. Both options are better than going with pillow-shading.

thatonenala

  • Posts: 3
Even if it's realistically plausible for pillow-shading to make sense in a scene, you should avoid it whenever possible because it will almost always look worse than the alternatives. On a bigger pixel art piece pillow-shading can get away with not look bad, but an angled light-source is always more tasteful, and with smaller sprites pillow-shading inevitably leads to banding, or something very close.

On a top-down shooter you should still angle your light-source. If you're having the engine automatically rotate your sprites for you then it won't look realistic because the light source will constantly change with any rotated sprites, so you can either accept that unrealism or make separate sprites for every angle the actor might face, the latter being the superior option but requires more work. Both options are better than going with pillow-shading.
I'm not having anything automatically rotated. The player character will always be facing a certain direction, and I'm not "flipping" and forgetting to re-shade objects, so those aren't problems.

But thank you for clearing that up for me. I'm much more used to working with large-scale images, so I I'm still trying to learn what the limitations and implications of certain techniques are.

/bookmarks everything else on the linked page for reference. Thank you very much.