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2d tutorials and learning resources

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The old http://www.gamedev.net/topic/257345-tutorials-downloads-check-here/ tutorials &amp downloads sticky topic is unfortunately broken, and a lot of the links were outdated before that. With your help we'd like to create a new and up-to-date version, but this time we'll be keeping the 2d and 3d stuff separate -- <u>this topic is for 2d tutorials and resources only</u>!

Please post links to anything you think should be included below -- this can and should be anything that you feel is helpful for learning to create 2d art, including stuff on pixel art, drawing, concept art, art theory, and anything else that might fit. You can find the matching topic for 3d resources http://www.gamedev.net/topic/641913-3d-tutorials-and-learning-resources/ here.

Note that this is not a discussion topic, and any questions or comments may be deleted -- we're looking to build a list a valuable resources here! All relevant links will be edited into this first post, and once it's a reasonable size most of these original instructions will be edited out.


http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/visual-arts/the-total-beginner’s-guide-to-better-2d-game-art-r2959 The Total Beginner's Guide to Better 2D Game Art
http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/visual-arts/better-programmer-art-r2594 Better Programmer Art

Pixel Art

http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/42648699708/pixel-art-tutorial Derek Yu's pixel art tutorial
http://www.petesqbsite.com/sections/tutorials/tuts/tsugumo/ So you want to be a pixel artist? (Tsugamo's tutorial)
http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299 The Pixel Art Tutorial (http://www.pixeljoint.com/ Pixel Joint forum resource)
http://2dwillneverdie.com/intro/ 2d will never die (http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/ direct link to tutorials)
http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/ Pixel Art &amp Photoshop tutorials

Pixel Art -- Specific Techniques

http://www.gamedev.net/blog/492/entry-2255532-how-to-destroy-an-airplane/ How to destroy an airplane
http://www.elitepigs.de/blog/archives/17 Optimizing tilesheets


http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory Basic Color Theory
http://colorschemedesigner.com/ Color Scheme Designer
http://www.evolutionarydesigns.net/blog/2010/08/27/color-palette-generators/ 19 Color Palette Generators


http://www.idrawdigital.com/2010/04/tutorial-foreshortening-tricks/ Art tutorial -- contains lots of stuff, but especially good tips on lighting/how to light textures
http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/tutorials/light01.htm Study of light


http://perspective-book.com/drawing-painting/perspective-draw-tutorial-vanishing-points.html How to draw tutorial: perspective and vanishing points

Figure drawing

http://www.idrawdigital.com/2009/01/tutorial-anatomy-and-proportion/ Tutorial: anatomy and proportion
http://www.idrawdigital.com/2010/04/tutorial-foreshortening-tricks/ Tutorial: foreshortening tricks

Classic 2d animation

http://www.angryanimator.com/word/tutorials/ Angry animator tutorials
http://www.awn.com/tooninstitute/lessonplan/lesson.htm Larry's Toon Institute


http://www.androidblues.com/visualperception.html Perception and Composition
http://www.vgmuseum.com/ The Video Game Museum (collection of visual material -- screenshots, cover art, ads, etc.) from mostly 90s video games)

Edited by JTippetts
Cleaned up the tags.

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Basic color theory




Automated color wheel for picking color schemes. Built for web designers but useful for figuring out basic color schemes.




Big list of other color palette designers.




An alternate explanations of how vanishing points work.



Figure Drawing



Some tricks for foreshortening in figure drawing




Basic human proportions






Lots of stuff, but especially good tips on lighting and how to light textures


Pixel Art



A good intro to pixel art, but I have to caveat it by saying Pixel Joint is kind of picky about how they think things "should be" done. Limited color pallets and pickiness about tools isn't that necessary, especially when you're doing hundreds of game sprites. Plus they like the hue shift the crap out of everything.

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Classic 2D animation tutorials: 




Study of Light:



Perception and Composition:



Pixel Art & Photoshop tutorials:


http://www.elitepigs.de/blog/archives/17 (optimizing a tileset)


Collection of visual material from games (mostly 90's games):

http://www.vgmuseum.com/ (cover arts, ads, screenshots etc.)


EDIT: (Added 05/05/2012) 

Very cool blog focused on pixel art. Has an article about this craft and lots of advanced tutorials.


Edited by Kryzon

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- A an interesting website. It's a great resource for level designers: http://vgmaps.com

They "map" the levels of games in an analytical way, showing structures, passages, layout etc.

For platformers and RPGs, they merge all screens together so you get one big contiguous level. There's 3D game maps as well.


- More pixel-art tutorials and articles: http://pixel.oceansdream.net/


- More game art articles: http://www.dinofarmgames.com/category/art-barn/


- A "map and cartography" enthusiast forum. Samples and information on how to build maps etc. (including Sci-Fi and Fantasy style maps): http://www.cartographersguild.com/forum.php

Edited by Kryzon

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Damn forum software has mangled the original post again, but hopefully it won't prove so difficult to fix now that we're at least only dealing with issues from the latest version of the site.

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Composition tutorial by Phil Straub:

EDIT: I only saw the red banner at the top (stating that this is too old of a topic and that I may not post here) after making this post. Should I have made another thread? At least all of the content stays in a single place. Edited by Kryzon

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