Think of the following situation: You're visiting devianART and you click the link to the Pixel Art tier. (My, what a smart
person you are!) Now that you're there, you think to yourself, "What exactly is pixel art? How can I create this type of art?" Well, in order to answer your questions, I have enlisted the help of pixel artist extraordinaire, halfliquid
</B>. So please, read on to expand your brain.What is pixel art
A common misconception is the fact that "every digital media is made of pixels therefore it has to be pixel art." Even though there is some truth in that statement it's far from what pixel art fundamentally is.
Pixel art, down to the nuts and bolts, is the creation of an image pixel by pixel using a minimal amount of graphical tools.
That's right... pixel by pixel from the ground up
.What's a "pixel"
Perhaps there is also some confusion over what a "pixel" is. First off, a pixel is derived from two words: Pic
ment. Secondly, it's defined as a single point on a web graphic. It is the smallest part of every image you see on the monitor (like how molecules make up us). When putting thousands (to millions) of these pixels together they appear connected and therefore create a digital image. You're looking at zillions of pixels as you read this as well.But how do I go about creating pixel art
Using good ol' programs ranging from the simplistic (and often recommended) MS Paint to more advanced (but also often recommended) Photoshop (too many others as well, mind you).
If you think about it, pixel art would be almost impossible without zooming in so that you can work with the small dimensions that are required. Going in as close as possible will help you greatly. Just think of it this way: the closer you are the more precision you have and the better your work will be at the end.
It's important to remember that practice makes perfect. No one opens up MS Paint and creates Mona Lisa within a couple minutes.
Time is your friend. Respect it.Formats
For the most part you want to save the work you create as GIF format because
it does not lose an image quality (something that you need for pixel art). JPEG is another format that most would consider saving on though you should stray away from it like the plague. JPEG is used for images with high color depth (pics, etc) and with plenty of detail. Same goes for other formats as well (except for BMPs though you should only save pixel art in that format if you wish to include if you wish to put them in a game).
Stick with GIF. Period. End of story.OK, so I know what it is now but what can it be used for
You might think that the world has no use for pixel artists but that is quite the contrary. Most small hand-held devices use pixel art to display small graphics. Many videogames use sprites (characters and animations made of pixels; Mario, Street Fighter, Metal Slug) and tiles (floor textures that are repeated to create building blocks to assembling floors). Icons on your desktop are made of pixels. Your mouse point is made of pixels. Your favorite WinAMP skin might be made of pixels.
Pixel art is all around you. You might not even know it... but it's there.
Sure, the 3D art scene might be creating a niche to stay in the computer graphics industry but the presence of pixel artists to create simplistic designs will also be needed.
There is a future for you if you want it.So what are the restrictions that make pixel art pixel art
As mentioned above, pixel art is created pixel by pixel using a minimal
amount of tools. It's obvious if you need to draw a long line spanning from oneside of the picture to the other you're not going to strain doing it pixel by pixel- you would simply use the line tool to speed up the process.
This is where the controversy- "If it's created pixel by pixel, should I not
be able to use any form of tools?" As long as you create your work without using any program renderings or manipulation (effects, blur, sharpen, etc...) it is, for the most part, fine and will still be OK in many people's books. In other words, you can still use layers and the most simple of tools as long as you follow the rules of what pixel-art is. Only then
can you truly appreciate your work and only then can it be
* Fundamentally pixel rules are not set in stone and can be combined with "not-pixel art" things. However, avoiding most of these "time-savers" would be to your best interest if you wish to become a respected Pixelist (a pixel artist). Rendering is not
your friend in the world of pixel.
I would again like to thank halfliquid
</B> for his help and hard work with this article. Go visit his userpage and comment on all his work! halfliquid