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Evil_werewolf

Pixel art editor

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First of all... Hoooray Everyone! This is my first post! Sorry for my english, I'm not a native english speaker :( . I'm a good (well... for me ehehehe) C# programmer and I think to take the plunge to write a pixel art editor. Ok don't blast me out with a crude "we don't need tools!"... I know that purists use only a basic painting program such MSPaint but I feel that ('cause I'm a pixel artist too) is really impossible to one man (or woman eh :D ) to take all the arts that is needed in a 2d pixellated game. Pixel artists are very few (talented) and always busy to join a project so developers have to learn pixel art alone... So the idea to build a *serious* ide for pixel art (I really hate Graphics Gale or photoshop, they're caothic and useless). But instead of go straight writing code I'll better ask: What features do you want (or think are useful) in a pixel art editor developed with pixel art in mind? I think that a serious editor would: * Make a GOOD pixel art from a model (handmade) * Draw itself pixel perfect lines * Work with "objects" instead of (hated) "layers" * Display on the canvas the line lenght (in an CAD way) . . . What do you think? I think that you cannot write good software 'til you hear what users (future users) want... Thank for the patience. Ps: if this thread is offtopic please let me know where I can post this question. Best regards. Evil_werewolf

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One project you may not have tried is the Allegro Sprite Editor. It is pretty retro, but it has some nice pixel features. It's called ASE for short. Tilestudio has some pixel editing functionality also.

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Quote:
Original post by Boder
One project you may not have tried is the Allegro Sprite Editor. It is pretty retro, but it has some nice pixel features. It's called ASE for short. Tilestudio has some pixel editing functionality also.


Thanks for the reply...
Yes I've tryed both but I feel they are missing something... maybe I'm too selective but I don't like these tools...

For me both lack of:

* an intuitive GUI (I think they never think about that pixel artists spend many hours on that software and they're not comfortable).

* some support for isometrical pixel art... this kind of pixie is difficult to maintain the true prospective... what about a segment lenght measurement or something like a prospective aid? You know that draw a large circle in isometrical way is difficult (if you wont to do this right). Maybe a function where the user draw the topdown view of the object and the program flip it to an isometrical view maintaining the pixel perfect effect, wont hurt.

But I repeat... maybe I'm just dreaming...

Best regards.

Evil_werewolf

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No, I mostly agree with you that the tools could be more useful, simple, and intuitive (always room for improvement).

And C# is a good tool to use now, to focus on the GUI.

I made a similar post about "Sprite Editors" (defining objects on a sprite sheet and animating). Link: Sprite Editors

But to really get good input you need to ask the pixel community:

pixeljoint.com
wayofthepixel.net

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I often dream of a suite of tools, powerful and flexible, that anybody can use in their 2D project.

Sharing common interface elements and design philosophies, packaged together and easy-to-use.

HGE has a good start with a particle editor and font tools, but I don't think the in-house GUI was the best choice.

This doesn't apply to a pixel editor, but the output for the other tools would be a comprehensive XML specification to serve as something akin to COLLADA, so people could write their importers/exporters/converters.

Sounds like you share my dream?

And taking over the world, next?

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Yes I agree with you that the output would be an XML file, because is great, simply readable and openformat...
I also agree (well, I choose this language for this reason) that C# is a great tool. I mean that I can always use C/C++ but for a serious GUI project it will take so much code and debug time.
I think that a great editor would implement a good plugin infrastucture (most of programs don't).
I don't know but I feel that this kind of apps are a bit autdated confronted with modern tools like Eclipse.

Your right, I would post this question at pixeljoint or in other pixie place; is interesting instead, known what developers want... I mean that artists can spend hours and hours painting a house just for fun, but a developer can't "waste" his time building a house... there's a game to finish!
Just for curiosity :) .

I wuold read your previous post this evening... thanks for the hint!

And yes I share your dream!

Best regards.

Evil_werewolf

Edit:
Ok I'm reading it and I see that someone else make an editor in c#.
But I wont use this code 'cause I don't find it very innovative or useful.
And the xml format is quite outdated... it looks more an html file.
for real portability he can use the OASIS document format and use a zip archive containing all the image and one or more xml file for describe object positioning, user settings ecc... using zip archives you can reduce drastically the file size beacause image like pixel art have very high compression ratio.

Again... this kind of tool need a good update because technology has evolved and make things better.


[Edited by - Evil_werewolf on February 21, 2008 10:38:18 AM]

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I'm glad you share my dream!

Quote:
Ok I'm reading it and I see that someone else make an editor in c#.
But I wont use this code 'cause I don't find it very innovative or useful.
And the xml format is quite outdated... it looks more an html file.
for real portability he can use the OASIS document format and use a zip archive containing all the image and one or more xml file for describe object positioning, user settings ecc... using zip archives you can reduce drastically the file size beacause image like pixel art have very high compression ratio.

Again... this kind of tool need a good update because technology has evolved and make things better.


You have me confused and curious. Are you talking about the Map/Sprite Editor in the link I gave? Because it only shows very little C# code and it is not for a Pixel Art Editor.

The XML format you talk about, how is it a bad design now? Do you mean you could actually use the OASIS OpenDocument format or just have similar ideas? I don't think the zip is very good in this case, because it means you have trouble editing the XML by hand or adding/deleting images. But for a intermediate pixel art format, like the Gimp's XCF, then it could be good.

Also, what are your ideas on the plugins? I had thought of using .NET DLLs that implement a class from a certain interface, all placed in a folder, and dynamically loaded. Is this possible or good? Maybe you think of script files (Python, Lua)?

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Quote:
Original post by Boder
I'm glad you share my dream!

Quote:
Ok I'm reading it and I see that someone else make an editor in c#.
But I wont use this code 'cause I don't find it very innovative or useful.
And the xml format is quite outdated... it looks more an html file.
for real portability he can use the OASIS document format and use a zip archive containing all the image and one or more xml file for describe object positioning, user settings ecc... using zip archives you can reduce drastically the file size beacause image like pixel art have very high compression ratio.

Again... this kind of tool need a good update because technology has evolved and make things better.


You have me confused and curious. Are you talking about the Map/Sprite Editor in the link I gave? Because it only shows very little C# code and it is not for a Pixel Art Editor.

The XML format you talk about, how is it a bad design now? Do you mean you could actually use the OASIS OpenDocument format or just have similar ideas? I don't think the zip is very good in this case, because it means you have trouble editing the XML by hand or adding/deleting images. But for a intermediate pixel art format, like the Gimp's XCF, then it could be good.

Also, what are your ideas on the plugins? I had thought of using .NET DLLs that implement a class from a certain interface, all placed in a folder, and dynamically loaded. Is this possible or good? Maybe you think of script files (Python, Lua)?


Editing XML by hand??? Anyway I didn't know that this app is in a earlyer stage but a sprite editor is something similar to a pixel art editor and for that I think that this app is nothing new...

I can operate with the OASIS standard and don't think is a trouble for saving this kind of info.

Your idea of plugin is right and I personally don't like this *ugly* languages like python ruby or lua.

I think this conversation is going OT.

What do you want in your preferite pixel art editor?
I personally don't care about implementation yet... I'm drowing by hand the interface and scribble math formulas for a pixel engine.
I am interested in what a developer want in a pixel art editor.

Best regards.

Evil_werewolf

Edit:
Think about the open document format of Open Office or the office 2007 format... they are both a zip (well in Open Office you can choose xml or zip) but you haven't trouble to modify the file because the zip standard is so simple that the entire process of open/modify/save is nothing more complicated that save file with notepad...

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