Pixel Art Advice

Leitca

  • Posts: 16
Alright I'm kind of new to Stencyl and i've been reading around the forums and what not. i've downloaded a pixel art program called GraphicsGale and tried to make a person but it didn't quite look right. I was wondering if some of you experienced pixel artists could give me some advice on where to start when i pixel. I mean like how do you begin?
Thanks for your advice. Ps. Any advice would be helpful.

connormcguire

  • Posts: 3
These two tutorials helped me a lot with basic shading of more detailed sprites:

Hair:
http://marinant.deviantart.com/gallery/#/dtmwly

"Big" sprites:
http://marinant.deviantart.com/gallery/#/dss787

If you're having trouble with proportions, she also has template sprites you can use with credit.

Hope these help.

alex pang

  • Posts: 168
Find screenshots of nes figures then draw them repeat until you are confident enough to draw your own.

Leitca

  • Posts: 16
@connormcguire: Both of those did help me somewhat. Especially the hair one. thank you.

@alex pang: Yeah that's probably what i'll do.

Gemini

  • Posts: 150
Honestly, just lurk around pixeljoint or some such site and read the content in the forum boards.


these three things helped me quite a bit:

learn what pillowshading is and avoid it.

Antialiasing is your friend.Dithering can be too.

Keep your palette low.

alex pang

  • Posts: 168
@connormcguire: Both of those did help me somewhat. Especially the hair one. thank you.

@alex pang: Yeah that's probably what i'll do.
You should drop these tutorials right now, they are teaching you false advice. The guy who wrote them don't have a clue about pixel art and by learning from them you are ruining your understanding of pixel art.
Here are some good tutorials made by pros:

http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5692
http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/
http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=218
http://www.natomic.com/hosted/marks/mpat/
http://www.petesqbsite.com/sections/tutorials/tuts/tsugumo/

This one is important:
http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299

And this one you should read when your better:
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=8110.0

- Alex

Strasteo

  • Posts: 322
^ Seconding these tutorials and all that they talk about within.

Something I find important when starting out is to work at a small scale. This will help you get a better idea of the importance of a single pixel and how changing one could make a significant difference in the image as a whole.

Pixels become less important as the image gets larger. With game sprites however, which tend to be smaller as to be more manageable when animating and such, the single pixel becomes more pertinent.

The most important thing is to practice, like most things. You aren't going to become great in one day. It takes a lot of work. If you don't consider yourself to be great at pixel art or aren't willing to get better at it/don't have time, then you should seek out an artist to work with you on your game. I think that anyone can become at least adequate with pixels if they put in enough work.

Good luck!

Darkhog

  • Posts: 1243
Alternatively you just can make hi-color/truecolor image (you know with brushes, darkening/lightening tool, etc.) and use color reduction filter (it is in GIMP under Colors menu, dunno where it is in PS).

Then you select number of colors sprite will have after reduction and voila! Your image looks like pixelart now. (though you'll need to apply 1-bit alpha so it won't look like shit - pixelart, even real one + true 8bit alpha = no-no)

I've used this method many times in the past for my projects (not for AC though - those are careful pixelarts as I've saw that color reduction has some troubles if you set color number lower than 5).

There are no impossible things. There is only lack of skills.
Don't click this if your computer has less than 641 kilobytes of RAM.
Stencyl stencyling stencylish stencylers :D

Leitca

  • Posts: 16
Thanks everybody, your advice and the tutorials are really helping.  :) Know i'll i need to do is practice. Alex I make sure i don't limit myself to one source when i'm learning or researching something.  :) 

Gemini

  • Posts: 150
If you are trying to learn how to do this properly... do not do this

Quote
Alternatively you just can make hi-color/truecolor image (you know with brushes, darkening/lightening tool, etc.) and use color reduction filter (it is in GIMP under Colors menu, dunno where it is in PS).

Then you select number of colors sprite will have after reduction and voila! Your image looks like pixelart now. (though you'll need to apply 1-bit alpha so it won't look like shit - pixelart, even real one + true 8bit alpha = no-no)

Murad

  • Posts: 151
Posting your attempts, even ones you might consider to be bad, are the best way to get better because it allows us to give you a direct criticism on how to improve.

@Gemini: yes, completely right. I was trying to think of a way to say that without being harsh. That's not pixel art, that's mutilating an image into something weird and messy.

Darkhog

  • Posts: 1243
O rly? Then look at this. As attachment you have picture of hicolor heart (I know it's crap, shut up, I've used only 10 minutes for whole thing) on left and at right "fake pixel art" using 16 colors. It was made by color reduction filter and simple dithering (basically you add/remove random pixels in neighboring areas til they match up. If you open it in MS Paint (those from xp - newer is a mess), you can even use it's Aerograf [dunno about English name of this tool, but should be similar, it's spray tool] for that).

Of course if I work some more on this, both hi-color and pixelart versions would look better. But still it would take less time with better effect. After all the only thing that's important for player is how game looks. If it's look "retro" it's no matter if it was made my method (and trust me - using it is very often in business), taking half an hour (making hicolor version, reducing colors and fixing possible color reducer mistakes) or hour and half in more complicated things like backgrounds or carefully crafted pixel by pixel taking from several hours to even few days (breaks for sleep/meals/other things not included).

In time you will make one frame of your character by normal PA, you can have whole animation done my method. And it will look better.

You'll still need to put some work into it (making hicolor version, fixing filter errors if any), but it'll be far less work than with standard PA and most of work will go into making Hi version. While retaining same look.

There are no impossible things. There is only lack of skills.
Don't click this if your computer has less than 641 kilobytes of RAM.
Stencyl stencyling stencylish stencylers :D

coleislazy

  • *
  • Posts: 2607
That's not what most people would consider pixel art. This is probably what people think of, and you pretty much have to do this by hand.

Gemini

  • Posts: 150
Darkhog....Pixel Art has very strict guidelines. For it to be REAL pixel art...every pixel must be intentionally placed, with the pencil tool...one pixel at a time. Tools like that are not allowed. Plus, using those tools will not show a learner how to make pixel art properly.

Not to mention the example you've shown looks, frankly, like youve used a bunch of tools, and didnt know what you were doing. Dithering is a mathematical process. Anyone can type 12 multiplied by 72 into a calculator and get the right answer.That wont make them capable at math. And similarly, anyone can use auto tools in graphics...that wont make them look like they know what they are doing when they make sprites. Frankly Darkhog, you could stand to listen to the advice given in this thread. Your graphics sometimes leave much to be desired.

Im no pixel art master, but Ive won a few ribbons in Pixeljoint competitions. And spent the greater part of the last ten years dabbling in the art (and learning the correct way to do it)

The pixeljoint tutorials will help much. But constructive critique from your peers, by posting Works in Progress will help even more. I would be more than happy to give you pointers to help you out.

Nuz

  • Posts: 2
I found this tutorial while I was looking up how to solve my other problem,

http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299&PID=139318#139318

I thought it was really, really well done.