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Derakon

Guides to pixel art

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I'm gearing up to start work on the pixel art for my game. I'm a mediocre freehand artist; not completely unskilled, but nothing incredible either. However, pixel art is a completely different medium and I need to get my skills up there. Aside from just practicing, does anyone have any recommendations? I'm trying to do a basic concept sketch and then transfer that to pixel form, but I'm having problems with basic shapes, color selection (I've only ever worked in black and white before), and so on. I'm aiming for a 2D platformer style, similar to the Metroid and Castlevania series with distinct tiled terrain (though I won't be composing the player and enemies out of tiles, they'll be built to the tile scale); currently I'm planning on using 32x32 tiles in a 32x24 grid (so the game resolution is 1024x768). The stickies only mention one pixel art guide, and that's for isometric art, which isn't what I'm going for, though I recognize that certain elements are going to be similar. So if you have any recommendations, either directly or in the form of guides, I'd love to have them.

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Here are some links:

http://derekyu.com/extras/pixel01.html
http://www.spriteart.com/main.html
http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/links.asp?id=2192
http://pixel-arts.org/

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