Print Page | Close Window

Software for pixel art

Printed From: Pixel Joint
Category: The Lounge
Forum Name: Resources and Support
Forum Discription: Help your fellow pixel artists out with links to good tutorials, other forums, software, fonts, etc. Bugs and support issues should go here as well.
URL: http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2
Printed Date: 09 December 2019 at 8:26pm


Topic: Software for pixel art
Posted By: sedgemonkey
Subject: Software for pixel art
Date Posted: 04 March 2005 at 9:24am

I thought it'd be fun to have a thread just for pixel art software and the pros and cons of each.  I use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe ImageReady for everything because of the power, but sometimes it's a bit overwhelming.  I'd really like to find a good animation program to replace ImageReady.

Photoshop Pros:
Powerful tools especially for adjusting Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation and everything else in your palette.  "Replace color" is very handy for pixel art. Layers and layer sets help keep things tidy.  Export options are very flexible.  Slices allow some nice workflow options for a single file.  Grids and rulers make it easy to keep pixel art in order. Industry standard software so there's a good chance other designers and illustrators will have it installed.

Photoshop Cons: 
Overly complicated interface. Expensive. Need to adjust settings to make Photoshop appropriate for pixel art.  Sometimes pixels along the borders of images don't respond to eraser or pencil. ImageReady is really hard to work with and you can screw up the whole animation if you're not careful.




Replies:
Posted By: Belle
Date Posted: 05 March 2005 at 9:16am
Graphics Gale owns all your souls.

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/ - http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/


For some reason however, it will not post links for me. Damn it's eyes.


Posted By: Dejital
Date Posted: 05 March 2005 at 1:44pm
Alright, this is a good topic. I use Jasc Paint Shop Pro (which is now owned by Corel).

Paint Shop Pros (Get it?)
Strong and underestimated program. Has lots of effects and features that were once unique to Photoshop. Of course, Photoshop will always be ahead of little old Paint Shop, but it is rather popular with the Newbie croud since Jasc offers a 30 day trial with each version of Paint Shop Pro. Very easy to get into and my favorite feature is the easy zoom, using the mouse roller to zoom in and out without touching the magnifying tool.

Paint Shop Pro Cons
Not very popular with professionals, expensive if you want to buy it. Photoshop will always be better. The newer versions take a long time to load, just as any Adobe program would, but everything from Paint Shop Pro 7 and down is instant (I use both PSP 7 and PSP 9 respectively).


Posted By: Dejital
Date Posted: 05 March 2005 at 1:50pm
And one for Animation Shop.

Animation Shop Pros
This is of the most popular animation programs because it comes free with Paint Shop Pro (Trial or Full Version), has a very easy interface, and has fun little effects. The program's interface is very simple (think MS Paint). Startup is instant. There aren't that many effects, but there are pretty much enough of them already. Transition effects include fading, which is all an animator pretty much needs. To make an animation, you simply copy and paste images into the program, which makes animation as easy as ever.

Animation Shop Cons
Some effects (like Shaky Cam) get overused by newbies. When working with an image with transparency, pasting an image that has space around it (space that is unused), the program automatically takes out the space to make them image tightly in place. Sometimes you have to trick the program by adding a pixel at each corner and erasing the trick pixels once the image has been pasted.


Posted By: Blueberry_pie
Date Posted: 06 March 2005 at 12:23am

The program I always make pixel art in is Multimedia Fusion.
It's actually made for making games, but I've gotten so used to its picture editor that I always use that... It doesn't have many 'special features', but that's what I like about it: it's simple and fast.



Posted By: pixelblink
Date Posted: 06 March 2005 at 12:00pm
I have always used Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop
I find them very straight forward and simple to use... (or maybe I'm just too lazy to learn a new prgram like PhotoShop)

One thing about Animation Shop Pro I would suggest against pixellists using are the effects. They suck ass and they don't do any justice to a pixelart piece.


Posted By: Blick
Date Posted: 06 March 2005 at 7:40pm
http://www.gimp.org/ - GIMP
PROS:
Essentially a free Photoshop. With even more roundabout ways to get stuff done. It's said that it can animate, but I never figured it out. I couldn't even figure out how to mix my own colors. I only ever used it for tracing scanned drawings.
CONS:
Developer's wet dream, artist's nightmare. AKA one hell of a confusing program.

http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/downloads.html - Paint.NET
PROS:
I've never used it, but I hear it's less powerful than Photoshop, but better than most programs out there. My guess is that it's somewhere around Graphics Gale level.
CONS:
Never used it, never heard any complaints. Mustn't be too bad.

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/ - Graphics Gale
http://www.tempest-j.com/gale/e/ - PROS:
Layers, animation and little stuff like right click as an eye dropper and palette indexing, I think. Basically a better version of MSPaint.
CONS:
Scrilla for registering.

http://www.emu8086.com/giffy/ - Giffy
PROS:
Really simple .bmp/.gif converter. It's pretty helpful to have if you're like me and pixel in MSPaint only. Supports transparency, which is always a good thing to have.
CONS:
None.

http://members.johnholdun.com/blick/eztoon.zip - EZtoon
PROS:
A simple animation program that's good for sketching up rough animations. Has flood fill dithering too.
CONS:
1bit, hard to find (exactly why I'm hosting it...).

http://www.whitsoftdev.com/unfreez/ - UnFREEz
PROS:
Easy to use drag and drop animator. Just grab each .gif file and put it in.
CONS:
If you want to edit the animation, you have to remake the sequence, each frame has to be the same timing, you need a seperate .gif file already in existance for each frame.

MSpaint
PROS:
Bundled with Windows, easy to use, pretty much perfect for pixel art with the grid, up to 10x zoom (click the lowest responding line of pixels under 8x and it'll go to 10x), grid for those that can't tell if they're placing pixels evenly or not, optional preview window.
CONS:
Can't save to .gif very well, doesn't have: layers, opacities, alpha transparency (or any form of transparency for that matter). So basically just good for making static bitmaps.


Posted By: sedgemonkey
Date Posted: 06 March 2005 at 10:24pm

Thanks a bunch for the summaries and the links Blick.  I'm going to screw around with a few of these.  EZToon sounds very interesting.



Posted By: greyscar
Date Posted: 07 March 2005 at 1:20pm
yeah these all sound as if they could be interesting... i already have unFreeze but i prefer microsoft gif animator...

although i now use macromedia fireworks Mx to do my work also paint :P

-ollie


-------------


Posted By: Blueberry_pie
Date Posted: 08 March 2005 at 8:47am
Originally posted by greyscar

i already have unFreeze but i prefer microsoft gif animator...

Microsoft GIF Animator? How come I've never heard of that before?
* searches on Google *
Hehe, neat... I can't believe it's free though, that's not something I'd expect from Microsoft


Posted By: sedgemonkey
Date Posted: 08 March 2005 at 8:58am
I too am shocked by this free Microsoft utility. I've never heard of it and I'm suprised it's not installed on the newer Microsoft operating systems. I'll have to give it a spin.


Posted By: greyscar
Date Posted: 08 March 2005 at 9:51am
i got the feeling that its not an official microsoft program but hey, its the best free animator around

-ollie


-------------


Posted By: Dejital
Date Posted: 08 March 2005 at 1:35pm

It's Microsoft indeed. This was my first animation problem, and it's pretty much how I got into pixel art in the first place. Totally forgot about what it was called, thanks for uniting us again.



Posted By: greyscar
Date Posted: 09 March 2005 at 5:25am
oh, what version of windows is it from?

-ollie


-------------


Posted By: stryder
Date Posted: 16 March 2005 at 2:47pm
i need a nice program i can download for a newb like me but not ms paint 


Posted By: top_
Date Posted: 17 March 2005 at 5:44am
For pixelart I use http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/index.php - ProMotion from Cormigo :

PROS:
Handling like good old programs I know from the Amiga. (Deluxe Paint, Brilliance or Personal Paint)
Optimized for pixelart.
animations, exelent palette management, (anim-)gif support ... (see the website for more)

CONS:
No Layers.
Not Freeware. (30days trail, lite and full version)
Max 256 colors. (or is it a pro?)

top


Posted By: iSTVAN
Date Posted: 19 March 2005 at 7:00pm

You dont actually need anything other than MS Paint for static pixel art. I use Graphics Gale for animations and sometimes to spruce up colours or mess around different schemes or number of colours.

Ive used MS GIF Animator before...its not very good.

Ive also fiddled with EZToons. Its not bad if you only want black and white, but compared to GG theres no real point in using it as far as Im concerned.

I wouldnt mind getting my hands on Paint Shop Pro or this Animation shop, but only for colouring my hand drawn art. You're really only limited by your brain with pixel art. The best way to learn is by taking advice and looking around at other artists.



Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 21 March 2005 at 7:10am
Hello there!
I'm developing a graphic editor specialized on PixelArt - I hope you will like it :-) - it has got many features, please try it out at least. And read the help file in order to know all the features.
--> http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de - http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 27 March 2005 at 3:23pm

Yeah, I used to use a combo of Gamemaker and MSpaint to do graphics/animations.

Now, however, I use Gimp, and I really don't find it all that confusing. If anyone honestly wants to know, send me a PM, I'll seee if I can help.

*Off-Topic note on gamemaker* Gamemaker is actually a very good program to use for making any kind of games, there are basically two ways to make games, in code, or drag-and-drop the commands. It would work very well for a collab game, in fact, I'm gonna go to that topic and post a link :P.



-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: MrPumpernickel
Date Posted: 17 April 2005 at 5:06am

Originally posted by sedgemonkey

Sometimes pixels along the borders of images don't respond to eraser or pencil.

Turn off snapping.



-------------
http://www.mousevomit.com/ - http://www.mousevomit.com/


Posted By: sedgemonkey
Date Posted: 22 April 2005 at 1:19pm
Where exactly do I do that in Photoshop?  I use it every damn day and just hit Ctrl+H to ditch extras which gets rid of most of the snapping. It'd be nice if there was a way to just leave off snapping.


Posted By: MrPumpernickel
Date Posted: 23 April 2005 at 11:32am
Unless they changed it since (I'm using Photoshop 7), just go to View > Snap > None. Or turn off snapping alltogether through View > Snap (uncheck).

-------------
http://www.mousevomit.com/ - http://www.mousevomit.com/


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 01 June 2005 at 6:22am

does any 1 know  a program 2 make colour animations(& transparent,if possible)???because my easytoon software only does b&w*

 

 

 

*black & white



Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 01 June 2005 at 6:24am
Originally posted by sedgemonkey

Thanks a bunch for the summaries and the links Blick.  I'm going to screw around with a few of these.  EZToon sounds very interesting.

i've got it,it's cool but u can only do black & white(see my last comment in this section)


Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 01 June 2005 at 7:06am
With PixelStudio:
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de - http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de !!
You can do a lot of things with it. (GIF-)Animations, Icons, Transparency, Layers, etc.


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: Da-La
Date Posted: 02 June 2005 at 4:35pm
I have a problem with Graphics Gale, It wont let me go to the help desk.

-------------


Posted By: Tikiman1488
Date Posted: 16 June 2005 at 12:49pm
is fireworks any good? thats all my computer has


Posted By: Godslayer
Date Posted: 26 June 2005 at 2:03pm
How do I post an animation if I make it? I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed  is it the same as posting a regular image?

-------------
Oi.


Posted By: sedgemonkey
Date Posted: 26 June 2005 at 4:06pm
If it is an animated GIF you can post it just like any other image.


Posted By: ..::Naso::..
Date Posted: 30 June 2005 at 1:57pm
" MSPaint
easy to use, pretty much perfect for pixel art with the grid, up to 10x zoom "

How do you u get up 2 10x zoom in ms paint all i get is x1 x2 x4 x6 and x8 =/



Posted By: kankki
Date Posted: 01 July 2005 at 2:04am
QUOTE
"" MSPaint
easy to use, pretty much perfect for pixel art with the grid, up to 10x zoom "

How do you u get up 2 10x zoom in ms paint all i get is x1 x2 x4 x6 and x8 =/"

Originally posted by Blick


...up to 10x zoom (click the lowest responding line of pixels under 8x and it'll go to 10x)...

Do so! :)


-------------
Well, duuuh, I can eat spam if I have to!


Posted By: Lawrence
Date Posted: 06 July 2005 at 7:33pm
Originally posted by Salim

With PixelStudio:
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de - http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de !!
You can do a lot of things with it. (GIF-)Animations, Icons, Transparency, Layers, etc.


I checked it out but I keep getting errors when I use the undo function. It's a pretty good program though, I'll keep on using it.


Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 8:15am
Originally posted by Lawrence

Originally posted by Salim

With PixelStudio:
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de - http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de !!
You can do a lot of things with it. (GIF-)Animations, Icons, Transparency, Layers, etc.


I checked it out but I keep getting errors when I use the undo function. It's a pretty good program though, I'll keep on using it.

That's great. Thank you.
I know there are a few bugs in the undo-system. But for the main things it works. Doesn't it?
Maybe if you tell me the bugs in particular, I could release a patch.


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: NerdChick
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 12:23pm
I use MSPaint [parents won't get me any other program] and I've surprisingly come out with some good isometrics. Now if you're trying to do a large art piece, you'd better have alot of patience. Otherwise, you're screwed.


Posted By: Lawrence
Date Posted: 10 July 2005 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by Salim


Maybe if you tell me the bugs in particular, I could release a patch.

Sure. It says "Access violation at address 0040923C in module 'PixelStudio.exe'. Read of address 00000004."


Posted By: PixelSnader
Date Posted: 10 July 2005 at 1:35pm

mspaint is good enough for me, exept for animations and transparency

i'd like them to implement a ''transparent'' colour, that you can use as a background, so you can copy say, lineart, and put them somewhere else, and not dump a load of white pixels over allready-done parts of the lineart. that sucks(and i allso hate to copy like, 50x50 parts pixel by pixel)



-------------

▄▄█     ▄▄█
▄█▄     ▄█▄



Posted By: Vidd
Date Posted: 10 July 2005 at 1:49pm
I know these have already been covered but I'll do it anyway.

Photoshop (and ImageReady for animations)

Positive
Wand tool, oh sweet juju I love that wand tool. Especially in pixel art, it's just so useful.
Layers. Although they're not always that important it's always nice to have.
Folders. I often keep earlier revisions in folders in case I want to go back to them.
Such an awesome zoom.
So many, many shortcuts.
Long history
Better .gif support
Easy to keep track of colours
Transparency

Negative
Er, nothing really.
(The animations are slower in the browser for some reason so maybe not an accurate preview?)

Paint

Postive

CIRCLE TOOL- I rely on this even with Photoshop
Line tool
The diagonal brushes

Negative
Hidden zoom (why?)
I don't like the colour picker as much
No shortcuts besides the obvious ctrl+a/c/x/v/o/n/s

There's probably a LOT more but these are the most prominent IMO.


Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 11 July 2005 at 8:03am
Originally posted by Lawrence

Originally posted by Salim


Maybe if you tell me the bugs in particular, I could release a patch.

Sure. It says "Access violation at address 0040923C in module 'PixelStudio.exe'. Read of address 00000004."

I have to know when this message appears - and does it appear every time - or only sometimes.

@Vidd: why don't you try to make a list about PixelStudio's positives and negatives! It's much better than paint, and easier to use for PixelArt instead of Photoshop (at least for me Photoshop is really difficult): http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: jujucece
Date Posted: 11 July 2005 at 8:29am
In my opinion, Gimp is the best...

- Free and GPL software
- Running under Linux or Windows
- Available in many languages
- Possible to parameter shortcuts
- Possible to make scripts (in python) (for Gimp-hackers only, but many scripts are downloadable...)
- Quite-easy to make animations (but not preview)
- Manage many formats
...

Gimp rocks !



-------------
Jujucece


Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 13 July 2005 at 12:03pm

Haha, Imageready just destroys the gimp animations-wise. Other than that, you're right. The ability to make your own shortcuts is an awesome feature, but I have yet to find a way to easily make a circle. And a lot of the auto-antialiasing and such is annoying.

And the fact that it's multiple windows frustrates the hell outta me. I'm trying valiantly to use my shortcuts, and it's trying to name my layers instead of giving me the magic wand.

The main problem for me with the animation setup is that your layers are the frames, so your frames can't have layers.

But, overall, it's a free program with more features than paint. Which makes it have a wider range of use, which puts it a little higher than paint, in my books.



-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: Carnivac
Date Posted: 13 July 2005 at 2:50pm
Pro Motion V5.1 for me.  Nothing else compares to it terms of spriting, tiling and animation in my opinion.

Pros:
It's pretty much Deluxe Paint for Windows... that reason alone should be enough for most people, especially us Amiga veterans.

Cons:
It ain't free (but I won it)
Suppose sometimes its 256 color palette thing can be a lil restrictive when yer used to the 32-bit color in PSP and PS and those kinda things.  Ya learn to live with it and excel with it in time.


-------------
http://eocommunity.co.uk/">


Posted By: flaber
Date Posted: 26 July 2005 at 1:29am
Originally posted by snader

i'd like them to implement a ''transparent'' colour, that you can use as a background, so you can copy say, lineart, and put them somewhere else, and not dump a load of white pixels over allready-done parts of the lineart. that sucks(and i allso hate to copy like, 50x50 parts pixel by pixel)

MSpaint is what I use. I wouldnt go with any other program. But seeing as how you have a problem perhaps I can aid you through it.

Choose your secondary colour (right clik) and make it probably your background colour. Then, up at the top beside file... theres one called image. the very last option is Draw opaque. Its preset to always be checked. So everytime you open paint, unselect the 'Draw Opaque' and then theres transparency. However, it does not save transparency, it only lets you work with it.



Posted By: Niss
Date Posted: 15 August 2005 at 3:26am
Has anyone ever tried ArtGem? I haven't yet but would like to know how it is (oh well I could give it a try myself...).


Posted By: neota
Date Posted: 17 August 2005 at 10:23am
Hello how are you gentlemen!

Blick: 'i couldn't even figure out how to mix my own colors'.. wtf?  Normally your FG and BG colors are sitting under the toolbox.
Doubleclick on either of them to edit them.
I like to have my coloreditor docked though.. then I'm always able to tweak easily.

The color selection is also simplified if you have my retro-colorselector module.. because instead of selecting from a huge 24bit colorspace you can pick from eg. a 12bit colorspace (Amiga), or other retro-colorspaces (CPCs 3*3*3 rgb cube is excellent for icons.)

Saboteur:
Select a circle then say 'stroke selection'.. pick 'stroke with paint tool' -> penciltool. you only have to pick options once, it remembers them throughout sessions.

The way i would do it is to select a circle, then use my 'pixelperfect outline' command, and fill the resultant selection.

The scripting is great -- I'm adding several features from Deluxepaint 5 into Gimp now.  I started itemizing things here, it got too big.. so I'll post it in a new topic 'pyGimp scripting'



Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 17 August 2005 at 8:35pm

If I weren't braindead, I'd try scripting. Thanks for the circle-theory, but I figured out a way to do it myself. Just fill a circle with black, shrink the selection a pixel, and erase the selection.

 



-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: neota
Date Posted: 17 August 2005 at 11:24pm
Also, the gimp's builtin animation facilities are miniscule compared to the Gimp-GAP plugin, like a peashooter compared to a rocket launcher. Multiple layers per frame, onionskinning, running filters on a range of frames (optionally with varying parameters), moving objects along a path..


Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 18 August 2005 at 1:32am
Ooo! Didn't know that existed. 'Course I have nooo idea how to make it work. Mind giving me a hand, oh wise and informed gimper?

-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: jujucece
Date Posted: 18 August 2005 at 2:02am
Ohh... I didn't know Gimp-GAP, it will probably help me a lot !

Thanks neota !


-------------
Jujucece


Posted By: neota
Date Posted: 18 August 2005 at 3:28am
Saboteur:
You should have the VCR navigator up most of the time.
Everything relating to gimp-gap is in the Video menu.
For anything else, read the docs if you must.

jujucece:
do you write gimp scripts yourself? Hardly anyone seems to, and even less people who pixel.


Posted By: jujucece
Date Posted: 18 August 2005 at 4:10am
I do know well Python and I use The Gimp for some years, but I never try to write scripts coz' I never need to...

But sure, Gimp scripts are very powerful...


-------------
Jujucece


Posted By: Maestro
Date Posted: 30 August 2005 at 6:40am
No, seriously, Graphics Gale does EVERYTHING I could ever ask for.
It supports any fileformat I could wish for, custom hotkeys, onionskinning, the easiest animation tool (with a realtime preview window) ever created, and creating palettes is almost too easy, though I am not very good at it.
Rightclick + drag is select, which helps with animation sketches, simple rightclick is an eyedropper, and you can adjust all colours when you're done with what you were doing. I don't use that feature, cause I wouldn't get it right either way, but still it is there. What I do use is the replace colour tool, select the colour you wanna replace a secondary and just draw over it with the colour you want it to be, easy as that, and great for contour for example, or the famous selout.
It's fast, starts up in an instant, and hasn't crashed on me once. There is a trial period of thirty days, after that it's 14 Euros.
You COULD say it's a better paint, but even that would'nt do it justice I think. So I'd say, give it a shot, make an animation in it, customize some hotkeys, and you'll see that working with this baby is a breeze.

GG is THE tool for pixel art.
For other things it's GIMP all the way.


Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 03 September 2005 at 6:14pm

GAH! I still don't get it. You're assuming I know how to make the plugin itself work. I don't. I'm a complete tool when it comes to anything resembling programming, and that's what it looks like needs to be done for gimp-gap to work.

And I've tried looking for help. I don't get it, if you're still around, could you explain it to me?



-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: neota
Date Posted: 04 September 2005 at 1:52pm
.. you're on Windows, right?
then you run the installer, and when it's finished, you restart Gimp and the commands are in the Video menu.




Posted By: Saboteur
Date Posted: 04 September 2005 at 2:45pm
ah, ok. Thanks :)

-------------
"I was minding my own business and walking across a pebbled path, and a Duck started giving me the business."


Posted By: space2
Date Posted: 06 September 2005 at 1:57am
Originally posted by neota

Also, the gimp's builtin animation facilities are miniscule compared to the Gimp-GAP plugin, like a peashooter compared to a rocket launcher. Multiple layers per frame, onionskinning, running filters on a range of frames (optionally with varying parameters), moving objects along a path..


Yes, I agree. GIMP is my favourite also, I use it to do all sorts of gfx.

I really like also the dynamic shortcut feature: when the mouse is over a menu item, just press a shortcut key combination, and voili, your new shortcut is set (no need to dig in well hidden options/properties)

Also, when using pixel art, I open/create a new image, usually set also a grid, zoom to ~10x, then View->New, zoom to 1x, view->and deselct selection, border, grid, guides, menu, statusbar, and voili, you have a nice preview window.

Btw, One other very nice program was AutoDesk Animator... R.I.P.

Oh, and one more thing, I do gfx for mobile games, and recently observed, that the laptop's LCD screen is much closer in quality (and tehnology) to the screen of mobile phones, so sometimes I use the a laptop to work on small gfx.


Posted By: teej
Date Posted: 10 September 2005 at 1:40pm

GRAPHICS GALE: i always use this for my pixel arts, unfortunately i only have the freeware version of it. GG's freeware version locked the GIF functionality. so there's now way you can use and\or produce gifs. well after finishing my work with GG i will import it to photofiltre to do GIFing for me.

PROS = all the tools are perfect for pixel artists, keyboard shortcuts is manageable, processing of PNG is very good, animation is posible (even .avi), the functionality of layers is great.

CONS = none, i dont have problems working with GG. except for the fact that i can't access the GIF functionality. (maybe ill buy this greats software later)   

PHOTOFILTRE (another nice freeware) : not really for pixel arts though. but is also as good a program as GIMP. i like it more than PAINT.net.

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP : very impressive program!!! but i dont use it for pixelling. i rather use it when im going to create full colored large images. but overall, it's the most professional, most expensive also.

MS PAINT : the first ever program i've used, (my first step to pixelling) i love it then but now it lacks some of the feature needed. (can't produce good GIF's, layers). but i still use this for some editing, still as useful i can say (always save your work as BMP when using ms paint).  

UNFREEZE : i use this for making animated GIF's. quite a small program and with small amount of feature. however it is very very useful for quick GIFing.

PIXEL STUDIO : it also has the tools that GraphicsGale has, nice GUI, and the instant isometric tool rocks. though working in pixelling is somewhat different from a standard paint program but you'll get use to it in time. 

PAINT SHOP PRO : i haven't used it.  though i hear a lot of good impressions about this software. (a photoshop rival? is it?)

 

 

 

 



Posted By: yobonoc
Date Posted: 28 September 2005 at 8:39am

Originally posted by Belle

Graphics Gale owns all your souls.

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/ - http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/


For some reason however, it will not post links for me. Damn it's eyes.

hi sorry but, dyo no the english version of this site?



Posted By: flyboj
Date Posted: 30 September 2005 at 8:01am
Originally posted by yobonoc

Originally posted by Belle

Graphics Gale owns all your souls.

http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/ - http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/


For some reason however, it will not post links for me. Damn it's eyes.

hi sorry but, dyo no the english version of this site?


try switch to english in website (top right corner)


Posted By: PixelGoose
Date Posted: 08 October 2005 at 11:42am

I use a trio of programs to make my GIFS:

MSPaint- Excellent program.  Gets better when you know all the hacks to it.  Started on MSPaint, live on it. 

Game Maker-  gamemaker.nl - gamemaker.nl   I use this program to start my GIFs.  I go frame by frame.  Bad part is the GIFs don't repeat.

MS GIF Animator- All I use this program for is to edit my GIFs, make them transparent, and repeat. 

 



Posted By: ice9
Date Posted: 02 November 2005 at 4:07am
hello there!

here's what i use for pixel art :

on winXP :
    grafx2-win32
    deluxe paint IIe & dp animator
    artgem

on linux :
    the gimp
    kolourpaint

though gimp is not as elegant as the tools i use on xp, which are designed for such kind of tasks, i managed to find a lot of useful functions for palette based gfx into it

i just discovered this small app (for linux):
http://www.btinternet.com/%7Emark.tyler4/mtpaint/index.html - http://www.btinternet.com/~mark.tyler4/mtpaint/index.html
it has many useful features, and from a "purist" point of view, it has everything you would ever need to do great pixel art (it lacks anti alias, but a real pixel artist doesn't want automatic antialias nor a smooth brush :P ;) )

note : it looks horrible in the original screenshots from mt site, but since it is a gtk app, it is theme-able ... mine looks pretty cool, with a dark clean theme :



icons could be nicer though, lol

greetings,
ice9 / lostconnection.net.


-------------
its' a wonder tall trees ain't layin down /
there comes a time / (neil young)


Posted By: KaZoiTeZ
Date Posted: 30 November 2005 at 5:18am
the best i ever know was on aimga Deluxe Paint 2
but now on pc im using gimp and graphics gale


Posted By: 0xDB
Date Posted: 02 December 2005 at 12:46am
"Personal Paint" from "Cloanto" is also nice.(Amiga)
Even nicer is the fact that it comes with the "AmigaForever" CD, which can be purchased from http://www.amigaforever.com - http://www.amigaforever.com (This is not an ad, i just like that piece of software so much that i thought, i should spread the word.)
It is very similar to "Deluxe Paint III".
Oh and probably i should mention it: I'm using it on the pc, through WinUAE(amiga emulator), which can be configured to have direct access to your pc's harddrive, so working with it, works just like if it was a tool for your pc.


Posted By: Psiweapon
Date Posted: 19 December 2005 at 4:12pm
Hi to all, this is my first post! First pixel art community I join, since I've only recently started to look into pixel art, though i've been doing pixel art for some time before I even knew what it was!

For me, it has to be GrafX2, with photoshop for handling transparency. In fact, GrafX2 was what triggered my interest for pixel-art, and I haven't needed anything else since... I haven't stepped into animation yet, I must say.


Posted By: ZmanZ
Date Posted: 22 December 2005 at 5:41pm
I use MS paint, I have Graphics Gale but its not on my XP most used list, so i never really use it. And GIFFY was taken off so if anyone knows any transparency things (except Photoshop, I'm lazy, I don't want to do it manually) please tell me.

-------------
Get http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/ - Paint.NET


Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 23 December 2005 at 1:27am
Already tried PixelStudio?

http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de/

(Look at help, transperency is easy once you know how it works)


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: jalonso
Date Posted: 01 January 2006 at 9:39pm
well nothing beats photoshop, but if you use a MAC give "pixen" a try. it's FREE (open source) and works very well, and does some things even better than photoshop. the canvas size is limmited to 256x256 pixels but you can import art into photoshop. the circle tool makes it worth having. they also offer a free tile maker program that's ok too. don't quite remember the url but google "pixen" and check out the features.



Posted By: Leath
Date Posted: 17 January 2006 at 6:13am
I think iDraw is still my favorite for pixelart along with photoshop. I tried getting a hang of graphics gale, but their selection tools are just not enough for me, or maybe I couldnt figure how to use it well.

iDraw was a freeware program that came with RPGMaker2k. It is really hard to find it though, so Im hosting the file.
http://www.geocities.com/bronze_bladers/iDraw331.zip - idraw

Pro: Good selection handling
Right Click can be used as eyedrop tool
Easy color manipulation

Con: Only saves and Opens .PNG, .Avi, 258 Bmp files
Can only handle 256 colors
No layers


Posted By: Atooi
Date Posted: 25 January 2006 at 2:35pm

Pro Motion
I use
Pro Motion for all of my pixel creations. I used to use Deluxe Paint / Deluxe Animation on the Amiga, and have found Pro Motion to be the closest alternative.

 

http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/ - http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/

 

Great for:

  • Static pixel art (sprites & tilesets)
  • Animation
  • Palette organization

Photoshop
Once I have a bunch of art assets created (character sprites, tilesets, and backgrounds, HUD, etc.) I like to use
Photoshop to adjust the hue, saturation and contrast of the separate layers. It is a very quick way to modify large objects/layers, rather than adjusting the individual colors in the palette.

 

Atooi



Posted By: jalonso
Date Posted: 06 February 2006 at 9:04pm
I found a link to http://www.microangelo.us/ - this program
Its for Window XP only. Thought you'd like to know :D


-------------
http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9378&FID=6&PR=3 - PJs FAQ <•> http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=6 - Sticky Reads


Posted By: Setzer
Date Posted: 26 March 2006 at 12:59am
I've only ever used MS Paint, and graphics gale. The only use I've found for graphics gale was animation :P. I also use IrfranView from time to time to quickly add a transp. background, it's as simple as copying the image, opening irfanview, paste, save, and it asks you for the transp. color then :).

ProMotion seems nice. I may have to look into that. Never noticed this thread before ^_^


-------------
http://sj-gfx.com">


Posted By: tuaarita
Date Posted: 16 April 2006 at 7:31am
i use paintshoppro9 but i dont get the layers, they were easier in #7 that i used to use.



Posted By: Grindie
Date Posted: 07 May 2006 at 9:39am
Since I started pixelling, I've only used 1 program: iDraw. It's really simple and has everything I need. I don't see the point in learning a beast like Photoshop just to pixel.

I can't find any links to iDraw, so I uploaded it to my server if anyone wants to check it out.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/thomas.mccloskey/misc/iDraw.rar - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/thomas.mccloskey/misc/iDraw.rar


Posted By: edbox
Date Posted: 20 May 2006 at 4:22pm
Like Atooie, I use daily Promotion / Photoshop at work.

I use mainly Promotion to draw and animate, make tilesets, and Photoshop to adjust the colors, contrast...etc.
Photoshop is also quite handy to save in a limited amount of colors "Save for web" thing.


Posted By: Biopharmer
Date Posted: 26 May 2006 at 12:50pm
ughh... i just wish there was a program to do it all in! on my pc i use
mspaint and adobe imageredy, but imageready sux

A little while ago i looked into promotion seems nice but i'd rather
have the full rather than the lite one.

As far as uploading to the web... my Mac OS 9.1 is the only friggin'
computer in my house with internet!!!

-------------
I'm just an erasure


Posted By: tomic
Date Posted: 23 June 2006 at 10:41am

i'm a bit surprised that noone here has mentioned "grafX2" yet.. so: GRAFX2!( ftp://ftp.scene.org/pub/resources/graphics/gfx2b965.zip - ftp://ftp.scene.org/pub/resources/graphics/gfx2b965.zip )

i'm using it for like 95% of my works (the rest is good old deluxe paint IIe); although it is an 'old' dos-program, it perfectly runs under xp (and there are even win32 clones abvailable).. nearly only pros in this program:

- supports all classic filetypes (.gif, .pcx, .lbm etc.)

- drawing without wasting time to move your mouse to the buttons/palette/whatever as you've got customizable keys for every single function and even to move up/down through the palette (nice if you've only got 16 colors or so) or brushstyles.. so you just needa press the on key with your left hand to switch to the funtion you need (like line, single pixel, rectanle, floodfill, drawing etc.) and can go on pixeling whereever your right hand/mouse has been five seconds ago.. i'm mostly switching between 'draw' and 'pipette' and use the scrolling through palette thingy, especially when doing aa where this is hell effective!

- nice features like stencil or sieve (real favourite if you like checkerboard-dithering and wasted lot of time in this in recent years =)

a few cons:

- doesn't have layers (for those who need'em - i grew up without =)

- no automatic aa to switch on/off while drawing a line for example (again: for those who need'em, i don't except if i'm short in time, then i'm switching to deluxe paint for a minute)



Posted By: tomic
Date Posted: 23 June 2006 at 10:51am

needa add, that due to the cutomizable-keys-thingy, you can hide the menubar and draw without any annoying menu around.. 

looks very insane if you're pixeling in public ..  like pro-mode in 3ds max (for those who know)



Posted By: Biopharmer
Date Posted: 25 June 2006 at 2:54pm
that does sound pretty cool! does it do animation?

you guys should try the thingy by that guy, pixel studio it's pretty
cool, it has like automatic isometric box, pyramid, sphere, rectangle,
square etc. tools, and animation and layers, and transperancys, but i
cant get the transperancy to work, because the software is still
obviously in a beta phase, but i think it'll be hella' tight when a stable
copy comes out, it's open source i think,
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de - get it here

have you tried MTPaint, search it on google, it looks good,

but i'm still looking for a legit mac os 9.2 pixel program... keep me
posted!

(p.s. seriously try pixel studio, it rox)

-------------
I'm just an erasure


Posted By: Biopharmer
Date Posted: 26 June 2006 at 4:15pm
here are some misc. painting programs i found (open source):
http://users.tkk.fi/~vhelin/tiledriller.html - tile driller
http://kolourpaint.sourceforge.net/ - kolour
paint
http://mtpaint.sourceforge.net/ - mtpaint (made for pixel
art)
http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/ - Graphics Magick
http://www.lcdf.org/gifsicle/ - gifsicle

some may or may not be binary versions, so you may have to do a
bit of compiling

-------------
I'm just an erasure


Posted By: Shark
Date Posted: 26 June 2006 at 5:56pm
if you want a mac program try pixen.

-------------
Snark, we love yuu.


Posted By: Setzer
Date Posted: 26 June 2006 at 8:09pm
Originally posted by tomic

i'm a bit surprised that noone here has mentioned "grafX2" yet.. so: GRAFX2!( ftp://ftp.scene.org/pub/resources/graphics/gfx2b965.zip - ftp://ftp.scene.org/pub/resources/graphics/gfx2b965.zip )

i'm using it for like 95% of my works (the rest is good old deluxe paint IIe); although it is an 'old' dos-program, it perfectly runs under xp (and there are even win32 clones abvailable).. nearly only pros in this program:

- supports all classic filetypes (.gif, .pcx, .lbm etc.)

- drawing without wasting time to move your mouse to the buttons/palette/whatever as you've got customizable keys for every single function and even to move up/down through the palette (nice if you've only got 16 colors or so) or brushstyles.. so you just needa press the on key with your left hand to switch to the funtion you need (like line, single pixel, rectanle, floodfill, drawing etc.) and can go on pixeling whereever your right hand/mouse has been five seconds ago.. i'm mostly switching between 'draw' and 'pipette' and use the scrolling through palette thingy, especially when doing aa where this is hell effective!

- nice features like stencil or sieve (real favourite if you like checkerboard-dithering and wasted lot of time in this in recent years =)

a few cons:

- doesn't have layers (for those who need'em - i grew up without =)

- no automatic aa to switch on/off while drawing a line for example (again: for those who need'em, i don't except if i'm short in time, then i'm switching to deluxe paint for a minute)



Actually I downloaded that the other day. I love the fullscreen view of it, although it has many tools I don't have a use for, and I can't figure out the most important hotkeys :x [to go through the pallete; that's the main thing I love about pro motion]. It wasn't until you posted that the hotkeys were configurable that I decided to browse through the directory. I might be using this more often than I thought now :). I'd say another con is for those who're spoiled by hue/sat/brightness, it doesn't seem to be here in this application.

edit: It seems the hotkeys actually are [ and ] to move through the pallete; but for whatever reason, those keys are not working and I have no idea why?

another edit:
 seems that after changing them around they work fine. just not sure why they wont work for the []{} keys.


-------------
http://sj-gfx.com">


Posted By: neota
Date Posted: 17 August 2006 at 6:47pm
I can't figure out the most important hotkeys :x [to go through the pallete; that's the main thing I love about pro motion]

That feature was also in DeluxePaint, which Is probably the origin of grafx2's and ProMotion's support for the feature. I believe they all use the same keys
(the square brackets) to move through the palette.
The windows version of Grafx2 seems to have the keyboard shortcuts broken. Did you mean that you downloaded Grafx2, or that you downloaded that particular file?

Since 2.3.9, GIMP has supported moving through the palette or image colormap, just like those three programs. In GIMP, these next/prev color actions are mapped to 9/0 (ie the parentheses). There are also other actions that you can assign shortcuts to -- for instance you can skip through the palette 4 colors at once, go to first or last color in palette.
I coded this feature. (it does require that you have the palette editor or colormap editor open.)

You can get Windows binaries of 2.3.9 from
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=121075


MTPaint also supports moving through the palette colors, though it seems linux-only.



-------------
absolutely.


Posted By: Salim
Date Posted: 18 August 2006 at 2:53am
Hi,
I still like PixelStudio best. I can make Animations with it (GIF), transparency, opacity, grids, and many other things are no problem. Many Fileformats and high quality! The Application had a bug and didnt work for a time, but one can download an update now from http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de (btw, it's free)


-------------
http://pixelstudio.virtualuna.de


Posted By: sinkquick
Date Posted: 21 August 2006 at 6:47am
I'm a Macintosh user. I personally use Pixen. It's a free program made for pixel artists. http://www.opensword.org/Pixen/ - Pixen .

Pros: It's free. You can save in basically any format. You can using unlimited layers and have transparent filters.

Cons: Since it is an opensource program, there are still some bugs here and there. But these do get updated often.

I'm affraid Pixen isn't available for the Windows OS at this present time. But I highly recommend it for any Mac user interested in Pixel Art!


Posted By: ulbandi
Date Posted: 16 September 2006 at 11:16am
Yeah, I use Pixen as well. It's decent. Basically:

Pros
Free!
Made specifically for pixel art
Layers
Export to lots of image formats

Cons
Doesn't handle images over 256x256 well
Color selection interface is a little clumsy IMHO
Slightly buggy and often slow

I tend to do my basic lineart/colors in Pixen and then finish it up in Photoshop.


Posted By: Pmac
Date Posted: 17 September 2006 at 6:49am
Hello, I need a program that will allow me to transform a colour used throughout the whole art into a different colour.

For instance, if I drew a blue ball, I could change the exact blue on the palette to green, and from there, the entire ball would be updated in that green.

GraphicsGale supports this on 8-bit colour? But anything 16-bit or above would be very helpful. Thanks.


-------------
"War doesn't determine who's right, it determines who's left."


Posted By: Larwick
Date Posted: 17 September 2006 at 6:52am
Pmac, Animationshop 3 has a very useful colour replacement tool. I got the program in a bundle with PSP8, so i'm not sure how easy it is to get it seperately. I'm sure there's other programs that do it aswel though. Good luck in your search.

-------------
http://larw-ck.deviantart.com">


Posted By: ceddo
Date Posted: 19 October 2006 at 5:17am
Originally posted by sedgemonkey

Sometimes pixels along the borders of images don't respond to eraser or pencil.


Still a con as one needs to change the default settings to do this, but you can prevent this by turning off Snap in the View tab. This way, Photoshop won't automatically snap your lines, selections.. etc to the border, to gridlines, or to guides. It was extremely annoying for me until i looked around and solved it.

Originally posted by jalonso

...but if you use a MAC give "pixen" a try. it's FREE (open source) and works very well...

I have pixen, but it doesn't work at all for me! Whenever I create a new document and use the pencil, nothing appears. I tried importing an existing png document, and it worked, but nothing works when I create one myself.


Posted By: silent sniper
Date Posted: 10 November 2006 at 7:59pm
Originally posted by Blick


http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/downloads.html - Paint.NET
PROS:
I've never used it, but I hear it's less powerful than Photoshop, but better than most programs out there. My guess is that it's somewhere around Graphics Gale level.
CONS:
Never used it, never heard any complaints. Mustn't be too bad.
Paint.NET is by far the easiest program EVER. and is still pretty powerful and rocks with pixel art.


Posted By: Christopher
Date Posted: 10 February 2007 at 7:35pm
I cant figure out how to make the background transparent for an animation using any of those
Other then graphicsgale. My shareware ran out. -.-


Posted By: jalonso
Date Posted: 10 February 2007 at 7:44pm
I don't know of a free one for PCs. www.iaza.com does single frames. Photoshop Elements is very cheap and even comes free with some stuff.

-------------
http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9378&FID=6&PR=3 - PJs FAQ <•> http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=6 - Sticky Reads


Posted By: Jonathan
Date Posted: 10 March 2007 at 11:59am
Yea I know this is an old topic....
But I have a question, I dont have Photoshop and I use MS Paint for pixeling, but now I wanna try to make an Animated GIF.
My question is: Does anyone knows a simple programme (like unfreez), and supports .PNG or .BMP....
 
Thanks in Advance....


Posted By: Metaru
Date Posted: 27 March 2007 at 8:26am
Originally posted by Dejital

And one for Animation Shop.

Animation Shop Pros
This is of the most popular animation programs because it comes free with Paint Shop Pro (Trial or Full Version), has a very easy interface, and has fun little effects. The program's interface is very simple (think MS Paint). Startup is instant. There aren't that many effects, but there are pretty much enough of them already. Transition effects include fading, which is all an animator pretty much needs. To make an animation, you simply copy and paste images into the program, which makes animation as easy as ever.

Animation Shop Cons
Some effects (like Shaky Cam) get overused by newbies. When working with an image with transparency, pasting an image that has space around it (space that is unused), the program automatically takes out the space to make them image tightly in place. Sometimes you have to trick the program by adding a pixel at each corner and erasing the trick pixels once the image has been pasted.
 
that's easy to solve: first paste the image you will use as a new animation and then paste it into the desired sequence. ASP3 will respect the transparencies and original size, even if it's bigger than the original.
 
 
i'll add some Pros and Cons
 
Animation Shop 3 PROS
The Propagate Paste Feature, wich allows you to insert an entire animation into another, without losing any of them. also, it comes with a handy Onion Skin to check diferences between frames. ah! and the most important: you can easy edit a frame, or an entire animation in Paint shop pro by just select it and press sh*t+X, and then send it back to ASP3 updated. also, supports custom palettes.
 
Animation Shop 3 CONS
The brush tool is, by default, antialiased in sizes over 3x. that's such a pain of you're using this for static Pixels. it doesn't have any shortcuts for the tools, and the 'gif optimizer' that comes with the program tends to fail sometimes, and ruin your picture by replacing unsoported colors.
 
Originally posted by Larwick

Pmac, Animationshop 3 has a very useful colour replacement tool. I got the program in a bundle with PSP8, so i'm not sure how easy it is to get it seperately. I'm sure there's other programs that do it aswel though. Good luck in your search.
 
Direct link: http://ftp.jasc.com/pub/en/ani311en.exe - http://ftp.jasc.com/pub/en/ani311en.exe
freeware


-------------
I ate leel's babies


Posted By: hiei14
Date Posted: 15 April 2007 at 4:55pm
I use Artweaver for pixel art.
I'm still messing around with Gimp.
I still don't know how to make pixel art with it.
I've made some sweet CG'ddrawing with it tho.


Posted By: Mathias
Date Posted: 20 April 2007 at 9:05am
I use Photoshop for everything.
 
Only problem I have is an actual size view window so I can see a WIP at normal size while zoomed in working; can't seem to find a solution for that.


Posted By: Pixel_Outlaw
Date Posted: 24 April 2007 at 8:53pm
What? Graphics Gale is no longer freeware!?

-------------
http://www.shmup-dev.com/forum/">


Posted By: Metaru
Date Posted: 25 April 2007 at 4:07pm
there is a Freeware version of GG, but doesn't have support for GIF format(static and animated).

-------------
I ate leel's babies


Posted By: ZeroFive1
Date Posted: 25 April 2007 at 6:27pm
I use MS paint. Graphics Gale killed me with it's complexity. Wah.


Posted By: Metaru
Date Posted: 26 April 2007 at 11:21am
did you noticed? MS paint is THE ONLY ONE that let's you use three colors at the same time

-------------
I ate leel's babies


Posted By: Vidd
Date Posted: 26 April 2007 at 2:20pm
What do you mean?


Posted By: dragonrc
Date Posted: 26 April 2007 at 11:41pm
right click gives you a color
left click gives you a color
ctrl+ right or left click gives you a color
 



Print Page | Close Window