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Top 5 Basic Tips for Pixel Art

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By Cyangmou   |   
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© 2014 - 2020 Cyangmou
5 things I'd recommend to anyone who starts out with pixel art

I Revamped this today, completely changed the style, enhanced points and added a few notes here and there.
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anonymous's avatar
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Zegelken's avatar
ZegelkenNew Deviant

is pixelorama better than aseprite?

Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist

I haven't ever heard of pixelorama, so no idea. The ones I recommend I also used.

RetroXZ's avatar

another tricky tutorial! gonna read all of your tutorials!

*(personally i think gimp sucks however if you use then i think ive got to change my mind)

**(um, is it legal if i translate and share your tutrials with others? of course ill mention you name and share the links as well. would you allow me?)

Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist

Well I am not using the new GImp rather an old version (2.6.11). It's quite nice in a couple of things, Aseprite generally has a lot of nice features now and if I'd start again I'd use that - kI just don't like the UI and that it hardly works on a multi-screen setup.

Which language you'd like to translate them in? Depends really on the tuts, bc as I said, some would need improvements.

RetroXZ's avatar

well, as you can guess(or maybe not??) some "third world languages"... call them Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and some others. however i get my word back caz 1 you are saying these tuts need improvements 2 im busy these days 3 who cares about game designing in third world? 4 i have no plan "exactly where" to share them and 5 now i think thats a bad idea

Fahnder99's avatar
Nicely done! Whats better with gimp 2.6.12, whats lost on the newer versions (I work with 2.8.4) ? To me the eraser is a bit bad, but apart from that?
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
I used gimp 2.8.1 and 2.8.3
Both are atrocious in terms of their selection and the way the brushes work because the program shifts more toward sbeing an popen source photoshop.

I recommend the old one, because it's the program I am working with since 2010 for static images and no other program seems to come even close to it in terms of efficiency or sucks majorly in one of the core basic featurs.
I am valueing selection, the pencil, the colorpicker and the basic tools i need 95% during my day as professional artist.
If programs have fancy uber-engineered features you probably use once or twice per day (e.g. pyxeledit, aseprite or graphicsgale have all some exceptional feautres) I am just firing them up 10 minutes for the feature i need them.
Ecarus1345's avatar
Ecarus1345Student Digital Artist
wow, thank you a lot!
Akkari's avatar
AkkariProfessional Digital Artist
more tutorials, please :P
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
any suggestions?
Akkari's avatar
AkkariProfessional Digital Artist
animations, maybe :)
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
noted.
CaramelPuffpuff's avatar
Can you explain the gray colors and the eye / brain scientist? .3. I wanna know if I can paint my cupcakes gray. >w<
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
your brain actually adjusts contrasts.
If you drive a car and get from bright sunlight in a dark tunnel you are blinded.
Pretty much the same happens on a bright7dark canvas, bc. your eyes adjust telling the real color is hard.
Noncivilisedeye's avatar
NoncivilisedeyeHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, sir. Your tips and tutorials have helped me improve my pixel artwork immensely, probably more so than any other single resource.  
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
I am glad that you like them and that they helped you =)
Happy pixelling.
bmkorkut's avatar
bmkorkutHobbyist General Artist
Good points and loved the transformation at the end.

I would like to add Paint.NET to the tool list, a free alternative.
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
those are just my personal recommendations.
i never worked with paint.net extensively therefore I don't know where it excels compared to the other software i mentioned and therefore I neither can nor can't recommend it.
Glisean's avatar
Is that base sketch you used at the bottom what you pixeled over?
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
yeah that's the first rough sketch for the image.
dokitsu's avatar
dokitsuProfessional Digital Artist
I have a question, if you don't mind.

Do you work with an established color palette for those games?
I mean, before starting everything, you wisely selected or researched your own, and limited palette.
If so, how much color count you estimate you use on them?

Thanks for the tips.
Cyangmou's avatar
CyangmouProfessional Digital Artist
Depends on the project.
If it's NES or so, sure i go with the NES colors.
Also everybody has colors the y like.

It's a delicate topic, suually it's good to look at stuff which kinda looks like the stuff you like and see how it's made.
dokitsu's avatar
dokitsuProfessional Digital Artist
Hmm, yeah indeed you'll need NES palette if you're going to develop for NES.
Maybe I was talking more about for PC indie games.

It's just 'cos I've seen lots of PC games without indexed color, and ones that were created developing 8, 16, 32... or whatever number of colors.
Thanks.
Dragonstuff801's avatar
Dragonstuff801Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is some cool advice. as a pixel artist i agree grey canvas really helps.
anonymous's avatar
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