CAP 18 CAP 18 - Sprite Submissions

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On sabbatical!
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Final Submission

Managed to take a break from real life and non-CAP related things to get more of this done. I made the barbels longer, as I mentioned previously; I extended them leftward to give the appearance of them lying somewhat on the ground. I also fixed a few color issues where there were a few pixels with colors that did not match the rest of the image.

My choice of shiny came unusually naturally from the tones of the benthos. The green is an unsettling yet lush highlight against the deep purple. I might fine-tune the individual shades so the cel-shading is level, since the current image uses literally the first palette I selected. (It is on the dark side...)

Background test:

Comparison test:

  • HeaLnDeaL: I agree with the direction you've went with; the two raised arms and the absence of 1x1 photophore spots, specifically. I like the idea of glowing patterns as the shiny, since it's pretty unique and generally cool. A few minor bits I'd like to comment about your back sprite include choice of highlight on the tentacles, the perceived asymmetry of the back mantle glowing spots and the bent tentacle at the bottom right. I'd remove the highlights, make the photophores slightly more symmetrical (shade that pixel on the right 'fang', I'd say), and make the tentacle's curve (on both the front and back) less sharp, respectively.
  • elementalpenguin: The sprite is very sharp; the positioning of the tentacles, albeit derived from the original art, feel dynamic within the whole composition of the sprite. I'm not sure if I like the asymmetry of the front tentacle tips, given how the rest of the sprite is well-balanced. In addition, while your sprite has good technical merit, I fear it doesn't fit very well with in-game Pokemon. The sprite is ginormous; it's as tall as Zekrom! The sprite standalone looks fine, but if you put it next to other Pokemon sprites, it stands out quite a bit.
  • Umbreonage: I like how squishy your sprite looks, and wow, the barbels look really natural and smooth. Your artistic license works really well in Volkraken's overall composition while not being too far removed from the source sprite. Keep at it!
  • frenzyplant: Looks better to me, though I personally would like to see the spikes be more prominent. Could you shift Volkraken's pose slightly more forward? Currently, the front sprite looks like it's facing quite left, rather than toward an opponent more forward on the screen. Te back sprite is fine by me; probably one of the ones that fit in-game more, haha, since we don't typically see the underside of aquatic invertebrates.
  • Harry.Buxton: The back sprite's tentacles still don't resonate with me. :/ But I suppose some things can't be helped.
  • DougJustDoug: The outline could be darker. The barbels, especially, blend into the body, whereas feature as prominent as those could pop a bit. While you have a unique pose, I can't help but think that Volkraken doesn't know how to live on land, what with the sprite having a concave shape as a whole that indicates its weight being pressed on itself or something. I will say that the mantle looks fantastic. The roundness of the pattern on the head and the defined shape of the vampire fins stand out greatly at the top. I wish that the bottom compares as much, though.
  • epicparker: The barbels are still slightly lumpy, and the topmost head fins retain either a forced perspective that Pokemon sprites lack or an intentional asymmetry in the size of the fins. In layman's terms, the fins don't look like they have the same size. I'd suggest resizing one or both of those fins to make them look less lopsided.
  • Doran Dragon: I'm glad that there are other spriters who compare (at least, show that they compare) their sprites to in-game ones. :) The style fits really nicely with the other sprites! (I wish other people would take that into consideration. D:) I think the sprite as a whole looks 'pulled up', no thanks to the positioning of the tentacles being frontwards. I think it'd be fine to go the Octillery route and turn the body toward the left slightly.
  • Redwolf: Ooh, interesting stylization. Doug did say that many sprite apply artistic license, although I'm wondering if you've done so a tad too liberally? The digited wings were not present in the original art, and the absence of the second set of head lobes and barbels, without any other change, strikes a great contrast. Granted, the sprite as a whole gains simplicity (great!), though the differences are off-putting to me. Might you add a few design elements back into the sprite, so as to not veer away voters from the contrast between concept art and sprite?
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I think this is as good as i can do aha (._.")
The back sprite looks goofy no matter what aha so i decided to stick to the last update. i did change the barbels on the male slightly, but thats about it.

I'm going copy what Quanyails did. (the background example and sprite comparison)

Various background colours for non shiny and shiny sprite.

and the sprite comparison for front and back

Hello again, I've been busy finishing up finals and moving out of my apartment for the summer but I have been working on this, and since we have a little bit of time before the 24 hour warning, I'd like to drop these in here for any last quick crits:

I made the eyes angrier, so that hopefully adds a little character, and I made a backsprite.


Let's Keep Fighting
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Umbreonage, on your shiny back sprite, the dark blue is so dark that it loses a lot of detail, and I really have to strain my eyes in order to see it properly. Also, from the front sprite I don't like how the back arm's tip barely touches over the top of the head; it looks more like a horn or spike than anything else. On the back sprite, this same tentacle also has a weird balance, and it drags my eye along it to the top of the sprite and holds all of my attention there. So, my recommendation would be to either make sure that arm doesn't go quite so high, or maybe to curl it down.

Other than that one arm (and that super dark blue), I really like your sprite. I personally like the change you made to the eyes, and your back sprite (minus that high arm) is really extremely impressive. Great job on the curves and the perspective.


Banned deucer.
I reached this point in the backsprite before I realized how horribly ugly and deformed those tentacles are. I could probably fix it, but there's not much time and I'm low on motivation.

I think I just won't do a Final Submission. Thanks for all your advice and stuff guys and good luck on the polls!


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Final Submission

yeah, uh. I really couldn't figure out what else to do, so why not. the pose is definitely less active than others', but I'm happy with it haha. thanks to everyone who gave comments, criticism, or advice! I really had fun making this.
good luck to everyone in the polls!


pink wingull
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Umbreonage I agree with HealnDeal, the darks on the backsprite especially the shiny are too dark, the darkest colour doesn't need to be so dark and the lighter dark colour could be higher in contrast to the dark one I think.
Harry.Buxton yours is my favorite because it looks like it's walking up ready to beat the shit out of you, let's you hit first so it can nuke you without touching you because it's SpA is way higher than its Atk. In all seriousness, it is a class A sprite.
Umbreonage, the backsprite looks great, but HeaLnDeaL and paintseagull are right when they mention its contrast. Also, it's just because of the color you used for it, but the eye on the shiny looks "blurrier" than the normal sprite - the pupil color is similar to the whites, so it isn't as discernable. Looking good though!

If people haven't noticed, I've finalized my submission on the first page. Good luck to those entering!


pink wingull
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Movepool poll is up so we now have 48 hours for that to finish then about 24h of grace time for spriters! I'll put up an exact deadline within the next day or so!


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Final Submission

Alright, so I've lessened the shading on my back sprite again (thanks elementalpenguin) and moved the two "fang" tipped arms over to the left a few pixels in order to try to shift the balance and create more of an angle overall. As per Quanyail's suggestions, I made the two back-face fangs more symmetrical, and I made the bottom right tentacle on the back sprite less angular, and matched these changes on the front (I think/hope that was the tentacle that was meant in the suggestion).

At this point, I'm somewhat leaning towards the shiny above; I tried to make the luminescent tips a purple instead of blue in order to make sure the back still had some difference from the non-shiny (some shinies have minimal differences showing on the back sprite, and since Aron's eyes are the only thing that changes, its shiny back looks identical to its shiny front). I'm somewhat nervous about having such a light face marking, as shinies don't usually go through such drastic color changes of contrast in a localized area. However, going through sprites I noticed that Krookadile's black stripes went to a quite light gold color in its shiny, so this eased my worries somewhat. Overall, the white face markings are meant to show more of a "skull" feeling, since skulls are white. Though, I'm still very nervous about my shiny choice, as it's quite different than the others in this thread.

EDIT: Went ahead and made it a final submission. Changed the shiny by making the eyes darker, as per paintseagull's suggestion. I like the contrast better now, but at first I was thinking the shiny's back face was too dark as a result. However, after giving it some time, I think it also adds different personalities to the shiny back face and the non-shiny, which hopefully exemplifies the back face rather than harm it. The face on the back of the shiny looks more subtle and subdued in comparison to the non-shiny(due to the darker colors), but having a multi-personality sprite hopefully matches the multiple faces in my design. Also, I'd like to point out that the back sprite will always show up zoomed in on the simulator, so some of the details such as the back face's "fangs" would be more visible.

Below are some size comparisons, using GameFreak sprites. My sprite is not the smallest in this thread, but it's also far from the largest. After looking through a lot of past sprite polls, I noticed there were some suggestions/comments that elementalpenguin won the Necturna poll due to the main competitor's sprite being "too large." However, even in this very thread there have been comments about needing smaller sprites for more realistic sizes while others have said the complete opposite and suggested that this CAP design needs larger sprite sizes to convey all of the details. So, it's a very tricky balance it seems. I really don't know which side is best and it's something I've thought about a lot, but in any case my sprite seems not to be any either side of small or large.

And, as the trends have been, I've posted some examples of what my sprite looks like against different background colors. However, I actually took my backgrounds shown directly from the files used on Showdown, and tried to match the positions fairly close to where the sprite will sit when out on the field for battle. Also, examining the code, I noticed that these showdown backgrounds are displayed at 0.6 opacity, meaning that the sprite will never be seen against a particularly dark background. In order to compensate for this 0.6 opacity, I took the background pieces behind my sprite and increased the lightness in order to reach a similar effect. So, the backgrounds presented are pretty darn close to what would be seen on actual simulator play.

And as a side note, Vampire Squid have the largest eye-to-body ratio of any animal, so I don't think my sprite having large eyes is out of character.
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pink wingull
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HeaLnDeaL it looks GREAT! For the shiny, you could make the "skull" white less bright if you're worried about it, but I love that effect. I think it's fine as it is. The purple tips could have a little more contrast to the red body, try making them more saturated and/or darker (I was thinking lighter at first but then I thought how cool it would be if the vampire face markings on the shiny were a light face with dark eyes)
Wow, long time I posted here ^^
After a lot of schoolwork, I managed to make some spare time to make this:

I probably won't be able to finish in time, since I started a bit too late, but it was fun to make.

Overall I think the entries look great. Most of them look good on first sight, but also more in detail.
The main thing that bothered me is that there are mostly 'sitting' sprites. I think it makes more sense to make it 'floating' in the water since that the vampire squid does this more ofter (based on pictures and videos about it). Also it would be so cool if in the animation would include it to flap with its 'bat-wings' while waving with its tentacles.


pink wingull
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I'm going to close this up at about 11am EDT on Monday. That means you have about 46 hours! That's slightly more than 24 hours after the end of this final movepool poll. Good luck to those of you still finishing up!


noobiess Nice pose, very squid-like! and I really like the expression of the false face markings, has tons of personality! It seems much smaller than most sprites, but maybe that's ok since a lot of them are quite large. Also, don't forget about the transparent background, if you finish!
Final Submission

I lightened the bottom a bit, hopefully enough. I also removed the tentacle peeking over the top of the frontsprite, but I like the positioning on the back, so I shorted it but otherwise kept it.

With a name like "Volkraken", my aim with this sprite was to create something that emphasized the fierceness and dynamic potential of the tentacles of this pokemon.

Guess I'll hop on the bandwagon too. Color test:

And comparison with other pokemon (generally also water types with complex designs)

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Here is my entry again:

It went much quicker then expected so I think I'll be able to make a final submission tomorrow.
I made the frontsprite bigger and made the backsprite.
For the shiny I'm not quite sure which one to use. I was planning to make the spots yellow, but when I was making it I also thought the blue worked very good.
noobiess, what if you made the spots green? that would give it a kind of poison acid look that i think would go well with the dark purple.

i like the yellow better than the blue, tho


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I would advise all spriters to double check that their sprite is 15 colours + transparency. I don't know why that isn't a rule but it ought to be. This applies to a particular 'final submission' in this thread. There is already more than 1 user who has broken the 15 colour rule, which I would argue is a rather fundamental part of the BW sprite style, and the current CAP does not have a design that would merit the breaking of this rule.

as you were.


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noobiess, I prefer the yellow over the blue when it comes to the shiny. However, I also agree with bunny and think that lime/light/bright green could look even better.
Great sprite, I think it offers a different vibe than anything else submitted.

Also, on an unrelated note, just wanted to say I've updated my most recent sprite posting and made it my final submission earlier today... was such a big post and my changes were few so I felt it more appropriate to update/edit rather than post again.


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Final Submission

Here's my final submission, with a posing of Volkraken a bit different than most. It is not as dynamic as many other sprites, and that was somewhat intentional. As all the spriters in this thread know, Golurkyourself made a quite a detailed design (like almost every CAP design in the past, so no surprise there), so I have tried to offset all the design complexity with a more static pose. As I said in my first post on the front sprite, I have tried to make the tentacles creepy and squirmy, because I think the design has many great creepy elements (like the false face, the bat wings, and the vampire squid theme in general).

The back sprite was a late addition, because I just could not find much time to work on it. I tried to add some different elements to the back sprite that are not contained in the front sprite (like the upward bending rear tentacles and emphasized "flap" curvature on right) which hopefully allows the backsprite to have a personality all its own, while still complimenting the front sprite. I wish I would have had time to iterate more on it and get feedback. But, unfortunately time was not on my side this time around.

Also, regarding colors in my sprite, lack of time worked against me. In my sprites, I was always working with a palette of 13 colors, which was plenty to accomplish what I needed in the sprite. However, somewhere along the way of cutting and pasting between sprite versions in Photoshop, palettes got mixed up or corrupted (not sure how at this point), and I have ended up with several pixels having near-imperceptible color differences from what I thought was the "base palette". There are 6 or 7 "extra colors" in there, that are mistakenly included and have almost no differences from my intended palette. I wanted to clean them up before final submission, just to ensure my sprite was "perfectly clean", but I just couldn't make the time to do it. CAP does NOT have a rule limiting sprite palette size, so this submission is not technically illegal at all. But, when working with the sprite, I *thought* I was working within the conventional norms of pokemon sprite palette size -- and I'm sorry it got messed up somehow along the way.

Overall, I love many of the other sprite submissions out there -- some of them I like almost more than my own! But, I wanted to give voters a different twist on Volkraken, without straying too far from the base design. I'm fairly happy with how it turned out, and I look forward to seeing which sprite we choose. Good luck to all the spriters who participated in this thread!​


pink wingull
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OK, Closing up now! Thanks to everyone who entered and gave feedback! I'll have the poll up as soon as I can make it :)
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