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Author Topic: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)  (Read 15607 times)

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Organic Jerk

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Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« on: February 16, 2007, 03:24:18 am »
Well after months of scattered work and a hectic schedule, I'm finally creating a coherent thread for the art direction of my cab..

My concept for the artwork revolves around the idea that the cabinet will look like it's own game, but the name has to be able to be abstractly used to mean "collection" in some way, shape, or form.  This way when first looked at it seems like it's own entity, and then as one understands that it's a collection the name still makes sense.  The logo and artwork should be strong enough to hold it's own without making the use of Mame, console emulators, or a PC apparent (that is unless you check the fine print, which there will be).

I want the logo and artwork to invoke the styles of both newer and older arcade games.  In the older sense I want the epic and grandiose nature of the logo, with a skilled use of art to portray personality and grab the consumer.  In the newer sense I want to give off a slick and modern feel that shows not only experience but evolution of concept, using sharper imagery and more colors than the older machines artwork had available. 

I noticed in alot of marquees and arcade logos in general that primary colors (blue, red, and yellow) are mostly used.  Now beyond the early obvious reasons of limited pallete, even in newer games I see alot of very strong primaries... so I based my initial colorset along those lines..

LOGO DESIGN:
------------------------------------------------
Here's an chronological look at the logo design thus far:

From the beginning to the current you can see the concept maturing... this is from me basically studying more and more source material (otherwise known as browsing and staring at more marquees)








This is the current logo design so far.  I would definitely like input and comments about where it's going and what your opinion is on where it should be headed.  As I said before, the color has a heavy base on primaries, but if you feel that the logo would be better suited in a different scheme, or you have a conceptual idea, feel free to throw it out there as I would love to know what you guys think..

« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 11:44:12 am by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault - Art Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 03:43:09 am »
GUI DESIGN (MALA):
------------------------------------------------
My thoughts on how the UI should look can be summed up in some choice phrases:  sleek, concise, modern, clean, well designed, simple, yet as informative as possible.  And all of the thoughts on art direction from above apply here.  The resolution of the actual screen is 640*480.  It used to be 800*600, but that was stupid of me and after confirming the actual working resolution of s-video from wikipedia to be 640, I changed it.

The MaLa layout/theme I created is influenced by the GameEx theme from the website, and I actually started from look of that theme, as can be seen.  The console pics I used are also directly taken from another great Frontend, "Maximus Arcade"...  if I ever released my layout, console pics would not be bundled with it..

With that here are some screens of how it looks so far:





Just like with everything else involved, I would love some input on what you like/hate about the layout, as well as any suggestions on design/color/fonts/anything...
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 11:44:34 am by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 01:02:10 pm »
The logo and GUI both look fantastic!
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 01:43:06 pm »
excellent work, very professional ! :cheers:

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2007, 10:59:46 am »
Very interesting to watch the logo develop! I really like it.

And I hope you know how long it's going to take to fully configure that gui to do all that stuff. ;)

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2007, 02:18:56 am »
Thanks for the kind words...

and Veinman... what stuff are you referring to?

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 02:04:52 am »
Looks awesome. A couple suggestions:

Make 'Pixel" in a slightly different color than "Assault". It may not even have to be as different as in WIP5, but maybe a purple or green.

Can you adjust the T's width a bit? The A is so much wider that it makes the whole thing look a bit unbalanced.

You also might experiment with colors in the background shape. Maybe a darker red or purple. It would definitely make the black of the 3-D lettering stand out more and even look more 3-D. The tricky part is balancing it out so it looks like an organized color scheme instead of just a rainbow of colors.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 05:53:12 am »
The tricky part is balancing it out so it looks like an organized color scheme instead of just a rainbow of colors.

That's EXACTLY my problem, lol..

You've also confirmed my suspicions about the T....


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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 09:13:32 am »
Here's kind of what I was talking about:

The T is a bit wonky, but you get the idea.

What program was this originally created in? Editing the letters within Illustrator should be really easy.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 05:59:11 am »
Rev. 1-4 was created in Photoshop
5 was Illustrator
6's new 3D text was done by importing my basic Illustrator logo into Xara3D, then overlayed to the BG shape in Photoshop
7 and beyond is Photoshop
I have yet to trace the new 3D text into a vector shape.


A new WIP Logo revision can be seen below.. opinions?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 06:12:00 am by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2007, 11:36:03 am »
Nice job...  I think you nailed the balance with the T.

But IMO, I think the 3D highlights on the L and the T are going in the wrong direction.  If the logo is supposed to be popping toward you, the highlights on those letters should be angled down and to the left.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2007, 06:15:27 pm »
eh... it still doesnt look like a coherent color scheme....


What 3d highlights are you referring to Dmod?  I'm not sure I understand..

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2007, 07:43:52 pm »
I'm referring to the bright blue sections to the right of the L and in the upper right of the T.  The perspective seems off.

They currently angle down and to the right.  I think they would look better angled down and to the center (left), so that Assault looks like it's projecting up and outward.

Right now, the perspective is what you would expect if you were positioned to the right of the logo.

Hope this helps explain it.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2007, 03:27:44 pm »
Very nice design.

One comment though for the Logo -- if you look at the bottom purple, underneath the "Assault" word, the purple changes for each letter.  Its not a smooth, gradient shift though -- its really distinct changes for each letter.  You can see it very clearly if you look at the black/gray/white version of the current logo. 



It looks like each of the various shades of gray were just changed to purple...but its kind  of jarring to the eye.  I'd shift to a smooth gradient shift



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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2007, 10:09:05 pm »
I'm referring to the bright blue sections to the right of the L and in the upper right of the T.  The perspective seems off...

ahh I see.. well those areas are actually an bevel that points inward, so their perspective should be correct...

I made an animation to help illustrate their relation to the sides and front..



The bevel is a lighter shade of green... when talking in perspective, the side on Assault points outward because of it's location and angle, but the bevel itself points inward.

if you look at the bottom purple, underneath the "Assault" word, the purple changes for each letter.  Its not a smooth, gradient shift though -- its really distinct changes for each letter.

Yeah, I definitely see what your saying... I guess I'll either make the transition a gradient, or just make it one solid color...

Oh, and the letters and bevel are actually shades of blue... I take it they look like purple?
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2007, 06:29:19 pm »
on my mac they look blue but on my tv screen they look purple so I would just go for what looks good on your monitor for you since you're using it.

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 09:45:20 am »
where did you get that background I like it? Oh and I actually really like the second to last logo you posted originally, before you extruded or whatever else you did to the letters, I think it looks nice.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 05:22:20 pm by joebells »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2007, 06:28:07 am »
EDIT:  Well here's my work on the CP so far. 

As you could probably guess my idea is to look like a futuristic looking "ship control panel"  I want to use the "physical" panels to help visually organize the pl1 and pl2 buttons, as well as identify the ui control buttons and seperate the spinner/trackball..

I'm not sure if I'm pleased with it's progress, as it's looking kind of "cheap" to me for some reason, but I'm going to keep going ans see where I end up.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2007, 10:44:06 pm »
Better colors?  Still around the same, but a little more variation

EDIT:  I think this might be getting closer, if not the one.... it's looking better to me... opinions?
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2007, 05:29:23 pm »
-Duplicated below-
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 05:32:51 pm by Dmod »
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2007, 05:31:11 pm »
I have to admit to still being thrown off a bit by the bevels, but I only notice it because I'm staring at it.  I can't really isolate what's throwing me, but I think it's the varying depths of the bevel between letters...

For example, the opposing bezels between the S's are very shallow compared to full bevels between the L and T.  Also, the bevel between the S's is so shallow when compared to the bezel at the bottom edge that you barely notice it.

I like the edge bevel a lot, but I'm wondering if it would look better if the bevels between letters were all the same depth or just eliminated.

Nobody else seeme to notice, though, so maybe it's just me. 

Keep up the good work, and thanks for all the help on my own project.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2007, 05:00:14 am »
Well to be truthful, the logo has gone through alot of middle men to get to the point it's at right now...

from the original Photoshop "sketch", to the Illustrator tracing, importing that into Xara, and right back into Photoshop sketching... 

so there's alot of tweaking as far as shape and such is concerned that I would do when I re-trace the new final into Illustrator.  When I do that, I'm going to even things like that out...

I can see where some of the larger gaps are (like the one between the L and T that came from my stretching the T), but none of them really bother me at all..  but I will definitely even things out..

At this point I'm really trying to get this color scheme worked out... that's the biggest thing thats bothering me..


-----------------

On another note, I found cp artwork that seems to have a similar theme as mine...

http://www.mamemarquees.com/yourname-cosmic-control-panel-from-p-221.html
Quote

It's nice, and I'll take some visual pointers from it... it does seem to project a level of "cheapness" about it as well... although not as bad as my current WIP...  I can't figure out what it is abot mine that makes it look sub par...

Is it just in my head?

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2007, 12:31:04 pm »
Thanks for the kind words...

and Veinman... what stuff are you referring to?

Maybe you'll have a different experience, but I found getting screenshots, control configs, etc to work for that many systems / games to be more trouble than it was worth. In the end I polished MAME, kind of did Genesis and SNES, and left it at that. :dizzy:

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2007, 01:03:26 am »
I think the logo has come along nicely.

I think part of the "cheapness" on the CPO is the amount of shiny metal panels. It's hard to do the reflective metal look over a large area. Maybe you could do the metal panels more sparingly and add some displays/gauges to make up some of the space.

If you want to see how cheesy the fake metal panels can get, check out the X-Men Children of the Atom CPO that Capcom made:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190091109804

I like using the trackball for the sun/star in the middle. I was originally going to something similar with mine. I'm currently planning on switching my MAME setup to a different cab and having enough room to mount my black swirly 3" Millipede trackball in the center as a black hole. The cabinet name is The Vortex so it all ties together. Here's my old CPO art:

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2007, 04:49:54 pm »
Maybe you'll have a different experience, but I found getting screenshots, control configs, etc to work for that many systems / games to be more trouble than it was worth. In the end I polished MAME, kind of did Genesis and SNES, and left it at that. :dizzy:

Well I haven't set up CPV2 or any other CP viewers yet, so that Doom CP image in the UI is actually a custom picture I created and set up using my space designated for CP shots.

I imagine when the time comes I'll probably either decide to go the long haul or cut some corners... the hardest part may be making different CPV layouts for each of the different PC games...

I think the logo has come along nicely.

I think part of the "cheapness" on the CPO is the amount of shiny metal panels. It's hard to do the reflective metal look over a large area. Maybe you could do the metal panels more sparingly and add some displays/gauges to make up some of the space.

If you want to see how cheesy the fake metal panels can get, check out the X-Men Children of the Atom CPO that Capcom made:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190091109804

I like using the trackball for the sun/star in the middle. I was originally going to something similar with mine. I'm currently planning on switching my MAME setup to a different cab and having enough room to mount my black swirly 3" Millipede trackball in the center as a black hole. The cabinet name is The Vortex so it all ties together. Here's my old CPO art:

Thanks about the logo.. I'm trying.

I think you might be right about the CPO....  After looking at some sleeker looking panels I've decided to go for a simpler, sleeker look:

Jeff AMN's WIP:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=63243.0

Knievel's Woody:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=55789.40


Not sure how it's going to work, as I still want to keep my idea about the concept of the art, but my direction is for less flashyness where possible.

I like the swirl artwork of your CPO... seems like you could use a tighter swirl around the trackball for the black hole and let it pan out wider as it travels out...

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2007, 06:26:58 am »
Better CPO?

Don't even ask me what I meant by simpler and sleeker, because obviously I don't seem to understand what that means...

I dunno, I'm not sure I can pull off totally simple and still keep my theme well enough...

Either way, I've sharpened lines, heightened contrast, moved around the space elements, added a futuristic lcd-like display for the "floating" buttons, added a few small details, and gotten rid of the glows.

It looks like it might be getting better to me... although I won't be sure until I spend time away from it and "refresh" my eyes..


EDIT: Yeah... no.
EDIT:  Added again for WIP's sake.
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2007, 01:25:23 am »
ok... I think It's looking better now..  opinions?

The last few changes were influenced by Motorfish's great CPO work: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/48650519/?qo=14&q=by%3Admatanski&qh=sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps


EDIT: Made some more changes.. simplified the panel gradients and brought the grid out more in some places

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT2: I've posted the next CPO update in this post as well, so as not to overwhelm my thread with self posts... or something..

Since the first edit of this post, I've elaborated more on the digital panel aspects around the trackball and spinner, and have posted a version without the extra space effects so people can give their opinion on whether they like the extra effects or not (or just don't like the whole design whatsoever)...


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Sideart idea sketch...
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 06:28:20 am »
Started to sketch an some ideas for sideart...

What do you guys think of the concept?


Wouldn't mind some input on the progress of the CPO either...

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2007, 11:37:54 am »
The artwork looks great! As for the CPO it looks like you are changing the theme from the marquee to the CPO from what I've seen so far. I like logowip9 and I would use those same colors and shape/concepts on the CPO help tei it together and keep everything in the same theme...
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2007, 03:46:20 am »
The artwork looks great! As for the CPO it looks like you are changing the theme from the marquee to the CPO from what I've seen so far. I like logowip9 and I would use those same colors and shape/concepts on the CPO help tei it together and keep everything in the same theme...


Well the marquee is not only going to be the logo itself but will incoporate the theme I end up using in the CPO..  So the logo will sit on the same grid display or may sit on a metal panel... but the end result will look connected. 

That being said, you've definitely reminded me to keep that in mind, as I totally forgot and went on a tangent with the CPO...

And speaking of tangents....


One thing that was bothering me about the simple use of gradients (that I initially tried to alleviate by making the gradients more complicated) was a lack of texture, so I tried applying a scratched metal texture over the "panels" and in my opinion it adds a lot a character... I also changed the grid's "glow" color to a purple to diffuse some of the "blue-crazyness" of the overall design..


What do you guys think?

EDIT: Thought the tex was a bit too heavy...
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 01:26:20 pm by OrganicJerk »

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Taborious

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2007, 11:30:20 am »
This is just my opinion and this is your arcade so make it the way you want it but, it just seems like the marquee and this design just have a differnt feel. The marquee has more of a cartoon type feel to it and the cpo more a suedo space feel. Like I said only my opinion they just dont seem to look like they go together.

Maybe its the colors. The marquee is red, yellow, blue orange type color with gradient and the cpo is blue, red, light purple, darkpurple, grey. Maybe that's it...
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2007, 01:10:15 pm »
well again, the logo alone  is not the marquee itself, but just part of it.  The marquee, when I make it, will incorporate elements from the CPO as well.

I'm not too worried about the difference in color scheme between the two elements..  I'm still working on it, and the colors at this point are pretty complimentary.. (blues and oranges, purples and yellows).. and I don't want the color scheme too analogous..

What I do agree on is the cartoon vs sci-fi style difference between the two.  I'm gonna have to try to close that gap a bit..

I ultimately want to keep my CPO style, so I guess the changes would have to be with the logo...

Opinions..?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 01:28:24 pm by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2007, 08:27:36 pm »
Artwork is looking great Organic Jerk!!

:cheers:
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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2007, 08:53:16 pm »
Thanks, DK!

Huge update to the CPO... after leaving it alone for awhile and coming back to it, I decided it still wasn't totally to my liking.  My younger brother suggested I "tech" up the plain metal plates a little bit, so I played around with that idea and this is what I came up with...

I also previously edited the colors a bit, lessened the star count, and replaced the astral effects with a retouched photo of earth..

What do you guys think?  As always, be as blunt as possible.

EDIT: Minor changes. added text
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 08:13:04 pm by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2007, 11:46:54 pm »
Created a possible marquee for the still WIP cab...

Used elements from the CPO to tie everything together, as well as added some texture to the logo...

EDIT:  minor layout, added logos
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 02:46:26 am by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2007, 12:35:23 am »
I like the "circuitry" on the CPO.  Did you make that from scratch?

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2007, 01:47:40 am »
Is that the only part you like about it? lol

The circuitry was taken from istockphoto... you can find it here:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/what/technology/chips/2834027_circuit_board.php?id=2834027

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2007, 04:04:33 am »
Is it just me or does the Marquee look too "Movie-like" and not enough "Arcade-like".... 

I love how it looks... and I've seen similar treatment done for other arcades, but I'm not sure it's the right approach..


I think when I draw out and vectorize my sideart characters, I may rethink the marquee a bit..


EDIT: Felt the top plates detracted from the focus on the logo, so I removed them.  Also changed the grid's glow gradient to horizontal, emanating from both plates


EDIT2: To get some that arcade-like punch, added an outburst design ... also started to feel like the bottom logos detracted from the overall marquee, so I tried removing them.. 

Maybe I should stop posting EVERY single design change I make? lol
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 11:47:48 pm by OrganicJerk »

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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2007, 12:14:41 am »
Is that the only part you like about it? lol

Heh, no but seeing as how it was one of the only things in the design that wasn't original, I can understand how you'd find that comment odd.

I think the logo looks amazing.  Really great job there.  Since you asked, I'm not sure about the metal panels on the marquee.  I think they draw too much attention away from the logo.  Just my opinion though.


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Re: Emdec-01 : Pixel Assault (Art Thread)
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2007, 06:17:19 pm »
Just for record's sake, here are the "final" versions of the CPO and Marquee.

I made the metal plates on the Marquee smaller to remove some of their focus.  I also removed the "effects" of any element not on the panels of the CPO and decreased the stars even more in an effort to make things look less cluttered... I think it looks better.

EDIT: Also removed the light grey line on the "inner panel grids", making the black lines thicker
-------------------------

From this point on, I will finally retrace the logo into a new vector, and also begin to seriously sketch out the sideart.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 07:42:59 pm by OrganicJerk »

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