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ASCII art tutorial 1.0 by diamondie ASCII art tutorial 1.0 by diamondie
I've been working on this tutorial since May or June, but multiple things have caused delays and I was only able to finish it now. Click the Download to Desktop button to view the tutorial, which is a single HTML file without any images, besides the inline ASCII pictures of course. The title image is made with FIGlet, except for the border.

I've changed the structure of the tutorial multiple times and I hope it's clear enough now. There are surely some errors in the information, so feedback and corrections are appreciated. I'm afraid the HTML isn't too pretty, I might fix that in the future.

I've decided not to include any links in the tutorial, because they would go stale eventually. It's easier to edit the description field than the actual file, so I provide a few pointers here. Most of the things mentioned in the tutorial (such as software, fonts and definitions of words) are easy enough to find with Google.

:bulletred: The ASCII tutorial in Spanish, kindly translated by =jSepia
:bulletred: My ASCII art website
:bulletred: ASCII art on DeviantART
:bulletred: JavE
:bulletred: The history of ASCII art, mirrored here

Most ASCII pieces in the tutorial are mine, the rest are used with permission. Unfortunately I've had to leave out a few pictures that I couldn't obtain a permission for (the author was unreachable or didn't reply to my email), but I provide links to them. Here's also a link to `nemoorange 's great piece used in the tutorial, so you can view it as intended and comment on it.

:bulletred: Echidna by Andreas Freise (for the "Textures and materials" section)
:bulletred: Dolphin by Donovan, scroll down the page (for the "Camelized" section)
:bulletred: It Figures by `nemoorange
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ED-127 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2018
  CCC                 l  !!!
C                       l  !!!
C        ooo  ooo   l  !!!
C        o  o  o o   l
  CCC  ooo  ooo   l  !!!

FangirlofArt Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know if you're aware, but you have a drawing on your home page called "babushka" that depicts a "matryoshka". "babushka" means grandma or old lady. "matryoshka" is the name of the toy.

Feel free to ignore this message if you where aware of this beforehand.
kittenken Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Thank you so much for this!!!! I've been looking for a tutorial on how to do this FOREVER
HeatCrystal Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
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Nighteba Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I turned my screen upside-down & still can't see what you tried to draw...
leehaneul Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
spaghetti-legs96 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
brilliant, thanks :heart:
MichaelOSullivan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010


MichaelOSullivan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010
_____ ___ ____




looks like i need some help :-)
MichaelOSullivan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010
Nice tutorial!

Just stumbled across
it, will help me make
some ascii pictures of
my own i think :-)


_____ ___ ____
| | | | _|
| | | |_ |
MentlegenJack Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Oooh.... an ASCII tutorial. You don't get a lot of these avidly advertised on the web. I don't do a lot of ASCII art myself. But i took a look at your tut and it is a very neat tut. I mostly looked at the pictures, some really amazing ASCII art in there.

Here is some love, just because there is not enough love comments on here :D
AnimeLuver25 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2008
Very good tutorial. I feel stupid asking this, but how do you type a line like this "|" in Courier New? I think there's something I'm missing. (I copied and pasted that one)
anit0523 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009
Do you mean the shift+slash? | Right above the enter key. It looks like an elongated colon, but its actually a straight line. It should be the same in courier, i think. |||
diamondie Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008  Professional Writer
It depends on your keyboard. :-> I'm using a Finnish keyboard, so for me the pipe character is produced by Alt Gr+<, but it's in a different key in the U.S. keyboard (and most other keyboard layouts) and I can't remember where it is.

Thanks for commenting.
Sushimitzu Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2008
Awesome tut, keep it up :> Also there could be some more examples. ._.
diamondie Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional Writer
Thanks. You're right that the tutorial could be more conclusive and have more examples. I've been supposed to revamp it for a few years, but other stuff has always come in the way...
Sushimitzu Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
Oh, ok :D
supersmilehappy Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
very interesting, just found out this was an actual artform, but how do those things that are copy pasted with chain letters, you know the footprints, the heart, the rose, how do they fit in?
diamondie Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008  Professional Writer
Usually those pictures use proportional fonts like Arial (and often contain non-ASCII characters). Many people consider them to be ASCII art, even though technically they are not. Pictures drawn in Arial used to be called "AOL macros", which is because they were used in an AOL webchat (or forums?) which used this font.

I once got commissioned by a PR agency to draw Mona Lisa in Verdana (another proportional font). I had never tried drawing in a proportional font before - it's quite difficult to make something like Mona Lisa. Sadly the project was cancelled. I think it would have been for Microsoft.
supersmilehappy Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008
wow too bad the project was canceled, that must have been a shiton of money you missed out on
diamondie Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2008  Professional Writer
Yeah... It probably would have been a decent amount of money (especially considering my very low income). I try not to think about that too much. ;-P
supersmilehappy Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2008
well you have a lot of talent, mabe ull get another job like that soon
danielnikolic Featured By Owner May 22, 2008
A blast from the past, brings up nice memories...
Akvril Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
Cool! +fav
axis000 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks a lot it's wonderfull!
diabeticbunniducks Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2007   Photographer
The pictures' okay but it's not my thing I dontlikenumbers like the ### kind

nine tute though
hrakak Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2007   Interface Designer
thats cool:english
c'est de la magie:french
molto b閚:italian
jmil : arab
frotton Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful Tutorial... Wow takes me back to the old BBS days. Thanks for the memories :)
joshpurple Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Wow! What an excellent job you have done. Checking it out more, I tested ASCII art in 3ds Max (forgive me, I hope I have not sinned :slow: ). And, it worked. Please don't kill me :D , this is a gift I made for you, and I always mean to ask all artists before I ever use their work -deepest respect always! So (*blush*) using this very cool unicorn ASCII art I found, with a copy/paste, I tested how the Max Text creation of it would work. Then I gave it a little extrusion, animated it with color, and here! [link]
See! :D You inspired me! lol! Thanks, great work you've done! I really like it!
diamondie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2007  Professional Writer
That's quite a cool idea, I'm glad I was able to inspire you. There's one little problem with the animation though: you didn't use a fixed-width font but a proportional one, which isn't fit for displaying ASCII art. You can see that the characters don't line up perfectly as they do in the original.
joshpurple Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Ah! Fixed-width font! Great eye too. That makes sense, Thank You! :D
(In the tiny little text window for Max, I kept re-spacing/re-aligning all the text, lol! :D )
Adobe After Effects has some really fun text animation presets, -making the text animate into your art would look great (I think).
blueshift55 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2007
ASCII art is great. I will try this soon.
Thnks for the tutorial.
Oh-Inverted-World Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2006
how do i acess this tutorial?
diamondie Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2006  Professional Writer
Click the "Download" button (it doesn't actually download the tutorial to your computer, but lets you view it in your browser).
lioncat Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
You created some clear and minimal things and I think that both are really the best parts in anything worth of doeing : )
Kirostyle Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2006
Oooooh, wow! I always wondered how people do those so well. This was very informative!
juansrx Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Good tutorial, is one of my bases on my art.
omernos Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2006
Very Very nice tutorial!
but I found out I totally suck at it!

I tried doing a lollipop,
it looked more like a squashed aubergine!

kabrotti Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2006
huh? good, i speak spanish, thanks for letting me know,
and. thanks for the tutorial a lot :worship: i will add you to my watch
Ptit-Panda Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2006   Interface Designer
I think i'll take another try, when i read it, i've started to do some ASCII with notepad :D
fmg Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2006
KOOL tytytytytytyty IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR YEARS :lol:
aquaglow Featured By Owner May 17, 2006
Wow, this is a really well written tutorial, good job! :) I'd be happy to redo the HTML slightly with anchors and css if you like. :)
diamondie Featured By Owner May 18, 2006  Professional Writer
Thanks! Frankly I don't really need the CSS, I'm happy with plain even if someone may find it bland. I'm hoping to be able to revise this tutorial in the upcoming months, I'm just the kind of person who has a hundred projects running at once so I don't know when I can get to it.
aquaglow Featured By Owner May 18, 2006
Oh ok, I just find it hard to resist doing coding, hehe :P
photoshoptutors Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
this is pretty awesome

drop by the club sometime
GalloPinto Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2006
This is awesome. I've been assigned a text-based art assignment at my colleg art course. Of course the instructor isn't expected SCII, but this looks very informative and helpful. Thanks for putting in so much time and effort!
roy-sac Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi Diamondie, nice work. You should have a look at my ASCII & ANSI Text Art Lens at Squidoo which shows the distinct styles of the Underground Text Art Scene. I also believe that the Text Art History Article from Joan G. Stark. Enjoy.
diamondie Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2006  Professional Writer
Thanks for the link. I think we will feature it in the next issue of TextCanvas (a news article series focusing on ANSI and ASCII art).

I'm trying to get this tutorial updated in the near future, with more information about the actual drawing process (as well as some more editors and fonts).
roy-sac Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can find Editors here . I have on My Internet Homepage TheDraw available for download (my Editor of choice) and also ANSIDraw which is one of the oldest, if not the oldest editor for the PC. A real piece of crap. I made my first ANSI's and ASCII's with it and talked about my experiences with it on my Homepage as well. The Draw comes with a bunch of fonts and allows the creation of custom fonts by the user. Hope this will help. CYA
cmkumar2k Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2006
that's really interesting and good work..... keeep coming more...
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Submitted on
November 2, 2004
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