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by SonicComix1
name jef
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On Hiatus
Last Update
2 Years Ago

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September 10th, 2017

I didn't dig this up, I was actually linked here, and people were talking like this was something very recent. I didn't actually check any of the dates before posting, so that's my bad.

I still stand by everything I said, and even if you don't use them to improve Ket's sprites, much of what I've said applies to your other work in some capacity or another and you can still apply pieces of it where they apply moving forward. I'm not doing this to tear you down, and it's not any kind of personal attack. My most genuine desire would be to see you improve at your craft.
September 10th, 2017
@Tsurugi- honestly the fact that you're digging this shit up after, what, four months, says more to me than any critique you could give me will. it just reads as sorta... i dunno, this petty "oh, *obviously* i'm justified to give critique on this stuff despite that it's fallen into irrelevance since it's been dead for a few months" just reads as snobbish and stuck-up. it makes me all the more willing to disregard what you're saying, but let me go into a little more depth as to why:

as i previously stated in the comments above, a lot of this isn't going to be relevant at all in the future, because at this point in time updating két's sprites to be better would be pointless and time consuming, and time is something i don't exactly have a lot of these days, between comic work, work work, and other unrelated life appointments. most if not all free time i have goes to comics, not sprites, these days- so stepping back and attempting to teach myself how to shade properly (because, honestly, any time i *try* doing this 'hue shading' thing that everyone goes on about, people say that i *didn't* do it and it looks awful anyway) would just take more time than it's worth.

besides, it's not like i plan to do anything else with két once aware is done anyway. you'll never have to see her again. isn't that great? i mean, unless i change my mind, which i do tend to do a lot, so who knows. but i'm leaning no. quite like how katai just sorta ceased to exist in my work about six months after {mute} was finished.

i will admit the examples you put together are better than the previously displayed ones, so kudos to you on that! but, well, as stated, it'd take far too long to update things. and the head just doesn't match the body all that well. that might just be my fault, since it looks to me like you just made a new head and then re-color/re-shaded the body, but at the same time it just doesn't sit right. the sprite looks more like she's giving a side-long aside glance to the fourth wall (which, granted, does seem like something she'd do) than just standing idly, and that doesn't suit the purposes i'd need it for.

as i stated before: if i make more sprites in the future then i'll see what i can do about taking this advice. but that's *if* i make more sprites in the future. i expect to have a time slot freed up once i'm finished with aware, but i'll only know what i'll be doing with said time slot when i get to that point. could be months. could be years! considering how often i take breaks it could be millennia. it's a spooky mystery!!! but now just isn't the time.

i will grant that my computer screen may be rather bright. i literally use a tv for it, i don't actually have a standard monitor. maybe in the future i will get one and see that it is far too bright and i need to adjust the way i shade things. but maybe i will not and i'll learn that you all just have really dark screens or something. or that you're all using the same computer, or that you're all the same person. this is the internet! stranger things have happened.

and maybe my way of spriting is a relic of a bygone era, in which all sprites in sprite comics had four shades in each and every way. but it's the era that i grew up in and learned in, and everything looked fine then. it still looks fine to me now. maybe i just learn slowly and will one day look back on the sprites in aware and say, "wow these are awful, what was i thinking?" but now is not that day. now, i am busy with the wst, and when i'm not busy with that i'm working on aware and random miscellaneous art. now, i am having fun doing what i do and experimenting with new things in my comic-making. now, i am enjoying myself. i am spending time with people who i care about, and who care about me.

in the future, perhaps i will thank you for your advice cordially and refer people to you if they ask for ideas on how to improve. but now? right now i will cordially tell you not to dredge up things of old and to kindly go back to making comics about a cthulhu-esque being on an island full of author characters. because i would rather see you spending your time spreading positive vibes than doing whatever you consider this to be. i thank you for your critique, but at this moment in time it is unwanted and unnecessary.

i'd say it was nice talking to you again, but... well, honestly, it really wasn't. so long!

Listen to this tsu person
September 9th, 2017

You keep saying you want people to tell you how to improve, so here's my crack at respriting/slightly redesigning Ket's sprite along with constructive criticism. Some of this is specific to Ket and some of it is more general.

1) Contrast: The most egregious problem with your sprites in general is that you use 4 shades for literally everything but there's barely any contrast between them. This is especially apparent with anything white. I honestly cannot fathom what your monitor settings are that it looks "fine" to you, but when your darkest shade of "white" is well above the halfway point on the brightness slider all of the white forms near each other become totally and completely indistinct. There is absolutely no clarity of form anywhere on anything, which is something very important when working at the small resolution sonic sprites are on.

Even worse, this completely lack of contrast and outline constantly leads to your sprites getting completely lost in the backgrounds of your comics.

2) Light Source: For all your griping about pillow shading, there's often not a clear light source on Ket's sprites. I think this is mostly tied to the lack of contrast preventing any of the shadows from looking like shadows.

2) Design: I'm not going to rag on Ket's design in general even though I don't like it, but what I will ramble about is that it's extremely poorly suited for small Sonic Advance/Battle-style sprites. Her monochrome deal doesn't really work when you've got grey on grey on grey and no outlines, be they hard black outline or implied contrast-based outlines, to separate anything from anything. You could make it a darker grey, maybe, ( my attempt: ) but the design as presented does not work with a low-resolution sprite.

If you absolutely insist on going monochrome, you MUST have contrast of value, because you no longer can turn to contrast of saturation or hue. Ket's dark brown fur won't stand out from anything dark, so you need to take special care to make sure her hands actually read as hands against the rest of her, and since she's got white hair and most of her face is white (the whites of her eyes and her muzzle) you need to take special care that all of these things read as distinct from each other on her head.

3) Palettes and efficiency: You use four shades for everything. Literally everything, including a bow that takes up ten pixels of space and every piece of similarly-colored clothing gets its own four shades of grey. You should look into hue-shifting and getting similar colors to share sections of their color ramps, the easiest to do is usually something like brown/red/orange/yellow all on one ramp. Now, technical requirements don't mean that much in this day and age, but when colors share ramps it leads to vastly more unified designs.

4) High-resolution expressions on low-resolution sprites: This one is an especially personal gripe I have with a lot of sprite comics in general, but it's extremely jarring to have a fully-detailed expression at 3 to 5 times the resolution of the sprite drawn on top of it. The expression is always crystal clear with black outlines but it only makes it more apparent that it's surrounded by blobs of indistinct grey pixels.

5) Everyone is always leaning to one side: Like what's with this it's a constant in your drawings and even Ket's sprite I had to move some stuff over by a pixel or two.

6) Color Choices: You really like muted colors on a lot of things, but if you don't have any contrast of saturation it often leads to designs looking muddled and kind of ugly. Your character from Fresh Starts whose name escapes me (Lex? Was that it?) sticks out as a particular example of that. Even a little bit of hue-shifting would make these designs much more pleasing to look at.
i like him
@Shard: ok, bye
@SonicComix1- fiiiirstly i never said mine were more consistent. secondly yours aren't really consistent either so /shrugs

either way we're not getting anywhere with this back and forthing of "mine's better" "no mine's better and here's why" "first of all you're wrong" so i'm just gonna drop it while we're ahead. i'll keep what you've said in mind but, i also really didn't like the things you did when you were following your *own* advice (again they didn't look right to me), so who knows where that'll lead us?

catch you on the flip side ;3
@Shard: The pants on the original sprite are bulky too, but the folds are shaded weirdly. I just reshaded them.

On the sprite I made, the light sources at least come from the same direction. The tail is off, yes, but there's not much you can do with a 3 pixel wide tail. the shading on my sprite is more consistent than your's, so i really dont see how you're construing your sprite as being more consistent, because it honestly isn't. shading on sonic sprites is super fucked and even the official sprites have weird shading without wearing clothes, but still.
@Burger Shop Statue:
Is this where the line starts?
@SonicComix1- psst here's a hint about the bow -

i'm not saying my sprite is perfect either, i'm just saying that it looks really weird on yours. wanna play the light source game ok here we go - ; yours has no less than five different ones, several of which are shining on different areas of the sprite which is just ??? ??????

the pants are super bulky and look awkward in a lot of places, plus their shades don't match up with the way the rest of everything is done. they just don't make sense as pants to me. it's like she's got shin guards on or something, the way they just, suddenly extend outwards around there. might be blending with the hand though? who knows.

the white, yeah, might be a problem. k sure. "no adjustments". right. except the entire structure of the shirt. if you're gonna say you didn't do a thing then actually don't do the thing. unless you think i was referring to the overshirt. which i was not.

there isn't meant to be much detail in the ponytail but yeah, it is kind of awkwardly shaded i'll give you that, again though not sure i feel like changing the entire thing when stuff is so far along.

and that is kind of something i noticed on my own; hence why a lot of her alternate costume clothing stuff uses different styles of clothing and different grays. ( this, for example, is what she'll be wearing for world [16].) at the same time there are reasons for each and every part of the design and it would just be really silly to go through and change everything at this point.
@Shard: here's a thought: how about not having shitty characters
@Shard: i can get some things, but the shading being weird to you? how is the shading on her pants weirder than this? the shading is awful on this. brightest shades come in direct contact with darkest shades, unnecessary use of odd shades in weird places, some pixels make it look like there's just black lines. the shading on my edited version of the pants is more consistent, at least. your shading is much more inconsistant with highlights not matching up and things being pillow shaded. the red lines i drew over this sprite represent where it looks like the light sources are facing/coming from. they're all coming from different directions. i'll ad mit mine still suffers from some problems, but i tried to fix some of the inconsistencies as best i could.

the current white on her sprites is *too little* it blends together really badly. there needs to be a middle ground.

i really like how you described the shirt because i made no adjustments to it whatsoever

ket hates wearing colours, but she wears a bright red visibly noticable bow that makes up one of her only signifying factors of her design? seems a bit inconsistant the ponytail you used has less detailing and is pillow shaded.

some things i can't fix with her design. her colour scheme doesnt work well in some ways. not my fault. having a light gray cardigan over a white shirt is bad colouring
@SonicComix1- i honestly don't like how the ket sprite you did looks for multiple reasons.

1- the contrast of the whites is *too much.* it's very IN MY FACE and i really hate how that looks.
2- the brown just looks awkward, and it still follows your problem of "blends into the pants" if you were tryign to fix that.
3- also the shirt looks really awkward and dumb.
4- decreasing the amount of shades on the bow turned it from looking like a bow to looking like a red blob on her head. it doesn't look like a bow anymore. and it *needs* to look like a bow because it's a very important part of her design.
5- ket hates wearing colors. it's a thing! a character trait if you will. so wearing a red shirt goes *completely* against everything she stands for. (ok, that's an exaggeration. she just sees wearing colors as unlucky and does what she can to avoid doing so.)
6- ponytail looks super awkward. it doesn't look like a ponytail to me, it looks more like someone stuck a glob of fluff on the back of her head. that might just be me though.
7- the way you've shaded things honestly just looks sloppy to me. there's little to no consistency and it just doesn't look good imo?? i know you spent effort on this but it just looks really bad to me.

then again a lot of this stuff might just be a personal view but i just. can't bring myself to like the version you did.
@Shard: It wasn't really supposed to look exactly like her per-say, it was just a really general example of how I'd do it. I really feel like she has some contrast problems. My screen brightness and contrast values are factory default and I have a 4k monitor.

i didnt mean to imply that it's really "bad output" because i worded it wrong.. i just meant i feel like you could do much better if you focused primarily on something more... original? or artistically challenging, i guess.

definitely finish aware; its really annoying when authors stop making things halfway through, but i seriously mean it when i say i feel like you could do more.

i 100% agree with the fact that most people can't pull black outlining off right. it's a really flimsy thing, especially in SA style, but imo it's pretty easy to do. combining black outlining based on where you need it (mainly when two similar shades overlap (such as the black on k(fancy e here)t's pants collides with the dark brown of her hand, with sel-out ( really good tutorial/explanation of sel-outing) can make spriting a lot easier and make things stick out better.

by the steven universe-long distance render thing, i meant how they draw characters that are out of focus. i saw an excellent example of this somewhere but i lost it, if i find it i'll edit this comment and link it.

essentially, the farther away a character is from the central viewing angle, the character's detailing will start to degrade (think; ps1 style polygon rendering) special shapes and markings oni characters will be heavily simplified or omitted entirely, to account for the smaller space without completely damaging the character's design. spriters do techniques like this constantly

i edited your ket sprites, and made two main alterations to her design and multiple to coloration/shading and detailing. I hope you don't mind them.

1) I increased the contrast of the two darkest shades for her primary (white) fur colour, and made them hue shift to an off-blue.
2) I increased the brightness and saturation of her secondary (brown) fur colour, and hue shifted it to red.
3) Altered the shading on her pants and part of her shoes.
4) decreased the amount of shades used on her bow from 4 to only 2. (The two darkest ones; if it needs to be brighter just substitute them for higher valued shades) and decreased the level of detail on it/simplified it. hue shifted the red into a dark fuschia on shadows and salmon pink on highlights.
5) changed the colour of her... cardigan? i guess? to be red instead of gray, to avoid it from blurring together with the white shirt.
6) Re shaded the hair tied in a ponytail on the back to use less shades (mainly the three darkest shade w/ no highlighting. instead i used crosshatching to imply highlights.)
7) fixed shading on weird parts of her body (tail, hands, right shoe, and left ear).
8) overall level of detail in some areas decreased to be less visually confusing. ex; fur tuft on ears use only the two darkest shades now, her left ear is crosshatched, her bow has less detailing, etc.

again; i dont know if this is what your ket would look like, as i'm not you, but i tried my hardest to be intact to her original design philosophy. i chose red for her cardigan as she already had red present on her colour scheme, and it would contrast well against the white of her shirt and the blackish grey of her pants.
@SonicComix1- down the list in order, that's how i roll.

-contrast on the shades honestly looks fine on my end. maybe it's a screen brightness thing. who knows. i also hate hate hate HATE black outlines on sprites and very few people can make them work well; i am not one of them. if it's done well then cool!! but it's really just not my style to do them.

-that was the way that i interpreted your comment based on the way you put it up. then again i am super bad at learning from walls of text with hardly any images in them! i learn better by seeing visuals and watching people do stuff. learning is hard!!

-if you got the impression that i hate working on aware then WOW BUDDY YOU TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT! aware is fun! i enjoy it! i enjoy making comics! especially aware, which is simple and fun and about the characters involved more than "i go to this place and talk to this guy". besides, there's only... let's see, carry the three, include those... eight planned chapters left! it would be SUPER DUMB if i just stopped making it before i finished the story i have to tell! and boy howdy if you think that i don't put in a lot of effort you haven't seen the latest two worlds, in which i scream due to how much effort is involved with limited spritesheets and stuff. jesus fluff.

-i have never heard of a petscop before. this is an entirely new term for me. and maybe you're right! but it'd require a lot of work which i'm not willing to do while i already have everything else that i'm doing on my plate.

-that's fair!

-as far as looking around here goes, there are people who could give it! and have given it in the past on certain things! granted not very well but... EH WHATEVS. but maybe you're right and i'm looking in the wrong place! in which case, -where do i look?-

-i mean, the fact that your profile has basically nothing on it kind of implied otherwise. but i understand. it's just there are people who make an entirely new account to be like "YO U SUCK" and get away with no consequences, and i didn't want to waste my time if you were one of those guys!

and onto the next post...

-see, problem right away! i honestly don't like how that sprite you did looks. it's - well, not awful per se, but it really just doesn't look like két! the posing is awkward, the face looks dumb, the shading is inconsistent and silly, you didn't even finish the thing, the design is all wrong, and it just looks out of place and weird! if you'd wanted a base sprite to work with you could have asked my man. also there actually is a thing for két's sprites out there, it's right here -> <- i haven't updated 'em much (i think i fixed eye color shit?) on account of consistency, so it'd work for your example.

-i haven't actually watched steven universe! or much of anything lately. so i can't say i really know what you're talking about! the only examples i've seen of that look =really bad= and i'd rather not refer to them as examples. in fact, két's design is pretty simple, especially compared to what it used to be, and especially since i've been making alternate outfits and things for her that are less complex than the first one!

buuut yeah. i honestly don't have much else to say. we can back and forth with this all you want really, but fact of the matter is that i'm not gonna be changing up much with aware's sprites, not when it's so close to being done; any advice you give me would be going towards my next sprited project, if that even winds up existing!
@Shard: honestly, i think based on what i said was bad, i think it's pretty clear how to fix certain parts of what i criticized. increasing the contrast between shades would fix a ton of the problems with ket's sprites. and i would reintroduce using black outlines instead of solid color outlines, but that's just me.

"i don't like mushrooms so this whole pizza is bad". not what i said. a better comparison would be "these mushrooms are sour and it messes with the pizza as a whole."

why even continue working with aware? from what you wrote about, it seems like you only view it as an annoyance. it's always looked to me that aware was an annoyance to you, at least from what i've seen. the amount of effort you put into it (at least update wise) isn't worth the output or it being your main focus

i pointed out that i know you have a lot more potential than what aware is worth. i could definitely see you as one of the main people that would make a petscop of smackjeeves; something that looks so visually convincing that it seems just like a "real" video game with it's own custom visuals. and that's something i honestly think. you have debatably the largest reader-base of every spriter on sj at any given point.

if i was going to criticize aware as a whole i would've done a comic review, but i didnt.

honestly smackjeeves is probably the worst place to look for imporvement because there's barely anyone doing full on artistic critiques. this was barely an "artistic critique" because i just pointed out the negatives, which is something i've always done because i guess im just more of a harsh-sounding person. dunno. just my sense of humor.

and hey! i dont barely exist! ive been around. just not on the best of records. (sonic gets blasted back in 2012, some hotel comics, etc.) but looking at those made me mentally upset so i left them.

if ur gonna tell me to improve do it in a way that isn't basically just calling me a piece of shit, please and thank you

i'm always up to improve!! i do what i can to listen when people tell me stuff and take their advice. but i prefer not to if you approach it from an angle where you go "you suck, here's why, i'm 20 times better than you obviously"!!

it'd be =super awesome= if people would tell me how to fix stuff! i've been doing the same thing for so long that it's kind of ingrained and i don't know *how* to change it, and no one will tell me! "the ponytail behind her head is pillow shaded, fix it". ok. how?? how do i fix the shading on the thing behind her? especially since that seems to be the only thing that's pillowed unless i misread that. also just pulling singular parts of the sprite (that are hardly visible at that scale anyway) (and also it just looks sloppy) isn't really helpful at all! it's like you take a mushroom pizza, and then you eat only the mushrooms, and say "i don't like mushrooms so this whole pizza is bad". not exactly a valid thought!!

if you're willing to actually point me in the direction of "how is does fix things" then yay! that would be awesome!! but if all you're going to do is be like "here's this callout post, niv sucks, so do my job for me and tell her off" then you're just wasting your time!! because i don't like taking advice from people if they're just trying to get a rise out of me. ;3

i mean. i guess this could be considered a rise? it's more like me being silly though. i'm honestly not mad! you can take that however you want - maybe you decide i'm lying and this comment is all you ever wanted from me! or maybe you're like, "oh she honestly doesn't mind this. huh." but hey! who knows. i've sent my stuff out for reviews in the past and general consensus is "this is good stuff" so hey, who knows?? maybe aware just isn't your thing!! there've been other people who thought so too! and that's fine! no author is going to be able to ever make anything that everyone on the internet likes! and that's okay. i make aware 'cause i enjoy doing it. and if people are willing to tell me "hey you can improve by doing (INSERT THING)" then awesome! i can make the story better and more people can share my joy. but if people are only going to go "it's like a bad sonic comic" and not say anything else then i think they're probably missing the point of the whole thing!

honestly aware is, probably too far along for me to change things like the sprites at this point. if i wanted to do that it'd require me to go on break for a LONG time in order to make new stuff for everyone involved. and i don't want to drag things out any longer than i have to. (besides, the consistency is nice. switching sprites for half the cast in {mute} constantly was a pain in the ass, especially when new sheets were more limited than the old ones.) but i can keep this stuff in mind for my next project, whatever that is! if it's even sprited. it might not be sprites. but i like doing sprites so i might still do *something* with them.

i understand where you're coming from! i really do. because it's something i've been frustrated about since long before {mute} finished! i guess it was like, the 90's of comic books. everything in that time was... not necessarily *bad* but sorta lackluster and same-y. {mute} was something different, and a lot of people jumped on it and treated it like it was amazingly awesome! i'm still proud of it, but there's a lot that i'd change if i went through and did the whole thing again for whatever insane reason. half the characters were totally unnecessary, the plot was kinda sloppily strung together, several threads wound up being dropped and abandoned - some of which were done for the sake of OTHER PEOPLE for some reason fluff if I know why - and honestly there was a lot wrong with it. but the point is, compared to everything else - hotel comics in 200 places, "x character in the y universe comic that lasts 10 pages", and so on and so forth - it was *different*, and people liked that. so people liked me i guess. and that led them to stop treating me like a person, which has made it *really hard* to improve! no one tells me how. and i have a hard time doing so on my own because i just haven't had the time to sit down and try and improve my sprites without any guidance.

and ahahahahaha whoops this got kind of long! but hey you were basically baiting me into a response, and i'm hungry so i took it! if you're willing to talk to me like a civilized adult, point me in the direction of stuff i can use to improve, and generally give me a hand, then great!! awesome!! send me a message and i can get right down to it! buuut, again, if all you're gonna do is make a callout post and hide behind an identity that hardly even exists, then i feel like i could be doing better things with my time.

hopefully catch you later, in a more friendly environment!! ;3
A bit of banter.