Creating pixel art

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By Grauw

Enlighted (6267)

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09-01-2016, 16:04

I thought it would be nice to have a topic on creating pixel art. There’s some great artists in the MSX community and a lot of interesting techniques are applied to drawing art within the constraints of the MSX1 and MSX2 palettes, pattern/bitmap modes and sprites, but it is rarely discussed here.

Let me kick it off with this nice video on some pixel art techniques that I ran into today:

6 Pixel Art Drawing Techniques

Also here’s a nice article showing examples of what makes good pixel art, and also it provides an interesting perspective on the use of pixel art on modern computers (though not necessarily one you may agree with):

A Pixel Artist Renounces Pixel Art

For those of us making our art on PCs and Macs, I can recommend:

Aseprite — Animated sprite editor & pixel art tool

On MSX, I personally like DD-Graph AGE5, but I hear many people also like Graph Saurus.

Maybe in this thread people could post links to articles and videos, and images showing examples of good pixel art and discuss the techniques a bit.

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By Bondy

Resident (54)

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09-01-2016, 16:34

Might seem a tad decadent from an MSX perspective but I love the massive animated backgrounds in SNK games.






By SuchAGoonie

Expert (108)

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09-01-2016, 16:38

Yeah, the Neo Geo was the ultimate 2D system. It could only do sprites, if I remember correctly, but loads of them and they could be huge.

I've always used Photoshop, because I know it well, as it's the program that I use at work (frontend development). When I wrote games in Basic back in the day, I written had my own sprite editor. It could do backgrounds too, but I always called it sprite editor. Smile

By Grauw

Enlighted (6267)

Grauw's picture

09-01-2016, 16:43

Yeah I heard Photoshop is also really good for pixel art, but it’s incredibly expensive if you don’t want to deal with illegal copies shenanigans.

The “A Pixel Artist Renounces Pixel Art” article also has some links to nice art created with a limited palette by the way, similar to MSX’s 16-colour limitation.

By SuchAGoonie

Expert (108)

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09-01-2016, 16:44

That's very true. I have Photoshop on my MacBook from work, but on my own Mac I use Pixelmator. That sounds like it was made for pixel art, but it's more like an alternative for Photoshop. And creating pixel art with it is a bit of a hassle as it can't really scale images like you'd need with pixel art.

By Metalion

Paladin (916)

Metalion's picture

09-01-2016, 17:26

Grauw, thanks for this topic and those magnificent images.

Grauw wrote:

For those of us making our art on PCs and Macs, I can recommend ...

Well, since it's definitively not going to be vaporware now, I can officially say here that there will be on PC a new graphic editor (tiles, maps, sprites) dedicated to the MSX (screens 2,4,5,6,7,8) in a few weeks time. The Beta version should be ready before the end of February.

Smile

By syn

Paragon (1628)

syn's picture

09-01-2016, 17:35

what makes photoshop great for pixelart?

if I recall correctly, it didn't had a proper "grid" view (one pixel per " block" ) but its been a while since I used it so i may be mistaken.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

09-01-2016, 20:49

Grauw wrote:

I thought it would be nice to have a topic on creating pixel art. There’s some great artists in the MSX community and a lot of interesting techniques are applied to drawing art within the constraints of the MSX1 and MSX2 palettes, pattern/bitmap modes and sprites, but it is rarely discussed here.

Yeah, thanks for opening this kind of thread about graphics and techniques, I don't remember any...

Grauw wrote:

On MSX, I personally like DD-Graph AGE5, but I hear many people also like Graph Saurus.

I still ( I like a lot and prefer) use the MSX for graphics mainly because PC graphic editors are very complex with many tools, options and menus, I hate that... I don't think I could get better results using them although I have to admit they may result useful for some specific tasks. Another thing is those specific tools that allow us to manage, convert, etc which make things easier to us, those really help me. Maybe the Metalion graphic tool is different Wink

I personally and I feel very comfortable using Animecha 2.00 from Mar'z Project in MSX, in my opinion the best MSX graphic tool ever released. Basically it's similar to Dot Designer's Club (DD-Graph) but much better. It integrates two main areas (animation and graphic editor), very big zoom, and one of the best things is that you can use 2 pages to store, copy, move... graphics!. Too bad it's screen5 only, for that reason I still have to use Graphsaurus if I have to work with the other screen modes.

By Louthrax

Paragon (1698)

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09-01-2016, 23:45

Just have a look at what Bart is drawing on the blackboard here
:)

By Grauw

Enlighted (6267)

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10-01-2016, 02:17

One pixel artist I really admire is Paul Robertson. Not only is he really good at pixel art, but also at animating. He made several animated pixel art movies, a lot of art on his and the Mechafetus blog, did the art for several games notably Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Mercenary Kings, and even has a Wikipedia page :).

…and he also co-drew the Simpsons animation Louthrax linked above :).

By mtn

Master (237)

mtn's picture

10-01-2016, 13:31

I am not saying Photoshop is good for pixelart, but both the "grid view" and "pixel size" can actually be set in Photoshop.
And that goes for Gimp too, I guess. Otoh, GIMP isnt that easy to work with index colors / fixed palette tho..

Its been a while and my experience might differ alot to latest versions of Gimp..

Theres also Grafx2 and some others worth mentioning..

EDIT: OT, but The C-64 scene has many very good pixelartists.. PAL / Offence and Archmage are definately worth checking out..

(Second edit)
Metalion: Nice going! This will be interesting to check out when its done.. !

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