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Smooth or not to smooth - Anime characters

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So this might be something of a pixel-art sin (not that I consider my work art) but since I lack skill to make larger sprites I found a trick of smoothing them down, though I'm not entirely convinced by it yet... I open paint (yup MSpaint) zoom in, PrtScrn and paste. Now I can cut a 'single' pixel in half, in this case dotting off the edges. It seems okay, but also maybe too soft? I sorta feel like the jankness exudes more attention. Also ignore the other ppl, or critique them, both fine by me.

Edited by Specimen

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Wait, doesn't Paint have a tool to scale up the image? (that way you can avoid the whole PrnScr mess) And what you're doing is essentially a poor man's scaler™ =O) The biggest problem with doing this is that, well, it's time consuming =/

 

This said, if what you're worried about is whether it's too "smooth" (as you say), remember you can exploit this to add smaller details after scaling, and that may also help take care of the problem.

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You can scale up to 500% in MS Paint directly, but only nearest-neighbour, which kinda sucks (because you still have to do poor man's AA yourself, and 500% is not very "friendly" to work with, so you'll probably do 400%, which is again, pretty small). I would recommend using [i]any other[/i] paint program (say, Paint.NET, if you don't want to pay money) which will let you scale up using bilinear filtering, and without limiting you to 500%. Then you can just scale up to, say, 1600% and then scale down to 6.25%, and you have your edges smoothed without moving a finger.

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In Paint from Windows 8.1 here it says "Version 6.3 (Build 9600)" in the About screen, and it does either bilinear or bicubic when scaling to sizes that are not perfectly divisible (100% to 33%, for example).

 

If you want to get antialiasing you need to work in a program that supports a layer stack, otherwise you'll get problems with the transparency on the edges of your sprites.

 

In a program that supports layers you paint with a working size that's bigger (200% for example) than the display size of your sprite. Then before exporting you scale it down with bilinear or bicubic filtering to get genuine antialiasing, and because you're working with layers you get perfect transparency -- the antialiasing is expressed as transparency rather than the mix between opaque pixels.

 

EDIT: But in that kind of low resolution I've always seen the antialiasing being done manually, without scaling.

It's a technique that needs practice:

- http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/handmade_antialiasing.php

- http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/learn-better-anti-aliasing-for-your-pixel-art/

- http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/resizing-your-sprites-with-nearest-neighbor/

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Wait, doesn't Paint have a tool to scale up the image? (that way you can avoid the whole PrnScr mess) And what you're doing is essentially a poor man's scaler™ =O) The biggest problem with doing this is that, well, it's time consuming =/

 

This said, if what you're worried about is whether it's too "smooth" (as you say), remember you can exploit this to add smaller details after scaling, and that may also help take care of the problem.

 

I actually forgot about that, cuz I never used it. That could work with the detailing though I'll try it out, thanks.

 

You can scale up to 500% in MS Paint directly, but only nearest-neighbour, which kinda sucks (because you still have to do poor man's AA yourself, and 500% is not very "friendly" to work with, so you'll probably do 400%, which is again, pretty small).

I would recommend using any other paint program (say, Paint.NET, if you don't want to pay money) which will let you scale up using bilinear filtering, and without limiting you to 500%. Then you can just scale up to, say, 1600% and then scale down to 6.25%, and you have your edges smoothed without moving a finger.

 

But paint's been my pal for years :( heh. I tried gimp 2 before but that was.. confusing. This scaling idea sounds nice tho, good thing cuz my method has me re-working bits that look worse smoothed out.

 

In Paint from Windows 8.1 here it says "Version 6.3 (Build 9600)" in the About screen, and it does either bilinear or bicubic when scaling to sizes that are not perfectly divisible (100% to 33%, for example).

 

If you want to get antialiasing you need to work in a program that supports a layer stack, otherwise you'll get problems with the transparency on the edges of your sprites.

 

In a program that supports layers you paint with a working size that's bigger (200% for example) than the display size of your sprite. Then before exporting you scale it down with bilinear or bicubic filtering to get genuine antialiasing, and because you're working with layers you get perfect transparency -- the antialiasing is expressed as transparency rather than the mix between opaque pixels.

 

EDIT: But in that kind of low resolution I've always seen the antialiasing being done manually, without scaling.

It's a technique that needs practice:

- http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/handmade_antialiasing.php

- http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/learn-better-anti-aliasing-for-your-pixel-art/

- http://2dwillneverdie.com/tutorial/resizing-your-sprites-with-nearest-neighbor/

 

I think GMStudio has this, but I'll have to check. Never worked with aliasing, it's probably 'bout time to start though, thanks for the tuts!

 

Still not entirely sure which to use though, I've been staring at the pixelated version so long anything else seems weird.. or is the janky version really better?

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I don't think you should use any automatic process to 'finish' the work when doing this kind of low resolution graphic where every pixel counts (more information in this article).

 

But it's fine to use an automatic process as an intermediary step, to give you something to work with. It's what that "resizing-your-sprites-with-nearest-neighbor" article proposes, you make a rough bigger version, resize it down with the automatic process to save you time and then polish it by hand.

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