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Messages - nphillips

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Shared Resources / Re: Resource Link List
« on: June 01, 2017, 11:09:31 am »
Piskel ( is a pretty sweet, browser-based drawing program for pixel art. It includes useful features like layers, animation frames, mirroring, dithering and custom palettes.  Plus, using a Google account to sign in, you get free cloud storage for your gallery of work. Importing and exporting sprite sheets is super easy too. Highly recommended.

GIF supports transparency, so you could just use transparency and then not have to select a masking colour. I'm not familiar with Sploder. I tend to create my graphics with Illustrator and can export with transparency without any problem.

You may want to look at Inkscape (an open-source alternative to Illustrator)

JeffreyDriver, I appreciate the response. In most programs, one would be able to save a GIF with transparency as you have suggested. However, Sploder doesn't give you any control over image formats and options, it just saves as a GIF with black assigned to any pixels that weren't drawn on in the composition. According to the Sploder website, exported images should support transparency, but this has proven not to be the case and is why I've found myself here in the forums.

Inkscape is a pretty cool program, I've worked with it before. However, there are a couple of reason I would tend to shy away from it in this specific scenario. One is that the summer camp I am developing this curriculum for will be held at dozens of different schools, so the fewer programs we need to have tech personnel install on their machines the better (Sploder is browser-based and Flash driven). The second reason is that I'd prefer to use a raster graphic editor rather than a vector program. Many of the kids coming to this camp may have little to no prior experience with graphic design software and I feel that raster drawing tools tend to be a little more intuitive than their vector counterparts -- in other words, we want the learning curve to be as gradual as possible -- and I think a raster program is easier for a beginner to use for creating pixel art (which is the style these kids will be going for).

On a more positive note, I think I may have found an alternative that I can use for the camp instead of Sploder. Piskel ( is browser-based, has just about all the features I wanted the kids to have at their disposal and exports to multiple formats with proper transparency. If you (or anyone else) has other browser-based editors you think I should consider, I'm  still happy to check out other options!

Hey Folks,

I am the curriculum developer for a game design summer camp for kids. This year, we will be using Stencyl as our platform. However, I'm not crazy about Pencyl as a graphic editor, so I was going to have the kids use the free graphics editor provided by Sploder ( to create their game art. It works great for creating pixel art, including frame-by-frame animations (the ghosting feature is awesome).

Here's the issue. Artwork created with this tool is supposed to export with a transparent background in GIF format (you don't have the option of choosing a different format). However, this isn't what actually happens. Instead, the artwork is on a solid black background. This creates two problems, the first being that importing an image and choosing black as the masking color will also remove any black used in the graphic itself. This is annoying, but easy enough to work around by just using a very dark shade of gray instead of pure black in the graphics. The second issue is not so easily addressed, which is what brings me here to elicit the help of you fine folks.

If you import an animated GIF in Stencyl, you aren't given the option to select a masking color. The result is that any animated GIFs created in the Sploder graphic editor have black backgrounds in every frame. Now, one could open each frame in Pencyl and use the magic wand to select and delete the black areas, but that is tedious and time consuming if someone has a lot of animated graphics that they will be importing. Is there a way to select a masking color when importing an animated graphic? Or, after importing, is there a way to retroactively choose a color to mask out of the resulting frames?

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

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