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Old July 22nd, 2013 (8:22 PM). Edited August 23rd, 2013 by Chaos Rush.
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Chaos Rush Chaos Rush is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Helping Guidelines for the DS-style 64x64 Pokémon Sprite Resource

So you want to help out with the sprite project? Or you're just wanting to know how I do things? Then read up. I have decided to make this tutorial/guideline-whatever-thingy because a large amount of people have PMed me wanting to be a helper, but I just don't have time to individually keep track of every sprite that someone makes for this project, and the fact that there are a lot of guidelines to follow. And I mean, a lot. To the point where you may even call it ridiculous. But alas, quality is what matters, and every time I make a sprite for this project, I follow all of these guidelines.

First of all, the point of this project is so ROM hackers will stop using crappily resized sprites in their hacks, where no effort was made to clean them up. Compare these two screenshots:

As you can see, the one on the left looks absolutely disgusting. On the left screen, the sprites weren't cleaned up at all. On the right, the sprites are cleaned up. The aim of this project is to create a clean, usable sprite for every Pokémon. Another problem is that some people don't even bother resizing sprites if they already fit, which would make the Pokemon look ridiculously huge. This project avoids that by resizing Pokémon to the relative size that they had in their R/S/E sprite, and for Gen IV and V Pokémon, good judgment is simply used to make sure Pokemon have good relative sizes to one another.

As for the actual sprites for this project, we don't just pick a random sprite of [insert Pokémon here] from any random DS game. I have specialized "big" sprites that are handpicked by me to be resized specifically for this project. We'll call them the master sheets. They are posted on the bottom of this post. These sprites are all 80x80, and are the only sprites to be used when doing a sprite for this project.

You may notice that some of these sprites have custom palettes. This is because many Pokémon had a color palette that was very off in comparison to their official Sugimori art. As new games came out, the problem became more and more apparent, as Pokémon from Generations IV and V seemed to match their Sugimori art just fine, while Pokémon from Generations I-III not so much. This is because a lot of Gen I and II Pokémon have used the same color palette since Ruby/Sapphire, before they even had their official artwork remade! When Ken Sugimori redrew the Generation I Pokémon, he made a lot of minor design changes, some that didn't make it into sprites until Pokémon Black & White (such as Clefable now having purple wings, or Venusaur having pink spots on its flower instead of yellow), and some changes never made it into sprites at all! Luckily for Pokémon X & Y, all Pokémon are having their colors taken directly from the Sugimori art, so all these color discrepancies are a thing of the past. But right now we're talking about Gen III ROM hacking, so sprites are still relevant. The reason why not everyone might have noticed how off-color the Gens I-III Pokémon are, in comparison to how Gens IV & V were spot-on is simply because our eyes are used to seeing them in the same colors since Ruby/Sapphire.

Ok, I'll shut up now and let's start the actual resizing part. These are the basic rules to follow:
-When resizing a Pokémon, you must resize to the same size as it was in Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire. And by "same size", I am not talking about pixel width and pixel height. What I mean by "same size" is something along the lines of, "alright, so if R/S Arcanine were to pose like B/W Arcanine, how big would the sprite look?" Note that this is just a general rule, and you don't have to follow it exactly. Basically, small Pokémon should look small. Medium Pokémon should look medium. Big Pokémon should look big. Need R/S sprites for reference? Look here:

-You must use the sprite from the master sheets I posted above. No exceptions.

-All backsprites have to be from Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver. And the reason why, is because Diamond/Pearl had a lot of crappy backsprites. A lot of these backsprites were re-done in Pokémon Platinum, and carried into HeartGold/SoulSilver. For some reason, many people want to resize ugly-looking D/P backsprites. But really, Platinum had a lot of new, better-looking backsprites. Don't believe me? Take a look:
D/P backsprites:
Plt. backsprites:

-If the Pokémon sprite from the Master Sheet fits within a 40x40 square, then you don't have to resize it at all, no matter what. Don't know how to make a 40x40 square? Open up MS Paint, go to Image--->Attributes, and put in 40 for both width and height.

-If the sprite from Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire is actually bigger than the sprite from the Master Sheet, such as Treecko, then you don't have to resize it at all.

-When resizing a sprite, you must maintain the aspect ratio. For some reason, some people choose to resize sprites at differing ratios vertically and horizontally, which makes no sense whatsoever because then the Pokémon will look ugly and squished.

All necessary sprites will be posted here:

Master Sheets: (go to bottom of this post)
Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire Front Sprites:
Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver Back Sprites:
note: I recommend either downloading the individual HG/SS backsprites from the Veekun site, or just copy+paste the HG/SS backsprite from the Veekun Pokedex. DO NOT USE BULBAPEDIA TO GET YOUR BACKSPRITE, because Bulbapedia only has the crappy D/P backsprites.

Spriting "tutorial":

To help with this project, just follow these instructions:
1. Pick a Pokémon that doesn't have its sprite sheet done yet.
2. Get the Pokémon's sprite from the Master Sheets posted above.
3. Get the Pokémon's HeartGold/SoulSilver backsprite. Make sure it is specifically from HG/SS, not D/P or Platinum.
4. Resize accordingly, using the tutorial as a reference/helper/whatever.
5. Simply post the front and backsprite all cleaned up, that's all.

Do not worry about shiny sprites, as I will handle those. Also do not worry about assembling them into sheets, I will do that myself. Chances are I'm going to end up making a minor edit to your sprite(s) anyway, as no sprite is perfect (not even the official ones).

Also, because of how many palettes from the Master Sheet may differ from the HG/SS backsprite, of course the HG/SS backsprite will have to be recolored to match the front sprite from the Master Sheets. But don't do that. Let me do that, as many people have been recoloring them wrong, or incomplete.

One more thing, I might have said this earlier, but let me emphasize: If the Pokemon looks like its the same size sprite-wise as it was in Gen III, or fits in a 40x40 square, don't resize it. Examples of Pokemon that obviously don't need to be resized are Pichu, Oddish, Gloom, Cubone, Ditto, Togepi, Natu, Swinub, Aron, Luvdisc, etc...

7/28/13 amendment: if an entire evolutionary family fits within 64x64 and it is not a single-stage family, then the front sprites of said evolutionary family do not need to be resized. I've been following this rule myself with the Kanto and Unova sprites, such as how I didn't resize the front sprites of Klink, Klang, and Klinklang because they all fit. HOWEVER, if the Pokemon looks ridiculously huge, and I mean, ridiculously huge despite the entire evolutionary family fitting in 64x64, then it should still be resized. (For example, Glalie)

8/23/13 amendment: don't recolor the HG/SS backsprite at all. Let me do that, since many people have been doing it wrong and/or incomplete.

Attached Images
File Type: png Gen I.png‎ (248.8 KB, 418 views) (Save to Dropbox)
File Type: png Gen II.png‎ (148.3 KB, 351 views) (Save to Dropbox)
File Type: png Gen III.png‎ (220.1 KB, 430 views) (Save to Dropbox)

My projects:
Untitled Pokémon fangame (pictured above) | Final Fantasy II NES retranslation | Mother 1/EarthBound Beginnings Color Restoration for GBA
Non-Pokémon hacks I support:
Sonic Classic Heroes
Sonic 3 Complete