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FlameTheLoner

Sprite Making Tutorials?

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Hello,
Me and my team are working on a 2D Action/Platformer type of game. For this game, we will be needing lots of character Sprites. Since we have no one in our Art Department, we're thinking of making some of the Sprites ourselves.

Now, we don't want the general pixel-art kind of Sprites. We want some high resolution Sprites with clean and smooth edges and color. The Sprites will be animated too, so there will be many frames of animation of each character sprite, which must be compiled to a perfect Spritesheet.

Is there any sort of tutorial out there for making these kind of Sprites? Along with how to actually make each frame of animation?

Basically, the current team isn't familiar with much graphics works, but we really need some Sprites done for the sake of starting development.

Any help?

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If you want smooth-looking sprites you might be better off using vector graphics - many modern 2D games use vector sprites instead of using high-res pixel ones.

Either way, your first step is to get the appropriate art program and use basic tutorials on the internet to learn to use the program. If you want a free program, Gimp can be used to make pixel sprites, while Inkscape can be used to make vector sprites.

You might also benefit from either going to a local library and looking for books on animation, or looking for basic animation tutorials online. In addition to that, it's very helpful to have an example sprite from an existing game that you can look at to get a basic idea of how to do yours.

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Yea, we do need Vector graphics. And we want to use free software for making them. We plan on making the graphics close to the game 'Shank'.

I've looked around Google, and every tutorial is basically bitmap pixel-art tutorials. If you know of any Vector Sprite making tutorials, please post the link here.

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Maybe expanding your search will help. For example, try searching for "How to" "Vector Images" "Vector Cartoons" whilst they might not be sprite specific, they should help you get the skills to create something.

Also, if development is currently on hold whilst you try to learn, why dont you use someone elses art as a placeholder until you can put your own art in?

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Um, the graphics of Shank show the hand of a skilled artist, it would be quite difficult for someone who doesn't have artistic experience to create images like that.

But, let me reiterate - download Inkscape and read some of the basic tutorials available about how to use Inkscape. There are hundreds of such tutorials available, both as web pages and as youtube videos.

Then, pick one of the simplest sprites in your game to do as practice. Or if there are non-animated 2D elements in your game, do those first. Get the basics done before you blow your mind trying to animate a humanoid or something ridiculously complicated like that.

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Well, I know that we cant recreate something like Shank, I'm just saying that's the kind of clear smooth animation we aim for. :)

Also, I saw some videos where they made 2D Sprites out of a 3D Model. They played an animation on the Model, and then adjusted the camera to the sides, and then exported each animation frame onto .PNG files. And then they used GlueIT to compile it to a sprite sheet.

Now, doing Sprites via 3D Model Animation does sound easier, as one doesn't have to draw each frame. But that's just in my view. What do you guys think? Should we start looking for a 3D Modeller/Animator instead of a Sprite Artist?



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Re: FlameTheLoner

Quote:
Original post by FlameTheLoner
Basically, the current team isn't familiar with much graphics works, but we really need some Sprites done for the sake of starting development.


Just a comment:

I think you could start the development using some dummy sprite. You could start that by taking pictures of yourself in various poses, and just get a rough silhouette. To represent different characters, just change the color of the silhouette or label them using text. (Of course, if it is too much trouble to take pictures you could just use some sort of shape or some freehand stick figure/silhouette.)

Quote:
Should we start looking for a 3D Modeller/Animator instead of a Sprite Artist?
Meanwhile, perhaps keep looking for an artist, both 3D and 2D. You use the one you get.

Quote:
sunandshadow:
Um, the graphics of Shank show the hand of a skilled artist, it would be quite difficult for someone who doesn't have artistic experience to create images like that.

I think there is an interest question behind this comment. The question is: What exactly does a skilled artist gain from practicing? Are we talking about some sort of knowledge about beauty? Is it some knowledge about the process of making the art? Or some sort of hand-eye coordination? Or is it the development of a coherent style?

I think there are shortcuts if you know exactly what "skill" you need, that the others have learned from experience. But you can only get them if the people who have learned them can articulate them.

I think one thing you can do for 2D sprites, is to just use Inkscape or other vector program to draw a bunch of body part sprites. After that you just arrange them to get the postures you want. Just keep them as solid color so that you don't need to worry about seems and layers. To get the original image of a body part, you could draw it freehand in Inkscape or trace it from a photograph.

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Quote:
Original post by Wai
You could start that by taking pictures of yourself in various poses, and just get a rough silhouette. To represent different characters, just change the color of the silhouette or label them using text.

Meanwhile, perhaps keep looking for an artist, both 3D and 2D. You use the one you get.

I agree with this advice. Taking photos of yourself doing the actions the sprite should do is good not only for a placeholder, but to show your artist so they know what animation you need made. 2D and 3D each have their own difficulties - in your case the 2d character creation would be easier but the animation more laborious, while for 3D the character creation would be more laborious and the animation easier. You could feasibly use either type of art for this type of game.

Quote:
sunandshadow:
Um, the graphics of Shank show the hand of a skilled artist, it would be quite difficult for someone who doesn't have artistic experience to create images like that.

Quote:
Original post by WaiI think there is an interest question behind this comment. The question is: What exactly does a skilled artist gain from practicing? Are we talking about some sort of knowledge about beauty? Is it some knowledge about the process of making the art? Or some sort of hand-eye coordination? Or is it the development of a coherent style?

I think there are shortcuts if you know exactly what "skill" you need, that the others have learned from experience. But you can only get them if the people who have learned them can articulate them.

I was thinking the artist had knowledge of the what and why of shapes used to represent people as cartoons. The what part is about style, the why part is about beauty (or more accurately, audience reaction). That is knowledge gained slowly from not only practicing, but also being aware of others' art.

The how, of physically being able to create the animated cartoon, is also important, but that is the easiest part to handle with shortcuts (tutorials and emulating an example).

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Also dont forget that you can quickly and easily translate 3d graphics into 2d graphics by recording any arbitary view into a sprite series, then using your sprite handler to play back that series.

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Thanks for the help guys!

You see, our coder is a full on coder. And I, even though am doing Design, come from a code background (Web Development). I have some art skills, but it's only useful as pre-concept art. So its pretty hopeless for either of us to learn graphics. :/

So we'll keep looking for 2D and 3D Artists, and hopefully we'll finally get someone to join the team!

Thanks again. =D

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