Animation in Pixel Art
|5 min read
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
By Hyanna-Natsu   |   Watch
238 75 13K (1 Today)
Published: August 12, 2012



Oh, many people asked for it, so, I'll do ~ i hope that it'll be good, because I'm not good with explanations.

Well. First:
Which the program that I use?
Gimp 2.8 (you can download it in the site, it's free! www.gimp.org/downloads/ )
But you can use Photoshop too, because GIMP looks like with Photoshop, but it's free, more simple and more "light".

I'll explain of a mode that is possible make in Photoshop or GIMP, not much detailed, I wait that you know the basic of the program.

Ah! Have many many patience >//<
The images about what I saying are in the right of the text.

:bulletblue: Start with a document of size 100x100 px.
And create a "border" (in other layer) with the size 50x50 so you know that your pixel art is in the size correct.

:bulletblue: Now you can make the sketch with the pencil tool. Is good if you have some reference, or know how you want do it.
References¹ that I recommend I'll put in the end of the "tutorial".

:bulletblue: Right, start the lineart in a new layer. I do it with the correct colors, not only black or one unique color, if the hair is green, the lineart of hair is dark green.
And oh yes, without clothes.
The eyes will to blink, so, I make in a separate layer. And yes, I love do it, so is the first thing!

:bulletblue: Start the coloring. I LOVE IT ~nyaa
Basic colors first! I use many layers for do all, so, yes, the skin is in a layer and the hair is in other.

:bulletblue: Shading. I make it in wrong mode x) not is real pixel art, is only "beautiful" pixel art.
For correct mode, see tutorials, like this: Pixel Art Tutorial - Human and luvpixel Pixel Art Tutorial.
For shadows, I select the color, and use the brush tool, with lights are the same, but with a light color,  and finally little white points with pencil tool.

:bulletblue: For finally, darken or lighten the lineart when is necessary and add a white stroke with 1px (also in a new layer,  bellow of all). - I correct little problems in this part.

:bulletblue: And save the finished image without the white background, and cut the image for the correct size (50x50px)
Now how I animate this in GIMP
For how animate in Photoshop see here: fav.me/d3iz0mj
:bulletpink: Now, duplicate the layer of eyes. Hide the first layer of eyes and redraw the eyes and save the image with different name (I use "1", "2"...). Thus:


:bulletpink: Make more two versions (in other two layers), so you will have four images:


:bulletpink: Animate now! :la: Open the four images in a new document. Right?
Ok, now, put the milliseconds in the layers, thus:

You can see she's blinking in the menu Filters > Animation > Playback
"But she's blinking much... mechanical and blergh D:"
No problem ^w^
Duplicate some layers, and change the velocity, and TADAM she's blinking much better! See:

Click in the Gumi for see how many layers I use.

:bulletpink: Exportation and optimization.
You need export as a animated gif:

But the deviantART don't accept for avatar gif with more 15KB ¬_¬'
So you need optimize this! In the same menu Filters > Animation > Optimize (for GIF) and save again as a animated gif.
Gumi was 27,3 KB now is 5,1 KB!

Finished! :iconknittingpandaplz:
You should have many questions for me, I KNOW I explain VERY BAD D: ask whatever you want >//<

I hope it helped you, and thanks!


¹ Good references:
:iconorichie: :icongetanimated: :iconicy-rain: :iconmelodeiia: :iconxx-kk-xx: :iconthe-fry-bat:

Comments75
anonymous's avatar
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Sample2448's avatar
You even use linux, you are perfect
WisterianMagic's avatar
WisterianMagicHobbyist General Artist
Oh this is so cute! I wondered how to do this :D
PastryKat's avatar
PastryKatHobbyist Digital Artist
Fabulous! This is super helpful although it's old. Also, how big should it be? The canvas I mean?
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
I'm glad to know~
and the answer is in the journal owo
PastryKat's avatar
PastryKatHobbyist Digital Artist
sry, missed that. Thx!
CindyMad's avatar
CindyMadStudent General Artist
the link that has the gimp 2.8 download has an error :(
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
just search in the google "gimp" the first link is for the official website ^^
I'll change the link, thanks anyway :3
CindyMad's avatar
CindyMadStudent General Artist
can you make a video tutorial on this? im sorry its kinda confusing Froggy Emoji 01 (Confused or Lost Frog) [V1] 
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
Ehhh sorry but no D:
AFarmaant's avatar
AFarmaantHobbyist Digital Artist
Can you link to the theme you use in GIMP? It looks really nice!
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
Oh sorry but isn't a theme for the GIMP, I was using Linux Mint owo
AFarmaant's avatar
AFarmaantHobbyist Digital Artist
that's ok! Thanks for replying!
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
No problem ^^ 
inkuu's avatar
inkuuStudent Digital Artist
; u ; ah, ty! <3 i realy needed this ; A ;
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
No problem ^^
Do7anii's avatar
Do7aniiHobbyist Digital Artist
I LOVE YOU!!! :la: THANK YOU!!
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
haha no problem dear~
InilixaManga's avatar
Thank you for this helpful tutorial!
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
Aww the pleasure is mine dear :heart:
xXMiki-tamaXx's avatar
xXMiki-tamaXxStudent Digital Artist
Thank you so much x)!
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
The pleasure is mine :3
Mikriluna's avatar
when drawing a pixel chibi, do you have set dimensions, or do you just just any width and height you want, then shrink????
Hyanna-Natsu's avatar
Hyanna-NatsuStudent Digital Artist
No, I always do in the correct size, only the icon that I make in 100px and when I finish I cut for be 50px, never I shrink or resize the pixel art.
Syonan-To's avatar
Syonan-ToStudent Artist
did u figure out how to use GIMP by yourself ?
anonymous's avatar
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