Sorry to bother you with anon, but I have a question: do you have any advice about making your own chipsets/charsets/facesets using only a mouse? And what program would you recommend? I'm planning to make a two games in RPG2k3 and RPG VX Ace Lite and I'm kinda new to pixel art, and my tablet broke.
yeah: don’t worry about your table breaking because you don’t need to use a tablet in the first place, unless you’re drawing something big. Tablets work best when they move across the canvas, not when they quickly dot it. Your mouse is king in pixel art. And a mouse is better in pixel art than a track pad, so you got a leg up on me too. :p
First, let me set you up with some basic links:
- Implementing Custom Graphics in VX Ace
- Creating Tilesets in Ace, Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Anatomy of an Autotile
- Parallax Mapping
And now, some tips:
- Drawing out a sketch of how you want your map to look on Graph paper so you know what you need to create for it. It helps because if you start out just goofing around, you might create too little stuff to put into your chipset.
- Whenever I get partway through a map, I like to make mock screenshots to figure out if this is how I want my map to look, like so:
It helps me figure out if the tiles I made go together or not, or whether or not my tileset needs a more varied color pallet to match my sprites, or if the grass is too bright, etc.
- I like to make things in Black & White first so I can get a better grasp on value. Colors that have the same value as each other blend into each other, hiding any detail you might of had with them.
- Zoom out from time to time. You want to make sure your sprite looks just as good at normal resolution as it does up close.
- The order for character sprites is walking/facing North, then East, then South, then West. So you know, Never Eat Soggy Waffles/Never Ever Smoke Weed or what have you.
- Uhhh I had a mapping ask I answered earlier this year that had a few tips
- You get a character to bounce up and down when they walk by moving them one pixel up or down, like so:
nice & neat
- For smaller character sprites, I made myself a grid with little markers (feet go on the light blue - i gotta move the beekeeper down) so everyone walks on the same plane (and no one’s a pixel off).
And If your face sets are looking left or right, just have them all face the same way.
Here are some of my favorite tutorials:
- Pixel Joint’s Beginner’s Tutorial - its the best intro to pixel art anyone’s ever made.
- So you want to be a pixel artist - Goes over common mistakes in chipsets from part 1 through 6. Ridiculously helpful.
- Final Boss Blues’ RPG Maker Spriting Turorials - Specifically talks about character set & character animation, with tips on color and tilesets. The rest of the site has some good articles on game design & RPG maker as well.
- Oldroot’s tips - Because these are things I don’t usually find in tutorials, yet see a lot of people mess up.
Ok, hope this helps. c:
Edit: AHHHHHH I FORGOT TO MENTION PROGRAMS
Well I use photoshop elements because I’ve had it installed in my computer for the past 7 years and I’m too lazy to find another program that works on mac :v (make sure to take anti-alias off when you use the fill bucket ok kids).
Most artist recommend getting a program that has layering capabilities (very useful when animating) and something that doesn’t have too many features to it. The most recommended tend to be, Aseprite, GrafX2, GraphicsGale, & GraphicsGale, and you can find more here (along with links to the ones I just mentioned!).