AuthorTopic: How did the old masters create their pixel artwork (e.g. Simon the Sorcerer)?  (Read 24666 times)

Offline Cence

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Hey,

I regularly get caught in admiring pixel art from the past and just finished watching a Simon the Sorcerer II longplay:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6QKTEVJiX8

I'm a programmer and don't have a knack for detailed (pixel) art. That's why I always ask myself how they used to achieve such beatiful art like in Simon the Sorcerer in the past and what programs they used to do so.
I can't imagine that they painted every single pixel one by one, especially for the large background scenery which would take ages to get done. What was the technique they used?

Thanks!

Cence

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides
Deluxe Paint or Personal Paint or other variants on the Amiga.

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
There are certainly parts in Simon the Sorcerer that would hardly be called pixel art by today's standards. Deluxe Paint in capable hands is able to do many things that only resurfaced later on with PhotoShop and PaintShop on PC.

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides
Photoshop came out first on Macintosh computers actually and it was a shock to deluxe paint users on their Amigas at the time, I believe. That shock can be seen in the high-color artwork their demoscene went on to do, and how little respect they had for pixels in the end run.

Offline JJ Naas

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 409
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Deviantart page
The difference between Deluxe Paint and Photoshop is that Photoshop was created for photo manipulation purposes, where as all the tools and features in Deluxe Paint were strictly meant for doing pixel art and animation.

Offline Gil

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1543
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Too square to be hip
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/475.htm
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
I don't agree that Deluxe Paint was made for pixel art. Most of the special brushes in Deluxe Paint do not offer pixel perfect control.

It was a great tool for making pixel art, but it was also made to create elaborate CG pieces that had nothing to do with pixel perfect skills. If you go and look at the Simon the Sorceror games, you will find areas that have little in common with our current definition of pixel art.

Quote
Photoshop came out first on Macintosh computers actually and it was a shock to deluxe paint users on their Amigas at the time, I believe. That shock can be seen in the high-color artwork their demoscene went on to do, and how little respect they had for pixels in the end run.

Yes, that's more accurate, I was oversimplifiyng a bit of course :)

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides
Deluxe Paint wasn't made to do pixel-level precision and control pixel art at all. If anything it was made to as elaborately as possible, hide the pixels. That people used it for pixel art is because it was a remarkable piece of software, not because it was fundamentally geared towards any sort of purism.

Offline questseeker

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 111
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
The younger generations need some historical perspective on the remarks on Deluxe Paint by Helm and Gil.

Today we have a few classes of specialized image editors, and those that are specialized for pixel art are rather similar to Deluxe Paint 20 years ago; but in its heyday, Deluxe Paint was state of the art and it filled the same non-niche as Photoshop today: everybody used it for any image editing need.

We tend to think of Deluxe Paint as a pixel art tool because in the technological middle age when it was made any image had a limited colour palette and a small resolution (typically married in some restricted and often bizarre video mode); even in photographs single pixels mattered, and any image was effectively pixel art.

There was a long push towards higher resolution and less restricted colour: video cards improved their DAC from 2 bits if you ask nicely, to a large palette of 256 colours, to "hi-colour"  modes (15/16 bits without a palette), to the current standard of 8 bits per channel. Meanwhile game graphics had to trade off resolution against colour depth, making the most of dithering, palette animation etc., and affordable high quality scanners and digital cameras were yet to come.

Image editing software obviously tried to automate realistic effects, slowly "evolving" from pushing pixels to fuzzy brushes of uncertain size as image resolution increased. The most discontinuous step in the evolution of image editors was abandoning true palettes to emulate them in 24/32 bpp images as partially as the software developer cares to.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 03:17:40 pm by questseeker »

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides
Well said.

Offline Mathias

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1794
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • im not real
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/9542.htm
    • View Profile
The younger generations need some historical perspective on the remarks on Deluxe Paint by Helm and Gil. . .

How I wish I could've been in graphics back then, to see the evolution.