Author Topic: Pixel Art Program Question...  (Read 9708 times)

guest509

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Pixel Art Program Question...
« on: December 11, 2012, 06:17:39 PM »
  This is probably the wrong forum to ask, what's the right forum? I've asked on the Gamemaker forums as well.

  Do you guys know of any Paint like programs, suitable to make pixel art, where the hotkeys are on the left hand? As in reachable from home row with the left hand? Paint and paint.net use hotkeys like 'L' and 'P' and other useless nonsense, or none at all.

  Gamemaker itself has a graphics editor included, and the hotkeys are appropriately located, and it can export graphics and tilesets just fine to whatever format you might want, but it seems wonky to use Gamemaker just for pixel projects. Though I guess it is built to create pixel art, in a way.

  There has to be someone that's done it better than Gamemaker.

  A constantly updating preview of what your sprite looks like is great too, as the primary problem with pixel art is that it is very much resolution specific (for example the Crawl tiles look much better at 2x rez).

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 08:11:59 PM »
Did you check out programs mentioned in the graphics episodes of RL radio? Not so much myself, but GrafX I did give a spin, and it looks pretty nice. May be what you're looking for, or not …

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Krice

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 09:30:59 PM »
Do you guys know of any Paint like programs, suitable to make pixel art, where the hotkeys are on the left hand? As in reachable from home row with the left hand? Paint and paint.net use hotkeys like 'L' and 'P' and other useless nonsense

Reachable from home row? What does it mean? Why aren't L or P reachable?

tuturto

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 07:57:27 AM »
Do you guys know of any Paint like programs, suitable to make pixel art, where the hotkeys are on the left hand? As in reachable from home row with the left hand? Paint and paint.net use hotkeys like 'L' and 'P' and other useless nonsense

Reachable from home row? What does it mean? Why aren't L or P reachable?

Too far to right when index finger of left hand rests of F (there's a reason some keyboards have little bumps on F and J).
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Krice

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 09:41:28 AM »
Too far to right when index finger of left hand rests of F (there's a reason some keyboards have little bumps on F and J).

Why would you rest your hand on keyboard when drawing? I don't get it. Do people rest their hands on keyboard in certain position?

guest509

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 03:41:37 PM »
  I dunno about most people but I draw with my right hand and hit the hotkeys with my left. It's less efficient to have to look down and hunt and peck, or actually take your stylus/mouse off of the picture you are drawing to select a new tool.

  I did check out some of those programs mentioned, but not all, I was hoping someone had already found what I'm looking for. None of them were simple and fast. Seriously doing low rez (32x32) pixel art only requires put_pixel, grab_color and maybe draw_circle and draw_line. And a good color selector. I can almost make it myself, it would take a day or two in Gamemaker to do it, but Gamemaker already has an editor, soooo....

  For pixel art I'm staying with the Gamemaker bitmap editor. It's actually kinda perfect. You can blow up the picture as big as you want, there's a 'real' sized preview in the corner so you know what it will look like on screen and wont get lost in the weeds. It exports pretty easy as well...so there you go. It also has the best hotkeys, and when banging out a bunch of sprites speed is a biggie.

  For oil painting and what not I've found another program, maybe I'll use it for backgrounds and such for boardgames. I also found plenty of vector graphics tools, mostly those mentioned in the podcast.

  Thanks for the responses.


guest509

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 03:45:39 PM »
Why would you rest your hand on keyboard when drawing? I don't get it. Do people rest their hands on keyboard in certain position?

  People draw, or at least I do, in the QUAKE hand position.  ;)

  And if you know how to type there are definitely correct positions for the hands, and all the keys my left hand can hit are memorized and automatic.

  It should be noted I also type 70 wpm or so. Homerow was beaten into me as a child.

  Here's the wiki on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing

guest509

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 03:52:15 PM »
  It should also be noted that I switch up the keys for almost every game I play so that I can stay in homerow. I was really hoping for a graphics program that allowed the same, but I didn't want to go through the hassle of installing a ton of them to test.

  So when I game WASD controls become ESDF controls. I have no idea how WASD caught on. With ESDF you can more easily hit (R)eload and (G)renade and (W)eapon Swap and (Z)oom, etc etc...and still hit shift whenever you want...

  I think understanding this also requires use of a standard US keyboard, I'm not sure what is standard throughout the world...which is all the more reason to let me redefine my hotkeys!


EDIT: You'll note that all the hotkey edit commands are doable with the left hand in all MS Office applications. This facilitates mouse + left hand on homerow interfacing.

kraflab

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 10:06:16 PM »
Graphics Gale (free version)

You're welcome.

Krice

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 08:03:17 AM »
It's less efficient to have to look down and hunt and peck, or actually take your stylus/mouse off of the picture you are drawing to select a new tool.

How much more efficient you really are that way? Saves like 0.1 second for tool change and how often do you have to change drawing tool?

guest509

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 08:19:21 AM »
  Very often. Especially with pixel art, there's a ton of trial and error, especially on low rez sprites, with only a few pixels each one counts. It's not like drawing or painting, not at all. So you alternate between put pixel and erase a lot. Also grabbing color from your picture happens all the time as well, and floodfill. Also 'undo' is very common.

  Got into MS Paint and draw a 32x32 house, or 16x16, whatever. You'll see very quickly.

Holsety

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 10:30:19 AM »
Bit of a stray direction, but have you considered drawing everything bigger (like, 200 or 400% scale) and then just scaling it down and touching it up?

I've dabbled with low-res spriting myself at times, and usually it ends with FUCK THIS SHIT and a newfound respect for everyone who managed to make a recognizable and stylish sprite on ye olde systems. (Or the Gold Box games)
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Krice

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 12:10:14 PM »
MS Paint and draw a 32x32 house, or 16x16, whatever. You'll see very quickly.

Kaduria is tile based, you know:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Rdyw4Yp04

It's got 32x32 tiles, tons of them. I actually made my own tile painting program (Brick Atelier) just for it, because I wanted some custom options that other paint programs didn't have. For example most paint programs don't have secondary color in 2nd mouse button, or something like the optional undo brush which restores previous pixels and you can freeze the image in any moment to restore pixels from that phase. It's quite useful. Brick Atelier is kind of beta/alpha stage and it's got different style which I don't know if many people like. But you could try it (it's Windows only, but could work in Wine, I don't know). However you can't redefine keys yet (it's a possible option to be added later).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 12:16:42 PM by Krice »

guest509

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Re: Pixel Art Program Question...
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 04:43:37 PM »
  That's interesting Krice. Here I thought you were a bit of a graphics noob. Should have known better.

  @Holsety - Gosh man I dunno, you'd probably need to make vector graphics...I can't see a small/big sprite being any harder to create than the other. Definitely a different style though.