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Where can I learn how to make pixel art?

11clock11clock Posts: 450Member
Ever since I started developing games, the biggest obstacle has always been graphics. I can't make graphics at all (I mean it), and it's costly to get someone else to do the art. 8-bit art I can make, but that won't attract people into buying my games. This all leads to only one option:

-Learn how to make pixel art!

I decided to take some time to learn how to make art for my games, but I don't know where to start. I want to make pixel art specifically. Does anyone here know of a good series of online tutorials where I can learn how to make pixel art?

Comments

  • cbtcbt Posts: 644Member
    God.. You said all I wanted to say..

    I'm in a 100% same exact situation. Even more, I'm sure I posted this exact sentence before;

    "Ever since I started developing games, the biggest obstacle has always been graphics. I can't make graphics at all (I mean it)"

    :D

    And I've been looking for pixel art tutorials etc. too. Nothing special, just type pixel art on youtube.

    I'm planning to make my TOTB3 entry with pixel art graphics. But, again, I suck at it.

    But just a heads up, pixel art is harder than most of the other styles..
  • 11clock11clock Posts: 450Member
    cbt said:
    God.. You said all I wanted to say..

    I'm in a 100% same exact situation. Even more, I'm sure I posted this exact sentence before;

    "Ever since I started developing games, the biggest obstacle has always been graphics. I can't make graphics at all (I mean it)"

    :D

    And I've been looking for pixel art tutorials etc. too. Nothing special, just type pixel art on youtube.

    I'm planning to make my TOTB3 entry with pixel art graphics. But, again, I suck at it.

    But just a heads up, pixel art is harder than most of the other styles..

    Purely a coincidence. :P
    If you say pixel art is difficult, what styles should I start with?
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Posts: 3,206Member
    Pixel Joint has always had great pixel artists showing off their stuff:
    http://www.pixeljoint.com/

    And they have a tutorial section under Features.
  • kapserkapser Posts: 458Member
    '' If you say pixel art is difficult, what styles should I start with? ''
    I think vector graphics is more technical than artistic. Not that it doesn't require art skills, but you will end up with greater results if you get good technically. Someone that doesn't know how to draw but masters illustrator could very well could come up with angry birds like graphics.

    Personally I love pixelart way more, but it is a lot of work. The bigger your resolution is, the harder/longer it is to do, especially animations. However, you will also improve the more you do and learn techniques.

    Also, I believe low resolution graphics can sell, sometimes even better than professionnal pixelart. There's something stylish and nostalgic about it, and iconic art let player's imagination work a little in a good way.

    Derek Yu (Creator of Spelunky) made a really good tutorial of each steps of doing detailed pixel art. http://www.derekyu.com/?page_id=218

    Even though this tuto should be very helpfull to understand how pixelart is made, I suggest you stick to 16 bit, Snes like art. It's the perfect balance between too retro and too much work.

    After all, the only gamesalad to ever pick attention of the biggest gaming site has some very low resolution pixelart, while vector graphics attract more to the casuals me thinks.
  • jimmyluciajimmylucia Posts: 12Member
    You can create pixel art in Photoshop. All you do is change the resolution to 72, and click preferences under Photoshop, go to general, and change I think it says Binumeric or something like that, well, click on that drop down menu and select Nearest neighbor. After that, go to view, show, then select grid. Zoom in to about 500%, and select pencil size to about either one or three. Any good pixel artist will tell you the best way to make the art is one cube at a time. I am making 8-bit games exclusively for iOS, and this is the method I prefer. Just square off your projects so they can be easily resized later. Look for my game, Rocket Biker, coming soon.
  • hman360hman360 Posts: 590Member
    I may teach this in my latest classes - http://gamesalad.com/forums/topic.php?id=32152
  • SpriteAttackSpriteAttack Posts: 524Member
    pixeljoint is a good place to start... Have a look at the art being posted [avoid the hall of fame for a while and focus on the smaller pics being posted], learn how it's done [limited palettes, antialiasing, size limitations] and the get to it and practice, practice and practice again.

    There are various ways to do pixelart... Derek's tutorial is a good start for a very specific style... You can start
    - with an outline drawn right on the pc - I prefer keeping the first sketch very open and just get the basic shape, pose, setup down before pixeling an outline [you easily get lost otherwise and proportions get out of whack]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/atow/
    [DS homebrew game using pixelart]
    - with a pencil scribble, scan it, resize it and pixel over it [helps when come from a drawing background as the pen and paper still feel different to a tablet]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/aw_flash/
    [pencil sketches helped with these mocks for a flash strategy game]
    - with a shape. Instead of focusing on the outlines you work with a silhouette and make that look interesting and pleasing and the put the detail inside
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/garfield/
    [pixelart I did for the nintendo DS]
    - with a vector shape or a 3D render. It might be helpful to build simple models in vectors or 3D to get mechanical parts, patterns or perspective right [I had to do a project years back where the client needed all the art in HD for approval and then the developer got a small gameboy size. I created all character animations in vectors [worked well as it was a tv toon] and then rescaled and cleaned it up on the bitmap level]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/anguna_b2_stepbystep
    [a 3D setup to paint over]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/knd/
    [vector based pixelart]
    http://spriteattack.cator.de/_misc/battalion_anis/
    [3D based units for a flash strategy]

    In the end it's not the approach you chose that makes the difference but the patience and polish you apply...

    As far as tools go... I am not a big fan of pixeling in Photoshop... It's just not designed for it... GraphicsGal, Promotion and a few other tools are better suited imho. My prefered tool of choice is the Corel Suite as it can copy and paste across the programs with ease, create and test animations and using it for 15+ years it's become familiar and allows me to create my art at a good speed.

    Look around for the good art, zoom in and work out how they did it and learn from the best...
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