Pixel Art

Mar 22

All of my Flash games up until this point have been made using mostly vector graphics. While this looks really nice and keeps the file sizes low, it can also slow the games down quite a bit as Flash has to frequently redraw the images. For my next game I’ve decided to try using pixel graphics.

Pixel art can look great when it’s done well. If it’s done poorly though, your graphics end up looking like something from an Atari 2600. This is the main reason that I’ve held off on trying it for so long—I was afraid it would be too difficult. I found a good pixel art tutorial online. While I don’t think it’s something that you can just pick up from reading a tutorial, I did get some useful tips.

Bee flight cycle I used my Wacom tablet in Photoshop to draw this bee. I found that when drawing the initial outline, it helps to zoom way in on the canvas (like 1200%). This gives you more control over the line because you can make broader movements without making a crazy mess of pixels everywhere.

I found a great little app called Pixen made specifically for creating pixel art. It has a lot of advantages over working in Photoshop, mainly that you can view an actual-sized preview of your image while working on it really blown up. I ended up just using Photoshop though, because that’s what I know. I didn’t want to waste a lot of time learning new software. It’s something I’ll definitely look into more in the future though.

I think my bee came out pretty well for my first attempt, although I admit, it’s a pretty easy thing to draw. I’m hoping that my skills improve as I approach the more difficult graphics for the game.