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

06-22-2010, 06:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 35
What is the best program for creating art/sprites for games??

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.

06-22-2010, 06:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 722
I use GIMP (Freeware Photoshop Clone) for just about everything, and Pixen every so often for pixel art. Pixen is buggy and tends to crash a lot in my experience, but it has some great unique features and safely auto-saves after every crash so it's just an inconvenience. Inkscape is also very good, I used it alongside with GIMP for the upgraded graphics in Gomi HD. All of this is freeware, of course.

The biggest issue IMO is GIMP vs. Photoshop, but I've used both and have only come across one small thing that GIMP couldn't do. If you do have experience in Photoshop but are strapped for cash, try GIMP for a while, but change all the keyboard shortcuts to the Photoshop standards and you might be surprised how well it works.

After changing the Keyboard shortcuts, be sure to close GIMP properly through it's own window, not by quitting X11. Otherwise the shortcut changes won't be saved.

Also for GIMP, you'll want to change an internal setting of X11 so that the mouse cursor will auto-focus on different windows without an extra click every time (You'll see what I mean, it's kinda hard to put into words). Google for a OSX Preference Pane called "Secrets", and flip the "Focus Follows Mouse" setting in the X11 section to ON.

Last edited by spacecowgoesmoo; 06-22-2010 at 06:58 PM.

06-23-2010, 03:57 AM
I use Inkscape. It's a totally free vector based graphics package available for both the Mac and PC.

It can be a bit buggy (crashing) sometimes so be sure to save your work regularly and like any software of this type requires a learning curve, but it really is an excellent package. I generally create the vector art in Inkscape and export it to PNG files of the required size.

More info at http://www.inkscape.org

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06-23-2010, 10:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 35
Both those programs look great. I will be sure to try them out.

06-23-2010, 11:59 AM
Yes, both Gimp and Inkscape work great, except support for OSX can be sketchy. When I tried Gimp a couple months ago on OS X, I couldn't even get it to run. Inkscape works fine, but I was having issues importing my CDR (CorelDRAW) files.

If you are using Windows, the above programs work without any major problems. OS X support has always been hit and miss.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
06-23-2010, 10:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 35
Flickitty, are their any programs that run better on OSX. If not we can try on his PC. We haven't really started yet? This is all just for future reference.

One more question. How did you guys start developing. Web based games, or straight to iOS.

06-23-2010, 10:49 PM
I bought a wacom and the included software is amazing, but I already have Adobe CS4...

But I use GIMP and Paint.NET for my quick quick QUICK sketches

The Life Blog
06-24-2010, 12:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 722
Flickitty, did you install X11 off of your OSX install DVD before running GIMP? It's some kind of programming language thing that's required for running GIMP and is sometimes not included on the default OSX install. Without it GIMP will not be able to run, kinda similar to what you described.
06-24-2010, 06:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Sydney, Australia!!!
Posts: 191
I ain't a developer/ graphics designer, but I do it for fun, and I use GIMP, so I recommend that. It's a neat program and it's free.

My butt will shoot nuggets at you.

06-24-2010, 07:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 458
I know that they are not free, but but I use Adobe Photoshop + Fireworks. They are great tools. I've tried GIMP and Inkscape and other open source stuff and to me they just don't cut it.

My recommendation is use what you can afford for now, even if free, but as soon as you can afford it, invest in some good tools. They will make your job much easier.

I've been a independent pro developer for over a dozen years and I've learned that you can spend your time much more productively than fighting with your tools.

P.S. Photoshop Elements is <$100 and works more than acceptably for bitmap stuff.

Share and enjoy,

Christopher York
Blue Ox Technologies Ltd.