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Old April 28th, 2009 (1:49 PM). Edited January 7th, 2011 by Chesu.
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Trainer Scratch Tutorial #1
by Chesu

In this tutorial, I'll be using the circle method to sprite
a Pokemon trainer. The process is generally the same as shown
in the Pokemon tutorial above, though the rules are a bit different.
First off, you need to decide how big your sprite will be. Remember,
battle sprites can't be any taller or wider than the red box shown in
the previous tutorial. I recommend finding an existing sprite that's
the size you want and using the same proportions. I'm going to
be spriting the rival for Pokemon Dissension, so my sprite will
be approximately the same size as the GBA protagonists.

As before, the first step is to make some circles for the
major body parts. Feel free to use the ones I've already created,
if you want to. Just like last time, position them with the finished
product in mind. I actually have concept art to base my sprite
on, which I highly recommend.

Since my sprite will have his back turned to the player,
looking over his right shoulder at them, I'm putting his left foot
forward. If you're having trouble placing the feet or drawing the
legs, look closely at the leg positions of other sprites. Don't
forget to shape the feet/shoes to fit the perspective.

You can start shaping the hips, torso, head... whatever you
need to, at this point. I decided to reduce the hips, since my sprite
won't be wearing a jacket, or anything else that would need the wide
circle I started out with as a reference point. To prevent confusion
while drawing on the arms and anything else you want to add, now
is a good time to apply some base color to the sprite. I also drew
on a jaw line and a simple face, in preparation for the hair.

armed and dangerous

It's easier to draw the arms separately, then to add them
to the sprite when you're happy with them. I like to start with
the shoulder, a circle about the same size as the shoe. If part of the
arm is going to be behind the sprite, like the left shoulder and hand here,
draw the arm in its entirety, then position the sprite on top of it. Finish
the rough shapes of anything else you want on your sprite (don't
worry, you can come back to them later if you want), then
move on to the most difficult part of spriting; HAIR!

Well, that may have been a little melodramatic, but drawing
hair is no easy task. What's more, I can't really give you much
advice, as there are no universal laws on hair. What I can tell you,
however, is that I like to draw hair directly on the sprite, and that I
only worry about the outline at this point. Think of how to make it sit
naturally, remember that hair doesn't defy gravity without reason,
and try using as many reference images as possible. Once you're
happy with your sprite's design, you can begin shading it.

Shading a only a little different for clothing and hair
than explained in the two tutorials above, but it's important to
remember what it is you're shading. A leg covered in loose denim
for example, is shaded quite differently from a bare leg. The shape
and position of things has the biggest impact on how they're shaded,
but remember that, even if you can't see it below them, your sprite is
casting a shadow. The four protagonist sprites at the top of this tutorial
are all casting shadows on their left arms; this usually applies to things
in the background, so keep that in mind if you decided to make your
sprite stand with one leg forward, the other back.

I can offer literally no advice on shading hair, since there
are so many variables. Just keep everything I've said about
shading in mind, and make sure the style is consistent. If the hair
is smooth, make the shading smooth... if the hair is rough, enhance
that. The hair on my sprite is shaggy and a little disorganized, so I'm
using the shading to make that more recognizable. If you need any
advice, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a private
message. After making a few small changes, my sprite is done!

In the end, I decided to make him a bit skinnier, and since
I wasn't incredibly fond of looking at his butt, covered it with
his shirt. Little touches, like the shape of his face and the rolled-up
sleeves, give him a distinctive look. The process for making the large
sprites used in FireRed and LeafGreen's intro sequence is the same,
just on a larger scale and with a larger color palette.

So, how did your sprite turn out?
If you'd like to share, post it below!


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.