AuthorTopic: Pixel Art Programming Project  (Read 5994 times)

Offline bluknight

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Pixel Art Programming Project

on: May 02, 2007, 01:54:37 am
My summer has just begun and I'm looking for a project to work on.
I've been thinking of making a pixel art program for a while now. To this end though, I have a couple questions that I wanted to ask you guys, the spriting gurus:

What program(s) do you normally use for your spriting?
What features do you use?
What features can you not live without?
What additional functionality would you like/what would you change about your program of preference?
What operating system do you use?

Thanks for your time.
Maybe it'll pay off for you in the end.  ;)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 01:56:36 am by bluknight »

Offline Panda

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 06:40:03 am
Heh, rather early summer I'd say.

I use Cosmigo's ProMotion, and the features I normally use (apart from the basic ones like save -as many different file types-, open new document, shortcuts etc) are , uhmm... Brushes (esp, 1 and 2x2 pixel brushes), Paint bucket, Eye dropper, Selection tool (Box Selection or whatever it is called),  Lasso tool,  Mirror, Zoom,  Rotate (Free rotating without randomly generated AA), undo and redo, Stencil, Shrink, Remove unused colors, Brush container (along with save/load brush), Preview Window, Palette box, Palette management overall, Zoom grid, Transparent color box, the whole animation menu (Add frame, remove frame, etc etc), Resize frame, Create text brush, and... uhmm I guess I missed something, but that's all I could think of right now.

Features I can't live with are: brushes, paint bucket, eye dropper, lasso tool, undo/redo, preview window, brush container, rotate, mirror, transparency, animation, resize frame, zoom, zoom grid, etc. But if I were considering a different program, it should have additional/better features than the one I'm currently using, otherwise it wouldn't be much of a wise move, but anyway.

Additional functionality I would like probably would be some autosaving feature (which you could edit the settings for it to save automatically every x minutes/hours), alpha blending, and maybe layers (though I never needed them, but I guess they could come in handy). And of course, stuff like cooking for me, cleaning my place, go shopping, would be neat, but doesn't necessarily have to be on a pixel program :P, but if you manage to, I'm sold!

oh and I'm on Windows XP


Offline bluknight

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #2 on: May 02, 2007, 07:16:20 pm
Thanks for your response.
Could you elaborate on what the stencil and text brush tools do / are used for?

Anyone else want to help me with my "requirements gathering" stage?

Offline Panda

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007, 07:27:10 pm
Stencil protects pixels of a certain color from being edited.
Text brush is pretty much for adding text, but instead of having to make a box and write text in it, you first type whatever in the pop up box and it automatically turns it into a temporary brush.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #4 on: May 03, 2007, 03:15:29 am
IDraw 3

magic wand, lassoos, complex selection (using shift, ctrl, and alt), zoom, animation preview, and flip/rotate.  also, right-click color grab,

absolutely cannot live without the filled square tool, it's what i draw with.  i can't use that damned pen for the life of me.

i would love transparency and animated gif support

windows xp
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline bluknight

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #5 on: May 03, 2007, 03:20:40 am
By "filled square tool" you mean a 2x2 block brush thing?

Offline junkboy

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 07:35:18 am
I'd like to see a 1 pixel pen tool that actually draws single pixel lines. The only one I've found that behaves like that is the one in Painter.



Would make tracing lineart less of a pain in the ass.

Offline bluknight

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 11:45:28 am
I was actually considering that one myself. I'm not entirely sure how I could make it though, but I'll be giving it some thought.

Offline Rox

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 06:25:10 pm
Photoshop does behave like you'd expect it to, though. That's the problem. Photoshop fills every pixel your cursor strays within, and it's really really really hard to magically skip diagonally between pixels without hitting one of the surrounding ones. Painter must use some funny thingamajig to determine whether you meant to put that pixel next to another or not, and then remove one of the two. And it doesn't always do it right, I can see.

But that would make it much easier to trace lineart.

Offline miascugh

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 06:55:40 pm
Quote

Does Painter behave that way regardless of the speed you make the stroke at? Because for fast lines every programm I tried, PS8, PSP7, Promotion and Paint, showed clean results, and the same messy results for slow drawing. Just curious.

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 08:47:29 pm
the only way for slow outlining in a pixel program to reliably create a jaggie-less 1bit line is if it constantly checks what the user has drawn thus far, and removes extra pixels from one side or the other, checking against a vector curve model. It's not very complicated, but the artist would see the line update here and there as he draws, or maybe if the programmer desires it only once when he lifts the finger from the mouse button, but it would still be distracting and inaccurate for what pixel art needs to do. Just go by hand and place your pixels. It's not like one should outline very thoroughly since he's going to color in anyway later and there won't be much of the outline left by then.

Remember. Every pixel you place and then you replace and then you replace is a pixel you could not have bothered with in the first place if you're training yourself to work efficiently. An autoclean-line-tool that makes calls for you certainly won't help good clean pixel art.

Offline junkboy

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #11 on: May 11, 2007, 02:04:13 pm
Rox: It's far from perfect and you still have to clean up and correct lines afterwards, but it's still ten times faster than placing each dot by hand.

miascugh: I drew both lines in the example slowly by mouse, so speed isn't much of a factor.

Helm: Well, it might not be puritan, but personally I'm more concerned with saving time, so if a tool helps me shave off an hour's worth of cleaning up messy line-art, then I don't see the problem with that.

Offline Helm

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Re: Pixel Art Programming Project

Reply #12 on: May 11, 2007, 05:40:20 pm
As I said, for what you describe... you don't need 'unmessy' lineart to start coloring. Just block colors, establish a palette, render. The bad pixels will be replaced with colors 99% of the time anyway. I've seen so many people bother with super-precise lineart, I think it's a slow practise that doesn't help.