On flipping sprites

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Dreadwing93
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On flipping sprites

#1 Post by Dreadwing93 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:04 am

Ren'py has this wonderful image manipulator called im.Flip(), which can be used to flip a sprite horizontally so they face the other direction.

Let's say you've got a hopelessly asymmetrical character though.
Let's say she's missing an arm, her left arm, and you drew her sprite facing left.

If you use im.Flip() to make her face right, then her left arm magically regrows! But now her right arm is gone...

When it comes to small things like asymmetrical hair I would just flip the character without a second thought.
But in the case of the missing arm, what would you do?

I have three main ideas, and I'm not sure which would be best:
1. Hacking it so that your character for some reason is always on the right side of the screen.

2. Just make another sprite facing the other way.

3. Just give in to temptation and im.Flip()

Obviously #2 would be best quality-wise but I want to avoid redrawing sprites when it isn't completely necessary. I'm sure others might share this sentiment.

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Re: On flipping sprites

#2 Post by pwisaguacate » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:11 am

[EDIT: This old post totally missed the issue: obvious asymmetry (like missing arm). Other users have given answers below.]
Last edited by pwisaguacate on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: On flipping sprites

#3 Post by Dreadwing93 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:58 am

I was actually planning on going with #1.
And I actually do have a character with only one arm (She's not an amputee, just an android. A broken one.)

I originally drew her facing left, but since she's going to be the POV character most of the time I wanted her to be on the left side of the screen (Since the protagonists usually go on the left for some reason)

I think she's grown quite comfy on the right side of the screen though, so I think I'll just leave her there for now.

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Re: On flipping sprites

#4 Post by Omnificent » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:08 pm

If you flip your sprites, make sure that any asymmetrical details are redone so that they don't flip (eyepatches, bangs etc.) I think it's better to just modify the relevant sprites for that purpose.
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Re: On flipping sprites

#5 Post by Endorphin » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:16 pm

There's no problem with her just being on the right side, but if you'd like to flip her, I'd also just edit the main sprite.
Means duplicate it, flip it in your painting program flip/redraw everything that's on the wrong side now.
If we look at the guy above all you'd have to do is to flip his bangs and fix the buttons.
Since sprites don't have strong lightning you wouldn't have to do much there.
(Having flipped hair is a pet peeve of mine--it just throws me out so much when sprites are mirrored if they are asymmetrical. D:)

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Re: On flipping sprites

#6 Post by nyaatrap » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:35 pm

BTW, the following code is faster:

Code: Select all

image:
 xzoom -1
I often use flipping for GFX.

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Re: On flipping sprites

#7 Post by Dreadwing93 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:19 pm

Well my character with one arm aside, I do have a character with asymmetrical hair that I've been flipping. I'm not going to be able to get away with keeping him on one side, so I'm either going to have to fix up his hair, or just have him rapidly untie and retie his ponytail every time he wants to turn around.
nyaatrap wrote: xzoom -1
Oh, thanks for that.
If I put that in a transform statement, then I can do something like this:

Code: Select all

init:
    transform flip:
        xzoom -1
start:
     show image at flip

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Re: On flipping sprites

#8 Post by pineapplepocky » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:37 pm

one thing you should be careful, especially with artists that don't do it, is that flipping can often show artists' mistakes. Like regarding proportions, if you flip it and it looks weird, it's likely that it's off and you need to fix it. Artists often flip their images to make sure mistakes and proportions on the drawings are the right size or is on the correct spot on the image. It's often called the 'mirror technique'.

the reason why the mirror technique is used: When you look at an image long enough, you being to think or imply details that are there...like 'oh that's an eye it goes there, that's the mouth it goes there, this must be a person'. When you flip the image, your brain suddenly changes its perspective on the image, so instead of looking at what you 'think' it's supposed to look like, you are looking at the picture more as an image with details. Sort of if a complete stranger looked at a picture vs. you staring at the same thing for hours and not noticing anything wrong with it.

back to topic:
So if you DO plan to flip the image in a visual novel, make sure the art looks perfect first. You don't want to suddenly have an image where their eye looks oddly tilted in one direction.

Even if you flip it or not in a visual novel, you should still be doing that to check if your drawing looks good or not too. Makes a super difference.

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Re: On flipping sprites

#9 Post by qirien » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:13 am

There is one more option - draw the character in a more neutral pose, looking close to straight ahead, so that they could go on the left or the right without flipping. Of course, then your characters are looking at the player instead of each other, which sounds awkward, but can work.
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