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Pixel Pete: A YouTube Channel with Pixel Art Tips and Tricks


How to Make Pixel Art: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide




Pixel art is a type of digital art that looks like it was intentionally created with the placement of pixels. Each block is a brushstroke; and, together, the bunches of pixels make a whole piece. In this way, pixel art has a mosaic-like quality to it. Many mosaics create images of tiny squares similar to the blockiness thats inherent in pixel art.


In the early days of computers, the hard edges of pixel art were the only type of computer art that you could make. Technology wasnt advanced enough to create the anti-aliasing that were used to now. But as computer graphics continue to become more and more lifelike, pixel art now references a retro style and a callback to those early computer graphics.




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Pixel art is not only a nostalgic and aesthetic choice, but also a creative and technical challenge. It requires you to think carefully about every pixel you place, every color you use, and every detail you add. It also allows you to express yourself in a unique and fun way, whether you want to make a video game, an animation, or just a cool artwork.


In this article, we will show you how to make pixel art from scratch, using some simple tools and techniques. We will also give you some tips and tricks to improve your skills, as well as some resources and challenges to inspire you. By the end of this article, you will be able to create your own pixel art masterpiece!


Tools




To make pixel art, you don't need any fancy or expensive software. You can use any basic drawing program that allows you to draw pixels on a grid. Some popular examples are . The main features you need are:


  • Pencil: your basic drawing tool that places one pixel at a time.



  • Eraser: erases or removes pixels that you have drawn.



  • Eyedropper: copies the color of the pixel you select for you to reuse.



  • Bucket: fills an empty area with one solid color.



  • Selection: selects an area or an object for you to move, copy, or edit.



  • Line: draws a straight line between two points.



  • Recolor: changes the color of an existing pixel without affecting its shape.



  • Rotation: rotates an object or an area by a certain angle.



You can also use other tools like brushes, gradients, filters, or layers, but they are not essential for pixel art. In fact, some purists prefer to avoid them altogether, as they can make your pixel art look less crisp or authentic.


As for hardware, you can use anything that lets you control your cursor. A mouse or a trackpad is fine for most cases, but if you want more precision or comfort, you can use a graphics tablet or a stylus pen. You can also make pixel art on your smartphone or tablet using apps like Size


One of the first things you need to decide when making pixel art is the size of your sprite or canvas. This will depend on what you want to make and how much detail you want to add. Generally, the smaller the size, the more pixelated and retro your art will look, but also the more challenging it will be to draw. The larger the size, the more smooth and realistic your art will look, but also the more time and effort it will take to draw.


A common way to measure the size of pixel art is by using pixels per inch (PPI), which is the number of pixels that fit in one inch of your screen or print. The higher the PPI, the higher the resolution and quality of your image. For example, a 32x32 pixel sprite at 72 PPI will look much smaller and sharper than a 32x32 pixel sprite at 300 PPI.


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Another way to measure the size of pixel art is by using scale, which is the ratio between the size of your pixel art and the size of the real object or scene it represents. For example, a 16x16 pixel sprite of a character at 1:1 scale will look like a tiny dot on your screen, but a 16x16 pixel sprite of a character at 10:1 scale will look like a large and detailed figure.


The size of your pixel art will also affect how you display it on different devices or platforms. If you want to show your pixel art on a website or a game, you may need to resize or scale it up or down to fit the screen resolution or aspect ratio. This can cause your pixel art to lose its sharpness or quality, unless you use a technique called nearest-neighbor interpolation, which preserves the original pixels without blurring them.


There is no definitive answer to what size you should use for your pixel art. It depends on your personal preference, style, and purpose. You can experiment with different sizes and see what works best for you. However, here are some general guidelines to help you choose:


  • If you are making pixel art for a game, you should consider the genre, platform, and resolution of your game. For example, if you are making a platformer game for mobile devices, you may want to use smaller sprites (16x16 or 32x32 pixels) and lower resolution (320x240 or 640x480 pixels) to create a retro feel and save memory. If you are making a role-playing game for PC, you may want to use larger sprites (64x64 or 128x128 pixels) and higher resolution (800x600 or 1024x768 pixels) to create a more immersive and detailed world.



  • If you are making pixel art for an animation, you should consider the length, frame rate, and style of your animation. For example, if you are making a short and simple animation with few frames per second (FPS), you may want to use smaller sprites (16x16 or 32x32 pixels) and lower resolution (320x240 or 640x480 pixels) to create a smooth and fast animation. If you are making a long and complex animation with many FPS, you may want to use larger sprites (64x64 or 128x128 pixels) and higher resolution (800x600 or 1024x768 pixels) to create a more expressive and dynamic animation.



  • If you are making pixel art for an artwork, you should consider the theme, mood, and message of your artwork. For example, if you are making a minimalist and abstract artwork with few colors and shapes, you may want to use smaller sprites (16x16 or 32x32 pixels) and lower resolution (320x240 or 640x480 pixels) to create a stark and simple artwork. If you are making a realistic and detailed artwork with many colors and textures, you may want to use larger sprites (64x64 or 128x128 pixels) and higher resolution (800x600 or 1024x768 pixels) to create a rich and complex artwork.



Drawing




Now that you have chosen your tools and size, you can start drawing your pixel art. The process of drawing pixel art is similar to drawing any other type of art, but with some specific techniques and tips to keep in mind. Here are some steps to follow:


  • Sketch: Start by sketching the basic shape and outline of your pixel art using the pencil tool. You can use a light or neutral color for this, and don't worry about being too precise or detailed. The sketch is just a guide for you to refine later.



  • Refine: Next, refine your sketch by adding more details and defining the edges of your pixel art. You can use the eraser tool to remove any unwanted pixels, the eyedropper tool to copy any colors you need, and the recolor tool to change any colors you want. You can also use the selection tool to move, copy, or edit any parts of your pixel art.



  • Clean: Finally, clean up your pixel art by removing any unnecessary or messy pixels, and making sure that your edges are clear and crisp. You can use the line tool to draw straight lines, the bucket tool to fill any gaps or areas with one color, and the rotation tool to adjust any angles or orientations. You can also zoom in and out to check your pixel art from different perspectives.



Some tips to remember when drawing pixel art are:


  • Use a grid: A grid is a helpful feature that shows you the individual pixels on your canvas. It helps you to align and place your pixels more accurately and consistently. You can turn on or off the grid in your drawing program, or use a separate grid overlay.



  • Use references: References are images or examples that you can use as inspiration or guidance for your pixel art. They can be other pixel art works, photos, drawings, or anything else that relates to your theme or style. You can use references to get ideas for colors, shapes, textures, or details.



Use symmetry: Symmetry is a technique that makes your pixel art look more balanced and harmonious. It means that one half of your pixel art is a mirror image of the other half. You can use symmetry to draw characters, objects, or patterns that have a symmetrical shape or design. You can use the selection tool to copy and flip one half of your pixel art to crea


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