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Making 2D Images

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#1 cooljava50544   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:56 AM

I switched from 3D game development to 2D, and I want to make 2D images for my games. I'm aiming to be a "lone wolf" meaning I make my games by myself, and I have all the skills to do so. Even though I am not artistic by heart, I'd like to learn.

 

That leads me to two questions:

1. What software should I use?

2. Where should I learn how to use that software effectively?



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#2 fireside7   Members   -  Reputation: 221

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

Part of it depends on the type of art you want to do.  For animation, I would recommend Anime Studio.  Debut works fine for me and I use an old version I got for around 10 dollars.  For backgrounds, if you are thinking of line art, then Inkscape is one of the best free programs around.  Gimp is great for touch ups, changing resolution, scaling, and doing painted type backgrounds.  Tutorials on Youtube work for me, along with lots of practice.  I would also recommend a graphics tablet if you can afford one.  You don't need it right away if you use line art and the programs I mentioned.  Wacom makes by far the best and has gone into the affordable market.  You can get a small one on Amazon for about 75 dollars.  A small one is fine because you can just zoom.  Take some time each day to practice or learn a program, because art is every bit as important as programming and most of what people tell you about being born with it is bunk.  You'll develop your own style, everyone does, but nearly anyone can do art with patience and practice, and simple art tends to work better with online programs.  Animation will be the hardest and that's why I recomend Anime Studio, but try not to use their predrawn characters even at the start.



#3 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3156

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:43 AM

Hi,

 

There is not enough information in the post to give a focused recommendation.  You claim to have all the skills that you need:

 


I'm aiming to be a "lone wolf" meaning I make my games by myself, and I have all the skills to do so.

 

You must mean non-digital art skills, correct?

 

Genre of 2D game (art) that you want to explore could have a huge influence on what software you use.


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#4 cooljava50544   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:20 PM

Part of it depends on the type of art you want to do.  For animation, I would recommend Anime Studio.  Debut works fine for me and I use an old version I got for around 10 dollars.  For backgrounds, if you are thinking of line art, then Inkscape is one of the best free programs around.  Gimp is great for touch ups, changing resolution, scaling, and doing painted type backgrounds.  Tutorials on Youtube work for me, along with lots of practice.  I would also recommend a graphics tablet if you can afford one.  You don't need it right away if you use line art and the programs I mentioned.  Wacom makes by far the best and has gone into the affordable market.  You can get a small one on Amazon for about 75 dollars.  A small one is fine because you can just zoom.  Take some time each day to practice or learn a program, because art is every bit as important as programming and most of what people tell you about being born with it is bunk.  You'll develop your own style, everyone does, but nearly anyone can do art with patience and practice, and simple art tends to work better with online programs.  Animation will be the hardest and that's why I recomend Anime Studio, but try not to use their predrawn characters even at the start.

That is great advice, and I appreciate it. I plan to look in to those soft wares biggrin.png



#5 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 19545

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:08 PM

GIMP and Paint.NET are free options that alot of people recommend.

 

Personally, as a programmer making my own 2D art, I use MS Paint with Paint Shop Pro XI (about seven years out of date) and it's been working well for me.


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#6 Aliii   Members   -  Reputation: 1446

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:48 PM

Also, when you need to draw precise geometry and stuff you cant do with Gimp, something like Geogebra can come really handy.

http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/

 

Dia:

http://dia-installer.de/index.html.en



#7 Gian-Reto   Members   -  Reputation: 1047

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:20 AM

For the free options I would say start with Gimp, +1 to that program. Its pretty much your all-in-one program for raster graphics manipulation. You can compare it to photoshop in the amount of options, even though there ARE important differences (I use both at times, nothing beats the cimplicity of the "Color to transparency option in

 

A low cost programs I really like is Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint. Its not only ideal for comic drawing, thanks to its pen stabilization its ideal for painting on a tablet with a crappy digitizer (for example the earlier Surfaces with the Wacom digitizers).

 

 

+1 on getting a Wacom Tablet. Although I use Cintiqs and can really recommend them, the cost is very high. Have a look at their Wacom Bamboo line, its a beginner tablet with a matching price tag. I heard a lot of good things about it.

 

 

Learning Art is the tricky part. If you have already some kind of talent or expierience, practice, practice, practice.

If you lack any talent or expierience, then you might want to start with some kind of course first.

 

The art school in my hometown does some art courses for everyone to subscribe to. Some of them are beginnerlevel. Although the quality is varying, a good course can teach you a lot (even more than with other topics, art courses depend extremly on how good the teacher is. Some are incredible artist, but can't teach sh**. Some were just to artsy for my liking (well, I am an engineer, so what would you expect I guess smile.png)). Prices usually were rather low.

 

If you have no possibility to attend a brick-and-mortar course, next best options would be online courses. Sadly I cannot give you a good resource here... other than pointing out that Youtube is filled to the brim with videos about the topic "learn to draw".


Edited by Gian-Reto, 15 August 2014 - 12:21 AM.


#8 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3156

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:23 AM


(I use both at times, nothing beats the cimplicity of the "Color to transparency option in

 

You must have intended to put [GIMP] at the end of that sentence, because the Color to Clear in GIMP is quick, easy, and reliable. At first, I believed that I would rarely use this function but I find many ways to Color to Clear in manipulating an image.

 

I use GIMP over 90% of the time, but Inkscape and Blender have some functions that are hard to find in no cost software. These software allow professional quality results in almost all situations despite being no cost. GIMP developers are sometimes the first anywhere to introduce a new tech function in GIMP before any others. They are very good at improving and expanding GIMP, so it will be in the picture as a competitive image manipulation software for a long time. 

 

WordPress is another worth mentioning, though only a few functions would be commonly used for game development needs, however web games obviously could get more use from it. It is not directly for image manipulation, but you can make and change things in a browser window which can later be captured by screenshot and imported into GIMP or other ones.

 

Screen capture/screenshot is can be a major area contributing to game dev 2D work, so get a good software or two that has good screenshot ability such as FRAPS, GIMP, and so on. 

 

When you get more advanced, then you may sometimes use video editing software to display and alter video images which can be used in part or the whole video frame for your game dev images. Video editing software can have some amazing effects! For example, if you had a WW2 game and wanted a WW2 theme splashscreen, then you could use a video editing software to get the right resolution and other tasks to get it just right and screenshot it to be imported into GIMP or other software.  I have done this on occasion.


Edited by 3Ddreamer, 15 August 2014 - 09:30 AM.

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#9 sujit1717   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:08 AM

Illustrator or Photoshop for creating art and using Anime studio for Animation. You can also use flash. There is a complete course on drawing game art in flash.

#10 fireside7   Members   -  Reputation: 221

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:28 PM

I just started using Sketchbook express, and I have to say it's a lot more user friendly than Gimp.  I think I'll probably be using it for backgrounds from now on.



#11 Gian-Reto   Members   -  Reputation: 1047

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:55 AM

You must have intended to put [GIMP] at the end of that sentence, because the Color to Clear in GIMP is quick, easy, and reliable. At first, I believed that I would rarely use this function but I find many ways to Color to Clear in manipulating an image.

 

Yes, that is correct. I don't know where the rest of my sentence went. Digital nirvana it seems.

 

I use it very often. For example I like to bake my AO maps into the Texture as most shaders will not have an AO slot, and frankly, baking it into the diffuse Map looks just right most of the time.

Here you can use the function to transform the white part of the AO map to clear, and then place this as a layer over your Diffuse map. you can play around with the opacity and stuff like that to get the intensity of the AO right, and there you go: AO added to the diffuse map with few simple clicks.

 

Of course you still need to bake out the AO map in a 3D Tool first....



#12 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3156

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Yeah, that is only touching on some of what is done with Color to Transparency.  I turn other colors, even some custom ones, into clear as well. GIMP is so good that I used it almost exclusively for several years before adding other software.

 

Any newbie GIMP users:  Learn how to use LAYERs very early.  Creating or duplicating layers and manipulating them is very important in many projects. There are many YouTube videos and elsewhere about GIMP.


Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#13 Buckeye   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

For some pix, I've even used a base 3D engine, orthographic projection, and a backbuffer capture routine.


Please don't PM me with questions. Post them in the forums for everyone's benefit, and I can embarrass myself publicly.


#14 davidwik   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 05:19 PM

If you are producing sketches and artwork you can use "Krita". It's a great and free art program. I plan to sketch most graphics for my game in Krita and transfer the into "aseprite" for animations and pixelization. Google and check them out :)

My code blog and games: http://blog.engineroom.dk


#15 yinakoSGA   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 12:46 AM

Hi,

 

if you do not discover you have talented art skills or just in need of stock game assets you can check the list below. It is a skill to create products using third party assets and tools, which is really what game making involves. Theres no harm find out yourself how it is create (the long way), and then understand what to use (the short cut), just my 2 cent.

Game Asset Resource list Commercial Game Assets

 

2D Icons, Sprites and GUI

Super Game Asset

Indie Game Stock

Graphic Buffet

Graphics 4 Games

 

3D Model and Textures

Unity Asset Store

Turbo Squid

3D Model-Textures

3Dart

3D Magic Models

Unity Magic

Arteria 3D

GameTextures

CG Textures

 

Free/Community driven

Open Game Art

Free Game Arts

Lost Garden free game arts

Reiners Tile Sets


Edited by yinakoSGA, 01 September 2014 - 12:47 AM.


#16 Madolite   Members   -  Reputation: 207

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:34 PM

I'm currently making sprites for my own 2D game, and I'm literally just using Paint.NET combined with watching a bunch of pixel art tutorial videos on Youtube. I just code the animations I need, as well (via sprite sheeting). I personally find Paint.NET to be much better than GIMP myself, but to each their own. Both are pretty solid, as free software.


Edited by Madolite, 01 September 2014 - 09:38 PM.


#17 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7373

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 10:42 PM

Vector or raster?

 

Vector images are mathematically-encoded lines laid down as strokes and fills. They can be scaled up or down perfectly, and animations are typically accomplished through a skeletal-style animation system -- Many flash games are examples of this style. Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Flash, and AnimeStudio (I believe) are examples of vector art tools.

 

Raster images are 2D grids of pixels, typical of a bitmap or similar. Sometimes called pixel art or sprites. They can scale well taking into account the size of the source image and the range of sizes it will appear as on-screen, and can be combined with mip-maps for better scaling. Animations are typically accomplished on a frame-by-frame basis. Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.Net, GraphicsGale, and Cosmigo ProMotion are examples of raster art tools.

 

Some Raster tools are geared more towards high-resolution, high-color work (Photoshop, GIMP) such as photo editing -- but can also be used to create such images from whole cloth. Others are geared more towards low-resolution, low-color work (Cosmigo ProMotion, GraphicsGale) and often include built-in support for frame-based animations; these are great for the kinds of 2D sprite-based games typified by the SNES, GBA, or 2D arcade games.

 

I personally really like Cosmigo ProMotion for 2D pixel art in that retro style, which is what I like. I'm not a big fan of 2D vector art, so I've never looked at or considered those tools. 







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