Art: Spell icons - critique, please! UPDATE: item icons

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  1. #1
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    Spell icons - critique, please! UPDATE: item icons

    Hi folks.

    I've been working on some fantasy RPG spell icons, which I'm planning to use as a portfolio thing.
    I've never done this before, so any pointers you can give are most appreciated.

    Which are the things to keep in mind? Which of the following are weak, and which are better? Are they well-presented?

    Thanks in advance, if I can ever do something for you just let me know.

    Name:  Orisons_WIP_01.jpg
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    Last edited by Ahnem Mee; May 23rd, 2012 at 02:19 PM.
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  3. #2
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    All of them read almost instantly except the detect poison one. Maybe more of a vapor coming off the ooze instead of the knife blade being involved? Sort of like the poison in Nightmare Before Christmas?

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  5. #3
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    The smaller versions are unreadable as anything and so don't work as icons. Are you making these descriptions up or going from actual game descriptions because they are ambiguous at best. An icon has to be instantly recognizable at any size it exists in the game. One thing to do when designing icons is to group them visually with color so all of the cure icons have the same palette the detect icons have the same palette, etc. This way you have more latitude in the design because you automatically know it is in a group.

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  7. #4
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    The one that didn't read for me was Guidance...kind of obvious but maybe a compass?

    I wouldn't sacrifice so much real estate for the bevel highlighting effect - for icons you want as much area as possible. But not bad - clarity is the key.

    What would Caravaggio do?
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    I see I've neglected to answer... Allow me to set that right.

    The spells are taken from the 3.5 Dugeons&Dragons Cleric spell list. I've been playing that system for a while so I'm mostly concerned with what the spells mechanically do - guidance, for example, just gives a bit of a bonus to certain die rolls, and in itself has nothing to do with knowing which way to go or where north is or anything like that.
    So yeah, no compass I'm affraid. Wish it were so because those clouds were killing me and even as they are now, apperently they don't do the job.

    That said there's been a whole bunch of good and sound suggestions so I thank you all!
    Let us celebrate with yet more icons:

    Name:  Item icons_groen_layout_01.jpg
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    Tried my hand at inventory items. You tell me whether I succeeded or not.

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    Looking good except for the health potion, it seems more like a magic potion to me. I know it is super stereotypical but sometimes stereotypes are a good thing because they work: Make it red, I don't think a player would get that something blue will heal him.

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  11. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback. At first I was like ....whaaa? But then I realised you probably had the Diablo games in mind, amirite?

    Cheers!

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    haha yeah, Diablo (or every blizzard game actually ), Skyrim...
    I just feel like that is what is commonly understood as a healing potion in the western culture nowadays

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    I have a secret to share Ahnem Mee...when TSR was transitioning to WOTC dpaint and I worked on hundreds of icons for their first Core Rules on CD. I think I did about 160 icons...magic stuff, weapons, armor...a shovel. Anyway...just sharing!

    Edit: Probably before you were born...

    Last edited by JeffX99; May 27th, 2012 at 05:59 PM.
    What would Caravaggio do?
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    Good to see you're still counted among the living then - I've tried to picture myself painting these pesky things by the hundred and it seemed quite the ordeal to me.

    I can't be that young, I think... TSR got purchased in he nineties, right?
    ... Do I paint so... tweenishly?

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  17. #11
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    No, no...I was just kidding around. Yeah, it was around '95-'96...a good year for contracting. It was a good assignment really...I would do pretty detailed sketches of each item for approval then scan and push pixels. They were pretty low-res so would be embarassing to show now...I think we had 64x64 pixels.

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  19. #12
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    Yeah working on these I found that starting from a scanned pencil sketch worked best for me. I even think it shows.

    64x64 doesn't sound too small - considering you'll be seeing a bunch of 'm crammed together someplace. How big did you start out before you resized to that res - you still remember, you old coot?


    Aaah, couldn't resist...!

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  21. #13
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    Ah symbols... they need to be sharper.
    The more cliche the better.

    You might want to consider being more bold and sharp because when they resize the pictures down it looses the details and become a blur.

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  23. #14
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    I think we sarted at twice the size...it is hard to remember....what were we talking about?

    Oh yeah, so they might have been 128x128 then reduced and cleaned up if necessary. TBH they might have been just done at 64x64 right from the start...so many computers ago I can't even access those files.

    You young'uns today...got it easy!

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    Sure makes me wonder what it's going to be like when my little 'uns grow up. Me and their dad going on about how we had to use our hands etc, etc...

    Thank you JeffX99, Frostblade. This has all been most helpful!

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  26. #16
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    Tadaaah!

    Working at a sufficiently low res really was worth the try.
    Also, I actually found a use for the 'sharpen' filter in PS...!

    Name:  Item icons_Treasure_WIP_01.jpg
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  27. #17
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    I have to say this thread has been quite inspirational. It makes me want to try my hand at making this little icons. Keep up the great work.

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    I want to play your game.

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