The Masters of Pixel Art

category: gfx [glöplog]
Ok, Serpent, here we go ^^

Klas Benjaminsson aka Prowler/BRS is doing a Kickstarter for a book about demoscene pixel art from the 16bit era (mostly Amigaaa, but not only).

Featured pixel masters according to the site:
Alex, Alien, Angeldawn, Antony, Archmage, Bay Tremore (Duke), Bridgeclaw, Cheetah, Chevron, Cyclone, Dark, Darklight, Das, Destop, Devilstar, Electron, Facet, Fade One, Fairfax, Fiver (theunitedstatesofamerica), GFX-twins, Haplo, Havok, Hof, Jaco, Jamon, J.O.E, Jok, Kris, Lazur, Made, Mazor (Kidlove), Mon, MRK, Niko, Orhan, Pixie, Prowler, Ra, Rork, Saffron, Slayer, Thor, Titan, Typhoon, Uno, Visualize, Walt

The news already got around and at the current rate it looks like the project will be funded without too much hassle, so consider this not a call for "please help to make this a success!", but simply as an information because many of you (me included) would probably like a copy of it once its done. :)

So, big ups to pr0wler and shut up and take my money!
added on the 2015-11-18 13:11:22 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
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added on the 2015-11-18 13:26:40 by Gargaj Gargaj
Thanks wysiwtf, was too busy *cough* to do a thread about it.
added on the 2015-11-18 14:05:22 by Serpent Serpent
Thanks for the heads-up! Finally a good reason to sign up at Kickstarter. Pledged.
added on the 2015-11-18 16:24:08 by Kylearan Kylearan
i was checking that yesterday, the book seemed interesting, the cost and added shipping set me back quite a bit though.

i was left wondering why they didn't reach out to an experienced publisher to handle proper distribution. kickstarter would validate the demand, don't see why a publisher would refuse it. and there are some indie book publishers around aswell. (bubok and such).

then again i'm not in contact with prowler and whoever else is involved organizing this, so maybe they did try these things and it's just a really tough market for indie books from sweden.
added on the 2015-11-18 18:52:21 by psenough psenough
I think the price is justified, remember that you get a 200 pages all hi-color premium qualitx grade hardcover book.
As for the shipping... well yes, it is quite expensive but I have no idea if other publishers would have been able to push it way down... after all its unlikely that this book will sell a (for publishers) significiant amount of units.
Also theres the option to pick the book up yourself (or have it picked up) and skip shipping, i.e. at next years Revision =).
added on the 2015-11-18 19:57:01 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
WANT - and pledged.

Prowler: <3
added on the 2015-11-19 08:14:27 by farfar farfar
with that title, omitting everything that basically started pixel art is just fail
added on the 2015-11-19 10:42:08 by groepaz groepaz
Just because you start something doesn't mean that you're a master at it. ;)

Would love to get a copy but kickstarter's credit card requirement = meh.
I also think that the book is way too restrictive. The title is all encompassing, but the content is very restricted.

In a "Masters of Pixel art" book I would expect things going through console rpgs to modern pixel art artists that do animations, iso, or full page creations for magazines and ads.
added on the 2015-11-19 13:16:32 by Dbug Dbug
Just because you start something doesn't mean that you're a master at it. ;)

its like making a "masters of chip music" album and then its full of amiga mods with crappy samples. really.
added on the 2015-11-19 13:21:14 by groepaz groepaz
everybody knows amiga is master race, no?
added on the 2015-11-19 13:28:27 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
Hi, cool to see this thread here on Pouet! I'll try to say a little about the comments here.

The shipping cost:
Yes I know, and this is really too bad! :( I am currently examining the possibility to lower them.
The problem is a bit complex: when initially examining different options, worldwide shipping without tracking seemed to be a really bad and insecure option. Therefore, I examined a dozen of options with tracked shipment, ending up with outrageous prizes!... UPS however was willing to cut me into their "company" discount program, giving me about 80% discount on their normal prizes. But EVEN THEN shipping worldwide it's about x7 of the cost to print the book. Therefore I decided to cut some of the margin of the book prize itself to not make this plain stupid.
However, people seem really upset about the shipping cost (I've been getting a lot of comments about it), and I'm examining the possibility to change the entire shipment solution from tracked to normal economy class. Of course people already pledged should get their pledges lowered accordingly. I'm waiting for Kickstarters response on this matter.
It seems like this is what people want.

I also added the pickup-point option to work around this problem a little, offering free pickup at Revision, Sweden and Denmark.
Also ordering double package would cut 50% of your shipping expense, but no-one seems to have liked that option...

About reaching out to a real Publisher:
Let's just say Amiga pixel art is not really something that any publisher believes will sell at all ;-)
Therefore, crowdfunding was ideal for this project.

The title:
Yes, you are all correct, and I thought that it would cause some reaction among real sceners :-)
My initial idea was to name the book "Masters of Amiga Pixel Art", but I thought such a title would make it even more narrow to reach out to people.
I know there are a lot of really great graphics for earlier platforms (such as the c64), which deserves this title too.
But doing a mix of all platforms in one book (like Freax did), was not my intention. I wanted to focus on this part of pixel graphics, making a more distinct and united selection. In my mind c64 vs Amiga graphics got clearly different aesthetics, where the c64 graphics often got more technical features and difficulties (I have done some of those myself).
As Amiga and c64 pixel graphics are separated in compos - I thought it was suitable to do so in the book as well.

I am thinking to add a sub-title "Amiga edition" or "5-8 bit colour depth edition" inside the book, just to clear this a little. Perhaps there will be a c64 edition in the future, if all goes well :)

OK, I hope this explains some of your questions and thoughts. I will try to answer any other questions as they pop up, as well as keeping you updated how the shipment-solutions is progressing...
added on the 2015-11-19 14:44:39 by prowler prowler
why not just name it

masters of the universe

..that will get you audience
added on the 2015-11-19 15:00:57 by 1in10 1in10
The first things that came to my mind when reading the title are Peachy:
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...and Cougar:
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Both seem to be missing...
added on the 2015-11-19 15:07:05 by hfr hfr
perhaps i'm just too used to ordering my books from book repository, where shipping is free. wish this book would end up in such platforms aswell.

huge thumb up for the effort regardless though. we need more of these kind of books for sure.
added on the 2015-11-19 19:05:29 by psenough psenough
Less than 20% needed still!
added on the 2015-11-26 19:14:56 by Gargaj Gargaj
@hfr: It's 5 AM and I'm too bored to go to sleep. So this happened.

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added on the 2015-11-27 14:56:41 by jmph jmph
i wish they would train that fucking thing on something other than dog pictures =)
added on the 2015-11-27 20:45:51 by farfar farfar
...like Cougar's picture?
Impressive! Just the right seed for that deep learning algo. I must second farfar though. It even turned the nipples into tiny dog faces. Should be the other way round.
added on the 2015-11-27 21:57:15 by noname noname
Bumping this thead with an update.

The e-store http://nicepixel.se/ has been launched. "The Masters of Pixel Art" volume 1 and other pixel art related products are now available to buy online!
As an opening sale, we are now running a 10% discount until the 27th of June! Use the code: nicepixel

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Volume 2 has been announced and is still in early development. It will mainly cover Commodore 64 as well as pixel art from the Amstrad and Spectrum platforms. If all goes well and sales of volume 1 is reasonable, volume 2 will probably launched on Kickstarter as well (winter 2016).

@groepaz & @Dbug
The Masters of Pixel Art has evoled into a book series, which in time will cover different distinct "areas" of pixel art. With volume 2 that book will cover the great works on the c64 platform and other early computers.

Generally I have excluded artists who mainly produced work that is: 1. not hand-pixelled 2. obvious re-drawings (copies) 3. sexistic stuff.
There are always grey zones, and the book do indeed contains images that are rather "inspired" art than 1:1 copies. The absence of a few famous pixel artists can usually be explained by the 3 rules above. Some "famous" pictures by artists which are featured in the book have also been removed due to the these rules.
That said, "Face Of Nature" by Cougar is a great image and I considered including Cougar in the book. However, his other famous works are mostly copies - leaving only a few lesser known images to include.
added on the 2016-06-18 10:58:27 by prowler prowler
hi prowler,

i have recently discovered that there is this universal book shipping thing called a 'book rate' for shipping books only in regular mail, which is significantly cheaper then sending regular packages through mail, it's restrictions is that you can only send the book itself (no extra papers). it was originally created for book publishers and book business professionals, but apparently mail people dont ask for professional credentials.

considering shipping was such a huge issue on this project i thought you might want to know about this, in case you dont, or if you want to check if this service is also operating in sweden.
added on the 2016-09-08 00:47:46 by psenough psenough
Fuck, how the hell did i miss out on this originally O.o Will keep an eye out for the next KS and just bought myself the book, can't wait to get it!
added on the 2016-09-08 11:12:07 by Intrinsic Intrinsic