CAP 18 CAP 18 - Sprite Submissions

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Time to make a sprite for CAP18! Although Pokemon X and Y have updated to 3D models, we're still utilizing sprites on Pokemon Showdown. Thanks to the excellent Spriters' Project, Smogon features the best generation six sprites on the Internet. Our design should fit right at home with a sprite.

Sprite Rules
  • Sprites should be inspired by the winning design from the Art Poll. It does not need to be an exact rendition of every detail of the design; "artistic license" is granted to all spriters. However, drastic deviation from the selected art design is discouraged.
  • All sprites (front and back) can have a maximum size of 96x96.
  • All sprites (front and back) must have a complete, unbroken, distinguishable outline. It does not need to be a black outline, but it must be clearly distinguishable from the adjacent interior colors of the sprite
  • No action effects, move effects, environment effects or additional objects can be rendered on or around the pokemon.
  • Sprites must be in PNG format.
  • Use 8-bit truecolor (aka 8-bit RGB) or less. This does NOT mean 256 color mode.
  • Use transparent backgrounds.
  • All sprites must be scratch sprites that are completely original works by the spriter. Fusions of other sprites or pixel-overs of other artist's lineart are not allowed.
  • Do not alter, fuse, recolor or otherwise modify another spriter's submission unless the original artist explicitly gives permission.
  • All sprites (front and back) must use roughly the same size and pose when compared to each other.

Final Submission Post

All spriters must make a final submission post conforming to the sprite rules (listed above) and the following:
  • The post must have "Final Submission" (in bold) as the first line, with the sprites at the top, and any additional description or comments (if applicable) below them.
  • Final submissions must contain a minimum of 4 sprites - Front Normal, Front Shiny, Back Normal, Back Shiny. If spriters choose to include gender differences (Male and Female versions of each) then 8 sprites must be submitted. Gender differences are NOT required.
  • Only submit ONE PNG that contains all the submitted sprites. Please do not submit separate images for every sprite. One "cutsheet" makes it easier for mods to track submissions and ensure each complete set of sprites stay intact.
  • Only make one (1) final submission post.

All legal final submissions will be included in the sprite poll.

Advice for Spriters

There are 8 possible sprites:
  • Front Normal Male
  • Front Normal Female
  • Front Shiny Male
  • Front Shiny Female
  • Back Normal Male
  • Back Normal Female
  • Back Shiny Male
  • Back Shiny Female
In most cases, spriters post a Front Normal sprite first. Once feedback comes in and the poll nears, they make the other sprites. You do not have to make different Male and Female sprites. Typically there are only minute differences between male and female sprites, but some spriters make noticeable changes between genders, which is also fine. Shiny coloring is completely up to the spriter to choose, even if the design artist posted suggested shiny coloring with their art design submission. Please look at your transparent sprites against different colored backgrounds, not just white. In Pokémon Showdown, the sprite will be displayed on multiple background colors in battle.

Main Design

Additional supporting material by the design artist (Golurkyourself) can be found here. Spriters are NOT obligated to use any design elements of artwork not represented in the Main Design. This includes details shown only in back views or other action poses by the design artist. The only official reference artwork for this project is the Main Design and all other artwork is provided to be referenced at spriters' discretion.


CAP18 so far:

Leadership Team:

- Topic Leader
jas61292 - Typing Leader
PttP - Ability Leader
srk1214 - Stats Leader
ginganinja - Movepool Leader
Concept: Major Third

General Description: A Pokemon that forms an effective offensive or defensive core with two lesser-used OU Pokemon.

Justification: Cores have always been an integral part of the metagame, whether you're running Talonflame/Staraptor to brute force everything, Slowbro/Amoonguss/Heatran for Regenerator-Leftovers stalling, or a whole team of Dragons + Magnezone. We've previously explored what it takes to make a successful partnership in CAP11 (Voodoom), but the metagame (and the simulator!) has changed dramatically since Voodoom's creation. I would also like to up the ante a little bit: Instead of just one, can we now take TWO Pokemon and find their missing piece? Whether we opt to build on an established two-Pokemon partnership or choose two previously unrelated Pokemon and put them together, I think that we can certainly find a Voodoom for a more offensive time.

Questions to Be Answered:
  • How do effective cores in the current metagame differ fundamentally from the cores of previous metagames, if at all?
  • Is synergy as important (relative to power) in the current metagame as it previously has been? (That is, has power creep rendered synergy unnecessary?)
  • What differences are there between tailoring a Pokemon to two others and tailoring it to one? What else must be considered besides weaknesses and resistances?
  • How does the addition of a Pokemon to a core change what other Pokemon can be effectively run alongside the core?
  • Does Team Preview make running cores more difficult?
  • Is it possible to create a core uncounterable by a single Pokemon? (For example, Celebi/Heatran/Jellicent was a very effective BW core that got slaughtered by Tyranitar. Can a core force opponents to counter it with another core?)
  • Tagging onto the above, what is required to "counter-core" a core? What combination of offensive and defensive characteristics among "counter-core" members achieves this?
Pokemon CAP18 should threaten:

It's important that, first and foremost, we threaten the Pokemon and strategies that our core has no answer to. In general, the degree to which a Pokemon threatens Latias and Lucario should be the degree to which CAP18 threatens that Pokemon.

Ghost-type Pokemon: Aegislash, Gengar
Fairy-type Pokemon: Clefable, Mawile predominantly. Togekiss, Sylveon and Azumarill to somewhat lesser extents.
Some Fire-type Pokemon: Mega Charizard Y, Heatran, Talonflame to a much lesser extent.
Bug-type Pokemon: Scizor, Forretress, Volcarona.
Ground-type Pokemon*: Landorus-Therian, Hippowdon, Excadrill.

When I say "to a lesser extent", I mean that CAP 18 should be a threatening presence to this Pokemon, but it should not be an ultra-reliable counter. CAP18 should perform well against every Pokemon on this list, but that doesn't mean CAP18 needs to unconditionally switch into and force out these Pokemon. It should likely be able to do one or the other, but countering all of these Pokemon is neither feasible nor recommended.

CAP18 should be able to handle, either by switching in or 1v1, the Pokemon that defeat at least one of our core members that the other one cannot switch into. For example, Mega Charizard X is a Pokemon that defeats Lucario 1v1 that Latias can't switch into. If Multiscale is active, so is Dragonite. Gyarados, before it Mega Evolves, fits this bill.

*With a weakness to Ground, this will be a difficult task. We should threaten these Pokemon as well as we can, but we should not expect to counter Ground-types, but rather defeat them 1v1.

Pokemon CAP18 should be threatened by:

We should be okay with CAP 18 losing to Pokemon that the rest of our core handles well. For example, Latias is a tremendous answer to Rotom-W, and CAP18 is weak to Electric and does not have a STAB that can hit Rotom-W even neutrally. Rotom-W isn't particularly bothered by Fire- and Water-type support options, so making Rotom-W anything other than a threat to CAP18 is fitting a square peg into a round hole. Keldeo is a similar example, although Keldeo is so commonly paired with Pursuit Aegislash (the bane of this core) that it's not safe to let Keldeo counter this CAP.

Bulky Waters: Rotom-W, Keldeo to a much smaller extent.
Bulky Dragons: Latias, Latios, Goodra.
Walls with minimal offensive presence: Chansey, Blissey.

Pokemon not on either of our threatlists should be overly specifically threatening or threatened by CAP 18. Just because a Pokemon is not in the second list doesn't mean it is our prerogative to beat it. The same goes with Pokemon not in the first list: we shouldn't be expected to lose to every Pokemon that we don't threaten.
Typing: Fire / Water
Abilities: Analytic / Infiltrator / ???
Stats: 100 HP / 45 Atk / 80 Def / 135 SpA / 100 SpD / 95 Spe


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Version one of vampire squid. I'm sure I could improve the mantle and overall composition.

According to Golurk, the underside of the body is black (for camouflage when diving), so I respect that. I did not respect the number of spikes on the tentacles, however, since that would push the limits of detail density on the sprite.

Edit: Made some edits to the shading, mantle, eye, and curves.
Edit 2: Made more edits to the shading and eye.
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Final Submission

Went with the original pose, since I felt that showed the details in the best way.

Since everyone's doing it, a color-background test using the actual PS background colors:

EDIT: changed...feelers? whatever those are, and added color+shade to back sprite for recognition. planning changes to tentacle positions
EDIT 2: changed position of bottom tentacles, redistributed spikes, fixed imbalance in webbing, added slight shade to head fins (back), slightly increased eye size
EDIT 3: changed feeler angle, increased size of right head fin, fixed some inaccuracies between sprites
EDIT 4: Fixed a tentacle's shape, improved markings, fixed little things on back sprite. Might as well give out some criticism to those I haven't given it to.
Harry.Buxton: I like the pose; it looks familiar to me. For some reason I associate it with an elephant. Aside from that, your back sprite seems a bit flat. Your front sprite has tentacles curling and bending, while your back sprite seems to just have a flat bottom and linear tentacles. Other than that, nice job! Not too big a fan of the shiny coloring though, just because the markings are darker than the body color as opposed to the contrary.

epicparker: I can see where you're going with this. It's a good start, but there are a few things that you should patch up. One thing is that many tentacles are curling in the same way and direction - maybe add more variation to make it more interesting? Also check the shading, especially on the outline. A full-black outline isn't as realistic and doesn't emphasize lighting well. Clean up some shapes to make them more rounded (when making a curve try to make lengths of segments go in a linear order like 3-2-2-1-1-1-2-2-3 or similar. Check out some of the other sprites posted to see what I'm talking about. Touch it up and you're on your way! Also, shinies tend to work best when you just change the hues to something similar or equally pleasing and leave many elements the same color [see: Cawmodore].

Alakabooom: Seems a bit small compared to the other sprites. Also, it feels like some tentacles are dull on the ends as well as having a dull tone overall. Maybe spice it up with saturation?

frenzyplant: The back sprite looks interesting, as he seems more condensed and ready to lash out, but the front sprite is at an angle that doesn't quite fit with the battle scene. Traditionally, all Pokemon are facing the bottom-left (front) or top-right (back). You have this right in the back sprite, but having it turned completely left makes it seem awkward and not as pleasing. Turning him more towards us would help get your details and pose out :)

User of Shadows: The eye looks a bit too obscured by the skin flap above it. I like your front sprite as it makes it seem sinister (you live up to your username!) but the back sprite bothers me a bit. He seems lopsided and tentacle widths are not symmetrical and/or uniform. Same with the webbing between the tentacles (which I too had a problem with), but not to as large a degree. I like your beak design though - the concept of having it filled with the same light-fire as is seen throughout the body is a good one. On the side, the first shiny (dark purple with the whitish lights) looks best to me, like a starry sky.

EDIT 5: Drastic back sprite changes, including glowing rings around spikes, turned beak into glowing spikes, added glowing tip to head fins that I somehow missed before, turned all gray into a browner color to fit with the red/orange or yellow/orange color scheme, added level of contrast to backsprite, fixed inconsistencies between normal+shiny.
EDIT 6: Shortened back four tentacles to shift perspective slightly, changed position of middle-top-left tentacle to better fit symmetry, added highlights to backsprite glows, added back of head to back sprite
EDIT 7: Gold shiny is unpopular.
EDIT 8 [final]: Lightened head on backsprite, smoothened base of eye+barbels.
EDIT 9 [legality revision]: Removed an unnecessary color on backsprite.
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Had some fun with this aha

Umm... Sorry to Golurkyourself for not putting the right amounts of spikes on but as it has already been said it was rather tricky.
Also i'm not sure if you had a preferred shiny but i made it that colour because it looks best for it (and like we need another dirty gold shiny octopus aha).

Male back and shiny sprites on the left. Female back and shiny sprites on the right.

For the female i did a few simple things; Made all the "horns" smaller. Changed the "Mask". And changed the "Feeler" size and re positioned them a bit. And changed the "Beak" from 4 sides to 3 sides on the under side.

Advice taken regarding the flat looking head at the bottom left. i rounded it down a little more and i am satisfied with the outcome. If it looks like there is thick lining done at the bottom left of the head, its simply both the head outline and the mask outline.

As for the other advice, i'm going to kindly decline doing it. mainly because i'm happy with the colours and the position of said tentacles. For future deference, the tentacle positions were ment to look like he was sort of in a ready position/ fighting stance.

epicparker - Mainly for you that last paragraph, i'd taken into consideration with changing the colour variation between the base colour and the mask colour. but as i was doing it i looked over at the non shiny version and saw that the shiny sprite had more of a colour variation than the normal sprite, and yeah... didn't bother :P
Also, i really like how you've made the ears/fins/wings whatever they are aha :) keen to see how you tackle the back sprite too. and thanks for pointing out that flat spot aha

Mektar - Ahaha it made me laugh what you had to say about mine :)

Quanyails - I appreciate what you had to say about the dynamic pose :) and yes, to be honest i was thinking of the vampire squid to be quite large aha. Also, i've measured him up against a few pokemon and most are the same or in reasonable size comparison to the vampire squid (of course not pokemon like pidgey XD ). And i do plan on hopefully having time to fatten-up those silly back tentacles :P

HeaLnDeaL - Thank you man, and don't worry i didn't take the lobster crab badly, made me laugh in fact :) and yes, the face/mask thing is a bit hard to tell the difference with... i plan on changing it so the normal has a more distinct colour difference while still remaining subtle (like the shiny).
P.S go with the alternate pose, looks more badass ;)

Elite Lord Sigma - thank you, thank you ahaha as soon as i get some time to work on it i shall aha

elementalpenguin - hmmm yes, it seems that pesky front tentacle seems to get the best of me aha

Thank you anyone els that has given me some advice but i have missed aha
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Banned deucer.
Here's my WIP. Tbh this is my first scratch ever and I haven't even made a sprite in a few years. Back sprites will come and for Gender differences, I'll prob make the "moustache tentacles" shorter for females.

I'm also not loving the shiny colors. Input would be nice. I think I also changed spike numbers, and I made the front spikes nearest to the face larger, accidentally at first, to resemble vampires, as it is a vampire squid. There is definitely stuff to change though, so yeah.
OK, this looks creepily like V4LOVER because it's based on the same pose... but here goes.

Stay tuned for edits, especially on the eye and feeler-tentacle-thingies. And for the black triangleses.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)


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unshaded frontsprite wip (since my first attempt was an abomination) and mostly-done backsprite. also palette.
I'd be really happy to get some feedback/comments, especially about the barbel/feelers and glowy thingies on the frontsprite!


Banned deucer.
Alright I changed the shiny color and I think it looks better now.

And some feedback:
Quanyails: I like it, but the red part's shadow seems too purple. Also, I'm not a big fan of the front tentacles curving upward in front, they look shorter until you really look hard at it, and then it looks kinda odd.

V4LOVER: It looks very good. My only major comment is to make the "moustache tentacles", as I will forever call them, a little longer and curvier. Also, maybe make the head a little more wide and round, unless that would screw everything up, then don't bother cuz it's not that important.

Harry.Buxton: It looks good, although the way the tentacle on the right is up makes it look cramped up on the right side, with extra space beneath, so maybe lower it a bit. Also, the head is a flat line on the left bottom, and I think it should look more circular. Last thing, make the two shades of dark blue more different on the shiny.

Alakabooom: The front two tentacles aren't as curvy or thick as I'd like, and I'm not a huge fan of the two moustache tentacles touching, but overall it's good.

frenzyplant: It looks slightly bloated. Maybe make the tentacles thinner, especially at the end, and make the head more spherical.


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To anyone who wants to use the pose of the original art (V4LOVER Alakabooom and any other WIP out there), I will remind you of this rule from the OP:

  • All sprites must be scratch sprites that are completely original works by the spriter. Fusions of other sprites or pixel-overs of other artist's lineart are not allowed.

For Alakabooom specifically, there is no doubt that you did a pixel-over of Golurkyourself's lineart. The ONLY artist that can do a pixel-over of that lineart and submit it legally, is Golurkyourself. For everyone else, you have to scratch your own sprite. And for anyone that thinks they can do a pixel-over and just change a few pixels here and there and call it "scratch" -- that won't cut it.

There is no issue with using the same general pose of the original art, and there is no problem with pixel-overing lineart (if that is how you work) -- but everyone needs to create their own artwork for all phases of your spriting process. That is why they are called "scratch sprites" -- as in "made from scratch".

Also, along those same lines, remember that Golurkyourself's design is for inspiration and reference for spriters -- it is NOT the definitive artwork for the sprite. Some people are apologizing for not including the exact number of tentacle barbs in the design art, or feeling like they are doing something wrong if they don't go with the shiny coloring that the design artist prefers. That is NOT how we want spriters to regard this step of the CAP process. CAP spriting is not about making a mechanical reproduction of the original art in sprite form. We are not doing the spriting drudgery for the design artist -- CAP spriters are ARTISTS and we are asking you to make a creative original form of art.

Yes, we are all working from the same design inspiration. And yes, the CAP community tends to vote for sprites that "look like the design art", so you shouldn't stray too far from the design. But if you go through past CAP projects (see the CAP Gallery), you will notice that many of the top sprites take advantage of the "artistic license" mentioned in the OP of this thread. Creative posing and clever artistic interpretations are generally viewed positively by the community, and, if done correctly, tends to separate the winning sprites from the pack.

Don't be afraid to be an artist when spriting for the Create-A-Pokemon project!
As I'm quite rusty, I think I'll abstain from a submission this time. But I will say that I'm a huge fan of the sprites so far. Harry's pose looks extremely intimidating, as if the 'mon is saying "Don't you dare mess with me, @#$%&!". Quanyails', on the other hand, looks more like it's lurking in the shadows, and waiting for when its enemies are most vulnerable to go for the kill. Mad props to everyone here.
User of Shadows:

That sprite looks really awesome, but I'm quite skeptical of the gender differences (unless they're all possible shiny colorations, in which case go with the purple and light blue one). The bottom tentacles look a little bit weirdly bent, especially in the backsprite. You might want to fiddle with them a little.

Edit: Hah, OK then. Great work!

Edit2: I do agree with paintseagull that a different pose might be a better idea to prevent the back from being awkward.
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User of Shadows:

That sprite looks really awesome, but I'm quite skeptical of the gender differences (unless they're all possible shiny colorations, in which case go with the purple and light blue one). The bottom tentacles look a little bit weirdly bent, especially in the backsprite. You might want to fiddle with them a little.
Thanks for the advice! All of them are shiny color examples haha. (I personally like the purple too lol.) I'll see what I can do with those tentacles, though.


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For those people (3 of you now) using the official artwork pose, even if you didn't pixel-over, I'd really reconsider using that pose. It's really not a great pose for a sprite, because the backsprite ends up looking really awkward and doesn't show the design well. When you're choosing your pose for the front, think of the implications for the back. Personally, I'd like to see poses that emphasize the "bat ears" that this design has. Some of these sprites are in danger of looking like little more than generic squids.

Quanyails I just noticed that your backsprite has a bit of a tangent going on with the tentacles and the bat ears. From a quick look it looks like they are connected, you should alter their position relative to each other or increase the contrast between them somehow.
Alright, made a few edits:

I decided to go with the black shiny, and now the tentacles look even more awkward to me... Major edits to the back sprite though. Also, I made a gender difference where the bat-ear-things are smaller on the female (Female is Right, Male is Left.)
Feedback would be appreciated~
Edit: HeaLnDeaL Thanks! I might try the head thing, might not. Who knows :v
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UoS, I like your new backsprites a lot more the previous versions. Somehow having the top of the head at least barely peak out over the tentacles on both the front and back might help out. I really like the colors you chose though.


Banned deucer.
Attempt to make good shiny #3, with other edits of course. Thanks for the advice btw, V4LOVER.

I think this is my best shiny yet and it looks a lot better now. I hadn't noticed that most of the tentacles were going the same way, but after V4 pointed it out it looked really obvious.


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I made a few changes to my sprite, and I'm wondering if they're better or worse than my previous version?

  • Made the shading less blue. My computer displays colors slightly differently depending on what program I'm viewing an image from, so I'm not sure how much of a difference the changed colors are.
  • Made the blue spots brighter and whiter. Does the vampire squid look better when it's 'glowier'?
  • Fixed the right tentacle on the back sprite so it doesn't appear tangent to the fin. Should the left tentacle also be separated from the fin it's next to?
  • Fixed one tentacle that had four spikes while the tentacle on the other side had three.

When I remember, I'll probably make the barbels longer.

  • V4LOVER: I've made a few comments already on your sprite. :) The barbels, back fins, and glowing spots are an improvement from the original iteration. I'm not sure if I like how you shaded the underside, though. It's hard to see what your light source is when the entire underside is shaded in, with the center of that underside darker without a cast shadow.
  • Harry.Buxton: Quite a nice pose you've given the sprite. It's got a sense of action without being too dynamic to animate. I like that! There are a few technical comments I have for your sprite, I'll say. Unless you're interpreting Golurk's vampire squid as a kraken of gigantic proportions, the sprite is really quite large. I'd much prefer the sprite be reduced in size so it compares with in-game sprites. I'm also not fond of the back sprite's tentacles compared to the front; they look smaller and flatter compared to the thick and round tentacles in the front. Might those tentacles match up better?
  • epicparker: Your sprite is large. Even if the game gives you 96x96 worth of pixels, taking up the entire space makes your sprite look gigantic compared to Pokemon like Arceus. Using all 96 pixels is typically reserved for the largest or thinnest of sprites, and, unless the vampire squid is a kraken, I don't think it matches that criterion. Once size has been reduced, I'd say that the mantle and barbels of your squid could be less squiggly-looking. The tentacles you have look quite smooth, so could the aforementioned parts look that smooth as well?
  • Alakabooom: Creativity would be nice for your sprite, like what you did for Cawdet. :) Keep Doug's words in mind if you want to make an outstanding submission!
  • frenzyplant: Your sprite looks quite naturally-posed. ouob And you take creative license with it, which is fantastic. I would prefer the sprite to have proportions closer to Golurk's, but your interpretation looks all right. I'd like to see some spikes on the front sprite instead of relegating them to the back, since I'd think you'd be able to see them poking out from the front somewhere.
  • User of Shadows: The sprite you have looks quite dark and slightly desaturated compared to in-game sprites. Could the shading be less selective, especially on the top left tentacles? The back sprite interpretation looks pretty, but I'm not too fond of pushing the spikes to the side of the tentacles to make way for the luminescent lines in the center. That's my personal opinion, not anything technically incorrect.


Let's Keep Fighting
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Alternative pose:

Well, here's my start. I tried to make the face stand out, so I actually outlined it in a darker color; this outline might be kind of hard to see, but I think it helped to make the orange face have better contrast and definition than what it would have had otherwise. I wanted at least one-third of the head above the tentacles, as I hope this will make my back sprite be more than just tentacles when I get around to working on it. Comments, critiques, and suggestions are all welcome! Also, I'm somewhat worried that my sprite might be a tad too large. It's smaller than a few people's sprites, but larger than most :s

EDIT1: Made the spikes smaller, made the left arm thicker, made the front tentacles longer/thinner, and added a bit more shading (as well as some pixel pushing here and there)
EDIT2: Added an alternative pose. Which one do you like better? :)

Some comments of my own for a few people:

Quanyails- I think your new colors are a significant improvement. Your pose is one of the most interesting and well done of those submitted so far, as well. However, I think the glare on the left side of the head reduces a lot of the contrast and makes the face a bit hard to see. That said, I can't get over how great the actual squid/octopus eyes look on your sprite! Overall, one of my favorites.

UoS- I think the pattern on the back of your tentacles are really cool, and I like how the tentacles themselves bend and curl. I think so far your sprites capture the bio-luminescence the best. Though as I mentioned earlier, having the top of the head peek out over the tentacles might help out a tad. Overall, one of my favorites.

epicparker- I love the detail you are able to show, but I do agree that your sprite might be too large. However, I do really like your pose and the perspective that it brings. The left (far) ear on the top might be a bit too small though. Also, great colors!

Harry.Buxton- Your pose is so interesting and well done; the way that one of the tentacles in the front is held up reminds me of a lobster or crab (I don't mean this in a bad way at all!). Your shading's really nice, and overall I'm jealous of your shiny palette. I don't have much to suggest for your sprite, other than maybe the face is kind of hard to identify/see. Great sprite.
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Critique for the updated sprites for the few of you:

User of Shadows: You went quite the way with the artistic license, and I like that. The problem with the new pose for the bottom front tentacles is that he now looks like he's squished against the ground a bit, like they're on a flat surface. The back sprite tentacle spacing, width, and position is so much better than it was before. While the glowing portions are great, it seems just so strong it's obscuring the actual body itself. The contrast is harsh, and so the eye focuses on just the glow.
epicparker: The shiny is much better than before. The head's intense light color is similar to the marking color, so it looks like the two are connected. The "feelers" (which I guess are barbels, then?) are a bit lumpy, unless you're looking for that, and the outline could be lightened. Finally, the tentacles look a bit stumpy and stiff, like they're made of dense rubber and can only bend at the tip - maybe curve them a bit more? Quanyails is also right when she mentions the size of your sprite - it's massive!
Quanyails: Yes, the color looks better now. I don't have much more to say about your sprite. :P
HeaLnDeaL: Might want to fix that image code. Anyway, it's a good start. He should be looking off to the left (+down), since that's where his opponent is. The lineart looks a bit shaky - try to smooth that out more? Looking forward to seeing more shading and a backsprite (and/or shiny sprite).

Made changes to my own sprite, still found way up there.
A bit of feedback.

Quanyails: Not much more to say that others haven't already pointed out; this sprite is really good. I also prefer the lighter blue color; it makes the photophores look more like glowing spots and less like pigment.

HeaLnDeaL: Not bad for a rough draft. The main issues I notice have to do with proportions; the head/mantle is a bit too large relative to the rest of its body, and the spikes are also a little too big. Like V4Lover pointed out, fixing the uneven line art would help resolve those two problems.

HarryBuxton: Your sprite is also pretty well done; it just needs a bit of refinement and touching up to make it look good. I'd also like to mention that your shiny sprite is my personal favorite out of those submitted because the color scheme reminds me of a classic vampire, which fits it well.

There's my first draft. I know paintseagull just talked about the dangers of using the art pose - and I think that's actually completely true. I'll most likely be switching poses completely for the next draft, but I already had all the flats down for this one so I figured why not finish it. At least now I have my 16 colors picked out! (Though of course those are open to further modification as well.

CC of course welcome since I'll most likely reuse parts of this - probably the front two tentacles and the head. I'm pretty sure this thing is way too big, but since I'll be changing to a different pose anyways I'll have time to fix that. Also gonna probably remove some of the spikes.

I'll try to do my own CC later.

EDIT: Aww yiss, time for CC. Under the cut!
Quanyails: Totally agree with all that's been said; you have by far the most interesting pose of the sprites here. Your comfort level as a spriter really shows through in how well the tentacles are modeled. Every change you made was for the better, especially the more glowy spots and the hue shift. I agree with making the barbels longer and would also recommend fixing that fin tangent on the backsprite like you did with the other one. Great sprite.

V4LOVER: I'm loving how you did the backsprite. The hints of blue everywhere work super well. I would recommend looking for areas where you end up having straight lines - that is, the same pattern of pixels over again for a while - and trying to curve them. Curves read much better to the eye. Specific areas for this would be the barbels and the tentacle at 6 or 7 o'clock on the front sprite. You have the same two pixels over then one up pattern for a while on the bottom of that tentacle, so it seems to be flatter than it could be. There's also a few tangents you could clean up, for example the right fin and tentacle.

Harry.Buxton: Your sprite has so much energy! I'm loving all these poses. I would say the same things I said to V4LOVER - find straight lines and tangents and get rid of them. Specifically, the left-most tentacle - the one curving in towards the body - get a little muddied because the tip of the tentacle as it curves back is tangent to a spike. If you look at the upper part of that tentacle, it's a straight line - by arching that up more, you both will have a more natural curve and would move the spike up and away from the tip of the tentacle. I'd also check thicknesses to make sure they're consistent - the barbels are different widths where they meet the mantle and the tentacles in the backsprite seem slightly skinny. Mad props on having such an energetic sprite though.

I agree with Quanyails here that your sprite should be a bit smaller and that smoothing out some areas would help. It also seems like there's some missing shadow on the right side of the body. Those tentacles are awesome though, I like how dexterous you made them seem.

UoS: The main thing here is width consistency. Certain tentacles seem to get skinnier as they get closer to the body when in reality they should be getting fatter. Let's say you have a horizontal tentacle - that is, stretched from left to right. In general, if you wanna keep the width consistent, when you go up a pixel on the upper boundary of the line defining that tentacle, you want to mimic that movement up with the lower outline quite soon after.

Easily the most adorable of the submissions so far. You made squidmon's eyes much more bulgy, which makes him quite wacky looking, and you know what? I like it! It also works super well with your pose. I'd definitely go with pose 2, though since sprites in the style of BW tend to be idle poses, I'd raise the other front tentacle slightly as well. When only one tentacle is raised it makes it seem as though the squid is about to strike and sets it slightly off balance. The other front tentacle doesn't need to be raised as much, but maybe just arched off the ground in the middle before coming back down to rest - like Quanyails's front tentacles. I'd go through and reevaluate your outline shading - the light source should be the same as the shading on the entire sprite. The barbels in particular look strange because they're outline entirely in highlight colors outside of the body but in black on the inside.

Umbreonage: The curling on your tentacles is just radical. Tubular. I'm trying to think of more surf slang to describe how wicked gnarly those tentacles are but I'm coming up short. The main issue here would be with perspective - to fix the head design looking flat you need to imagine it on a rounded plane, which the concept art is quite helpful for. The left tentacles are further away from the mantle than the right tentacles, but with perspective it should be the opposite. Either shift the left tentacles in closer or move the mantle. But the curves on those tentacles? Fantastic. Just be careful they don't get too close together and muddled - one of the tips on the left appears to be a miscolored spike at first glance.

frenzyplant: The head seems a bit too bulbous to me. I'd try to tone that down a bit, but I actually quite like the idea of making it that top-heavy. I'd also give the same advice as I've been giving to a lot of people: avoid straight lines. Find areas where you have the same pattern over and over and change it. The eye is much more likely to see pixels as individual pixels when there's that much repetition. The perspective on your back tentacles is really interesting - I'd like to see that on the frontview as well. This is echoing V4LOVER's comments.

Whew! That took a while. I'm really impressed with the sprites in this thread. It's been a while since I sprited myself, but talking about it is getting me all raring to go!
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My two favorites so far are elementalpenguin's and Quanyails' designs. The former is maximizing space better than any other sprite thus far. This design we've selected for CAP18 is complex (like most), so utilizing as much space as possible is ideal here. While I appreciate the effort of trying to make a smaller sprite to diminish its size, I don't think it will cut it in terms of intricacy. To encapsulate the coolness of the design (pseudo-face + squid features), splurging on the size is going to be a necessity, in my mind. Quanyails, on the other hand, has arguable the best pose. While Golurkyourself's final submission had an upright pose, I always personally preferred this pose better. Having the squid in a more horizontal pose makes it look a bit more nefarious and emphasizes its cranium, in my opinion.

I'd recommend that all spriters consider mixing up the poses while also increasing CAP18's size to get hit all of the necessary details. Great work so far!


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elementalpenguin you have a really nice sprite there. I, too, agree with paintseagull about the problems with using the original art pose -- but yours is really, really good! I think you have pulled it off brilliantly. I think you should stick with that one.

I'm loving the front tentacles on Quanyails sprite, and I like her pose best overall so far. Harry.Buxton has the most dynamic sprite in the thread, and I love the clean pixel work! HeaLnDeaL 's sprite has great personality and is showing a lot of promise.

To all the other spriters in the thread, I like your stuff too, just not as much as the ones mentioned above. Great to see a lot of spriting WIP's this CAP!

Alright, been working on this during breaks from finals stuff, I'll be nice and call it a first draft.

Things I changed from the original art: wings are now bluish instead of flat grey and are kinda fringey, eyes are sorta sprited differently

Things I like about this: pose, details fit in pretty well without looking too weird
Things I want to work on still: not sure I like the wings (the shape or the shading), the right face tendril is kinda jagged looking, the face pattern on the head isn't as dynamic as I'd like

Thoughts overall? Feel free to go at it, I don't usually sprite pokemon so crits are much appreciated.
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