Hmm, I still like doing a white background, but I'll try to start using gray for my eyes sake. xD I always start my drawings with line art and then in black and white, do the shading, reassign the colors later, stuff. o:
sadly the pixel art world is really cluttered, no central Hub. Pixelation is just a forum where most of the stuff vanishes in the tides of time - so much stuff I remember there simple got lost. Pixeljoint "could" be a great place, but actually nobody takes care of the biggest technical issues and so there is no real progress (site-design wise - we know the reasons, at least the repeat the same stuff, since I hit up there) Deviantart is Deviantart - with a lot of single artist profiles
Oh well I wasn't thinking about a "central hub" website or something... just, like, a compendium you know? "the big list of pixel artists" or something, with links to portfolios/DAs/twitter/tumblrs/whatevergalleries...
A "real", up to date website for pixel art would be nice though...
Quite incomplete indeed; I was thinking about a, I dunno, real full list with as much people as possible, without any notion of skill so it's fair to everyone... oh well.
And I think fixing PJ's issues might take so much time that building a new site might be faster and more efficient lol And making a "new site" would just start a war between communities, wouldn't it? Bah... *scratch head*
Hey, Cymangou, nice tutorial! There are a ton of PA tutorials out there, but your tutorials always manage to bring something new to the table. But, I have a question about 2). I've tried using gray backgrounds in ASEprite, but then I tend to confuse transparency with any gray-ish colors I have in my palette. This is especially problematic when using Dawnbringer or an NES palette. So instead, I use pure magenta (#FF00FF) and occasionally, pure cyan (#00FFFF). But I have a feeling that might not be the greatest idea. Do you have any suggestions for better background colors that take advantage of rarely-used colors?
#7E657E #7E717E for magenta and #657E7E or #727e74 for cyan
they are gray, but tinted (close to gray) - this works also with full color palettes if you have a somewhat decent screen if you can't see the colors well than it might be time for buying an ISP-panel flatscreen
Hmm I never really thought about working over a gray background color.. I have though, as it makes logical sense. I usually use a brownish gray, the color a8a088, or medium teal. I actually wondered if some people actually use those eye burning hot pinks or green I see a lot of sprite-sheets submitted on. That would just be insane.
well most new people seem to use white, at least I had that impression from Pixelation if you look at the pieces uploaded there. I am actually using everything from grays, browns, greens, blues ... usually desaturated and mostly at 50% brightness. For darker scenarios I am going down to 20% brightness, for bright scenarios up to about 70% Don't really gave an in depth explanation, just wanted to give a short and on-spot tip.
Now that you mention it.. a lot of samples there do have a white BG, true... that's bad. I really hope, for healthy eye's sake, people don't actually sprite using those neon green or pink backgrounds, I doubt any actual spriters do. Although I have seen a lot of sprite-sheets with those super bright background colors for some reason.
They're all good tips, especially the size/ workload tip.
The neon backgrounds are added after creation, sometimes by the engine rather than by the artist (who might provide the images with transparencies instead). They're there to make it easy to tell where the transparencies are, and they're colours that run no risk of being repeated in the artwork itself, unlike more "tame" colours such as grey. That helps avoid accidental transparent pixels.
I personally avoid working on "neutral" backgrounds like grey. I think it's more helpful to work with a background colour that's representative of the situations in which the sprite will be used. For example, if I'm spriting a character that'll only appear in an ice cave, I'd use a pale blue/purple background of a similar value to the cave's average. If you have backgrounds made already, you could even use those, though I'd still recommend having a solid colour just to avoid confusion, and just flip to the background for occasional checks. This doesn't work as well for characters that appear in many settings, but it's still doable, especially if the game has a consistent visual style. For my main characters, I often have several solid colours I flip between while working, so my eyes never get adjusted too much.
target group for the tut are beginners who start out, for them a rule of thumb should be easy understandable and reproducable. Beginners constantly use white as backround color. I think as a beginner you use white, because a sheet of paper is white. To explain which background color you use best for which assets would require more experience about game art and color theory and for sure more thinking - so intermediate level I guess.
Ah that makes perfect sense about the super bright colors.
Also probably a good idea to test characters over multiple scenes. I actually had to adjust a couple portraits' palettes last night once I finally applied them over a colorful setting in a mock-up and realized how washed out one of them looked.