Ok that grid trick might just be the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Totally going to try that.
So believe it or not, I'm actually still working on this.
This one obviously needs some work but I'm kinda stuck on how to make it look better. Also missing the maintenance hatch because I didn't know how to make that work in such a small size. I always assumed small sprites were easier to make, but maybe that's not always true. @_@
This is the one I've spent the most time on. I was hoping there might be some suggestions on the head, legs and feet. I really kinda wanted a more rounded foot but I couldn't figure out how to make that work in this perspective.
Here's the same sprite with vanishing lines... and, as I just noticed, an oval that is offset from where it belongs because I forgot to move it when I moved the head, lol.
Here's the "get hit" version of the above sprite. It looks bad to me... How can I make it look better?
Wow, just a few little changes to shading and it looks a lot better. :)
I took a few liberties, in particular with the light stripe on the right side of the torso and the shoulder panels just below the head. Also I added just a subtle touch that adds an extra shade to the torso gradient. Hopefully it looks good.
Alrighty, got another sprite.
I think the panels on the shoulders and the top there are too small to shade effectively with streaks and stuff. At least I couldn't get it to work.
I played around with it a little bit. I think the key is that the slope increases the farther you move from the center, but I tried moving the outermost up by two pixels and that was too much.
There is a program I've used before for this kind of thing called RotSprite.
It's a little clunky to use but depending on the angle you want to rotate through it can work great. Works perfectly for multiples of 90 degrees, great for multiples of 45 degrees, pretty well for multiples of 30 degrees and ok for 15 degrees. I haven't tried anything else because the documentation on their website recommends you stick to multiples of 15 degrees, but at least give it a try.
It might take a few touch-ups when it's done but it's a lot better than using most image editor rotation tools.
Ah, good catch maruki and Clint.
I also noticed while redoing the panel that the shading on it still assumes the light is in the top-left, so I swapped the left/right colors on that.
Oddly, when I tried adjustinging the shading on the vents so that the flat surfaces were lighter than the curved cylinder, it looked terrible, so I left it the way it was.
Actually, I took careful care with the perspective because that's one part of all this that I feel like I understand decently well. Hopefully the attached expanded image with the vanishing point in view will make it clearer.
But the mouth definitely needs more curve now that you mention it. Looks like the bottom of the cylinder head does too... Hopefully the difference is noticeable.
I made a few adjustments. Capbros, I adjusted the shading a little bit to look more like you were suggesting.
Also I added the dark yellow color to the "jagged teeth" so that it looks more likea surface with the yellow light bouncing off of it. Looks ok I guess.
And I made the middle chest panel a little lighter in color so the contrast isn't as high and it looks less like the shading is painted on.
Ok so I made a few adjustments in response to feedback but I have come across another shading roadblock.
Clint, I essentially copied your shading but tried to make it look a little more dull. I think I succeeded in that but now it looks like it's painted, lol.
Anyway, the weird part is the mouth, which I'm guessing was pretty easy to notice.
Here I've taken off some layers to show that the face should actually be all on one plane embedded below the surface of the cylinder. The above layer adds sockets around the eyes to try to accomplish this, which is simple enough, but the mouth hole is tricky, resulting in the above image that looks like it really badly needs to see a robodentist. Any suggestions? I guess one option would be to make his actual mouth light much larger than the hole but I can't think of any reason that a robot manufacturer would do this. I dunno how much can be done with shadows either since the mouth is a light.
BTW, thanks for the suggestion about the shading on his face. That makes a lot of sense, and I'll look into that later. I didn't want you to think I was ignoring it. :)