Pokemon designs that were ruined by 3D models

One also has to remind that RGB, Yellow and several gen 2 sprites were very unnatural in proportions in order to show head or main features of the Pokemon, which obviously was not possible to do well in 2d sprites.
I think the real reason for RGB's weirdness relative to literally every other game is more because they like...didn't have a unified art style at that point.
Sugimori mentioned in his book that he drew artwork of all the pokemon after the spritework was done, because guide books needed it. The sprites were just sort of thrown in there, is the feeling i got, and probably didn't have a lot of passes resulting in things like ivysaur

Just sort of...being really lumpy and off.
Yellow & most of GSC didn't have this problem. I think a lot of poses from Yellow are directly based on anime stock art and GSC just plain probably had more experience on their dot artists and art pipeline.

I guess, anyway, they rarely ever talk about this kind of thing.
 
I think the real reason for RGB's weirdness relative to literally every other game is more because they like...didn't have a unified art style at that point.
Sugimori mentioned in his book that he drew artwork of all the pokemon after the spritework was done, because guide books needed it. The sprites were just sort of thrown in there, is the feeling i got, and probably didn't have a lot of passes resulting in things like ivysaur

Just sort of...being really lumpy and off.
Yellow & most of GSC didn't have this problem. I think a lot of poses from Yellow are directly based on anime stock art and GSC just plain probably had more experience on their dot artists and art pipeline.

I guess, anyway, they rarely ever talk about this kind of thing.
Now that you use Ivysaur as an example... let's not forget the Pokedex.



This is Ivysaur's front sprite in Red and Blue, the only one in which it's not in all fours. What is relevant about this? It's the very same games whose Pokedex entries state that Ivysaur cannot stand on its hind legs.
 

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In gen 5 Blaziken looked scary and like it was about to kill ur ass but in gen 6&7 it just stands there doing nothing lol.
It's evident that the animators did not have time to give all 3D models that much attention. Blaziken, like 90 % of all bipedal Pokémon, just stands there with its arms out slightly and breathes heavily. It has a very "default" pose with a minimum of bobbing so it doesn't stand completely still.

I agree that the Gen V sprite had its flaws, but at least it had clenched fists and looked pumped up for attack. Gen VI Blaziken seems to have had a minimal amount of effort into it, it's just standing there while moving ever so slightly. As if the animation requirement was "some degree of constant movement", and the animators had to go through several dozen Pokémon before a lunch meeting that day. Find a stance, make it bob slightly, move to next design, repeat.
 
Well it is also justificable to some extends. They had to make several thousands of models more or less completely anew (since gen 6 was the first to actually use 3d models), if you factor in form differences, megaforms, sex differences, etc, with all models also needing a few different attack animations, I can accept them to not overdo with the "idle animation details" requirement and rather focus on the overall quality of the models themselves.
In the end, the Pokemon is supposed to be "standing still waiting for the trainer's orders" so it looks acceptable to me that Blaziken (in this case) is concentrating and getting ready to kick some butts...literally.

That said, Switch games will very likely have new models, and with an even more powerful technology and hardware behind, we can hope to get even better quality and details going into gen 8.
 
I still kind of think they'll just reuse these models for switch.
With enough stylization they can probably last another generation. I can't imagine gamefreak is in the mood to recreate 805++ models every 3 years, to put it another way.
 
Yeah, those models seem to be made so they can be reused easily. This is something already seen with the models from Pokémon Colosseum/XD, Battle Revolution and the 3DS Pokémon, which are pretty much more polished versions of the Pokémon Stadium models.

At most they may tweak some renders or some animations to make them a bit more dynamic, but that’s it.
 
They can definitely be reused, but that would assume that the combat graphic stays the same.

Moving to gen 8 on Switch would be a pretty valid moment to further improve graphic battle interactions from the "stand still, do a 1 second anomation, then disappear while another animation plays on the opposer pokemon face"

Expecially right now certain Z-moves looks... quite.... terrible due to the fact models are not built around them. See Kangaskan doing normal Z move, or Dragonite or Toucannon doing the flying one...
 
They can definitely be reused, but that would assume that the combat graphic stays the same.

Moving to gen 8 on Switch would be a pretty valid moment to further improve graphic battle interactions from the "stand still, do a 1 second anomation, then disappear while another animation plays on the opposer pokemon face"

Expecially right now certain Z-moves looks... quite.... terrible due to the fact models are not built around them. See Kangaskan doing normal Z move, or Dragonite or Toucannon doing the flying one...
the hilarious thing about the z move nonsense is a lot of those have animations they could use
Toucannon literally has a flying animation right there they could switch to. Literally every single pokemon has a running animation that would map instantly to the proper model and could be used for all kinds of situations, least of all Breakneck Blitz.

And it's not even like the (entirely unique!!!!!!!!!!) pokemonamie sleeping animations where implementing them might kill battle pacing
 
The only thing I really want in terms of animations is for airborne Pokemon to use grounded idle animation instead of the awkward ones they use now, where possible.

And mind you, they already have grounded animations.
 
I don't really the 3D transitions from their sprite counterparts are a sort of "ruining" it (probably air battle-capable pokemon models look weird but meh). In Gen V and before to make the pokemon (in sprites) more intimidating they must need a sort of posture (especially in gen 4 when everyone is idle, and Gen V has limited movements) to express their characteristics in a short matter of time.
But in Gen VI and forward we got everyone as 3D models and displays different postures when they attack (although they are kinda wonky at times), thanks to the 3DS' larger capacity and capability. They don't need to make the 3D sprites move all the time anymore, so instead of having them move all the time they decided to make them more "natural" in postures, of which I think this is much more important than giving them badass postures by default.

And btw the colours might be not as sharp not only because the 3DS' hardware sucked as a console, but because the rendering system is also different hence they probably can't use very extreme colours such that the shading effect will be better when viewed.
 
But hey, Marshadow USES A DIFFERENT POSE IN HIS Z MOVE, Kappa.


Tiltworthy mention: why do they have to always specific that IT HAS A DIFFERENT POSE (same for Pikachu, Kommo-O Z moves to mention some), like it's some groundbreaking thing everytime they advertise unique Zmoves, I don't get it.
 
But hey, Marshadow USES A DIFFERENT POSE IN HIS Z MOVE, Kappa.


Tiltworthy mention: why do they have to always specific that IT HAS A DIFFERENT POSE (same for Pikachu, Kommo-O Z moves to mention some), like it's some groundbreaking thing everytime they advertise unique Zmoves, I don't get it.
Because 1. it looks more dope, and 2. to add flavor to the pokemon's character, such as how Kommo-O is said to use its scales to produce a clanging effect to scare the living shit out of some weak pokemon.
 
to


In Black and White, Cacturne looked a lot more threatening than the new Cacturne does. For one, the darker colors really give off the fact that Cacturne is a dark type. The newer one, however, just doesn't do that for me. Also, BW Cacturne has a darker design of diamonds on it's chest, which also kind of goes with the darker colors, but I feel like it's important to point out because it really adds to the design.

BW Cacturne's arms makes it look like it's read to tussle, whereas in XY, they're a bit more passive. However, one huge difference that really sells the old Cacturne to me is the eyes. Cacturne's old eyes look menacing, but the new ones don't have that same yellow glow.

In conclusion, Black and White Cacturne looks truly scary, whereas the new one branches away from that design. It may have been that GF decided to go with a rag-doll look for Cacturne, however I just don't agree with that design.
 
to


In Black and White, Cacturne looked a lot more threatening than the new Cacturne does. For one, the darker colors really give off the fact that Cacturne is a dark type. The newer one, however, just doesn't do that for me. Also, BW Cacturne has extra diamonds on it's stomach, which adds to the coolness of the design. However, XY/SM Cacturne removes this, which is less appealing in my opinion.

BW Cacturne's arms makes it look like it's read to tussle, whereas in XY, they're a bit more passive. However, one huge difference that really sells the old Cacturne to me is the eyes. Cacturne's old eyes look menacing, but the new ones dno't have that same yellow glow.

In conclusion, Black and White Cacturne looks truly scary, whereas the new one branches away from that design. It may have been that GF decided to go with a rag-doll look for Cacturne, however I just don't agree with that design.
The diamonds on its chest is due to gender differences...
 
The diamonds on its chest is due to gender differences...
Yep


Also while I guess the laugh is a bit more menacing, seeing cacturn just bob back & forth like that really does nothing for making it spooky. It just looks doofy. I think the intent is it's supposed to be "swaying" in the breeze but it just doesn't work for me.

That said I Do agree the dulled colors really hurt this. It just looks so off.







hello my baby hello my honey hello my rag time gaaaal
 


Quagsire is my 2nd favorite Pokemon but all his charm, cuteness and personality is lost in the (Nintendo) switch to 3D. You can't even see any of the things that differentiate it from a shiny Ditto. I hope in the future they add more dynamic poses, shading and change the blue to be less dull.
 


Quagsire is my 2nd favorite Pokemon but all his charm, cuteness and personality is lost in the (Nintendo) switch to 3D. You can't even see any of the things that differentiate it from a shiny Ditto. I hope in the future they add more dynamic poses, shading and change the blue to be less dull.
Have you seen it’s special attack animation? It’s glorious!
But in all seriousness I don’t really have a problem with his model, the dopeyness and slow movement kind of matches his personality.
 
Have you seen it’s special attack animation? It’s glorious!
But in all seriousness I don’t really have a problem with his model, the dopeyness and slow movement kind of matches his personality.
Actually, I think that Quagsire's sprites have gotten WAY better and way more hilarious as time passed. Gen 2 sprite looked kinda stupid to me, Gen 4 looked derpy, but Gen 6 and 7 sprites are the god of derpiness!
 
I don't think models "ruin" things nor do I find neutral postures much of a problem. Games before XY and games after XY have their own set of rules of what counts for good aesthetics or not, and trying to apply different standards from older gen, especially the static sprites to a newer gen is pretty unfair for the newer gen. Static sprites from older generations have to remain in one pose so the artists have to find out means to make this stance interesting, whereas 3D games have to contend with constant animations PLUS changing camera angles. It might be a reason some people complain about the "lack of charm". I guess some Pokemon transition poorly from 2D to 3D but sometimes it's attributed to the fault of aesthetic design as concept art for Pokemon tend to include a variety of angles, but other times, it's just how the camera is situated and won't be flattering to all Pokemon.

XY also has a dynamic camera if I'm correct, so they have to accommodate for this too. That default stance and angle we're posting and always seeing throughout Smogon doesn't really show the whole picture, so keep that in mind.

IMO anything from Black and White generation tends to look uglier than most models because the grided pixelated nature sprites just really aren't designed to withstand keyframing and rotations, so all the rotating stuff look all blurry and ugly.

So that out of the way, models that I agree look poor are attributed to a poor stance rather than off-model Pokemon. Also, the texture work for this game leaves A LOT to be desired. I've read some older post saying that it's a limitation of a render engine where textures are paled out to somehow accomodate for the lighting and what not, but I find it a rather unsatisfactory explanation as what causes a texture to appear the way it is usually is from diffuse (color) and materials (such as specular maps or metal maps) apply. I'm pretty sure Pokemon XY rendering engines aren't complex enough to seriously alter the textures where the diffuse has to be so washed out. It's more likely that the washed out diffuse textures come from a design aesthetic, but I don't quite understand that because it ends up altering the colors of all Pokemon prior to Pokemon XY, and that's really bad design as how a Pokemon is colored is really important to conveying one, on top of the shiny sprites.

Anyway, here's some bad ones.



I get that they're trying to go for a battle stance, but this is the only time where the tail looks so huge, it looks like a cypress. The tail just shouldn't be so high up like it, like it's some cat that got startled by the noise of a horse getting run over by a tractor, only to realize that's just Diagla's cry and it's just saying hello.



Gastrodon has always a pretty crappy shiny, but the washed out textures just make it even more difficult to tell. Yeah, that's Gastrodon's shiny. Also, I'm not really sure what's going on with Gastrodon's idle here. It looks like it's dazed after watching a distant Spinda teeter for way longer than healthy.



Arbok looks like it's trying to do the Egyptian dance or listening to the snake song. It's a funny idle, but not really suitable. You can say it looks like it's in motion, but it'll be like having a Blaziken jog in place or something. I don't think idling snakes normally do this.



The model isn't a good pose, but I blame camera shenanigans. The form is just lost on this one; you can't even really tell where the tail ends and you can't see the other side of its vest thing front sprite). The back sprite isn't good either, it has the same problem of the tail being all lazy like a plant that needs to be watered. Design-wise, this also took quite a hit. Notice the quality drop, the lost detail, of the leaves of the tip of its tail. It's baffling because they could've just went with a 2D plane with a transparent texture if acheiving a complex shape takes too many poly. Its "arms" also just look like max-revives squashed by a sitting Snorlax and was sewed on to this thing. This model is very bad overall, but at least its shiny somehow mostly avoids looking all washed out in the transition.





Kecleon looks like it just woke up after a dream that it was going to be viable for once and learned that Greninja exists. Why can't it get show off some occasional magic tricks and tongue taunting like back in Gen 3? Its color scheme is also garbage.



What the hell is this? It's like trying to make something like Ivysaur stand up again for no reason, but be all humanoid. But this is not the transition to 3D that made it all strange, it's whoever designed this stupid thing and gave us the wrong impression that it's supposed to be a cat-like Pokemon rather than some anthro fur baby. The anime and manga apparently show it on its hind legs too after a quick search from Bulbapedia, but I really don't see two completely different postures all that natural. Stick to one, please, but preferably the realistic one, not the weird humanoid thing.
 
Overall, most 3D sprites look either dull or pale to me. The vibrant colours from the sprites in Gen3-5 made the Pokémon more lively. If I look at the signature of chuckeroo777, it almost feels as if I'm looking through a sepia filter, albeit a really subtle one. Sometimes new poses or movements only make things worse. Many sprites others posted in this thread feature 'natural (idle) movements' that look more closely related to being dizzy, confused or plain retarded. Quagsire, Gastrodon, Kecleon don't look sane. It's such a pity...

A sprite change I personally don't like is that of Anorith:

I found Anorith pretty cute in either Gen 3 or 5, and it only underwent a few subtle changes in colour. The XY sprite looks blurry, but foremost Anorith's body just vanished with this Stunfisk approach. On the contrary, the wavy movement is pretty sweet... The Pokémon Go sprite for Anorith has a better angle and takes back the cuteness it had in my opinion:

One that I do like is Cacnea's:

Sadly it has the same blur and dull colouring as most sprites have, but contrary to its BW sprite, the lively movement spices it up for a change. ^^



What the hell is this? It's like trying to make something like Ivysaur stand up again for no reason, but be all humanoid. But this is not the transition to 3D that made it all strange, it's whoever designed this stupid thing and gave us the wrong impression that it's supposed to be a cat-like Pokemon rather than some anthro fur baby.
That's what I thought when I put Purrloin in a team on Showdown a year ago. I didn't even know it looked like that in XY! Its sprite looked super cute in BW and then it changed to some purple Watchog... Whyyyy?
 

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