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 Issue 14 - January 3rd 2512
Painting Pixels 2 – Drawn of the Dead

From whence we last left off, we’d talked about the basics of priming your pixels and repainting them in your team kit. This should serve as a good base for more experimental pixel tomfoolery on your part. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bit box to create a plethora of Clawbombers and mutated freaks…

Not the loveable, cute ones that dress up and walk around the streets of Bretonnia intoxicated and impersonating the rotting undead. We’re talking the real deal, honest to goodness, football playing, face kicking, flesh falling off the bones like a tender roast Zombiehp?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=22&page=15]You can review them in GLN 10.[/url] (And who wants a long drawn out lead into to a story on Zombies, get straight to the eating brains already!)

First step, find your victim. I started with everyone’s favourite target, the most vile and disgusting of creatures, the Elven Wardancer. The first thing to do is convert him to RGB and remove any bits that have been lost or maimed (his beautiful locks in this case).

Once the infection sets in it takes hold quite quickly. Using a Hue/Saturation layer (details in GLN 10), alter all the skin areas to a nice Zombie blue/grey. For my Zombies I have primarily used H/S/L settings of 200/20/-10 and colourize mode, as pictured below. You may need to play with these settings for other icons, such as Orcs.

The face (of things to come)
One of the most distinct Zombie defining features is their face. The skewed jaw, vacant stare, and oozing wounds. Starting with the eyes, replace the regular pupil with an off-white orb. Alternately, you can occasionally forgo an eye all together, as Zombies have a penchant for misplacing them it seems. Being undead is a pain for skin care, using a single pixel pencil at 20% black, darken the sockets around the eyes for a sunken look. Still with the same pencil at 20%, alter the mouth. Zombies definitely don’t chew with their mouths closed, so feel free to give it a gaping maw. Finally, finish off the facial transformation by breaking off helmet parts, exposing some bone or brain, and dishevelling the hair. (Zombies hate hygiene!) We’ve given this Wardancer a crooked coif, a shame worse than death for an Elf.

How embarrassing, my coccyx is showing
In addition to misplacing their eyes, Zombies have a way of losing limbs and ending up with unexplainable gaping wounds. (It may have something to do with being turned into undead walkers by other Zombies ripping apart and eating their flesh, but there is no empirical research to prove this conclusively. For now, it remains a mystery.) So, spice up your new Zombie with some exposed bone, it’s what all the cool emo kids are doing these days. A great resource for Zombie parts is other Zombies. Here we’ve borrowed the leg from another unfortunate soul, with a slight modification to the hemline of the tights. On top of that, it seems this fellow must have failed his Leap roll (/cheer) and fallen on his elbow in the middle of the cage (/stomp) before being gang fouled (/hurt) and convinced to switch hit for the other team, which doesn’t seem like a stretch for Elves (/ooh). A few white and grey pixels around the elbow area, with some darker grey/blue to define the edges of the wound and you are set.

Excuse me, you’ve got something on your face
Blood! Yes, what Zombie is complete without a little, ok a LOT of blood. The final step to creating your (barely) walking meat shield for your team is the red and runny stuff. And since our sponsorship has run out off Hindz, we’ll have to settle for the real thing, though the condiment seemed to stick better and provided more flavour. Create a new layer in PhotoShop (or Gimp, or just wing it in Paint) and set it to Multiply. Using the one pixel pencil again, still at 20%, select the brightest red colour used in the player uniform. Add the blood liberally to the areas that would be affected for your Zombie. For this lad we’ve added some to the arm and elbow with the exposed bone, around the eye and mouth area where he was (accidentally I am sure) kicked, and a little bobo on his shoulder.

It’s Alive!
Well not really in a scientific beating-heart-and-ability-to-reason kind of way. More of a this rambling, rotting guy will be awesome when he gets Dirty Player version of alive. Is there anything better sounding to an Undead coach than when the organ player strikes up a rousing tune to mark the arrival of a new player? Didn’t think so…

Zombies abound!
The horde has been busy recruiting new walkers. Thanks to Harvestmouse for his great Slann Zombie.

Next issue we will look at Mutations, if I am able to escape the horde…

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