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Using Paint.NET for Graphics

  • There is a lot about the graphics program Paint.NET that many people don't know about. So, I'd just like to take the time to share with you all the extra knowledge that you usually wouldn't get from just the original download.

    The easiest way to describe Paint.NET is that it is a simplier/easier/free version of Photoshop. If you think there is a feature missing, then there is probably a plugin for it.

    • Paint.NET DOES have the ability to open/save PSD (Photoshop) files. (with this plugin)
    • If you want to make pixel art, then there is the ability to toggle a "Pixel Grid" to make that easier.
    • Has ability to create spritesheets and split them.
    • Has layers, and many different blending modes and effects to apply.
    • Unlimited history for undo.
    • And more..

    Every now and then, I write short tutorials on how to implement certain features/effects in Paint.NET. My most recent was a few days ago about the spritesheet plugins I use. One allows you to create a spritesheet from all your visible layers. The other plugin allows you to easily split a spritesheet into individual images.

  • For some reason I don't seem to get that program to work like I'd expect.. Not so sure why, but it just feels clunky. Not as clunky as Gimp, but not something I feel comfy with.

    But as always.. it's about finding the tools that fit you and does the job.. there are plenty of programs available.

  • Yep, plenty of different programs to choose from. Nobody should feel like they only have to use just one.

    Joannak, I hear Paint.NET developers are working on a huge revamp for v4.0. It'll probably at least include the Ribbon bar like in C2 and all the new Microsoft products like Office and File Explorer. Then, maybe, it might feel less clunky.

  • I've been looking for a Photoshop style program to compliment the two art packages I use (artrage and inkscape) - this one sound ideal, thanks for the link and recommendation.

  • danialgoodwin

    Can you show me a nice character YOU made with Paint.NET.

    I want to know the abilities of Paint.

  • Doc Ai, for the games I have created so far, I haven't needed to create characters, per se. But, I have created some random objects, textures, and fancy text which I am proud of. Here's one graphic from my recent Windows 8 app, Coinqueror. Each part is on a separate layer, so six layers total.

    Thus, my coin bomb:

    <img src="http://simplyadvanced.net/dev/paintdotnet/examples/coin-bomb_1000x1000.png" border="0">

    ps - And, for other people who want to see more things possible with Paint.NET, they have a page dedicated to show off works.

  • danialgoodwin

    It seems paint is not able to change the background colour.I mean the black and white squares when transparent.I tired to edit a sprite font that was in white color.So when it was really difficult.How do I do that??

  • Doc Ai, how are you trying to edit the sprite font? Can you please be more specific? Also, what does it currently look like, and how would you like it to look? The "black/grey and white" squares that represent transparency shouldn't be affecting your work at all.

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  • Nope.The sprite font file is out of order.for example,A is 3 pixels away from B and B is 10 pixels away from C.etc.

    I want each letter to have the same dimension and same distance,to make it work correctly.So I already have to sprite font file where background is transparent and letters are totally white.So when I open it with Paint.NET,the gray-white background makes it difficult to see the letters.I could easily change the gray-white pattern with another colour in gamemaker sprite editor(Which I used till now)

  • I'll just create a layer beneath with the background color I want. :).

  • I've used Paint.NET for all my in-game graphics. It's my favourite graphic editor. It's like Photoshop but lighter, faster and free.

  • I'll just create a layer beneath with the background color I want. :).

    Alright, I'm glad you found a solution. =]

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