Pixel Art For Gamers And Game Developers

Pixel art generally uses the aesthetic and properties of 16-bit and 8-bit graphics to create characters, worlds, and eventually, full games.  But what exactly is pixel art? Well, pixel art is a digital art form that allows artists or users to create a wide range of different assets for games.

Before you create your pixel art for a game, you need to have an excellent program to help you with all the artistic processes. Fortunately, there are many options you can try. However, it is worth mentioning that before you develop a game using pixel art, you must create a character, color, objects, and storyline that will make your game popular.

With that said, let’s look at some of the pixel art tools for gamers and developers.

  • GraphicsGale

This is a program made with pixel art in mind. This program has basically the same major features you would expect for drawing and animating- layer control, and onion skinning. The only main drawback of GraphicsGale is that it is only available on Windows.

Other than being the right price, this program has two main features to allow the developer to consolidate their workflow. You can import images from digital scanners and cameras if you prefer to sketch by hand before you lay down pixels.

GraphicsGale used TWAIN imaging supported devices, which means most scanners and cameras do nowadays. This program’s most notable feature is how it allows users to preview an animation as they edit. So users generally don’t have to stop working to expert a GIF or pause their preview window. Of course, getting instant feedback as you are working can help you feel more confident as you experiment while animating.

  • Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is probably one of the most popular pixel art programs out there. It is known for its high-resolution image editing. This software will cost you $20 per month depending on your subscription rate. However, an annual subscription is way cheaper compared to the monthly one.

Students can even get it at $10 per month. One of the best things about using an Adobe product is the large volume of resources available for users. Photoshop has all the features you need and even more. While it is not made specifically for pixel art, there are a number of tutorials for setting Photoshop up to work on pixel art and get the most out of it. While sometimes it can work at low resolutions, it can be very effective for a user who knows how it works.

Photoshop’s ability to manage layers, custom brushes, palettes, layer styles, and editing your history can really help a lot with your workflow.

  • GIMP

This is one of the best free available pixel art software. This software is a well-known high-resolution image editor. One of the best things about GIMP is that it allows users to access most of the features that are included such as Photoshop. That’s cool, right? It also has other incredible features that get less talking time. It is customizable with plenty of programming languages. Additionally, there are several plugins available that are created by the community, which means users can make GIMP’s feature set with little effort.

Any user who wants to switch between pixel work and high-resolution graphics should consider using GIMP. This will ensure that you are not using too much of your efforts on too many different programs.

Of course, you won’t develop a game using GIMP alone, but it can be one of the essential tools you will use in your pursuit of a great pixel art game.

  • Aseprite

Aseprite is specifically made with pixel art in mind. While it is not free, $15 is not a bad price, especially if you are looking for something that can offer you a long-term solution. But you can still get the free version of Aseprite, but be ready to be compiling the source code yourself.

Aseprite is arguably one for the most commonly recommended pixel art programs. This software has all the features you need to create pixel art with a friendly interface. One of its notable features is onion- skinning, which is the ability to see the frames in an animation following the one you are working on. This software can also export whole sprite sheets and GIFS. While the software has plenty of fans, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have downsides. One of the main downsides is that the program itself is low-resolution.

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