Sprite Process

Example, since I can’t embed youtube clips for some reason.

It’s a sprite process by Ahruon, and using Character Maker (I use it too)!

So as I saw on some forum, there was a person trying to make some custom graphics. Wonderful I say, nice to encourage game makers to make their own graphics so they can make the games world how they want it to be. However, they pretty much traced over existing game resources. So all that potential to make an interesting and unique world was completely lost.

With making your own pixels/drawings (or perhaps getting someone to do them for you), you have more flexibility in how the world will look. Gamers are probably tired of the same old generic forests and caves, and you can make your game stand out by giving some thought to the design and using your talents (or finding someone with some talents and seeing how you can come up with a really interesting world).

I’ll give a few examples of games that had some very original designs to make them stand out. So this means all the “realistic brown and grey 3D woah you can see realistic sweatdrops pour down the army soldiers head” games are excluded.

Katamari Damacy. Very boxy characters and objects as they had to represent so many of them. But instead of trying to make it seem realistic, they went for just plain weird! You have Sumos on balls, Dinosaurs, combined with the very varied and weird music made for an interesting experience. So they worked with what they could do and pulled it off very well.

Earthbound. This is from the SNES days, so it uses a simple style, with minimal shading. Even takes a lot of ideas from Dragon Quest. However, it is in a more modern day setting, in a time when many RPGs were medieval fantasy RPGs with swords and dragons.

Mirrors Edge. They used very bright and saturated colors around, as well as being sparing with the color design. It’s actually an interesting use of it! They’d use lines and colors to guide the player through the level and usually important objects would be highlighted in a bright stand out color so you know where to focus. Not to mention you’re jumping from rooftop to rooftop in a bright white city.

Paper Mario. They have 3D environments with flat sprites. That’s been done before. What this does is make it more of a story book feel and the characters (as the title suggests) are paper thin. Sometimes this is taken advantage of as well as Mario can in Paper Mario 2 turn into a paper airplane to get to other places.

Legend of Mana. Inspired by natural designs, the backgrounds are wonderfully drawn and colorful. But not only wonderfully drawn, but the character cast is quite diverse, ranging from Harpy girls to Flowerlings to Puzzle piece barkeepers. Part of the fun you’ll have in this game is really just exploring the lands and seeing what characters you’ll come across. Some of them are pretty amusing too.

Yeah, they have teams of people, time and money. Indie developers don’t tend to have that much money, usually work solo and have less free time. Still, there are interesting looking games that came out or are being worked on and I’d like to highlight a few of those too!

Wilfred the Hero. This was a 2 person team, with the game being made in RPG Maker. However they decided not to use the default systems and worked around the restrictions and made new systems instead. Teo who made the game Sunset over Imdahl made the graphics for this game. It was certainly more unique than the average RPG Maker that’s for sure!

The Iconoclasts. Made by Konjak, a platformer game that made it up to Demo stage. Wonderful pixel art. But not only that, the background tiles use a lot of shapes for the design, as you can see from this screen. The tree isn’t just an ordinary tree, it uses a box design for the leaves for example. I would highly recommend playing through it as well.

Rainbow Nightmare. This is all drawn and made by TFT. He hand draws many of the characters and backgrounds. Not only that, but the designs (such as enemy designs) are very unique and creative, particularly the inventive enemy designs. I have myself hired him for enemy designs since I knew they would be appealing and different.

Aedemphia. Made by a french person (Sylvanor) in RPG Maker, and has been translated into English. It was made in RPG Maker 2003, but has completely ditched the default systems and uses its own. A lot of time has gone into it, especially the stunning backgrounds. These were all drawn by Sylvanor who I believe is an art student. You can visit his deviant art to see more of the art! Yes, it takes a lot of skill to pull of these quality backgrounds, but that’s not what I want to draw the attention to. Look at the designs of these areas, they are quite interesting! They could have been just standard palaces but well drawn, but it is far more than that.

Do you HAVE to be an art student? I may have shown some examples where there was a lot of artistic talent involved, because those just came to mind. But no, it is not really about artistic talent, it’s about the desire to create a game that has its own look, its own style and own feel. Something that will stick out from the rest in some way, something out of the ordinary. It can be a simple style, it can even be interesting because of a unique use of a simple style.

http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=10612.0

This program can be used to preview your animations! It can make the gif into a strip or a strip into a gif, and loop an image too for it. It seems like it could be an interesting tool, so if you’re curious, go give it a look!

I came across this problem before: Being stuck in one style. Or rather, people assumed I was. While I have done some commission work that was a bit different than my usual colorful graphics, I tend to not display commissioned work until the game is complete. My games are usually bright and need a colorful graphical style. Since I show this off to people more, people have assumed that it is all I can work in. If you are trying to get commissions or perhaps work for a particular game though, this is not always ideal. You may want to have varying styles so that A: You can learn new techniques from it and B: So you can show to others that you are capable of working in another style rather than just your own.

In fact, it is a great way to learn…

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This one was made by K-hos. Click the image to go to the full process!

Click on the image to show the full size.

Finally updating! I was asked to do a bookcase, so I did that. For objects, it’s a good idea to go online and look for reference pics. I was looking at some antique bookcases for some inspiration.

The purple for the sides is entirely unnecessary, you can just use a dark brown.

If you really wanted to, you could also make the top of the bookcase tile too. Since it’s mostly a flat color, it wouldn’t even be hard to do.

It’s more than just dithering here, there are some patterns and some that don’t use dithering. I’ll go over them. I will say what I use but you can feel free to play around and find your own likes and styles. Some of these I just added for the fun of it rather than seriously using it as a pattern/dither.

1) Solid shaded blue orb, no dithering at all. If an object is smooth, you may want to consider either this or anti-aliasing it.

2) Standard dithering. This is the “checkerboard” style, alternating between one pixel and the other. I don’t actually use it very often, but it can add a bit of texture to a piece. Be careful not to overdo it and be careful to not make the other colors you’re dithering way too far from each other. People have sharper monitors nowadays then they did back then so this one tends to be more noticeable.

3) Dots and Circles. You can keep the size consistent if you’d like. This is a bit more stylized way to dither, but can end up being more of a pattern if you use a lot of it throughout. I do use this from time to time.

4) Anti-aliasing added. Don’t use the blur tool or blending for this, just make some new colors between the 2 and use a little amount to reduce the jagged edges look. Makes for a very smooth look.

5) A sort of wavy pattern. Me being “Ocean”, I tend to use this heavily. I’m trying not to excessively rely on it but it’s a fun pattern for me. I do a variation not listed here which is to make it like a plant stem and leaves look instead of just a wave.

6) Lines. Could be better to just make new tones or anti-alias. The lines actually stand out a bit.

7) Some texture. Makes it look spikey.

8) A more diamond shaped dithering, you can see the +’s in the middle.

9) Triangles, since circles aren’t the only thing you can use.

10) This is a bit more random, though I still control it so I just make it feel random.

11) One of those “for fun” ones, I just patterned it up with 4′s. Why? Just cuz. You can go crazy with patterns and stuff if you’d like.

12) This one says “Jaoooo” instead.

13) Random dots, this is more of a texture. You could use this for something like a floor or some old wall.

I’m sleepy, that’s it for now.

Animated gif for the process, and it’s awesome.

Reminder again that this is by Aozane. I should probably make a category for tutorials that aren’t mine, but efffort.

This list is from a list of sprite tutorials given to me. I looked through it and am posting a few here:

Creating a sprite from a drawing by Wayfarer

Spriting terms

Marks Pixel art tutorials. I actually have this up on the sidebar, but I linked to the shading tutorial and there are more present here.

drububus pixel art tutorials. Greyscale, focused more on isometric, but still worth checking out!

Pixelation discussion on color theory.

Sprite Animation by Manning Krull, covering 2 frames, 4 frames and 8 frames.

Youtube

Bikini girl sprite for no other reason than that it is a bikini girl sprite.

Pyramid statue video is actually 4 parts, check it out if you’d like.

Creating a sprite character from scratch

Cirno sprite by 8bit. I posted it before I believe, but it deserves another repost. Check out the other one too.

Sprite tutorial by FrankieSmileShow.

There were others but they were resized by photobucket.

A request by Jakerpot, I’m sorry it’s taken this long but I’ve been really busy. I’ll probably close the requests and stop working on pixel tutorials for the moment until I can get caught up on my other work.

I was going for a dark look this time, so I picked colors like dark brown, black, dark green. My main concern was making the leaf tile. Once I did that, I could go and start working on the canopy. For this, you need a center tile, surrounding tiles for the corners, and the 4 directions. It’s a good idea to map it out when working on it so you can try it out. I condensed the steps, but I had to do some adding on to since the corners didn’t connect before. Test out the tiles too, so you can see if they look too tiled or not. Sometimes you may see visible lines or tiling, so you should try to kill that.

There are a few ways to make the canopy, some games use black for the center of it and only the surrounding parts are colored, and some use a leaf tile inside too. I tried both ways.

After this, all you’d need to do is add tree trunks to go underneath it.

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