How do I ...Get better at pixel art/Graphics

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  • Hey guys,

    So im an ex web developer , I still dabble in it now and then , So construct is perfect for me as I understand programming logic but I don't know any game programming , or limited .

    The only problem I have is I have a lot of ideas which are gunna be let down with my art skills , You can see in my game zombie dodger that my pixel art skills are extremely basic at best. Any tips on how to get better , or make some thing half decent to atleast interest the player.

    I dont want my ideas for games go to waste because of my crappy pixel art/graphics skills.

    By the way im quite efficient with photoshop etc, but find making sprites etc hard.


  • You get better at it by doing more of it, and learning from your mistakes. So part of the process is figuring out what is more appealing or less appealing regarding aesthetics and style, etc, and other art principles. It is also intuitive as well, so when you develop more finesse, you become able to experiment with things easier and find out what looks better in your own opinion.

    There's plenty of tutorials on the net to get your started off with common practices when creating pixel-art. I helped create a lot of the understanding regarding pixel-art, as I was very active early 2000s when the main pixel-art forums were developing and discussing pixel-art. Most of what people tell you about pixel-art today hasn't changed much since then, so there is a lot of tutorials repeating the same things.

    Practicing traditional art will also help exercise your observation skills, etc.

  • I am a lousy artist when it comes to sprites especially shading but I can create just about anything using sketchup and turn that into a sprite.

    The shading is the hard part and you need adobe photoshop or a good render program to get shading correct. Blender is good but takes time to learn. Pixel-art has the shading built in.

    When all else fails I go looking for sprites that meet my needs and modify them.

    As prominent said it take s practice to make good sprites and the right software but not being a great artist won't hold you back from game design and there are graphic artists for hire cheap if you think the game will go commercial.

  • Be prepared to put in hundreds of hours of practice. A common misconception is that pixel art is "easy" but it's like any other art discipline. It's a long and sometimes frustrating road, but ultimately satisfying. Even fairly simple 16x16 sprites have a real art to them to make them look remotely good. I've found the following has helped me in my quest to become a better pixel artist. I still have a long way to go.

    1. Collect a whole range of pixel art that you can look at for techniques/inspiration. Services like Pinterest are great for this as you can easily tag and catalogue any cool art you find and then you have a library to draw from.

    2. Try to do a little bit each day, even if you don't feel like it. Join something like #pixeldailies where they set you a task that you have to pixel each day. It's a great way to build up practice and also a library of pixel objects.

    3. Look at a lot of old games from the 8 and 16 bit era, download spritesheets of these and see how the animators set up the key frames, colour schemes etc. You can glean a lot of knowledge this way.

    4. Use pixel art in instances where you normally might not. Got to do a birthday card for someone? Do it in pixel art. Need to make an animation? Pixel art. Want to paint landscapes? Pixel art.

    5. Get feedback. The pixel art community are oddly fanatical, they can get hung up on traditional techniques/limitations etc and it can be frustrating. That said though, if you want to have your work dissected and brutally critiqued you've come to the right place. As hard as it is, it's a good way to get better.

    6. Practice with purpose. Don't just draw heaps of things and hope to get better. Try different techniques otherwise you will hit a plateau and not improve over a certain point.

    7. This one might be a bit weird, but I found that knowing how much time I've spent doing pixel art to be motivating. I do some of my pixel art in aseprite through Steam which counts the time I've been working. I find this oddly motivating seeing that I'm working more on pixel art than playing games. your mileage may vary.

    Hope that helps a bit. It's a long road so just chip away at it slowly. There's no magic bullet to get better over night.

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  • Great thank you guys , all of this really helps . Especially Signal Jackers reply! It will take a while to make something I am proud of , I can see that now!

    Ill just keep plugging a long!

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