Simple Doomy Explosions

Post by Amuscaria Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:42 am

From the original post:

This tutorial will illustrate the current method I used to make explosions. This method utilizes MS paint, and a bit of any other more advanced program with a "smudge" tool; such as Photoshop or Gimp. Note this is one of MANY approaches to spriting. Everyone has their own method, and by no means should you treat this tutorial as the only viable method. This is only what I found to be the easiest for me, given the tools I have and know how to use effectively.

  1. The Palette: Select a palette ranging from the brightest to the darkest color you plan to use for your explosion. You will only need 5-7 shades at most. Make sure there is enough contrast between the palette so your sprite doesn't look flat. Note you DO NOT need to evenly distribute the shades. I will not get into the proper use of contrast in coloring, as it's an artistic fundamental that I can't really teach. It's something best learned from experience.

  2. Draw out and place down the general color distributions for the sprite. Not that this example tries to mimic doom-style explosion with the quirky rounded puff. Real explosions will not look like this. For more realistic explosions, look at those made from photos (such as ones from Hexen and Duke 3D). Again, the placement of color is something you ill need to learn yourself. Generally, pick a point of origin where you explosion originates. This area will have the brightest (hottest) colors. Note that the sprite has been enlarged to make it easier to see.

  3. After deciding on how many frames you want for the animation (and the smoothness desired), draw out the rest like you did the first one. Notice that the amount of bright shades decrease as the explosion propagates. As the gasses cool, the explosion cloud should become less vibrant in color. If you intend the explosion to use a ADDITIVE transparency, then make the outer edges darkest. How smooth your want the explosion is up to you. Generally, an explosion gas cloud should have specks of debris and unevenness on the surface. This is, however, up to you. The only goal should be to make it consistent with the mod you are working on, and the type of explosions you want. What I have here is a more gaseous fire type.

  4. Finally, with all your basic frames drawn, open Photoshop or Gimp and use the smudge tool to smooth out the edges between each shade of color. Make it so it looks like a cloud with fluffy edges rather than a smooth line. Add any additional shades to enhance the contrast if your original brightness is not satisfactory. Pixel edit the finer details In where ever you see fit. In the end, you will have something like this:

    Explosions aside, this method works for just any other sprite. Any effect, such as lightning, fire, hot steam, etc. It will also work for monsters, can be done this way given enough experience. However the finer details for monsters will require more effort in pixel editing after the photoshop stage. I personally use this method for most smooth sprites, aside from the higher resolution monsters and weapon HUD graphics.

Last edited by Amuscaria on Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.