Designing a 2D Pixel Character



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This tutorial is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Please refer to the license text if you wish to reuse, share or remix the content contained within this tutorial.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a 16x16, RPG-Style Character. This tutorial is designed for beginners.

Step 1: Head and Eyes

The head is the biggest element on our character. If the head was any smaller than this one, you wouldn't be able to fit anything in, and that'd be dumb. The dimensions of the head are 8x5.

Step 2: Torso and Legs

The torso is very simple, all we need is a "curved" line to mark the bottom of the torso. We don't have sides to it, as the arms will give that illusion.

Now, before you leave the tutorial, we are NOT making stick legs. Those lines are the sides of the legs, not the entire leg itself. As with a lot of the elements, they don't look good without colour.

Step 3: Arms

The arms are quite wide, if you want, you can modify the width a little bit, but this size is good for our character. The whole character does look pretty messy at this stage, but when we add colour, it'll look greeeeeeaaat.

Step 4: Hair

This is your chance to customise your character. The hair is very important, and can be customised in so many ways. It might take a while to get it just right, but when you do, it'll be worth it.

Step 5: Adding Colour!

If you didn't think it looked like a person before, now you'll think differently. Adding the colour separates each body part, and makes it obvious which part is which. This is your chance to get really creative, especially with the hair and clothes. You could try and add some sort of design on the shirt, but it won't be easy with the size of the character.

Step 6: Shading

If you were looking at the character before, thinking that something didn't look quite right, but you couldn't put your finger on it, it was probably the shading. Shading really adds depth and detail to your character, and is very effective. You need to decide where the light source is coming from, in this case, it's coming from the right, so that means the left side should be darker. So get a darker shade of each colour, and put that on the side that needs it.

Congratulations! You've just created a Pixel Art Character! I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, and I hope you found it helpful!


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  • Thanks a lot! This is a very nice easy and understanding tutorial. Im a very creative and I want to know and learn more on how to do and make pixel art and animations for my games.