Left and right walk cycles for Atlas only needed to be 4 frames long each. The idle pose is acceptable as stationary, but having it move even just a little would make it feel more alive. Of course I still have to edit this sprite for the different skin colours and hairstyles - but this is a simple process when it is only a 4 frame animation.
The walk cycle at 4 frames per second (FPS) compared to 8FPS is much more natural and fitting. Using 8FPS for a 4 frame animation looks like excessive speedwalking.
I took the time to modify Atlas' hair on the left facing sprite to better match the character's left side profile. This extra detail also makes it less apparent to the audience that it is a horizontal flip.
To turn the sprite frames into a sprite sheet, I can use an online resource that automates this process: https://ezgif.com/gif-to-sprite. This makes the process fast and easy, and accessible for the programmer.
(Above) 2 frame classic bounce animation for being idle. Very easy to do but indefinitely gives the sprite more life.
Since the design of Atlas both in comic and in sprite only change by hairstyle and skin colour - for the sake of simplicity in this project's production time - it was very straight forward to be able to use the first sprite as a template. In the original designs, the clothing and the front of the hair was the same, just to help maintain a consistency with the main character's identity.
The original design for the second avatar was for it to be slightly more feminine, a mid skin tone, and to have a ponytail to the side. However, I decided to go more for a down version of the hairstyle for two reasons. Firstly, I realised that the ponytail was a little close to extending off of the canvas. While it is easy to make a canvas larger, it complicates the enlargement process. The sprite may have ended up the wrong size, and it was not worth the complications. If I was to draw these sprites from the beginning again, I would have used a canvas with more spare pixels around the initial design, so that experimenting and design isn't limited by space, and later complications can be avoided. Secondly, it isn't a common hairstyle for this age group of young girls, and they are more likely to simply wear their hair down.
Avatar 3's description was to be darker in skin and have mid length hair, proposing more of an androgynous appearance.
Brief design notes that were amidst the character design sketches.
Development compilation for Pixel Plasters.