Alright dudes, ready to get to it? in this lesson I'll do my best to show you how to make a nice sprite from a boring simple base sprite, and talk to you about some shading.
Now personally I never make a sprite from scratch, because that's alot of work and can sometimes cause inconsistancy when making a game. What I do like to do is have some sort of sprite that's a base sprite for similar sprites. I'll make one now.
Alright now it looks pretty boring doesn't it? this is the first part of how I make the base of a sprite. I just draw one color of pixels, the peachy color for the skin, and I draw the person, then I draw the orangy hair, ect. Then I do some super basic shading. You'll notice I used very little black outline. Now you may think to yourself, But Wiz, all sprites have a huge black outline, what are you thinkin'!? Well back in the SNES days there were lots of limit to amount of colors used, a big reason on the black outlines is to distinguish it from the background. So I only use the black outline in the darkest places. Make sure you look at the basic shading, to get a feel for it, and try drawing one of these guys yourself. Get ready for another one!
See what shading and a few tiny changes can do? They can make that boring dude up there look totally sweet. Now study the hell outta this guy. I'll explain the shading as best I can. I'll explain the hair first, because everyone has a problem with hair. You have to make the hair into like, big locks, and not like it's one big peice. Play around with it, it'll come eventually. You can seperate the locks of hair with dark lines, and use lighter lines next to it if you want the lock of hair to stand out even more. The higher the contrast, the bigger the distance between stuff appears. Now the face, The face and especially the eyes are really important for the mood the sprite gives off. I like a kind of less serious mood. So I like to use big googly eyes. the lighter color in the center of the face, makes the face appear more rounded. Notice a lighter color on the middle of each leg, also to keep the legs looking rounded. Turn your attention to the outline. Now see, I use an outline that is a darker color of the color I'm using, such as dark red, or for the skin, brown. In some areas, I didn't use an outline. to make it look like the arm is smaller in that area. So the muscles look right. Also notice between the arms and legs I use black. these are areas where things are realy dark, and there is not enough space for it to be transparent. Never use pure black. Always use a black thats sligtly less black then pure black, or a dark dark blue, pure black is nasty. Also while we're talking about colors, I never use colors for high brightness (unless the object is like neon lights or something.) It's good to tone down your colors.
Now this would be a sprite I'd use as a base sprite. Let's see what we can make from it shall we?
What the? He turned to a chick!? This can be used as a base for women.
Now he got a haircut, grew a beard, and one pixel taller.
Some color changing, ears and a new shirt, and he's an elf.
Using the girl as a base, we can get something like this!
but I decided to turn that base into my idol, and one of the charecters for an upcoming game of mine...
Yes that's right. THOR! Now Thor is a badass, so it required alot of modification, but still, the base helped me preserv the corect proportions and junk. See, this sprite turned out great! Study the shadeing.
So what did you learn? I'll tell ya. You learned to always make sprites out of a base sprite, it saves you some extra work, and lessens the chance you'll screw up proportions, hopefully you learned some simple shading, and hopefully you've accepted Thor as your new god. Otherwise he's gonna be pretty pissed off. Alright, that's it for now!
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