AuthorTopic: what is the best tool for pixelation?  (Read 14853 times)

Offline blackthirteen

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what is the best tool for pixelation?

on: September 01, 2005, 10:29:35 pm
What tool do you use the most to create low color pixel arts?

If you were working for a cell game, or any other handheld systems, what tool would you choose to work with?

And what is your worst paint tool?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 10:31:10 pm by blackthirteen »

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 10:46:55 pm
Fear the gradient and the spray paint tool!
For pixel art you would use the pencil... other than that, nothing.†
Or did you mean for choosing colors?

Pixel art is used for low memory limited games.  The fewer colors the smaller file.  Yet when you have infinite colors CG is a better idea.  It is a dying art.  Sadly now only used in GBA games, DS games, a few console remake games, and tons of Acardey Games.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 10:50:39 pm by BrotherInWar »
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Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #2 on: September 01, 2005, 10:49:42 pm
I have a contract for a cell company.

They obligate me to use Photoshop 7 and Illustrator 7... I'm not confortable with these programs for pixel art... Is it me or the responsible of this cell game is crazy? (it will be their first game)

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #3 on: September 01, 2005, 10:51:55 pm
May I ask what type of game it is?  That could depend on if it should be pixeled or not.
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Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #4 on: September 01, 2005, 10:53:28 pm
A game similar to Maniac Mansion.

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #5 on: September 01, 2005, 10:59:55 pm
...which is?†

IMO for Cell Phone Games
-Shooters-Pixel if side scroller-CG if not
-Racers-CG it just looks better
-Puzzle-Pixel
-RPG-Honestly never played one (on a cell)
-Sports-CG
-Card-Pixel

If your asking for what programs I use MS paint and Graphics Gale.
MS paint is good for setting up your outlines and stuff because it allows 3 colors to be chosen
but you can't edit colors once MS paint has be restarted also selecting a color from the picture is annoying
Graphics Gale allows you to edit and create colors and save pallates.  Also with a right click color select and allows you to save in many file types with no corruption.  You can even make animated cursors.  Yet a pain for making outlines because only one color can be chosen.

I use combos of these programs.  For gifs because I didn't register GG I must save each individual frame as a different file then string them together with Gif Co. Set Pro.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 11:11:19 pm by BrotherInWar »
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Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #6 on: September 01, 2005, 11:02:01 pm
I will presume you have meant software tool, if you didn't then ignore the following.

If it can make a pixel on the screen in the color of your choice, then it is a viable candidate.  You will find though, that there are certain functions in different programs that will make your life easier.

Here are some possible packages:

MSPaint - You already have this.  It usually does what it is supposed to, which is not all that much.  If are really good, you can use this nearly as effectively as any other tool.
Pro Motion - Buy it.  It is good.  Pixel painting program, similar to dpaint on amiga.  Also known as index painting software, as it allows a lot of complex effects through a palette system.  I like it simply for the color switching and animation.  As the name suggests, pro motion is geared towards animated sprites.
Photoshop / Imageready - Buy it.  It is great.  Once you learn photoshop you will understand why it is the staple program of most designers and digital artists worldwide.  Even a lot of 3d art comes back through photoshop for finishing.  Its range of tools, effects and the refined interface are that which only about 15 years of development can bring.  It is overpowered for pixelart, and animation is lacking.  Imageready is supposedly an integrated animation package, but it is not designed for sprite animation as we do.  It has a layer based animation system, which I find fairly difficult to use.  It also cannot export in anything but GIF (why why why, it can import many many formats.  adobe, this is stoopid).
Graphics Gale - It is apparently great, and is in Japanese or something, which turns me off slightly.  It helps to be able to read a menu.
Paint Shop Pro - I used to be a fanatic, but that was before I got photoshop. nuff said.
Photopaint - I lied with previous, it was before I got this.  and THEN I got Photoshop...  this is nearly on par, but is a pale imitation.  Corel should stick with vector, it is clunky and bad GUI.
Telepathy - I have not had much success with changing the color of pixels with mindpower.  Give it a shot though!

There may be others.  Let me know.

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #7 on: September 01, 2005, 11:07:51 pm
thanks lief;

but first, I have big problems to jump from Paint Shop Pro 7 to Adobe Photoshop7. Here's an example;

I don't know why but the Line Tool with Photoshop 7 produces irregular algorithm lines. Is there any way to fix this annoying problem?

« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 11:09:38 pm by blackthirteen »

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #8 on: September 01, 2005, 11:11:04 pm
I need to specify that I need to work with "low color" pixelation.

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #9 on: September 01, 2005, 11:14:03 pm
Just use MS paint.  It never gives you those odd lines and its a pretty good program.  It is also on most computers.
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Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #10 on: September 01, 2005, 11:16:01 pm
Just use MS paint.† It never gives you those odd lines and its a pretty good program.† It is also on most computers.

The problem is that I'm obligated to use Adobe Photoshop 7.

Offline Helm

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #11 on: September 01, 2005, 11:18:12 pm
If you're trying to be pro. Use pro motion. Learn it well. Buy it and love it. Nothing beats it right now in the PC market.

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #12 on: September 01, 2005, 11:18:36 pm
Tell them it is too difficult to complete the given task with that program. †When a free programs work better for this project.
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Offline OBCT

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #13 on: September 01, 2005, 11:18:55 pm
What they don't know won't hurt them. ;)

If the lines bother you that much (They would for me), draw in MSPaint, then c&p into Photoshop. :P

Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #14 on: September 01, 2005, 11:25:33 pm
crap crap and double crap.  no.  DONT USE THE LINE TOOL. DON'T COPY AND PASTE LINES FROM MSPAINT. use the pencil tool on a single pixel setting, click for the start of the line, press and hold shift and click for end of line, doing this will draw real lines not the doubled lines (the line tool is geared towards anti-aliasing long straight lines and doesn't do well with it off, the pencil tool is not).

Quote
If you're trying to be pro. Use pro motion. Learn it well. Buy it and love it. Nothing beats it right now in the PC market.

I second helm.  My last piece here was using promotion.  I lub it dearly.  It really is good for pixelart.  It is missing a few things, but is good anyhow.

Offline Darion

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #15 on: September 01, 2005, 11:27:01 pm
Graphics Gale - It is apparently great, and is in Japanese or something, which turns me off slightly.  It helps to be able to read a menu.

Huh? You can't even change Graphics Gale to Japanese. It is in english.

No program is the best program, thats why we have thousands. Just mess with each one to get a feel for what you want. There is a program for everyone.

I don't like big, clunky programs with tons of buttons so I just use Graphics Gale or MS Paint.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 11:30:23 pm by Darion »
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Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #16 on: September 01, 2005, 11:38:22 pm
Darion:  I disagree respectfully.  Software can be superior in its function and design, as can a car.  You must be able to clearly define what you personally need from a program however.

I was just going by the Graphics Gale site, which has screenshot of japanese text.  I was told by someone that this is the case as well (downloading now by the way)

Photoshop is not big and clunky, no more than a ferrari is compared to a mini.  Ferraris are larger, more powerful, more refined, better handling, more expensive, look better, go faster and... people still like minis.  Not because they are mechanically equal, but because people are emotional creatures.

use the force.  use telepathic pixelling, or MSPaint. 

Offline Xion

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #17 on: September 01, 2005, 11:41:28 pm
I agree with Darion in that there is no single best program, but for myself, MSPaint has everything I need but animation support. Line and fill is all I use in paint, sometimed the paintbrush to make silouhettes. {sp!?} I had the GGale trial version a while ago, and it was good, (what I used to make my avatar), but the trial ran out and bleh.

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #18 on: September 01, 2005, 11:48:18 pm
crap crap and double crap.† no.† DONT USE THE LINE TOOL. DON'T COPY AND PASTE LINES FROM MSPAINT. use the pencil tool on a single pixel setting, click for the start of the line, press and hold shift and click for end of line, doing this will draw real lines not the doubled lines (the line tool is geared towards anti-aliasing long straight lines and doesn't do well with it off, the pencil tool is not).

thank you lief you saved my life for that matter.

Offline Darion

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #19 on: September 01, 2005, 11:58:22 pm
It depends on what you see as "big and clunky". Most programs appear to be confusing and full of tons of features until you have used it for years, and you are familiar with everything. I don't want to take months and months to learn how to 'draw again'. When I want to draw, I just want to get down to it and draw; I don't want anything to automatically change something after i've drawn it and having to look through tons of options to figure out how to turn it off.

Some people do not like programs crammed with tons of features, and some programs are more superior in different features. You might have a big ass program that does everything, but then you have the people that aren't comfortable with big ass programs.

Ugh ... I hate debating.
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Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #20 on: September 02, 2005, 12:05:42 am
darion:

i agree with your last comment.

then lets not debate.  please note the loophole i had left in my comment -  everyone requires different things from a software package.  If you need a pencil and line tool MSPaint probably is the way to go.  If you need more, than look elsewhere.

You are correct with the big and clunky, I have used photoshop for many years now and am very comfortable in it (im a full time graphic designer when not wearing my pixelling cape).  Others I know use completely different software... and I don't really care.  Photoshop suits me, but pro motion for some reason is magic.  everything ive sat down and drawn with it has been 200% better than usual...

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #21 on: September 02, 2005, 12:14:31 am
lief, do you mind if I ask you other questions? You seems to be an expert.

Anyway here's another small matter I would like to solve. When working with the precise cursor, it become almost invisible over dark color.

I tried to change the settings, but no success...

here's an example;



You see? The cursor is hard to see and it's hard to orient with it over dark colors.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2005, 12:20:36 am by blackthirteen »

Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #22 on: September 02, 2005, 12:32:09 am
Sorry to say, your only option is to press capslock to change cursor types or try different bg color for now.  I believe newer versions are slightly different as well.  ive always had the same problem, try moving the cursor a bit to get your eye on it.

Offline Frogacuda

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #23 on: September 04, 2005, 02:11:59 am
Graphics Gale - It is apparently great, and is in Japanese or something, which turns me off slightly.  It helps to be able to read a menu.
Umm... I know my copy's in english, at least.

Offline Chilly

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #24 on: September 04, 2005, 03:22:32 am
Topic moved to General Discussion! <3

Continue on with your discussion gentlemen~

Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #25 on: September 05, 2005, 12:46:44 am
mine's in english too, what idiot came up with the idea it wasn't?!?!

;)

ignorance is wonderful isn't it?  that is why you should never believe a screenshot.
I must say that it seems to be a underdeveloped photoshop clone.  whatever floats your boat...

Offline sonrisu

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #26 on: September 06, 2005, 08:53:19 pm
If you're using Mac OS X (which I doubt seeing how many replies suggest MSPaint-- it looks like the majority of you guys are on Windows machines) you definitely want to check out Pixen: http://opensword.org/Pixen/ :) It's awesome.

Offline Zulithe

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #27 on: September 17, 2005, 02:40:50 am
Now that GraphicsGale has a *free* version (with only a few features removed from the Pro) there is no reason not to use it unless you don't care for the interface. Personally, I swear by it (even over Photoshop, which I use for other tasks) but I'm not the pixel God that some people here are. :)

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #28 on: September 17, 2005, 05:37:08 pm
GG has a free versionP† Post link now, or face the wrath of morning breath!
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Offline silvir

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #29 on: September 17, 2005, 05:51:33 pm
I'm still a sucker for Paint Shop Pro.

Never could get used to pixeling is Photoshop or GraphicsGale. Pixen looks nice... but I don't have a Mac. Oh well.

Offline di0xygen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #30 on: September 18, 2005, 01:11:05 am
every programs have the tools for pixelart, lets say that. pixelart need pixels and a color circle. and every programs got that.

when i look for a program, i look for hotkey and shortcut effectivness to add speed.

For instance, Corel Paintshop pro 9.
It has mousewheel zoom (which is ultra effective to move around a big image instead of using the scrollbars, and to zoom and dezoom fast)
Ctrl click eyedropper for fast and effective color grab. and its very useful when you make mistakes. combined with ctrl-Z its a deadly tool
it also export transparent gif and png.
And the color circle is wonderful cause it support luminosity hue and saturation wich is very effective when antialiasing a peice.

Offline Silver

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #31 on: September 18, 2005, 07:34:51 am
Hello there
My first program was ms paint it was nice but when i used paint shop pro 7.2 I improved in coloring and understand it
When Ill be so damn talent like helm / moonson / poting .  ill sure buy promotion .
 

Offline Razz

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #32 on: September 19, 2005, 12:18:43 am
IDraw3 is a great, great program. It's a bit less "complex" than Graphics Gale, but a bit more "complex" than MS Paint. It's comfortabley simple and pretty much better than MS Paint in every way. :)

Offline LuciferianSoul

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #33 on: September 19, 2005, 11:04:03 pm
I have Paint Shop Pro 9, but I don't like to use it for pixel art. It's too much of a large program to bother opening it just to do pixel art.

A while ago, I got GraphicsGale registered so I've always used that.
I often also copy stuff from GG into TGF while making little games.

MSPaint is too crap.
I know people will say otherwise, but the fact is that the palette sucks ass in the beginning and that it always resets itself, it's annoying. Even if you keep your custom palette saved as an image. It's annoying as all hell.

GraphicsGale has an easier interface, some more options and pretty much everything you need for pixel art.
Customizeable shortcut keys also help alot.

Offline Zulithe

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #34 on: September 20, 2005, 10:29:27 am
people who use mspaint and only mspaint are insane! they are restricting themselves involuntarily. graphicsgale has layer support, can create animated sprites easily, onionskin, better palette support.

By the way, here is the graphicsgale site since someone asked for it

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/

The only feature it is lacking that is really of value is being able to save or load .gif files. But so what, png is better :P

Offline xanthier

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #35 on: September 28, 2005, 11:52:54 pm
I'm always switching between PSP7 and MSPaint, because I am so uncomfortable drawing with PSP's paintbrush compared to the more pixelly strokes of paint's pencil, it's kind of a hassle copying back and forth, but I'm used to it. PSP is a must-have however due to layers and color tweaking and all the advanced functions that I so rarely use.  If there is another freeware program that could fix this,
I'd certainly be willing to try it.

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Offline lief

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #36 on: September 29, 2005, 12:16:50 am
Quote
The only feature it is lacking that is really of value is being able to save or load .gif files. But so what, png is better

I have version 1.78 and it can handle the GIF format. 

PNG is a more flexible format for static images, yes.  GIF is currently the preferred choice for online distribution of animated raster images.  I believe an animated PNG format is also available, with a view to replace the GIF format.  This format is called MNG, "multi-image network graphics", which gives you all the power of PNG in an animation (true color & alpha-channelled animation)

http://png.unicast.org/pub/mng/

Currently supported on major browsers as well!

Offline Zulithe

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #37 on: September 30, 2005, 05:05:09 pm
Quote
I have version 1.78 and it can handle the GIF format. 
Note that I was talking about the free version. Of course the full version can save/load gifs fine.

Yes I know about animated PNG. currently there are two competing formats: apng and mng

I have emailed the graphics gale programmers about adding some form of animated png but so far they have not. They do not seem very open to feature requests and never email me back. I suggest everyone that wants animated png support to email them so we can finally get this feature and leave animated GIF in the dust forever. :)

On the surface GIF seems fine, but it is lossy (png is lossless so there is no quality loss when saving to png) and GIF is not a free & open format, while PNG is.

One reason MNG is not widely adopted is because the library required to put it into programs is HUGE (almost 1mb on its own); apng is much smaller and will probably win out over MNG in the future. Unfortunately these standards are being adopted VERY slowly and we may not see them supported in all browsers out-of-the-box for a long time

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #38 on: September 30, 2005, 06:57:12 pm
gif is not lossy. Ok, maybe you can say it's lossy if you have more than 256 colours, but you say it as if there is quality loss like in the jpg format which is not true at all.

And about the GGale developers not being open to feature requests, I think it might have something to do with them not being the original developers. Several months ago the ownership changed hands to some asian guys, and looking at their change log, it seems like they might not be interested in adding on to it, instead simply finetuning the existing features.

Offline Ai

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #39 on: October 01, 2005, 06:20:41 am
GIF is not inherently lossy.
Several programs change the colors when saving gif , though (most commonly quantizing to VGA colorspace, 64 intensity levels rather than 255). In addition, it doesn't support color management or gamma, so viewing a GIF in a webbrowser is less likely to give a accurate result than PNG; I encountered this recently where I would save a gif and it would be significantly darker in browser, because my display was colorcorrected and the gif was not.

If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline PK Mays

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #40 on: October 01, 2005, 08:03:45 am
And about the GGale developers not being open to feature requests, I think it might have something to do with them not being the original developers. Several months ago the ownership changed hands to some asian guys, and looking at their change log, it seems like they might not be interested in adding on to it, instead simply finetuning the existing features.

Yeah, the program was being developed by a company called Tempest, but they were also quite Asian, as evidenced from the old help files (Engrish abounded). You can still see "TEMP" written behind the running guy in the GraghicsGale icon. I never sent any suggestions to the old team, but I know a guy who also registered it, and he got several requested features implemented, despite the language barrier.

I've used several programs, and it's clear to me now that there is no "the best program", only "your best program." I use GraphicsGale because it is cheap (30 bucks), isn't big and bloated with useless features, and is very flexible. You can put your toolbars anywhere, you can assign hotkeys to anything. Frames, layers, palettes, batch processing. I've been wanting to try and possibly buy Pro Motion for years now, $100 is definately in my price range, but I've never taken the time to learn the interface because I'd just rather keep using Gale, which uses MY interface.

My suggestion is to try anything and everything. Somebody out there wrote a program just for you, whether it be Photoshop or MS Paint.

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #41 on: October 09, 2005, 03:59:10 am
I have another important question relating to Photoshop.

Is it possible to copy/paste the content of many layers at once? For instance, I've created a tiled scene (for a game I'm working on) and I would like to repeat the pattern without merging all the layers.

Offline AlexHW

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #42 on: October 09, 2005, 04:49:14 am
select what you want to copy, then hold shift+ctrl+c to copy all which is visible (check that eye icon next to the current layer selected to make sure you have a visible layer selected because wont work if you are on an invisible layer), then hold ctrl+v to paste what was selected as a new layer.

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #43 on: October 09, 2005, 05:02:54 am
Thanks but it is possible to copy all the stuff and let them stay in all their respective layers?

Offline AlexHW

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #44 on: October 09, 2005, 07:05:25 pm
like duplicate each of the layers, but only what is selected?
I dunno, but I do know you can create a layer set (goto Layer then New then Layer Set..)
Then create the new layers in your set of the area you want to repeat (so you have the layers you want to duplicate all at once).
then you can either right click on the Layer Set and duplicate it, and you'll be duplicating all the layers in it into a new layer set.
You can move the layer set into a new document by dragging it into the document with the arrow tool..
its pretty self explanitory once you try it out, or whatever.. heh

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #45 on: October 11, 2005, 05:43:12 pm
Pro Motion's the one for me! (and all handheld devs I've worked for)

- Adam

Offline blackthirteen

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Re: what is the best tool for pixelation?

Reply #46 on: November 03, 2005, 10:42:59 pm
I have another question relating to Photoshop 7.

Lately I noticed that it was possible to drag and copy the whole content of a Layer Set. Iím happy of this discovery because it could greatly satisfy my needs. Unfortunately when Iím dragging and copying the content of a Layer Set it creates an entirely new Layer Set. What I really want is copying the content of the Layer Set inside the same Layer Set.  Anyone know how I can do this?