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crohnsandme

new to graphics surely this isnt pixel art?

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hi all , so i am trying to create a simple 2d game in XNA , althought the ease of finding a spritesheet is tempting i was planning to keep progressing these games i make to be part of my portfolio once i start university at the end of the year...what my question is...

 

when you look at games on miniclips, (plants vs zombies) (maplestory) etc these graphics look alot more professional than some simple pixel art like early versions of final fantasy etc.... do these types of graphics have a certain name/category? are they actually pixel art but in higher resolutions ? with a pen in my hand i am awful at drawing but on a computer with a mouse i seem to be alot better and more creative :) so i want to work on making these types of graphics for the games i am making instead of the basic retro looking pixel spritesheets i seem to find 

 

thanks

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Old games ran at extremely low resolutions, and a character on a screen was usually 16x16, or 16x24, or something similar. Bigger characters were made up of blocks of smaller sprites as well.

We have bigger resolutions now, so sprites can be as high resolution and smooth as we want.

A lot of art like the stuff in Plants vs Zombies is created as vector art, so it can look good at any resolution.

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ahh ok and i notice the style of say maplestory is manga right? so its basically that style but made as vector art? is it easy to draw without a graphics tablet or would i save hours of time if i got a cheap graphics tablet?

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If you are serious about art, I would strongly recommend a Wacom tablet. From my personal experience as a gamer and an artist who learned the hard way, I started doing art with the mouse because I am very efficient with the keyboard and mouse. As an audio editor, you're always keyboard shortcutting your way to victory. Plus, getting all those headshots growing up actually seemed to be paying off. I had heard that tablets were the key but I thought all the art nerds with their tablets were just being snobby as usual.

 

However, my progress became logarithmic after a while. The problem with getting used to the mouse for art is that eventually you will want to learn the tablet because it offers pressure and stroke angle. Eventually you will cave in and find that it is a much more expressive input. When you finally do that, its like having to learn all over again. I would compare it to learning to play an instrument again. Sure you may be familiar with music already (the software), but the instrument (the tablet) will be foreign.

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Plants vs. Zombies is vector art.  MapleStory I thought was actually raster art but it sure looks like vector art and would be easy to emulate with vector art.  I personally draw vector art with a mouse because I had a lot of difficulty learning how to use a tablet, but it would be a bit faster if I used a tablet.  Manga/anime isn't a single unified style, the same way not all western comics look the same, but it's handy term to go to Deviant Art and search for tutorials and references, or go to google image search and find specific animes that you like the style of and want to emulate.

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thank you all :) i think as i only just brought my laptop i will start with the mouse and when i have some money saved ill invest in a tablet, i love programming but i dont want to sound rude or anything but i hate relying on others , for example if i want to make this game i wont be 100% happy unless i create the artwork so i know i did everything even though i know its teamwork .... maybe once i get to university i will find game designers who will be happy to create art for me to use in games but for now its either rely on spriters resources etc or try do it myself :)

 

now i need to first learn what actually is vector art and typical settings etc , i see all tutorials using programs like illustrator or gimp is photoshop not good for vector art?

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My bamboo is great, but mine was the 300$ one. The cheaper ones have more of a plastic on plastic feel, and less pressure sensitivity. Wacom is the only tablet company that matters, and their products are good.

Vector art or raster doesn't matter when it comes to how a sprite looks, they are just different methods of storing art. Raster art is stored as a series of color values and doesn't scale as nicely, especially at low resolutions. Vector art is stored as a series of shapes and instructions. Because of this, a vector image can be drawn at any size and still look smooth. Vector art must be rasterized to be displayed, and will look the exact same as a raster image when not resized.

Plants vs Zombies uses vector art because it allows them to use the same data set across all the devices they ported the game to, and have them look nice at every resolution.

Beyond that, it doesn't matter much which style you use. The program you use is just a tool. You need to build up skill by practicing. Art is not easy, and there are no shortcuts.

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I have a Wacom Intuos 3, and I love it when I do my digital paintings. I rarely touch it when I'm doing vector artwork.

I find the mouse to be much better for adjusting Bezier curves and the pencil tool, in which you can draw free form lines, to be rather clunky.

Having a sketch to work with is good, but that can just as easily be made by scanning an image as creating one from scratch digitally.

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