Quick ways to create pixel art

Creation of pixel art graphics is not an easy job, it requires proper experience and, most importantly, time. It is not easy to create a complex pixel art scene quick, because you need to plan all the elements well and it is hard to automate the routine; a lot of components of the image must be developed pixel by pixel manually. Remember that only the artwork that was French polished (which needs more time) would be perceived by the audience as a professional one, any other attempts could look like pixel gimcrack.

So what should you do, when you need a pixel art assets for your game, but time is not an option? The answer is vector graphics. You are not misheard. The vector editor may help you to create pixel art scenes pretty quick, automating many routine procedures. The tool I’ve chosen is Adobe Illustrator, it is popular, it is powerful and in most case it is very handy.

There are several scenarios how Illustrator can be turn into the pixel art editor. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are simple (moreover they can be called elementary ones), but some other ones require more patience. The general idea is clear: you draw vector shapes like you usually do in a vector editor, focusing mainly on drawing itself and having all the editing advantages. But then you turn (or stylize) the image into pixel art style.

Way 1. The anti-aliasing option turned off.

Simply uncheck the the specific checkbox in the Edit>Preference>General… menu or the same checkbox in the Save for web option panel. Voila! Now all the artwork you are working with has no anti-aliasing, so all graphic elements have hard edges.

The easiest one. It is very simple, but the result can be far away from the ideal. It is suitable for large geometric elements, but it is hard to control tiny elements, like outlines and so on. It is also very unpredictable, sometimes it is hard to imagine the final result. There can be some graphic artifacts.

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I’ve written a book: iPhone Game Blueprints

I’ve written and illustrated a book about the development of games for mobile devices: particularly for iOS platform. The book is called “iPhone Game Blueprints” and it was published by Packt Publishing. It is available both as a traditional paper book and as eBook.

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 358 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : December 2013
ISBN : 184969026X

The book can be found at the publisher’s website:
Or at Amazon.com:

The book was created to inspire people to create wonderful games. It tries to cover such important topics as generating an idea of a game, creating proper plot, working with graphic assets, considering the screen resolutions, planning game characters (introducing factors that can help to create either a cute or a scary character), working with animation, knowing the ergonomics, including the some info about players with some special needs like persons who have some forms of color blinding

There are concepts of seven games inside the book:
  • Gesture game
  • Card game
  • Puzzle game
  • Platform game
  • Adventure game
  • Action
  • Augmented reality (AR) game.
Each concept has the full description of the game mechanics, game plot, objectives and so on. It also include some graphic templates of game pieces, characters (both protagonists and antogonists). Each game idea is fully customizable, since some new interpretations can be easily generated.
You can see some pages and illustrations from the book here: