We’re going to start with a piece of existing fantroll art, but it can work just as well with just an idea in your head.
So here’s the existing work of art - a drawing of @jojostuckcomic ‘s fantroll Shiiva.
The simple first step consists of choosing a Spite Base from the main Templates file. The closest base I had to Shiiva already in existence was the short skirt base, which originally derived from Trickster Jane.
When spriting trolls, I find it’s handy to have a canon one on hand to pull colors from with the color picker, so Vriska will be joining us!
Troll outlines are not black - that would blend badly with their black shirts and hair, making them look like a solid blob, so it’s best to color their outlines dark grey, as with Vriska. You can do other colors if you want, but it’s best to keep them muted.
I also tend to color the skin in this step.
Referring back to the original drawing, I decided that Jane’s sneakers didn’t look much like Shiiva’s shoes, so I decided to grab the standard shoes from one of the Derse Dreamer outfits. I brought the original picture up on the same canvas for easy comparisons and color picking.
The next step was to color the shoes and stockings - remember that darker colors look better as outlines. I added shine spots on the shoes so they wouldn’t be solid blobs of blue-grey
The next step was to handle the shirt - coloring the shoulders in skin gives the look of a tank top without actually having arms, like Dirk’s briefly seen tank top.
The symbol was constructed using the line tool, rather than copying from the drawing - copying it would have carried over the shading. It’s easier to make symbols anew.
Now we move on to the face
Eyes are fairly simple - makeup usually matches blood color if you want there to be makeup. There’s a handy guide in the templates folder that shows how to place trolls’ eyes and mouths
Adding glasses was a trivial bit of copying and pasting - I didn’t find a mouth that I quite liked for Shiiva in the Mouths template though, so I made one myself and added it to the template. Just a bit of work with the line and pencil tools.
Choosing hair properly is important - hair is really hard to get right, but making new hair wholecloth is very hard. Be sure to look in the templates - hopefully you’ll find one that looks about right.
Horns are one of the most unique parts of a troll, and you might find yourself making them on your own if the templates don’t have what you need. The most important part I’ve found for looking good is breaking up the outline of the base of the horn so it looks like there’s tufts of hair in front, rather than just a smooth curve or line. Looks more realistic that way.
At this point, we’re almost done - we can get rid of the other pictures and just look at our sprite
Flipping the sprite horizontally is a good place to spot weird things that bother you you wouldn’t otherwise notice - the same way you might not spot a problem with a selfie until it’s flipped. In this case, Shiiva’s shoulder looked weird with the outline of her head, so I cleaned it up a little bit
Flip it back, and you’re done!
There you have it, folks. How to make a decent looking fantroll sprite with just templates, MS Paint, and essentially no artistic skill or training! Now anyone can be ready to sprite your fantrolls up for TROLLPROM - Get ready everyone, it starts November First