Making Video Game Sprites, Five Great Pixel Art Tutorials

Video games are a huge part of our culture, and the visuals companies can produce these days are incredible. High resolution textures that are applied to 3D models and the like are something we will talk about in a future post, but today we will bask in the glory of old school video game design, pixel art!

There is something innately charming about pixel art, and screenshots of certain games can really trigger that nostalgic feeling in many of us. I still love seeing Link holding up that piece of Triforce he just found, or Mario mid-jump, fist ready to bump those mushroom spawning blocks. The graphic stylings of the 8 and 16-bit eras are still going strong, as the rise of mobile gaming devices has lent itself very well to his particular style of gaming. Learning how to “push pixels” is quite the useful talent to possess right now, even more so for those one man game shops out there looking to drum up some graphics to support to cool game engine he/she just built. Here are some of the best pixel art tutorials on the web, enjoy!

The Pixel Tutorial
I’m leading off with this one first because it is a really nice, multi-part introduction to the world of pixel art. I recommend starting here and getting a good feel for what this art form is all about.

The Pixel Tutorial

Pixelling a Monster Sprite
A nice step-by-step tutorial on how to create the kind of monster you might see in an RPG battle, such is Final Fantasy.

Monster Sprite

So You Want To Be a Pixel Artist
This fantastic collection of pixel art articles and tutorials has been around for ages, and is one of the most read and cited references on the subject. Don’t miss the sidebar for more tutorials.

So You Want To Be A PixelArtist

Kiwinuptuo’s Color Palette Tutorial
Color theory is something you’d do well to gain a basic understanding of, and this tutorial does a great job of introducing this topic in an easy to understand visual manner.

Color Pallette

Lotusware’s Pixel Art Tutorial
Tile-based games are very prevalent amongst the pixel art style. This tutorial explains the concepts behind creating your own tiles and how to join them together seamlessly, an essential skill to learn.

Pixel Tiles

That should be enough to get you started, maybe I’ll include some more in a future post. It’s a really satisfying thing to work on, so just relax and have fun! For you other Photoshopping gamers out there, here are a few of my favorite video game related sites that I really like. We all like to get the best bang for our buck, so check out Prepaid Game Cards for some really cool discounts on Steam and Origin game keys and prepaid game cards. You can get some stuff for up to 50% off! I also enjoy, which is basically Netflix for video games.

And if any of you create something you want to share, please share it in the comments!