Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pixels from the Past! (and Present!)

I have always liked pixel art. However, it has been a long time since I last spent so much time creating it. Back at the beginning of my digital art adventure, when I first started drawing avatars for players on the Puzzle Pirates forums in 2006, I used MS Paint on Windows XP. It was the only drawing program I had at the time, and possibly the only drawing program that would have run on my old PC. (If I used too many colours, I would run out of memory and I would have to close the program - without saving >.<). 

Anyway, using MS Paint, I learned how to create simple blinking/colour changing animations by making two versions of a picture, then using the free Gickr site to link them together into an animation (that process is outlined in this old tutorial.

I discovered that there were lots of things I could do with frames made in paint - despite other people saying that "no one uses it any more"... =D

When I got a new PC, I started using GIMP, and a free Online version of ArtWeaver. It was then that I started playing with star tools and gradient swirls... and other things... lol!

Anyway, apart from the odd trinket for Puzzle Pirates, I had sort of moved away from pixel art for a while - in favour of fancier (easier/more user friendly) art creation methods... 
...until a few weeks ago.

After seeing an awesome pixel animation tutorial from Lester Banks, I started playing around with pixels again - this time in Photoshop! I have always liked glitter (I even wrote it an ode), so the first few things I tried to pixel-animate were very glittery. I have had fun experimenting, and will be continuing to post new experiments and animations to my DeviantArt gallery =D. Here is some of what I have created so far:

Glitter is fairly easy to create. Basically, all you need are some layers with random "glitter" (dots and stars) on them. It seems that the best results require at least five glitter layers. Also, make sure that you keep a similar number of dots and stars spread evenly on each layer =D. 

For example, these five frames...
...make this animation (when put together at a speed of 0.1 seconds per frame):

~Ad =)