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The Complete Tutorial to Spriting

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Reserved for future tutorials. Note that the things I wrote are the complete basics which allows you to understand the other tutorials better. To learn the full basics, go watch/read the tutorials I posted. The next tutorial will most likely be a step-by-step making of some sprites, so the basics (everything i posted) are useful to have in order to follow those tutorials.

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I don't mean to dissent, but I actually do use MS Paint for the majority of my sprite work. It's simple and has all the tools I need. I can try and post a tutorial of how I make custom trainer sprites in Paint if you don't mind.

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I used paint before, however it kinda irrtate me. So i'll move to paint.net one if i have time.

Also for paint, save as 24 bit always if you are going to progessing with the sprite.

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It would also be worth mentioning GraphicsGale which is a free download and what Ame uses. It is really good for spriting work.

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Another useful tip: When shading, use the color wheel to slightly change the hue of the color you're shading with.This technique is applied by a LOT of artists, not just pixel artists, but it makes things usually look a lot nicer.

For example, when you're shading a blue color, change the hue to a slightly more purple tone (although still a darker tone of course), but only a tiny bit. When you end up shading with 3-4 colors, you'll see that the shadow slowly fades to a darker purple instead of dark blue. Another few colors that apply with this technique is orange to red, yellow to orange (or green depending on which kind of yellow you're going for), green to blue, etc. You can try it out yourself too in order to see which colors seem nice.

A few examples where said technique is used are here, here and here!

Edited by Zumi

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I generally use Graphics Gale now, but paint is pretty useful for edits and deserves more credibility ^_^

In fact, I found that Paints only downfall for me personally was it's inability to save as a transparent png, but that was solvable by just copying and dropping it into another program.

Regardless, there's nothing wrong with people using Paint I think.

EDIT: Your starter sprites look awesome. Just throwing it out there.

Edited by Chivalry

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Photoshop (PS CS6) can work well for spriting, but it's mostly made for photos, while there are a lot of better, specialised programs for spriting, IMO.

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If you zoom in far enough with Photoshop, a grid should appear, so yeah, Photoshop is fine for spriting, just not ideal since it's not a program specifically aimed at said purpose.

But then again, i use paint tool SAI, a program that's aimed more at drawing rather than spriting but that still works as well, so it really just depends on your own personal preference!

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Tutorial #2 - Making Trainer Mugshots!

The Basics

Mugshots are the pre-battle images that show up in the "Versus" screen of major battles. In RPG Maker, Mugshots are 256 pixels wide and 128 pixels high, but each pixel is a 2x2 area, so the actual size is 128x64.

VSLance.png<- Example of a mugshot

Today, we're going to remake an old mugshot of mine, and learn a few techniques on the way!

XnKqvSu.png4bVGgtF.pngThis is Walker, a Gym Leader from Se7en. Unfortunately, his mugshot is a bit outdated, so let's improve it a bit, shall we?

Step 1 - Defining the Pose

Somewhat comparable to making an outline for other sprites, the pose is the basic line-art of a mugshot, and is the most important aspect for defining a character. Choosing a pose is the first step for defining the mugshot as a whole. There are several ways of finding poses for your mugshot;

1) Editing a pose of a canon mugshot to resemble your own character (easiest); You take the most fitting already existing pose, then change the features to fit your character. This is the easiest way, because a lot of the work is already done for you. You can also combine several features from multiple canon mugshots (head from one, body style from the other, for example). This is called "splicing". It creates a bit of creativity and originality, but not all parts of all mugshots look good when combined. We will use this latter technique for Walker's mugshot.

2) Changing a pose from a non-pixel-art picture into pixel-art form. This means you take an artwork that is not a mugshot, either from Pokemon or something else, and turn it into a pixel art. This is harder to do if you don't know the basics, so it is important that you do. This is somewhat more difficult to do than simply taking a canon mugshot, but it's not TOO difficult. A part of this will also return later on this tutorial.

3) Drawing the pose on your own. This is often the hardest and most time-consuming, but it means you can create the character entirely how you want it without being limited by other aspects. This will likely be shown in a later tutorial.

For Walker, we will use a combination of 1 and 2. This will suffice for most mugshots.

The mugshot will add a lot of characterization to the character you are creating it for, so it's important to decide what the pose of your character would be. A great way to get some inspiration from this is to look on the internet for images of things that you think define your character. Is your character a hardened criminal? A maniac? A tsundere redhead? A jackass with a monocle? Whatever it be, look it up. It exists on Google. That gives you a bit of an idea how the pose of your mugshot would look.

Walker is a sheriff, and he is the type of guy who doesn't stand for injustice, so that would be reflected in his mugshot. If you look for images of your characterization, you can visualize it. I found this as an example for a Sheriff;

9kma6XN.jpg

You can use these as bases for your image, using technique 2). I will show that now;

-Create a 128x64 image, with a transparant background, then put the image on it.

-Set the image to Indexed, with a color amount about 16/64 (varies per image; Enough to preserve detail, but not too much. The more jitter in the background the higher the color amount should be).

-Remove any unwanted areas with an Eraser tool.

After these steps, we have this for the Walker image. These example images are already resized to 256x128 for ease of viewing, but be sure to stay in 128x64 while doing this yourself!

cs88J8B.png

The head and arm pose will be "added in later on; this is just for the clothing.

-Add any basic parts from the pose you are still missing; If you use method 2) for this, follow the same steps as above. Now, I will use method 1):

-Look for parts of mugshots that fit your character. The Spriters Resource site has all canon mugshots conveniently together for download, separated by game. I will use Bruno's face and facial expression, along with Surge's arm/hand pose, which is similar to the pose on the Google images, but better defined and, more importantly (for lazy people like me), already fully finished.

-Copy and paste these parts on your image. Be sure to put them in separate layers, and turn the image to RGB again (instead of Indexed) if you would like to keep their colors. Putting them in another layer allows you to remove some parts that you don't want (such as the white borders) and move the parts around without affecting the rest of the image.

This leaves us with the following:

DVLrSzS.png

-Now, for each of the parts, they will have to be changed to fit your character, remove all pixel errors, and make them prettier. I will describe this roughly, since it really depends for each character how much of this you'll have to do.

-Walker is bald, so all of Bruno's hair will be removed. The rest of the head will be added on.

PuAbb1w.pngI have used the bald head of the Unova Fighting E4 as a base for Walker's head, and editing it in the process. Adding more splices as you go is never an issue.

Zy2BU7O.pngMade the head rounder and changed the eyes. This is a reminder of why, in GIMP, you need to set Interpolation to None when scaling your images (in GIMP); the picture becomes blurry otherwise.

Belx1nQ.pngChanged the skin color to more closely resemble the original and rotated the hand slightly to improve the expression. Note that rotation causes a lot of pixel errors; you need to fix those manually.

OcXcIVm.pngDefined the arm and the vest and added some basic shading. This is starting to look like something.

ti152ew.png

Added shading and changed the hand around. With shading here, I am using a technique called "dithering"; creating a pattern of two colors, combining them by making rows of one pixel of color 1, then one of color 2, and so on. This allows the colors to "blend in" a bit, creating an illusion of a third color.

IgiaIhe.pngChanging the hand once again, since it felt weird.

2eazyfw.pngReworked the hand once again and made the Sheriff badge more visible, since it's quite an important feature.

Mirroring your image is useful to spot small mistakes and fix them.

beforeJbItiyD.pngmacw1UM.pngafter

In the end, you will end up with your full, improved mugshot;

XnKqvSu.png->SjHHdh7.png4bVGgtF.png->fnPGe6t.png

  • Upvote 5

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Good job, Nova!
Anyway, you might want to link these posts to the OP so it's easier to get to them.

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Man, Nova! :D

Your tutorials are great! :D

They have been very helpful for me! :D

What will your next tutorial be on?

Also, I tried using gimp for sprite works, but it's giving me a hard time. So until I have that figured out somehow, I'm using paint.

Edited by Cool Girl

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This thread has been a bit dead lately, but I'll just post this here and show you how I do my trainer mugshots. I know there's a mugshot tutorial on here already, but I take a slightly different approach, so if you're interested you can watch this as well!

 

 

It's a bit of a long watch, but I hope people will find it useful c:

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