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Old May 6th, 2009 (10:56 PM). Edited January 7th, 2011 by Chesu.
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Pokemon Amalgamation Tutorial
by Chesu

The good, the bad, and the ugly. The most common
form of Pokemon spriting is the creation of "Fusions", combinations
of the parts of two or more different Pokemon sprites. While Hybrids
(i.e. a Gardevoir with a Koffing for a head, a Machop/Houndour centaur)
and type-changes are popular, in this tutorial I'll be discussing
Amalgamon, original Pokemon created from existing parts.

As with any other spriting method, you should have a
clear idea of what you want to make. If you don't, you could
end up with something like Griffody the Flying Goat up there. Ever
since Pokemon Gold and Silver came out, introducing Miltank and the
concept of baby Pokemon, I've been waiting for a baby cow that
evolves into both Tauros and Miltank. Nine years on, I'm
kind of getting a little tired of waiting.

...Okay, so it doesn't look much like a baby cow yet,
but... well, it's a process, y'know? When making Amalgamon,
I usually start by assembling parts that I think I'll need, or that
just look interesting. There are usually around twenty, and I decide
which to use through trial and error; I'm only showing you the ones
that I actually ended up using. A good start would be to reduce
the number of heads hanging about.

So, why Wurmple's head? Well, I happened to have a
modified Wurmple head sitting between some of my favorite
Pokemon beaks and eyes, and I liked how it was shaped. When
choosing parts, make sure that their orientation will fit your sprite.
I like to go with things that people won't recognize, or that can be
modified beyond recognition. With a color change, Pichu eyes, and
some ever-so-slightly modified Eevee ears, you would never even
guess a Wurmple was involved. When combining parts, make
sure the area they meet is smooth and natural-looking.

Looking a bit more cow-like, right? Well, at least a little.
Remember to properly shade the sprite, and make sure that the
shading flows well between the different parts. Just because you're
working with premade shapes and shading doesn't mean you can't
add your own little touches; don't be afraid to draw feet, horns,
designs... whatever you feel the sprite needs.

Not all sprites need to be elaborate. Smaller Pokemon usually
have much simpler designs than the big ones, both because their
size allows for only so much detail and to make their evolutions look
more impressive. Sometimes, you barely even have to edit the parts
used; however, it's important to know what to edit and what not to.

This one could definitely use more editing. While
most people wouldn't recognize the Fearow wing, its beak is
clearly a Kingler claw. It also uses the same wing, mirrored, for
both wings... a big no-no. If you really must mirror a body part,
modify it as much as you can to hide the fact. On the positive side
of things, the natural coloration of the wing and the marks on Quagsire's
back have been expanded upon in a way that fits a common theme. It's
been years and year since I threw this together*, so I don't know if
I planned for the bottom part of the wing to become a tail or if it
just happened, but either way it's an interesting feature.

*this sprite, along with a few others in this tutorial, were
made for a competition in which you had to guess the Pokemon
that went into the creation of the posted Amalgamon.

While Tsurigu here makes for a good entry in the
aforementioned competition, it was a rush job, and is
downright bad as far as Amalgamon go. If you look closely,
you'll see that the parts (Articuno wings for ears aside) are largely
unaltered, and have their original shading intact. Everywhere that one
part meets another, they're just kind of placed on top of each other...
and worst of all, there is yet again mirroring, this time in the ears.
This is made even more apparent by the fact that the
shading is relatively unchanged.

Remember this guy, from the beginning of the tutorial?
At the time, compared to the other two, it looked pretty good...
but what do you think of it now? It's poorly shaded, the parts are
just kind of set on top of each other, and Grovyle's face is pretty
recognizable. You're probably wondering if the wings are mirrored
or not, since the head obscures your view... If you were to
mirror a body part, this is ideally how you would do it, but
in this case both of Golbat's wings were used.

Who remembers these three? PurpleKecleon made
them back when rumors of Diamond and Pearl having
Fighting/Psychic/Dark starters were circulating. Even nice
concept art like this can be recreated with existing parts.
The dinosaur could be made with Bayleef's body and
Lairon's head; the cat, with Espeon's body and
Pichu's ears. The kangaroo?

In closing, your ability to create sprites from existing
Pokemon parts is only as limited as your ability to imagine
them. In fact, there's such a wide array of body parts and
different poses that you could probably fill an entire PokeDex
with "original" sprites. If you're REALLY good...

Oh, I kid, I kid. Nobody would think that
Absol is an Amalgamon... right?


If you have any questions or would like to give feedback
on the tutorials, click here to leave me a visitor message!


Updated 11/07/10.