Hey hey, I'm an animation director who's also worked as a sprite artist.
I've been getting back into pixel art recently, starting with two series based on one of the most iconic games of my youth. DOOM!
The concept was to reduce them to as few pixels as possible with a nice design, while keep them recognizable. I also tried to keep their scale relative. They're not meant to be seen at the original resolution, but at least the size you see here.
Anyways, here are a few of the first series. The second series based on DOOM II is on it's way at my site www.8x8pixels.tumblr.com Take a look if you like. (I'll post more on here too.)
"Space Marine" 1/11 of DOOM I series
"Imp" 3/11 of DOOM I series
"Cacodemon" 5/11 of DOOM I series
What do you think? Are they still easily recognizable?
Last edited by Caleb Hystad; March 31st, 2011 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Added icon.
Here are some more images from the first series.
The people were probably the hardest to represent at this size. Moving one or two pixels can make or break them.
The "Demon" might not be as frightening as he was in the original...
"Former Human" 2/11 of DOOM I series
"Demon" 5/11 of DOOM I series
"Former Sergeant" 4/11 of DOOM I series
These are great - I'm doing some pixel art myself at the moment but nothing this far reduced. It's pretty incredible that the characters are so recognisable when they're only a 9 (!) pixels tall. You just couldn't do this with most modern games.
Any chance you'd do other classic game series? I bet the old lucas arts games would translate well to this kind of style. Anyway, really nice work.
DangerDinosaur - Thanks! It's nice to meet another pixel artist on the boards. Not using outlines allows the characters to get pretty tiny. As for other games, I have some plans... Haha, Lucas Arts games might have the same size sprites already.
Angroc - Actually I am getting into some personal projects for iPhone. I'll keep you posted.
Here are some more images from the first series. The Lost Souls were tricky to get so small. (They'd probably benefit from some flame animation.) The bigger characters are redesigned a bit more than the smaller ones. I'm not a big fan of over detailing sprites even if you have the room.
"Lost Souls" 7/11 of DOOM I series
"Baron of Hell" 9/11 of DOOM I series
"Spectre" 8/11 of DOOM I series
"Spider Demon" 10/11 of DOOM I series
omg i loves doom. it's a awesome game and considered as top on my list.
you did an excellent job rendering the sprites to smaller scale and still recognizable. Dare you to make high resolution instead? d:
nonameowns - Thanks, I'm glad you can recognize them. Haha, I'll just post the originals for the higher resolution versions.
Here starts the second series. Inspired by DOOM II.
"Former Commando" 1/11 of DOOM II series
"Elemental" 2/11 of DOOM II series
"Hell Knight" 3/11 of DOOM II series
The Mancubus is one of my favorites.
"Mancubus" 4/11 of DOOM II series
"Revenant" 5/11 of DOOM II series
"Arachnotron" 6/11 of DOOM II series
The series will be finished this friday with the final easter egg character!
I think why I like pixel art so much is partly because of that simplification of an image. When you get start using fewer pixels the difference between using a black outline or perhaps a darker skintone as an outline to an arm can really make or break an image. This thought process can then help when doing more traditional/representational work I find.
The other reason I like pixel art is because I am a massive gaming geek!
This is super incredible work! i love it!
Chijts - Me too, on both accounts! You're totally right about the color and tonal balance. It's one reason I like to work without the usual pixel art outlines.
LA-Fairy - Ha, thanks. Looks more like he's about to gum you than chomp your head.
killermachine - Awesome, I appreciate it! One more day of DOOM, and then we'll see what comes up.
"Arch-Vile" 7/11 of DOOM II series
"Final Boss" 8/11 of DOOM II series
This is the final boss of the game, but there are still the three secret characters, including part of a certain game developer...
Geir - It's pretty simple really. I use Photoshop to draw them pixel by pixel, and then scale them up to whatever size I like. When I was working on GBA we had some sprite editing/animating software, but even then I just worked in PS 7 and imported the frames to the other software later. I haven't seen anything that beats the layer folders, animation tools, and multiple window views. If you're looking for anything more specific, I'll be happy to answer.
Now for the end of the series!
The three easter egg enemies from DOOM II.
"Wolfenstein SS" 9/11 of DOOM II series
"Hanging Commander Keen" 10/11 of DOOM II series
"John Romero's Head on a Stick" 11/11 of DOOM II series
John Romero's head on a stick was the real final boss to the game, but you could only see him by cheating your way into the final boss.
Thanks everyone for following along with the series. I really appreciate all the positive feedback.
Expect to see more!
Caleb, I'm gobsmacked at just how cool these are, given your self-imposed design limitation on size. Well done!!
Grave Sight Graphics: The Art of Eric Lofgren.
elofgren@ telus.net (to use e-mail address please remove space between the '@' and 'telus')
My Art Blog
My Online Portfolio (Updated Jan. 30/ 2011)
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Thanks Eric! The limitations present some interesting challenges, but I love the look when they come out right.
Here's my take on the Akira motorcycle poster.
The motorcycle took forever to figure out, and I'm still looking at it sideways.
Hey, is there any way you could show us a screenshot of the final boss?
I dont remember him, I only remember the cyberdemon.
Here you go Pavel.
The big boy himself.
And Romero's head on a stick!
Last edited by Caleb Hystad; April 11th, 2011 at 06:59 PM. Reason: busted links
MatejaPetkovic - You're telling me. Thanks man.
I've been a bit delayed in starting another series, but here's something that's been in the works for a couple of months. "Herbert's Day Off" is my first iPhone game to be published, and these are some of the promo pieces I made for it featuring fancy pixel art iPhone borders. There are a couple more images and a link at the website.
The artwork for this game is what kicked off my recent low resolution pixel work.
Let me know what you think.
Wow, Herbert's Day Out is getting some great responses. Kotaku even had an article on it! It's become an example for me of doing art that you think is cool and letting the right audience find you, instead of working on only what is popular already.
Here's some new concept art I've been working on. It's a fox!
Hey hey, I've started a new series of pixel art based on TMNT. (They're actually based on the first toy line, when I was first obsessed with them.)
They work surprisingly well at this scale.
Starting it out is "Raphael" 1/11