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  1. It is absolutely okay to ask these questions, Gio. A perfect normal map based only on a sprite is not really possible. With the one-directional shading, I was referring to sprites that have a great contrast, like a very dark shading on the left and a lot brighter on the right. Sprites like that won't look as good as evenly shaded sprites in a shader. When looking at the Sprite DLight title art, you can see that the pumpkin head is a lot brighter on the left than on the right. This didn't harm the normal map too much, but when using both together in a shader, the light on the left side still turns out brighter, as you pointed out. Using completely flat sprites, filled with solid colors, is possible. Dark areas sometimes turn out a bit odd in the normal map, but this can easily be fixed by using a modified version of the sprite (just fill the flat areas with a different color), like I did for the skeletal animation example in the video: For this example, I simply made a grayscale image with the eyes, hair and eyebrows slightly brighter than the skin, and the belt and the shoulder pad a bit brighter than the suit, which I used as the input image to generate the normal map. Using this technique requires you to play a little with the settings (particularly the volume boost helps a lot here) to make it look the way you want it to, but it is no big deal.
  2. For the diffuse map, you would just use the original sprite in most cases. Removing the shading of the sprite (by using a neutral brightness and/or saturation) is something I experimented with, but this leads to poor results, as there is no way to guess the pure color. I have used the original sprite as the diffuse map for all the examples I have shown, and it usually turns out well enough. Still, if your art has a heavy one-directional shading to it, the results won't be as good as they are with evenly shaded sprites.
  3. The clock is ticking: 24 hours left to grab the tool at the Kickstarter backer price and to jump in for the beta. "Skull Plant", ©2013 Kevin Chaloux, normal map and dynamic lighting preview of Sprite DLight
  4. Hi there, I am currently developing Sprite DLight - a tool that generates normal maps for 2D sprites, only by processing existing sprites. This way, you could create a game featuring dynamic lighting on pixel art characters and objects or other 2D art, simply by processing the existing game art and using the normal maps in combination with a shader. A lot of people seem to be interested in that technique and I would like to establish some kind of knowledge base, containing links and information on how dynamic lighting with normal maps can be integrated with various game engines. I have been asked by a backer about how things would work for HTML5 game development, and as I have no experience in that field, I would like to ask you guys for some advice. A quick overview of what Sprite DLight does: An example of an animated sprite sheet with dynamic lighting applied, directly recorded from the tool: "Selen Run Animation", ©2014 Lunar Ray Games, animated dynamic lighting preview of the sprite sheet in Sprite DLight Multiple sprites, consistently re-rendered for different environments, based on the normal map (targeted to engines that do not support shaders): "Super Aged Warriors Alpha 2 HD Turbo Special", ©2014 AlbertoV (DYA Games), re-rendered for different environments with the normal map and lighting of Sprite DLight I have already used the forum search and found some interesting threads like this one:, but it would be nice to have some basic information or tutorials. Sprite DLight is currently on Kickstarter, the campaign will end in 24 hours, so those interested in pre-ordering the tool at the Kickstarter backer price have one day to jump in and to participate in the beta. All stretch goals are reached, the project is more than 650% funded. Sprite DLight is also on Steam Greenlight, every Yes vote is highly appreciated. I would love to get in touch with experienced developers of this forum to see if / how a quick and easy integration is possible for HTML5 game developers.
  5. After I received a lot of feedback from people who liked the art, but didn't want to share it with others, I have updated the project and this thread with the amazing new features of InDee Toons: For everybody who does not want to use stock characters that can be used by other people, you can now freely customize InDee Toons. With the custom head generator and the source files for Spine, you can now create billions of unique characters out of one toon. Even the clothes can be exchanged between different toons. See how this sexy female sheriff toon gets dressed up:
  6. Dear fellow game developers, My name is Dennis and I am running a Kickstarter for a stock of customizable animated 2D game characters, named InDee Toons. The characters can be dressed like a paper doll. Creating your own unique animated game characters with InDee Toons doesn't require any artistic skills and is a lot of fun. One toon contains: - pre-rendered sprites - the skeleton and animation data in Spine format - the body parts as images that can be exchanged between the toons - a custom head generator (another Spine file), allowing you to create an individual head from a selection of parts Here's a small preview clip to show you how one InDee Toon brings you countless different characters: More information, videos and pictures can be found on the Kickstarter page: Any feedback and support is highly appreciated. Follow InDee Toons on Twitter: @2DeeGameArt