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5 Tips for the Aspiring Pixel Artist by Cyangmou 5 Tips for the Aspiring Pixel Artist by Cyangmou
5 things I'd recommend to anyone who starts out with pixel art
Tip 2, 3 and 5 are useful for any game art asset.
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:iconhul78:
hul78 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014
Searching for isometric walk cycles,  I found your gallery
Great artwork, and thanks for the tips
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:iconlanarky:
Lanarky Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great advice, and glad to see some memorable names from Pixelation over here too!
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:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is excellent, thank you!
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:iconcorvalian:
Corvalian Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
That optical illusion blew my mind. I had to bring the whole thing into Photoshop, use the eyedropper, and paint some brushstrokes before I believed it.
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:iconkutoal:
kutoal Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Pretty god, thank you!!
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:iconbanished-dreams:
Banished-Dreams Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2014
This is incredibly helpful! I've been trying to branch off from using MSPaint and didn't know where to begin.
Thank you very much!
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:iconaga-99:
AGA-99 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Student Digital Artist
NIIIICE tips txs bro
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:iconmr-hades:
Mr-Hades Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Very good advice! Thanks!
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:iconmotorroach:
MotorRoach Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014
This seems pretty handy, would really help people who are still getting into pixel art.
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
that's the idea =)
Newcomers seem to pop up quite commonly.
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:icon0shawn0:
0shawn0 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
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:
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:iconpixlwalkr:
PixlWalkr Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very Helpful. Thanks~! :D
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:iconmasterteox:
MasterTeox Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Insta-fav!
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks, also made a poll (if you haven't seen yet =) )
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:iconcitizen56:
Citizen56 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student
I really appreciate these steps laid out in this fashion; exactly the things I get hung up on. Thanks for this!
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:iconlemtzas:
lemtzas Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
All glory to the bookmark pit! *throws in link*
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:iconthisisellian:
ThisIsEllian Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome stuff as usual. :D
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks Ellian =)
didn't even know you had a DA account
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:iconthisisellian:
ThisIsEllian Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For what it's worth I'm not using it a lot lol

The world of pixel art needs a big compendium of link to artists's websites :(
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
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
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:iconthisisellian:
ThisIsEllian Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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...
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
that one is quite incomplete, if you ask me, but the closest thing I know of.
www.pixelprospector.com/the-bi…

a real site would be really nice indeed. Or just fixing PJ's issues would do the job as well and would most probably be the faster and less work-intensive method.
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:iconthisisellian:
ThisIsEllian Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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*
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
don't know a lot about building websites.
War between comms? Do you really think that would happen?
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(1 Reply)
:icontitan303:
Titan303 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very helpful especially 5!!
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:iconstar-vision:
Star-Vision Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll make sure to use the gray background. I hadn't though of that.
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:icondragondeplatino:
DragonDePlatino Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
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?
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
use desaturated colors
like

#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 =)
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:icondragondeplatino:
DragonDePlatino Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
Hmmm...works pretty well! I went ahead and went with a nice desaturated cyan of my own and it works pretty nicely. Thanks for the tip!
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:iconlijj:
Lijj Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
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.
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
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.
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:iconlijj:
Lijj Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
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.
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:iconeishiya:
eishiya Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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.
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:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
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.
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:iconlijj:
Lijj Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014
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.
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