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SNK Playmore Celebrates King of Fighters XII Dot Style

Gallery opens up, honoring hand drawn artwork from recent fighter.


The King of Fighters series is 15 years old, and thanks to KOFXII's continued use of 2D art, SNK Playmore is celebrating in a way that certain other fighting game makers probably couldn't manage: through the art of the sprite.

As part of its festivities for the series' 15th anniversary (and presumably as a means of hyping up KOFXII's home release), SNK Playmore opened today the KOF XII 2D Dot Graphics Gallery. This website offers close-up looks at the handy work behind KOFXII's visuals.

[end_p text="Click for details on the King of Fighters XII image creation process" /]

The site has the following three sections:

About Dot Art

The actual Japanese name for this section is "To a new frontier for dot art." The section provides a look at the history of dot art and the move towards 3D.

Dot Creation

The actual Japanese name for this section is "Soul Graphics: The Production Process." This area shows the process of creating KOFXII's character art through the following steps:

Creation of 2D graphics model for each character
The 2D dot visuals for the models are designed based off the rough sketches from the art director. Each character takes three days.
Conversion of 2D models to 3D models and creation of proper motion
The conversion process takes two weeks for each character. Following that, the creation of animation patterns takes about two months for each character.
Creation of 2D graphics below the 3D model movements
This step involves deciding what patterns are needed to show movement in 2D, then rendering those in 2D for use as the base for the final 2D visuals. For each character, creating all animation patterns takes two weeks.
Creation of completed 2D graphics models
Using the results of the 2nd and 3rd steps, the art director makes dot drawings for the images that will become the foundation for the character's actions. This takes one week or so for each character.
Creation of tentative character
Using the data from step 3, the character's final dot images are created here. Details for form, muscle lines, wrinkles, hair movement, expressions and so-forth are added with the the drawings created in step 4 as a reference. This takes six and a half months per character.
Creation of characters with additional details
This area involves adding gradation, highlights and other touches to give greater detail to muscles, clothing, and other areas. This also takes about six and a half months per character.

In the end, each character takes about one year and four months, resulting in about 400 to 600 dot images.

2D Dot Graphics Gallery

A viewer for character and background dot art. For the characters, you can select certain animation patterns, step between frames, and zoom up to 4x. The backgrounds allow you to zoom in three levels and scroll through the full background. Currently, only a few characters and backgrounds are available, but SNK Playmore promises more for the future.

Fans of KOF artwork should definitely check out the site.

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