I'm not sure if this is the best site to ask questions about pixel art (sprite/retro game whatever), so PLEASE point me to a better place if you know one
I'm doing some forfun projects were I make concepts and then try to make them in to sprites, so they could fit in a gba/nds game. Obviously general art rules apply to this, that's not what's bugging me. I'm having some problems with the technical stuff.
I wonder how you're 'supposed' to do the transfer the concepts from drawing/painting to pixel art. Am I supposed to resize the things and then work with pixels? Is a lineart to prefer and then colour with pixels? Or should I try doing all of it using only pixels?
I know it's no big thing here on CA even though robo/gabo/art has his killer soloshow doing it. But I hope to get some answers
Depends on the dimensions, I guess.
Smaller sizes would probably be suited to straight pixel work, while bigger ones could just be scanned and reduced.
It's really all about what you prefer. Just try out a bunch of things and see what suits you best. Whatever you do though, if you want to pixelize something handdrawn/scanned in, I'd recommend coloring with pixels.
There are both pros and cons to scanning or starting with pixels from scratch. If you scan, you'll have the general lines already placed, which will save you some planning, but it will cause more work because you'll probably have to thin out the lines. This is, of course, avoided if you start with pixels from scratch. As with everything in art, it really comes down to preference.
About size, it depends on what kind of look you want. I can show some examples and go a bit more indepth later, but I don't have much time right now. I'm sure someone will beat me to it... I think Prometheus|ANJ does some pixeling, maybe he can explain things a bit more.
Yeah smaller stuff is good to pixel direct. For stuff like say beat em up character size, I'd make a larger line drawing, make sure it animates (the line drawing), then I scale down and clean up.
When it comes to cleaning up lines, make sure you go like 3,2,1,1 if you have a curve, if you got like 3,2,3,1,2,1 it'll look jaggy. Ah, Yes, here's a tut by Derek Yu: http://derekyu.com/extras/pixel03.html
There's also something called 'hinting' which can be relevant.
If you work on a LCD screen:
I experimented a bit with sampling only a few pixels when scaling down. Normally if I scale down 5x, I would merge 5*5(=25) pixels to get a downscaled AA pixel, or I take the pixel in the middle to get something more crisp. Sampling something like 3 pixels out of 25 results in a more crisp but still somewhat AA'ed result. In the end though, sampling just one pixel then cleaning up by hand proved the best.
You can also work at exactly 5x, then have a grid on. Then you nudge stuff around so lines and details align to the grid. Then you scale down with nearest neighbour. I find it easier to work large initially when designing/concepting, but I do some rework and nudging at pixel level later aswell. Lately I've started using a 1*1 pixel brush on 50-100% opacity. 50% for rendering, 100% to clean up.
Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; May 14th, 2007 at 07:14 AM. Reason: credit
Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.