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Old April 30th, 2009 (6:47 PM). Edited January 7th, 2011 by Chesu.
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    Pixel-Over Tutorial
    by Chesu


    Tracing over an existing image is probably the easiest way
    to create a nice-looking sprite. The process is so simple, in fact,
    that I have no preamble for it that wouldn't just be the first
    part of the tutorial, so let's just dive in!





    The first item on the agenda is, as you could have guessed,
    choosing an image to base the sprite on. Things to look for in
    prospective images are a dynamic pose, good color depth, and
    if possible, a head oriented on where the player's party would be
    standing. If you're basing your sprite on concept art for your own
    original Pokemon, make sure that you're satisfied with the image
    before starting. Once the image is ready, it's time to resize.





    Okay, so it's not much right now, but by the time I'm through
    with him this little guy will look great! If you intend to use the sprite
    in a ROM hack, make sure that it's no larger than 64x64 pixels, and is the
    exact size you want it to be. You probably don't want an Umbreon the size
    of a Rapidash, right? Moving on, you can start the actual tracing!





    I prefer to use bright colors, as they stand out against
    the image. I couldn't tell you why, but more often than not I
    seem to use red and cyan for the outline. Make sure to erase
    any near-white colors that may surround the image.





    That is one psychedelic Bayleef! Replace every discernible
    shade in the image with a different bright color, so it will be
    easy to recolor later. If you look closely, you'll see that I left
    the eye unaltered; it's easier to change the colors in small areas
    like that one-by-one. Next is the final step, recoloring. You can use
    whatever colors you want, but you should definitely use the original
    image as a reference. If you're making a new sprite of an existing
    Pokemon, I recommend using the color palette on that Pokemon's
    sprite. Don't be afraid to alter the sprite's shading, to better
    fit the guidelines in the shading tutorial above.





    Not too shabby! This sprite wasn't actually made for
    use in a game, so it's a little sloppy, but you get the idea.
    However, just because it looks nice, that doesn't mean that
    it's appropriate. Let's take a look at a few more examples.





    As you can see, again, the resulting sprite isn't bad.
    It's not really appropriate for a battle sprite, though, since
    it's not facing the right way. The light source of the original
    image was also a bit off; if I wanted to use this sprite,
    I would have altered it.





    The orientation of the head on this one is better,
    and the colors and details are nice.. but there's a major
    problem with the size. All three sprites I made were half the
    size of the original image, which was okay for Bayleef and perfect
    for Hitmonlee... but the Umbreon sprite is clearly too big. If you intend
    to use this technique, just remember that the finished product should
    have proper orientation, size, and shading. If you feel the need
    to alter any details, feel free to! It's your sprite!

    ---

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



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