domingo, 13 de novembro de 2011

Make A Game - Graphics

So, we're going to focus on 2D graphics now, with a special focus on sprites.

I'm going to throw in some really basic tips, now.

Choosing your program
Which program should I use to sprite? Well, I'm the kind of guy that likes free solutions and doesn't like installing software all that much. So I my solution is basically:
  1. Use microsoft paint
  2. Add transparency with pixlr
Or if you're using Linux, you could try GIMP (if you're using windows too, but like I said, you'll have to install it). You can also sprite using pixlr by itself, which is what I'm going to focus in, because there are a lot of advantages.

Why pixlr?
Pixlr is a web photo editor, which means any computer with an internet browser can use it. That's good, you have a tool you can use in any computer, without the need to install something.
The bad thing about pixlr is that it handles pallets poorly, you only have 6 colors showing. But you have layer support and transparency support(which paint does not have). Like I said before, I make the sprite in paint and then remove transparency with pixlr, the process is a little bit annoying. Well, you could also sprite directly in to pixlr, in that case you should use a hard tip brush to get exact pixels, without special effects.

Just press B ( or find the brush in the tools window) and check hard tip on the above menu.
You have to use the brush like this
If you have your sprite ready in paint, just select the color you want to make transparent and delete it, make sure you can see a grey and white pattern. You may also have to make the layer a "non-background" layer(by double clicking a little lock)
This is how it should look like, the grey-white pattern indicate transparency
Get to know pixlr and it may become a good ally. 

Let's look at more tools, though.

Why not GraphicsGale?
GraphicsGale has been used in the sprite scenario. I just download graphicsGale, the trial version. It's great and all, but it has no alpha support(a way to make things transparent FOR GOOD), it has some "fake" transparency... So if you still need to go to pixlr to make it transparent, might as well use something else.

Another good tool: ASEPRITE
ASEPRITE is a little great spriting guy. It's available for most OSs(you need to compile it in Linux, though), no installing necessary. It supports transparency! It has a really weird, unique interface, but it's pretty fast! It supports layers and frames, so yeah, it has everything.

Official site of ASEPRITE
When you create a new image you can select the background to be invisible. Then just press the key I to use the eyedropper, then you click on the background "color", and you can now put invisible in to your images. That's great!

Ok, I can't sprite though...
Well, neither can I. But I can try, right?
Here is a little angel sprite I made, just head and wings. Looks lame, right? It'll have to do...
Original Size
Zoomed in and blurred by the Blogger interface
This was made from scratch. There are multiple ways to learn how to sprite, really. One thing is observing other sprites, see what is going on there. Keep an eye out for shading. You need to learn shading in order to make good sprites. I actually think that shading is the most important thing to make beautiful sprites.

A great tutorial on Shading by a guy named Mark.

Taken from Mark's tutorial. The left image has no shading. Feel the difference now?
But if you choose a unique sprite style, you may not use shading, specially when going for a really old school style.

Old style megaman sprites have no shading, but they have charm. Maybe.
So you can start out by trying to make your sprites similar to old school stuff, then you can try and shade them a bit, to practice. Or something.

The devil enemy!

The feather

And these are my sprites. You can use them, if you want to. Not sure why you would, though. But they'll do their job in our avoiding game that is to come.

The pixels got distorted so this isn't really pixelart anymore, but I'll still use it anyways
So, yes, I suck at pixel art and that's ok, since I prefer programming.

But there people that don't suck, check them out in the link below:
A LOT of pixel-art tutorials, compiled in garmahis
So there you go!

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