Adapting photoshop skills to making game art?

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  • Hi! I'm new here. I love the idea of Construct 2, and, as a primarily 2d artist, would like to try my hand at making games.

    I use photoshop for digital painting all the time. for some admittedly old examples of my work in that medium. When it comes to making 2d games, I always got the impression that the only way to go is Flash or Illustrator. I have... well, okay, next to no idea how to work with these programs and every time I've tried I've run scurrying back to Photoshop with my tail between my legs.

    My question is, can I make all the art assets for my game in Photoshop? I... don't really grasp vector art, as my instinct is all "paint and draw and paint and draw" so... is it possible to do character and environment and object art without uh, using vectors at all? Or will it/does it look terrible? I did some searching around the forums but I haven't had much luck finding this specific answer.


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  • Usually people go to Illustrator because it's easier in terms of workflow (reuse elements, manipulation and such), but all pixel artists are most likely to use Photoshop instead.

    If you mean style, you may check on Braid, a platformer with a nice paint-ish feel and interesting time mechanics.

    <img src="" border="0" />

  • Construct 2 uses moster raster graphics so you'll be fine. It's in-engine editor is a raster editor (pixels) so you just need to place colors and go, no need for vectors.

    You can use vectors in Photoshop to create smooth lines with the pen mode and everything, but that's up to how to artistic method. I personally make PixelArt in some other programs for my original stuff.

  • There are advantages and disadvantages to both vector and raster graphics, but as far as I know Construct 2 only supports the latter (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). I do all my art in Photoshop as it allows for far more flexibility in style, the hardest part is thinking like a game developer (making sure your images are power of two sizes etc). So yes, Photoshop is ideal for making art assets for most games, I would only ever use vector graphics if I were aiming for a specific style or needed to manipulate the images in certain ways (eg scaling without image degradation) or for other technical reasons such as size/memory usage. Flash is built on a vector graphics engine so it makes sense that flash games would use vectors, but outside of flash games it isn't the norm.

  • Hey thanks for the responses everyone! I do like Braid. Signaljacker, what do you mean by "power of two sizes"? This is a concept I am unfamiliar with.

    Also, what is the ppi of C2's standard screen?

  • Asha, there's an article here on some good practices for creating game graphics it goes into a bit of detail about power of two images - they aren't mandatory, but it's good practice to use them from both a memory usage and compatibility standpoint. Here's another article that goes into more depth about power of two images and why it's a good idea to use them. I've found it's sometimes a bit frustrating to conform to these rules, but eventually you learn to work within the confines and it can be quite rewarding. As for the resolution of Constructs screen, I'm not sure. I do my game graphics in 72 dpi, I don't see a need to go higher, but it's possible that using higher resolution images wouldn't affect performance (they would affect game size however).

  • Braid was all done in photoshop so as above a resounding yes.

    Here's a great article on the creation of the theme and graphics in Braid.

  • All I can say about your Photoshop question is that Photoshop is commonly used for high resolution, high color images in the games industry, so you have no need to switch to any vector based drawing program.

    Practically you could also produce your images with a vector based drawing program like Illustrator but you have to convert the images to bitmaps (for use with Construct 2).

    As for the concept of "power of two image sizes" ... this is basically a choice made on performance since divisions and squareroots are pretty quick and easy to calculate (some programmer might correct me or give more insight).

    power of two image sizes : 2x2 (not really a size for a "picture"), 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, 32x32, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048

    the last (2048x2048) is pretty extreme since it takes a whole bunch of memory (try to keep it below that)

    hope this helps...

    rock on,


  • ...

    power of two image sizes : 2x2 (not really a size for a "picture"), 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, 32x32, 64x64, 128x128, 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048....

    also combos of those so 16x32, 128x64, etc.

  • Are you sure? I thought Ashley stated that all images were expanded to a square so it should be power of two with both sides matching.


    Due to the way graphics processors work, images are usually actually held in memory in a power-of-two size (e.g. 128x128, 256x256, 512x512, etc).

    Also in the "Remember not to waste your memory" blog, only square sizes are mentioned.

    I hope you're right as it would suit me better in the long run (I won't discuss how long I may have wasted re-drawing my images to use square tiles after being advised to do so...) <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Zantium I think it stores it as a 32x32 square if was 16x32 but can design it as 16x32.

    I read that elsewhere here in the forums it isn't my own idea

    forum post

    that's from Ashley

    Power of 2 sizes can almost be forgotten... they are only relevant with tiled images (so not Sprite images), and in the near future mobile devices will also support non-power-of-two textures, meaning power-of-two is finally irrelevant and makes no difference at all.

    In the mean time, there's not really any performance difference, it just affects whether tiled images can tile with best quality, which currently can only be done with power-of-two images.

  • Ah, right - I was busy editing my previous post. That sounds right, from what I understand then you could use 16x32 which would give you crisp textures that the engine doesn't have to resize on the fly but you'd waste memory as you'd be using double (a 32x32 sized imaged would have to be created in memory).

    It would be more efficient in that case to draw it as a 16x32 then chop it into 2x 16x16 tiled and just add those in side by side, which is the route I've been taking.

  • <img src="smileys/smiley36.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> You edited your post as I was editing mine.

    Interesting that post from Ashley from last year, sort of contradicts the more recent ones.

    Hmm, odd sizes would make it easier for my backgrounds, I'll re-work them then. ;)

  • I guess you can do that

    seems a lot of work I really don't know if the memory difference would be worth chopping in 2 16x16 rather than 1 16x32

    I have no idea if that is correct or not so don't take my word on it

    Sadly, I haven't designed enough or created enough to test this


    This is for sprites only, tiled backgrounds DO NEED STRICT power of two. so Zantium your backgrounds if using tiled backgroundplugin it would have to be power of two

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