Pixel Art

August 19, 2013 8:36 pm

Well it has been a while since my last post. A few things to note about my breaktime:

  • We have one new project on the list (it’s a secret!), and one new game on the list (introducing that soon!)
  • Bow Quest Adventure Hero was declared a dead project, and the source was released for free here: http://love2d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=39632&p=113005#p113005
  • The reason for the lack of activity was my life just getting too busy.


So, since I am doing all of the art for heroic on my own, I thought I’d talk about how I go about doing that! I know, it’s a bit boring, but as soon as I get to start talking about this new game, we’ll talk more about actual development :)


The program I use to make pixel art is Gimp, which is free, here is there website: http://www.gimp.us.com/gimplp2/index-yahoo.php?pk=4860 . I have gone through a ton of free software over the months of making Heroic, but none have surpassed Gimp in quality.


So for this example, I’m going to be using an enemy spaceship from one of my older projects.

The first thing I do when making an image that has a unique shape is make a layer called ‘border’, and draw that out:

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 10.10.22 PM


After that I make the background layer, this is what goes behind all of the texturing. I make this slightly lighter, or slightly darker, than the color I want as the end result (In this case, it’s darker). I’ll explain:

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 10.16.03 PM

The next layer is the Foreground layer. This is something I do unique to Gimp, although I’m sure other programs can do this as well.

The tool I use for this is the paintbrush. Oh gosh, the paintbrush… This tool is pretty much the entire reason I Prefer Gimp over any other program.

The reason for making the background color lighter, or darker, is because the paintbrush is slightly transparent. The more of a difference between the foreground color and the background color, the more of a “layered” look appears in the texture.

After I create the foreground layer, I select the foreground color and paint brush, this allows for easy, high quality texturing of any low(low) resolution image.

I pretty much start with drawing over the entire image once, and then layering the paintbrush over itself  to give certain areas a darker shade.

Here’s the result:

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 10.25.39 PM


And finally, if I need it, I make a layer called Decor, where I put any misc stuff that the image might need to feel finished.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 10.28.01 PM


I know that decor looks pretty bad, but I swear it looked fine in the context of the game!

That is pretty much everything I do to create an image. But, I manipulate images quite heavily after they have been placed into the game, stuff like basic shading and shadows always help make an item feel more polished.


Hopefully this has helped someone, I will be posting again soon, and I can’t wait to share the new game we are working on with everyone!

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