What is the best program for creating art/sprites for games??

06-24-2010, 01:02 PM
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsarep View Post
I hope I am doing this right but...

Me and my cousin would like to start developing a game but do not where to get a program. It is best if this is free... . Thanks in advance.
Hello,

It depends on which type of 2D you want to produce :
- cartoon-like sprites : Illustrator (vector based)
- realistic/stylish handmade sprites : Photoshop/Gimp (pixel based)

Why :
- cartoon : as you search to work with flattened colors delimited by distinct zones, you will never have a better control on it than with vectors. Vectors let you control absolutely every single curve point you want, to a nearly infinite precision.

Here is some artwork compilation I made for my current game, with Illustrator :



- realistic/stylish handmade sprites : All power to your fingers. As a real drawing style speaks easily with your own hand, not your mouse, it's better to use a pen tablet. Mouse interface would be way too clunky in a direct handdraw. You pen tablet unleashes tons of awesome painting styles, like the size of your brush, its pressure, its graphic style, etc. It lets you produce tons of different layerwork in no time.

Well this one is not so realistic, but the shadow treatment could hardly have been done with Illustrator in the same working time :



You can even use both supports, which is handful for 3D textures : Vector for the base pattern, and tablet for the shadows/style details.

This is what I used for my chars, and it came really handy, making the textures far more precise :




Now the price can be a choice breaker :
- Vectors : all you need is Illustrator (no other free software had equal power), which is ~1000$/850€
- Pixels : you will need a good pen tablet, with a good pen sensitivity. Lower (acceptable) models start at 400$/300€, higher models (LCD screen, which can't be beaten for precision imho) are about 1500$/1200€ to 2000$/1800€. But here you can use a free pixel editor instead of photoshop.

Personally, I didn't hesitated to purchase those licenses + a LCD pen tablet, and I don't regret it at all. It's quite an investment I agree, but trust me the wonderful things you can do with this stuff is far more valuable than the price.

So in the end, for the same price, you can access the 2 techniques. Your choice.
06-24-2010, 04:06 PM
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue ox View Post
I've tried GIMP and Inkscape and other open source stuff and to me they just don't cut it.
*ahem*

Tools don't matter. If you are blaming tools, then you have no true skill nor talent. There, I said it. Deal with it.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone

06-24-2010, 05:31 PM
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
*ahem*

Tools don't matter. If you are blaming tools, then you have no true skill nor talent. There, I said it. Deal with it.
Flickitty, I have to disagree with you. It is true that tools will not make an artist out of someone who isn't one. However, if you have to search for 10 minutes to find a particular feature because you're dealing with a wacky user interface, then you lose time and Time = Money.

Like I said, I've been building software for a long time, since before 1980. I've programmed every type of system from mainframes accessed through a teletype, to TRS-80, Atari, Apple II, Mac, iPhone, MS-DOS, umpteen versions of Windows. I've programmed in Assembly Language, Objective-C, ActionScript, countless flavors of BASIC, .NET, SQL...let's just say that I've used a LOT of tools over the years.

The concept of tools differs little whether you're a carpenter, artist, or programmer. Tools make a difference. No they don't make you a better programmer or a better artist or a better carpenter. But good tools DO make you more PRODUCTIVE, and it is worth the money to get good tools.

- EOM -

Christopher York
Blue Ox Technologies Ltd.
06-24-2010, 09:28 PM
#14
You are talking about preferences and productivity, which are completely different than skill and talent. All productivity has given us in regard to software, is bloat and unnecessary complexity. Productivity isn't 'better', it just ****s up your schedule, leading to more and more problems in the cycle.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
06-27-2010, 02:04 AM
#15
Who said anything about skill and talent? I agree with Blue Ox. The right tool for the right job can make a world of difference.

People can find one tool clumsier to use than another. I use Photoshop and have for years. I used Gimp for awhile when I did some contract work at Google and I could not stand it. Granted, I'm used to Photoshop, but to me the arrangement of tools in Gimp makes little sense to me. Some of the simplest tasks take far too much effort to accomplish.

If I had to use Gimp to make games it would drive me nuts. However, if I could not afford anything else and had no other choice I would certainly use Gimp, or something similar.

A poor tool can hinder talent. A good one can make it easier to bring out. A lot of it comes down to personal preference.

Dave's Facebook page. Ya, I don't like FB either but oh well.

Find out about the upcoming Daredevil Dave 2!!!

The best place for info is right here in this thread at TA!
06-27-2010, 02:07 AM
#16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue ox View Post
Flickitty, I have to disagree with you. It is true that tools will not make an artist out of someone who isn't one. However, if you have to search for 10 minutes to find a particular feature because you're dealing with a wacky user interface, then you lose time and Time = Money.

Like I said, I've been building software for a long time, since before 1980. I've programmed every type of system from mainframes accessed through a teletype, to TRS-80, Atari, Apple II, Mac, iPhone, MS-DOS, umpteen versions of Windows. I've programmed in Assembly Language, Objective-C, ActionScript, countless flavors of BASIC, .NET, SQL...let's just say that I've used a LOT of tools over the years.

The concept of tools differs little whether you're a carpenter, artist, or programmer. Tools make a difference. No they don't make you a better programmer or a better artist or a better carpenter. But good tools DO make you more PRODUCTIVE, and it is worth the money to get good tools.

- EOM -
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
You are talking about preferences and productivity, which are completely different than skill and talent. All productivity has given us in regard to software, is bloat and unnecessary complexity. Productivity isn't 'better', it just ****s up your schedule, leading to more and more problems in the cycle.
Huh?

Dave's Facebook page. Ya, I don't like FB either but oh well.

Find out about the upcoming Daredevil Dave 2!!!

The best place for info is right here in this thread at TA!
06-27-2010, 09:22 AM
#17
Try Pixelmator!

There's something about tools created on a Mac for a Mac Although Photoshop is the standard, I can't stand the look/feel and bloat that comes from Adobe Not to mention the price!!
07-14-2014, 07:55 AM
#18
From my experience as a game art designer I would suggest to use 2 different programs:

first program to draw separate textures. I would suggest to draw it in vector - it's much easier.

second program you will need to create animation of your textures and to render a sprite sheet. I use Anatomy Sprite Animator tool at http://spritetools.com.

There are also good animation tutorials on the same website.

good luck!

Last edited by oleksandr; 07-14-2014 at 07:56 AM. Reason: links were corrupted
07-21-2014, 06:59 AM
#19
In Photoshop, one must use the pencil tool and a proper subdivision of the grid.
Since selections in this software tend to "jump" to the next pixel (hard to explain but it's the snapping thing), you need to subdivize below the pixel level (slice your pixels in halves).

For example:

- Gridline every: 2 pixels
- Subdivisions: 4