Creating pixel art

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By Bondy

Resident (54)

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12-01-2016, 07:12






Last one is from Master System version of Streets of Rage.

By marcos.m.carvajal.1

Expert (83)

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13-01-2016, 01:32

Hi Everyone.
I've been working for a over a year on the graphics of an MSX1 game, and I wanted to share my feelings on creating pixel art for MSX1.

First of all, I love the MSX palette. It's not the best at all. Actually, I don't have a clue of what was the criteria to choose it. There is not an orange, there are 3 blues, two yellows... I don't know.. They look random super-bright colors! But yet, Konami did wonderful things with it. I specially love what they did with Year Kung fu 2.

So, I like to see this as a puzzle. Do what you can with what your'e given! It's actually a lot more fun than create graphics for c64 palette because they are dull, so whatever colors you put together, they match! In MSX, well, you have to put some more effort. But the reward is a lot more... rewarding!

But What is really challenging is the darn 2 color per horizontal line per tile! It's frustrating! Ihate it! But then agan, it makes me appreciate more whn I see good graphics. I'd like to see all the pixel artists that I see making so may wonderful things working under this conditions!

But again, If Konami did it, I can. Nowadays we have photoshop, thousands of references and inspiration from around the internet. For me it's really fun to make pixel art, but what I really enjoy is doing it under the "puzzle" conditions of the real MSX.

By marcos.m.carvajal.1

Expert (83)

marcos.m.carvajal.1's picture

13-01-2016, 00:44

And By the way, I'd love to see some art contest happening! (specially Screen2. I still have the Nemesis intro screen recorded in my brain)

By Grauw

Ascended (8314)

Grauw's picture

07-03-2016, 20:45

The 3-bit palette colour component values converted to 8-bit colour components, as used in openMSX:

0: 0
1: 39
2: 82
3: 115
4: 155
5: 186
6: 224
7: 255

Useful to match up the colours in a PC graphics editor to the output.

By tvalenca

Paladin (728)

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07-03-2016, 21:36

Grauw wrote:

The 3-bit palette colour component values converted to 8-bit colour components, as used in openMSX:

0: 0
1: 39
2: 82
3: 115
4: 155
5: 186
6: 224
7: 255

Useful to match up the colours in a PC graphics editor to the output.

@Grauw,
What about 5 bit pallete values? (yes, I'm talking about V9990!) Do you have this information? or, how can I calculate it? Rule of three?

By Grauw

Ascended (8314)

Grauw's picture

07-03-2016, 23:52

I don’t know, I haven’t tried. The values in openMSX don’t match exactly the formula c / 255 * 7 so I guess they’ve measured the actual VDP output voltages. But I don’t think they did this for the V9990.

By Grauw

Ascended (8314)

Grauw's picture

08-03-2016, 21:41

As a study, I created an MSX pixel art version of this drawing of the Rose character from Tales of Zestiria:

Source image:

Step by step:

1. Penned version with tablet (Wacom Bamboo) then tweaked a lot with mouse. Not sure how much value the tablet added, it was quite sloppy.
2. Some basic colouring with the original colours.
3. Some further colouring and added some highlights.
4. Quantised the colours to the MSX palette.
5. Colouring and shading of the hair, more details, anti-aliasing, polish, and narrowed the character to improve the proportions, especially the eye distance is noticeable (lasso tool is great).

One snag I ran into is that since on MSX pixels are not square but slightly rectangular, the MSX image looked quite stretched. Narrowing the face helped a lot but it still looks a bit stretched. Something to keep in mind in the future.

How it looks in openMSX:

14 colours used, 15 if you count the background. I spent about 4 to 6 hours on it (two evenings).

For the image editor I used Asesprite which is not free but only a few bucks, and is a really good editor for pixel art. Good palette support, supports a transparent colour, layers, animations, etc.

What are your thoughts? I think it turned out pretty well. I’m wondering if I overdid the anti-aliasing in the hair; it smooths the edges but also adds shadow details that weren’t there originally. Is it maybe better to remove some anti-aliasing pixels at the cost of some sharper edges, you think? Please let me hear your critiques.

Next time I’m going to try to create an original drawing.

By AxelStone

Prophet (2664)

AxelStone's picture

08-03-2016, 21:35

Good work. It remembers me a section in MSX Magazine where you could see how pixel art was creates by author. It was a very cool section.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1289)

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08-03-2016, 21:50

Here you go, "pixel arted" on msx screen 5, 16 colors.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1289)

Kai Magazine's picture

08-03-2016, 21:52

Very nice thread by the way, I love pixel art Smile

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