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Best way to learn to create Sprite art and tilesheets?

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Just wondering if there are some good resources out there for learning the finer points of sprite art and creating decent looking tilesets and ground textures? Mostly going for a classic SNES style RPG look (thinking more Secret of Mana 2).

 

Also what software would you recommend for creating such assets? Preferably free software as I don't have a lot of money.

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Piskelapp and theoretically Inkscape should give you the ability to create classic pixel art. They're both free. Although Inkscape is a vector art tool, it can technically be used to make pixel art as well (Although it will probably be more tedious). But Piskelapp doesn't have as many options for importing/exporting spritesheets or as many useful tools as some other programs that cost money. So even you don't have much, I'd still highly recommend Aseprite ($14.99) because it'll really give you everything you need for a relatively cheap price. 

Edited by ChriHK

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Yes, there are online communities around pixel art.

- http://pixeljoint.com/
- http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=4265.msg53067#msg53067

Note that these places are best used for feedback rather than just plain text chat: you create a thread where you post things you've made and ask people to comment on them.

If you don't know where to start then collect a huge folder of reference images about the style you're trying to emulate. Pixel art, concepts etc.
Then using one of the many pixel art software that you can find online, try to recreate (100% copy) the pixel art that inspires you. This will force you to train your perception and learn a few tricks, like contrast, dithering etc. This will also help you get familiar with the software.

After you have done a few of these copies you will feel more confident to create something new, and this is where you can come in with your own designs and projects.

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Thanks, all good bits of advice

 

One thing I am having a lot of trouble with is colour palettes and shading, specifically which colours to use and how many colours to use for shading effects and in general?

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Also anything specifically on tilesets and creating nice terrain tiles? I mean I can study different tilesets from different games however I am finding it hard to create something that doesn't look like it was ripped straight from another game.

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Although there's quite a bit of good info on pixel-art specifically on the internet, truth is that making pixel-art is not fundamentally different from doing any other picture-based art. If you're having trouble with palettes and shading you probably don't need help with pixel-art but with color theory in general. For an artist, pixel-art is just like painting but with a fat, square brush that you have to place on a grid-layout, comparable maybe to making mosaics. I'd suggest investing in some books rather than looking for quick breakdowns. Palettes are usually made from mood-setting artworks that were painted beforehand.

 

Don't forget that, altough SNES graphics contain little information and may look simple, they were made by professional artists.

Edited by ilreh

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Well I am more specifically talking about the number of colours used, for instance I know that most 16 bit sprites use 15 colours (plus one extra for the transparency layer) however do these rules also apply to tilesets and tilesheets as well? I also know that when it comes to shading they generally only use 3 shades of a colour to achieve the effect however I was wondering if there were any traditional SNES colour palettes that sprite artists usually work from? When it comes to selecting colours I always get lost in the big colour wheel and find myself wondering if the colour I have chosen would be one that accurately represents something that would be found in a retro style game? I also find myself wondering if I am using too many colours or not enough colours to achieve the effect and find myself wondering how much darker or lighter I should make intermediate colours when it comes to shading.

 

If I could narrow down a smaller more selective colour palette that gives me a more grounded base from where to start but has a nice enough range to give me options then it would be a start

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I'd feel more comfortable talking about this stuff if you posted the work you have done so far.

 

And I would feel more comfortable if I did not but fine I see where you are coming from so here s a pixel art version of Nito from Dark Soulsa35ce8c6039b3a1a23aca7706e07c6fa.jpg

 

 

 

Ok ok that is not mine but my stuff really isn't that good which is why I am asking for advice, currently just playing around in paint just trying to find something that works.

 

[attachment=34494:examplez.png]

 

Not trying to do anything incredibly complex just trying to create some basic sprites and assets for a top down RPG.

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