Creating pixel art

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By yzi

Champion (441)

yzi's picture

10-01-2016, 14:28

Deluxe Paint works very nicely with Amiga emulators. If you mount a host-machine folder to the emulated Amiga, you can use Deluxe Paint very conveniently. Use e.g. ImageMagick to convert to PNG or whatever. It can be automated if you like. With OpenMSX you could even have your Deluxe Paint pictures appear on the MSX side automatically, as you draw and save http://openmsx.org/manual/commands.html#DirAsDSKmode

By Grauw

Enlighted (8084)

Grauw's picture

10-01-2016, 15:19

So, how do people go about creating pixel art? What’s the general process you go through during the creation process? Do you make a sketch first on paper, or go straight to the screen? Do you draw on MSX or PC? Do you use a graphics tablet or draw with the mouse? And how do you decide on palette colours to make sure you don’t run out of those 16 colours?

I think an oldskool method is to draw on semi-transparent paper and then hanging it in front of the monitor and tracing it on the MSX.

By ro

Guardian (4086)

ro's picture

10-01-2016, 15:20

Pixel art, used to spend my days doing just that (and coding ofcourse). AGE5 was and still is king; simple and effective. It boots like heaven and works like sugar. Amazing tool, thanx T&E for that.

We, the fuzz, had a highly customized development environment build around f-kernel. Including AGE5. I had it boot up and let it stay in memory under that kernel. The same with WBASS2 (coding tool). Having those two programs work together in memory really speed up work. Instant switch from one tool to another.

I've used both AGE5 and that Sprite Editor from T&E to get my art done. All by hand, of course Smile

By ro

Guardian (4086)

ro's picture

10-01-2016, 15:24

I did my art direct on screen, no sketches. Just using a grid of 8*8 most of the time. I could spend hours on just one simple sprite. Or all those fonts I did.... hours, days, weeks. For game pixels I used to look at photos, magazines, comic books and other publications to get inspiration. Comic books worked great.

this penguin pic on the left (avatar) was inspired that way Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3014)

sd_snatcher's picture

10-01-2016, 15:44

I'd recommend this excellent pixel art tutorial on Pixel Joint Forum.

I've been talking with Louthrax about this topic in pvt, and pixel art is heavily based on some previous forms of art, like:

Mocaics
Counted thread embroidery, specially cross-stitch art.

So documents and tutorials about those forms of art may be of help too.

Dithering is a very important aspect of pixel art. It seems that better results are achieved by only apply it to mid tones. This causes a form of "dithering saturation" on either dark or bright tones.

And, of course, palette crafting is also very important. This tutorial explains it in great detail.

By Grauw

Enlighted (8084)

Grauw's picture

10-01-2016, 16:14

Nice links, I’ll give them a read!

Regarding dithering, I think some colours (mostly bright ones) are better suited for dithering because they blend more nicely, and the dithering becomes less visible. Also, dithering with lines in stead of pixels can sometimes look better.

See the pictures below (using splits to get > 16 colours).

Notice how the bright colours in the middle blend better, and the lines create a different effect.

By syn

Paragon (1915)

syn's picture

10-01-2016, 16:18

yes pixeljoint has nice info, I have found some very useful topics/info there.

I've been looking at the db16 palette myself for a while now, a diverse 16 colors palette.
http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12795

Althoug I havent used it extensively, it looks to be a nice balanced palette, suitable for use on MSX (just need to convert the color values to match the msx rgb values)

Keep in mind it it doesnt reserve a color for transparancy (sprites) though.

Grauw: How I make my art is I just draw with a cheap tablet+pen on pc directly, but im just starting out with graphics.
For pixel art I think you can get the cheapest wacom or whatever. you dont really need 2048 pressure sensitivity I guess :D I have a cheap medion tablet and for putting dots in a grid it works fine. Holding a pen works better than a mouse,

I am planning to buy a Huion tablet at some point, maybe H680Pro https://www.huiontablet.com/all-products/graphic-tablets/hui...

I do have a Samsung Note 8.0 (android tablet with wacom pressure sensitive pen), but I dont like the avaiable software on android. But I have drawn a bit on there too (general drawings not pixel art) .. the guy in my avatar was drawn on the Note.

By Grauw

Enlighted (8084)

Grauw's picture

10-01-2016, 16:24

I had a nice idea, maybe at some point we could do “pixel challenges” which give an objective to draw something (e.g. “a unicorn”, “a forest” or “the main character from this manga”) in any screen mode you like, and we can look at each other’s approaches and results and improve our skills.

By syn

Paragon (1915)

syn's picture

10-01-2016, 16:29

or just post stuff here and ppl help /comment? Wink

By Grauw

Enlighted (8084)

Grauw's picture

10-01-2016, 16:30

syn wrote:

I've been looking at the db16 palette myself for a while now, a diverse 16 colors palette.
http://pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12795

Interesting to see how he creates a grey tone by dithering a cyan and skin colour. And the many different types of scenes he created all with the same palette, I didn’t think that was possible.

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