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I am trying to replicate these sprites:

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

But I am not managing to make sense of how it is done. The character is facing forward ( <--- ), but you can see the front of its body instead of just the side. Why? Is the camera positioned diagonally? Or is the body bent, as in a fighter stance?

enter image description here

Or a combination of both?

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Which exactly is the positioning/perspective/view I should use to replicate it correctly?

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To my untrained eye, the "camera" is looking at the characters in question mainly from the side. You're seeing what would be the front of the bodies (the chest) because they are standing in a combat-ready pose (as you posited) that is akin to a fencer's pose (to help minimize the surface area presented to the foe).

enter image description here

Not all of the characters have as much tilt to their body, which accounts for some of the variation.

I don't think the actual "camera" is viewing the characters on a diagonal, like in your last sketch, because if you were to draw a horizontal line at the level of each sprite's heels you'd see the heel of both feet is generally on or quite near that line (unlike in your last sketch). Though the bottom pixel of the "back" feet is often lower than that of the front, that's due to perspective and the fact that the character's feet are at approximate right angles to eachother.

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With "mainly from the side", you mean that the camera is not diagonal - as in, the leftmost character of my last image? – Dokkat Jul 25 '13 at 3:58
I don't think so, no. I updated my answer with my reasoning. – Josh Petrie Jul 25 '13 at 4:00
The characters are drawn as seen from the side. This is because it's most likely like the old games such as Final Fantasy or other games alike. The Camera itself doesn't have a rotation. It's dead-on. Everything is just drawn as a side-view. – Vipar Jul 25 '13 at 7:02
These sprites seem to come from a Fire Emblem so it's just like a fighting game view (only a little bit higher maybe). Search for "Carlyle swordmaster sword critical gif". It should make more sense when it's animated. – Rak Jul 25 '13 at 7:43

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