Pixel Art Fundamentals: Create Pixel Art for Games | Matheus Dix | Skillshare

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Pixel Art Fundamentals: Create Pixel Art for Games

teacher avatar Matheus Dix, Designer and Pixel Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (41m)

    • 2. Introduction PRESS START

    • 3. Basic Setup TUTORIAL MODE

    • 4. Core Concepts FIRST MISSION

    • 5. Light and Color

    • 6. Spriting a Character

    • 7. Creating Backgrounds

    • 8. Create Your Project FINAL BOSS

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About This Class

In this class you’ll learn the principles of Pixel Art. At the end of this class you’ll have at least your own character and background to start prototyping your own game.

Pixel art is a form of digital art that became very influent by its usage in early video games and it is still very popular nowadays. Is a very powerful tool for indie game developers because you can create extremely beautiful graphics with it and it can be easily done by a single person.

Full Soundtrack by Diego Linx.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Matheus Dix

Designer and Pixel Artist


Designer and illustrator from Rio de Janeiro, Matheus Dix studied Graphic Design in college and create his own design studio with two friends.

Dix is always finding to learn new technics and improve his skills.This way he never stopped to learn about his favorite subjects like Character Design, Calligraphy and Pixel Art.

In his first Skillshare class, he combined his studies and searches in a guide on how to create Pixel Art for game development.

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1. HERE COMES A NEW CHALLENGER: What's up, folks? That is my Tajiks designer pixel artist from Brazil. This is my first few share classes that will show you the principles off pixel art picks. A large is a form of digital art that became very fluent by Tuesday, nearly video games and still very popular. Nowadays, it's a large is a very powerful, too boring game developers. You can create extremely beautiful graphics suited, and they can beat them by a single person or a small team. At the end of this class, you haven't least our own character and the background to start typing your own game and pixel art. It's too dangerous to go alone. Take this class now. 2. Introduction PRESS START: discourse was made entirely with the content of collective spread all over the Internet blog's and for my desire, here's to convince the basic principles off pixel art in one place and make his most comprehensible. For starters, in the real age off games, compare memory was really limited. This meant that programming in the art had to be a so optimizer this possible. The beach in a system, for instance, had serious off restrictions. Only 54 picks of callers to choose from with only 25 callers, use a bone screen at once. Background caller, four sets of true title callers and four sets off three Sprite colors. We've sprites at either eight by eight or eight by 16 pixels in a total screen resolution off to 56 by 2 40 Picks up The beginning off pixel art was in early seventies, but it became a great success with the terrorist bombing in 75 pixel are dominated, the game markets into the end of 16 bit error. 32 64 beats gave powerful resources for developers store can treat a graphics and pixel are games lost popularity that time with the explosion off finger gains picks a large return it , and it's being very desirable for players and developers. People today search for pixel art by the retro appeal and identification with the old gang's. Now they speaks a large is a powerful tool for in the game developers because this is it to make prototypes with it, and they can be made by a single person. There are thousands of contemporary successful games using pixel art, but what is actually a pixel? A pick. So is the tiniest part of digital image every digital images made by pixels, but not every digital images a pixel art. The court difference from pizza large to other forms of Jewish settlers is the control of each week, so that makes the image. The artist must be in control of the art, and each piece so has to be places for purples. This doesn't mean that every pixel must be manually places. You can use tools like bucket to feel large spaces in the line to with a very powerful tool . We know how to control it. Just take control of your art. See you next lesson 3. Basic Setup TUTORIAL MODE: The cool thing about working with picks alert is that you don't need a powerful computer to make it, and a simple computer can actually handle it very well. There are thousands of Softwares that you can use to make your picks alert. Promotion for Windows Users Dixon for Mac users. People also use spent brush to make pixel art, so you can choose the one that fits Bear to your needs. The software that I use and the one that ever teaching the scores is a dog Photoshopped you can use in a version of it. They're just little difference in them for pixel art. The aspect Rachel used in games changes in each age in this nails era. Developers working with 8 to 7 inspectorate but TV's the Time converted for a 4 to 3 s picture nature. Nowadays you can actually choose an aspect that fits better to your game, but keep in mind it today. The most used it, former for both TV and computer, are widescreen, with 16 to 9 aspect rage that were used. The most common s former toe work in this class 2 56 by 2 40 pixel screen size with 16 by 16 pixels Background tiles to start, Let's create a new document and said the fire for 50 by 50 pixels with 72 d. P. I. The first thing to do is to pick the brush to and said it's a pencil to to make her pizzas hard, uneven. This is very important because burst to will create a blurred the fact in your art. Now let's change the size for one pic so and the hardness to 100 and we real make the same thing with the razor toe. Let's set the greens go to view. Show greed and it's preferences. Guides greed and slice. Now change the grid line and the subdivision for both one pixel to make sure that you'll see every piece on screen set the color to light gray. Now, if you paint with your paint suit, you can see they refuse exactly each of the pixels and agreed. If you want to take off the greed, just go to view, show greed and then we go to add it. Preferences General, and we will change the image interpolation for nearest neighbor. This is extremely important. This will make photo shop, keep the hard shape edges when Rhys izing your picks alert. A personal tip I give to you is to always work with two screams for the same image. One. We 400 view and order with 500 zone. These lets you glimpse back and forth why you were working instead of stopping, zooming out to check if your image is nice, then zooming back in again because you would do it till the time to create a new screen for the same image. Go to window a range, a new window for your documents name and then go to window. Arrange and select to work vertical. I would recommend you to work on dark colored backgrounds because pixels are made off light and the default white backroom intensity competes with the brightness off the pixels, plus overtime. It will make your site tired. Avoid to use black background, especially few years old planes, or you cannot see them Black background. 10. Stoop about too much. The light callers. I would recommend you to work on that grace green or blue. That's some variations and choose the one that fits bearer to your work. There are commended for months for screen are PNG and Chief P and G work for static images because it keeps the background transparent. And if you zoom in, you see that the edges will stay sharp. Jeff is used for animated the images and also the other reasons there explain it for PNG's . I hope you enjoy this lesson and get ready for learning the core concepts for drawing with pixels. See you next lesson. 4. Core Concepts FIRST MISSION: lines, the lines they use. Simple coefficients are called perfect lines. They make her image look good because they I can easily follow them. Curves. Colors can be good or bed to avoid bad curves. You need to make sure that the decline or incline is consistent all the way through, or your image will be full of days. J. Jake is our little breaks in the lines that make the drawing Luca Newton always avoid. Lines with Jake is for a clean Zion, and chili isn't it's hard to make circles with squares in Chile. Is is the mattered off. Making squared edges looks moving around. Many Softwares have in Chile zing tools, but you need to stay away from them because they do the insulation automatically and the results are ugly. In Chile, zing must be made. Men really bed and chili using take care. Excessive interlacing can make her picture look blurry and indistinct too little until lazing is also a problem. You can make a much mover transition by using longer lines of pixels to show a more gradual transition. Bandi bending more simply is when pixels lineup, when they were pixels and at the same exercise. I coordinate on the the line greed. The greed immediately becomes more evident. The pixels are exposed and the apparent resolution becomes less fine. There are some different kinds of banding. Hugging occurred when you try to do NT lis in other quarters. Off the image. Find where the critical points are a terror image, and they only work in them. Fed pigs. Oops. Set pixels can occur alone in little squares with set lines. Or multiply this large lines. Skip one banding. It's when pixels there aren't made to be aligned. Alliance. Because of their proximity. Change one off the pixels to make them fluid. 45 degrees. Banding this monotonous distribution off pixels in this kind of corner makes round shapes look flat. There are different angles. Use it to create big Salar games. Some generous has the most common perspective, like R. P G's, in most cases, use a 3/4 perspective. But this is Nora rule. This is the isometric perspective the 30 degree angle defines. There is a metric view, but since it's not possible with a simple pixel art, it is actually represented by a 1 to 2 lined, and the angle is only 26.5651 degrees. This view is very suitable for tactical RPGs because it can represent a convincing death and altitude. This is the plan, a metric perspective this time, then go use. It is 45 degrees from the horizontal and is a straight 1 to 1. Very few games used this angle like book Die and the single earthbound level. This is the require perspective. The Y Axis has turned to the left, confusing it with the Z axis. This is the view that most refugees use. There are other simple views, like side view and top few games, but they are a simple, as their name says, so there's no reason to go deeper in them. 5. Light and Color: HSBC stands for a hue, saturation and brightness is one off color models like RGB or C M y que Most programs music as beef or color peaky. So let's understand how it works. Hugh is what you understand color to be like blue, green or purple saturation. It's how intense the calories 100% saturation give. Use the brighter scholar. As saturation decreases, the color becomes more great. Brightness is the lightness off a caller. 0% brightens is black, choosing Calder's what color's chooses up to you, but they're few things to keep in mind. Less Attari to the less bright colors tend to look more earthy and less cartoony. Think about the color wheel. The for a way to colors are from one another, the more they will separate. This is called core interests. On the other hand, colors like red and orange, which have close proximity on the color wheel, look good together. This is called harmony. The more colors you use, the more distracted your spry to look to make a spread stand out. Use the less callers you came. You have to be careful about having colors in a room that don't fit If a color doesn't belong to the ramp, then it creates a conflict on the image, causing distractions in making your art uglier. You solid color palettes for solid sprites. Hugh Shifting refers to having a transition off using the color range. A color ramp without his shifting is known as a straight room in straight rims. On Lee the luminous since changes. Why in the hell shifted rams both you and luminous since will usually change when using you shift, bend your highlights toward the certain caller and moved the darker color stored. The second color Hugh shifting is used because straight rents are usually boring and don't reflect the verity off use. We've seen reality in the huge shifting cannot settle caller contras within a ram shave light and chef, you have to choose a light source. If you're Sprite to spark a larger scene, there might be all kinds off local light sources like limbs or fire shiny. For most cases, it's a good choice speaking a distant light source like the sun because you want to create a sprite that is as General Etess possible so that it can be used anywhere distant light source. There is somewhere about this sprite and slighting from the It's the most natural lighting first, right, because anything that is on top parting thrown this well elite, and the rest is shaped. Dithering consists off different patterns off pizza. It's typically used to ease the transition between two callers about adding any new color to the pilot. It's also use it for creating texture in the days off CRT monitors. Jittery was especially useful as the screening would actually blur. The deterrent area obscured the pattern. Now that crease monitors are enormous, the patterns are no longer as easy to hide, meaning jittering. It's not as useful as it wants Waas. If so, jittering still has its uses. The most common form off jittering you see is 50 50 Jeter, also known as 50% here or checkerboard bottom. You can create various other potters for buffer between Food Caller on the 50%. During this, batters are often easier to spot. Then a 50% here does so. Be careful, don't bad jittery. There are several common ways jitteriness misuse is the most common mistake is simply using too much jittering. If you didn't discovered in half a year, Sprite. It's probably just be better if you added a new caller to the family. Jittering should ideally be used to taper the ends and the edges off in a park feud off Texas, when too much jittering is using the different areas, turning into a few itself. At this point, juddering is no longer serving as a buffer between colors, but creating them wanted texture. Creating picture can be a useful aspect off jittery, but only when used correctly. If you're trying to buffer and are instead edging texture, the engineering isn't working out. So how much jittering should use? Well, it depends on how big your palate is really. Or more precisely, the contrast between the two callers you are trying to do there with the lower the Contras is between the two in hue or in value, the less heart the jittering will be below she Bill o shading your cures. When you use a generic lightning in the complex object, it can make form look and interesting to the shape off the object. This is the approach used by people who have noticed that the other designs use light and our callers, but don't really understand how or life instinctively they begin to put the bright colors in the mirror and the dark colors on the edges, the resolute to startling, consistent and early selective outline. Sellout or selective? Outlining this until layers in amounts, lying toe background color. It is a wrong and deadly way to use, and Chile's with sell out the lines who look broken the most right ways to darken the outline of the controls to approach a darker color so that this bright we were read well on any back room instead of melting into a similarly colored bankrupt sellout is not shading an outline, according to Light source. Ah, full Klein flight variation won't create. Jake is as badly as broken offline will. 6. Spriting a Character: the main character, Sprite is the most important part of the game dictates so the sizes off background platforms, props, items and all other parts off the game. And finally, it's what attracts the player. The main character is the one that the claimers sympathized To create an immersive experience, you can choose in a size off character you want, but you need to be careful on the white, creating a sprite that doesn't look nice in your tiles and backgrounds when creating props and backgrounds. Always keep your characters a sprite on the side to compare if they work together. First. I was said the size for 24 by 16 picks a common RPG Sprite size, depending on the proportions off the body and head your character look realistic or cartoonish. In most off the cases, if your character has nearly the same size for head and body or even a bigger head in the body, it will look cartoonish. This is style is very common in RPG, Skerritt Er's or no realistic xgames like Mario. But if the body is much bigger than the head, your character will look more real even if you use a short amount of Texas. Bigger heads are uses when you need to make use off good expressions. For this bright size, my head would be 12 or 13 pixels with in character design. One of the most important things is the character salute. Good characters can be distinguished by their silhouettes. It's very hard to create recognizable characters with few pictures, but it's something we need to make some different Hair and weapons are good ways to make good salutes. - It's very important to choose very carefully the qualities of the main character, because the player will seat in most of the game, and you must make it very easy to find on screen there. Coat lines are almost always a good idea because they will pop the character out off the background and make easier for the players eyes follow it. If you think black pops too much, the character choose a color to be the darkest color in your ballot and use it only for outlines. This collar must work well with the other colors in your palette. Now the lines are made, we can start adding the base collars. It's important to make this whole part before I didn't shadows and light because you're making light position, states. Most of the times I start with the eyes and skin folder, and then I make the Clovis and our verse to start making the shadows you need to define. Where is the light source? The shadows? Who being the parts that the lights don't touch the lights? Who showed the volume off the figure? So it's important for the hour to sue. Study how light works with different material to achieve better results. - At this part, I thought the leg was too long and I decided to decrease one pizza win with. And that is, that's our RPG character. Now I will show the same process for the side stroller character. I started the head size and complete the body. Four decides crueler character. I would decrease the amount of colors. So why we want to use the base caller and the shadow for each part? There's no problem on inverting some steps. Most of the time you have to go back to early steps to adjust something, - and there it is. That is our sights. Groeller character 7. Creating Backgrounds: they'll sets are ways off representing graphics in it to the game, title said was used to optimize the production and graphics to teach you how tell sets works out there. Constructor Zelda. A link to the past background and create a new back room with the same tiles. If I turn on a 16 by 16 pixels greed, you will start identify some off the patterns. Now I will start to pick some off the grass styles, some flour variations, and then I will make the same thing with the earth tiles to create nice back rooms. The tiles must fit together. Now that you know how this backgrounds are made, let's create another background with the same tiles. A good exercise you could do is to bring the screener for game you like and trying to find their tiles. Yeah, always try to create tiles that combined, they create new images. If you combine the pieces in different ways, you can create an infinity off backgrounds for your games. The same principle service well for side scroll er's and forever kind off. Other perspective gangs inside schoolers this matter can be used for walls, beauty ins and all sort of scenery won't think to avoid when creating tires is showing the greed the greed make. The player knows his walking square tiles while he should be walking in the fluid grass field. To make good backgrounds, you need to hide, agreed and to hide. Agreed. You have to be created to make the most of your pieces to fit each other. There are thousands off different background tiles like grass, Earth, warrior, stone love. Try to make the combination off two of them. 8. Create Your Project FINAL BOSS: And now it is time to create your own strides. I hope this court's had used for for you. And I'm excited to see your sprites. See you.