Graphics Looking to take my art to the next level


(pun in title intended)

Preliminary note, I use a laptop with Aseprite. No other hardware or software. I've been working on games for a couple years now (in what little spare time I have). I like to do all my own art. Here's how it's progressed over the years:

1) First game, ~5 years ago. Note the video is jumpy in the beginning, then gets better. As far as the art goes, I took a simple pixel art class (learned about like... starting with a color, then changing the huge, saturation, and brightness for darker colors, and likewise for lighter). Very simple, wasn't planned out very well. I ended up with *tons* of frames in my animations, and when I wanted to add like shades and capes and stuff, I had to do a ton of art. I doubt I'll return to this. The main lesson I learned was to keep it simple.

2) Second game, ~4 years ago-present (though I took a huge hiatus in the middle). Art-wise, my intention was to make things much simpler. Like only 2 frames for walking animation, 1 frame for attacking, etc. Every night I'd look up an animal or whatever and do some pixel art on it. As a result I had a *ton* of different colors. The main lesson I learned her was to use a palette.

3) Third game, presentish. I clearly haven't done much with it, just started the platforming engine. I probably won't return to it. I didn't really put in enough time to learn a lesson but... if it would be one, it'd be animating long hair is really hard. In fact, animating people is really hard. I'm tempted for my next game to not have people.

With all that said, any pointers on the art? In another thread I made recently, I was enlightened on 8- v. 16-bit, and how my RPG WIP has a clash of the two.

I'm also considering getting a tablet. I've read a lot on this, people go either way. Currently I have a touchscreen laptop (though I don't really use the touchscreen) and an iPad, but nothing else.

I'm also considering... zooming out. Everything is super zoomed in right now. On the one hand, yeah you get the old school style. On the other hand, sometimes it's super restrictive. Can't quite get the curves I want. Makes things look janky. Or maybe it's just a limitation of my own skill.

I imagine some people will just tell me to practice, but I'm also curious about other pointers (software, hardware, planning things, art techniques, etc.).



If you want to take your art to the next level, hang out with actual artists instead of programmers with a side suit in art.


Full disclosure, I'm not a super great artist. But, I have been getting to grips with animation. So I have a few points on that.

Based off of your previous work and takeaways, I don't think you're wrong, but- per say- but the outlook needs tweaking.

1st point "Keep it simple":
This is going to depend on the actual art style. Because inherently, pixel art isn't a style in and of itself. No one is going to say that a Undertale looks exactly like Earthbound in terms of art style. Undertale took inspiration and made its own thing with it.
Also, the animation in this first project looks pretty good. It's just that the art style lacked focus imo.

2nd point "Use a pallette":
This is actually a really good takeaway. Not much else to add.

Since the third project didn't have a point associated with it, I'll just comment on what I saw.
I know that it was an early test, but in this case, I think that a few more frames of animation would do wonders to make everything feel more fluid.

But yeah. I'm also with @Torque, where did you take a "pixel art" class?


I’ve taken Ben’s course. It’s a good start.
There really isn’t an intermediate course that I know of. I’ve done many other udemy pixel courses. I wouldn’t waste your money on them.

here is a book I bought. It’s the best pixel art resource I’ve seen. It’s a study of pixel art. It’s quite deep on topics. The only intermediate / advanced resource I’ve found. especially on AA. Best money I spent. It will take me months to go through it. Excellent.

There are some very talented pixel artists here. Yes many indi artists as well.

I’ve paid pixel artists to take me under their wing and mentor. That was helpful.

you could probably get the same critique on pixel joint or other sites.

The last advice that was given me was to practice but also study pixel art you like. Zoom in and really see what’s going on.

From an crappy indi hack wanna be pixel artist

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