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Logiedan December 1st, 2010 5:42 PM

General Pixel Art Discussion Thread


So I decided the spriter's showcase thread was basically a forum for criticism on scratch sprites. This thread is to discuss about pixel art in general, styles, tools, references, etc. There are some rules you'll need to follow however.


All Pokécommunity rules apply.

Please don't showcase sprites here, this is a discussion thread. If you would like to showcase your sprite(s), post it in the Spriter's Showcase thread or create your own showcase thread if you have four scratch sprites to showcase.

Stay on topic, if you would like to bring up another topic then do so but include a response to the previous topic.

If you need help regarding tools, terminology or have a question including those topics, feel free to post. Asking for constructive criticism for your sprites in this thread is prohibited. Such posts will be deleted.

Like the general Pokécommunity rules, don't advertise websites including other forums. You are not allowed to advertise your shop or sprites as well.

Just don't spam. It's that simple. Such posts will be deleted. ):

That's pretty much it, if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions please contact Logiedan.

Starting Topic: What program do you spriters use for your pixel art?

The 100 Mega Shock December 1st, 2010 5:47 PM

pixels r cool

Also I alternate between Paint.NET and Photoshop depending on whether I need to specify a set palette or need animation functionality.

Logiedan December 1st, 2010 6:14 PM

I used to use MS Paint but the recent upgrade of it from Windows 7 drawn me away. Now I just use Photoshop for my pixel art and animations, though I do want more tools or features that support pixel art. ):

Esper December 1st, 2010 6:18 PM

Generally I like to use good ol' MS Paint to do a lot of my initial work and then use Photoshop for fine tuning, playing with colors, and for animation and transparency.

I hate the latest version of paint.

Conan Edogawa December 1st, 2010 6:24 PM

I use paint. At first the Windows 7 paint seemed like the worst thing in the world, but it's not that bad.

Cilerba December 1st, 2010 6:29 PM

I used to hate the Windows 7 Paint. But now I'm so used to it, that I don't even use the old Paint anymore.

Logiedan December 1st, 2010 6:31 PM

I guess it is easy to get use to, but I dislike the cropping and the rectangular marquee tool now. It makes it more complicated for fusing. :/

Cilerba December 1st, 2010 6:32 PM

Yeah, I thought the same thing. But like I said, it just takes some time getting used to.

Chesu December 1st, 2010 7:13 PM

I use MS Paint... The good 'ol XP version. Which as far as I know is essentially unchanged from the good 'ol Win98 version. For my "Paint can't do that" needs I use Paint Shop Pro, and for animation, Animation Shop. Everything related to the spriting itself I do in Paint though. :D

Logiedan December 1st, 2010 8:58 PM

Too bad MS Paint doesn't support transparency. If they supported transparency then I think MS Paint will be the best tool for the basics of Pixel Art.

Chesu December 1st, 2010 9:05 PM

Well, transparency is a purely aesthetic thing for displaying your sprites... Almost any program a sprite would actually be used in would use one of the colors present in the image as the transparent one. I can't deny that I like to post my sprites to forums as transparent though, especially when they have a non-white background color.

Logiedan December 1st, 2010 9:19 PM

I guess, but I also think it's alright to post sprites with a white background. The white background lets you see the pixels better rather than for example someone using a dark theme, the black outline clashes with the dark theme colours.

Spherical Ice December 1st, 2010 11:41 PM

I use Windows XP's MS Paint with Vista's graphics, barring the default palette which is seemingly unchangeable. Whenever I try with things like PS, GIMP, GG etc. I just don't feel as comfortable. :/ I do, however, use GIMP for transperent-ing my sprites, after going around the outline in white on Paint.

Chesu December 2nd, 2010 1:19 PM

Actually, something that hasn't been mentioned yet is layers. While I prefer Paint, and find its environment easiest to work with, layered images probably simplify a lot of things in the spriting process.

The 100 Mega Shock December 2nd, 2010 2:55 PM

that's the main reason i can't use paint.

e: that and the lack of quick colour replacement, better resizing and oh **** it

Chesu December 2nd, 2010 3:46 PM

I don't really use any of that... Not for spriting, at least. I like to do everything manually, pixel-by-pixel for most of it.

...Unrelated to the topic at hand, but does it seem to anyone else that Pokemonatoms has decided that I'm the only one on his side, despite the fact that I'm saying the same thing as everyone else?

Back on topic again, I've heard a lot of people mention lately. Is that an in-browser image editor or something?

Logiedan December 2nd, 2010 3:53 PM

To be honest, I think Pokemonatoms is ignoring all of your criticism. He hasn't even tried the popular suggestion to work with official sprites and play around with them seeing as he went off and did a Ghost fakemon.

Anyways..Paint.NET is actually a program similar to GIMP. I never used it before for graphics or pixel art, so I'm not very experienced or familiar with the program.
(You manually recolour a sprite, pixel by pixel? o__o)

The 100 Mega Shock December 2nd, 2010 4:07 PM

It has the odd quirk I would prefer to behave more like Photoshop (Colour Picker tool only works on the active layer, anything moved outside of the canvas gets chopped off and there doesn't appear to be an easy way to flip or rotate a selection of pixels by 90/180 degrees) but it's useful for when I want a smaller and quicker program instead of loading up PS.

It's also got less design flaws than Graphics Gale (bad layer behavior pretty much cripples the animation functionality once you start adding lots of frames.)

Chesu December 2nd, 2010 4:21 PM


Originally Posted by Logiedan (Post 6320735)
(You manually recolour a sprite, pixel by pixel? o__o)

Well, I said "for most of it". For recoloring I pick out a few palettes I think might work, then use the Erase tool to replace the shades on the sprite one-by-one. If a palette works well, I'll set the recolored sprite aside; if it doesn't, I just delete the sprite. Once I've tried all of the palettes I picked out, I'll put the recolored sprites side-by-side to pick the best one.

...Then I'll usually need to pick a palette for a different part of the sprite.

Logiedan December 11th, 2010 3:43 PM

I use to use that erasing trick. xD
But like I said, I gave up on MS Paint.

Poster December 27th, 2010 5:35 AM

Okay, this is actually a sticky...and a good one. So why not as well raise a new topic about fellow Pixel Artists:

Do you find it hard to draw something that doesn't relate to the bead color palette?

The 100 Mega Shock December 27th, 2010 6:16 AM

the what colour palette .

Poster December 27th, 2010 6:26 AM

Okay, beaver. In other words, is it easy for you to Pixel Art with the predefined colours by Paint/PS, etc?

The 100 Mega Shock December 27th, 2010 6:55 AM

I never bothered with Photoshop's deafult swatches.

If I wasn't working off the colours of an existing sprite I just go straight into picking a custom colour and working off there for shading and hues.

Nina December 27th, 2010 6:42 PM

I'm still not sure if I understand what you're talking about,

but in terms of pallets I'm really bad about not starting with one, when apparently I should be. I just sorta pick out colors. I need to learn to unify them more.

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