shadeXproductions: Sprite Tutorial 2012
Emperor of Awesome
shadeXproductions: Sprite Tutorial 2012
All content within this tutorial belongs to shadeXproductions and pokestation.net, do not rip/claim as your own
Welcome to the shadeXproductions sprite tutorial, within this thread will be numerous tips and tricks to perfecting splicing, before we start one thing has to be cleared up, every person splices in a different way, we all have our own individual methods that we perfect over time this tutorial is just to show you how i splice, to give you an alternate view of the subject and to help you improve your spriting skills.
Finding Suitable Sprites
There are many sprite resources on the internet, some good others not so good. knowing what is a good sprite to use is the most basic spriting skill there is, for example you wouldnt choose a porgyon image that was pixelated to sprite with would you? no, because you would have to re-vamp it (find out how in the re-vamp tutorial coming soon). a good quality image is the foundation of a good sprite, and also depicts whether the finished product will be good.
The best resource for sprites i have found is http://www.pe2k.com -> Click sprites
the reason i use that site is because it has sprites from all generations, back sprites, animated sprites and trainer sprites, as well as overworld sprites. this makes picking pokemon to use much, much easier.
Make sure to have a Paint window open, you have it open beforehand so you can load the images quicker and it saves a little time, first things first for this tutorial we are going to use gardevoir and meloetta, why those two? well simply because splicing them is good practice, the body frames, angles and shading are virtually identical 'thus making it easy to fuse them, for the colour scheme we are going to use serperior, why? 'cos green is cool.
The most important thing to remember is to never, ever copy + paste them from your browser, why? because the white background turns black and neutralises the black outlines on the sprite ruining the pixels and the image, what you need to do always is Right click > save image as, this allows you to use the image multiple times and keeps the .png format nice and tidy, to get each image into paint you first need to load the main pokemon your are splicing in this case it is gardevoir, instead of opening two windows you can simply click the paste dropdown (in windows 7) and select paste from, then you select the meloetta image and paste it onto the same window. you also do this for serperior, if you have followed the above steps correctly your window should look like this:
Now that you have those in a new window, save them as "My first sprite", after doing so open a new paint window, if you are experienced at doing this you can skip to the steps after the introduction to the tools.
The Tools of the trade
Step 2 is fairly simple, you only need to use a maximum of 6 tools in paint and they are as follows, Pencil, Eraser, Zoom, Fill, Color Picker and the Select tool, For the purpose of this tutorial there will be an image below with a red rectangle around all the tools you need to use, how to use them individually comes in the next step. The use of multiple tools makes your job as a spriter much easier this is because using just the pencil and selection tool alone would take a good 30 mins, using them together after learning how to takes that time down to around 5 mins per sprite. you see the logic yes?
Now that you know what you're looking for, let's learn how to use them individually
Using the Tools of the trade
The pencil is the most commonly used tool for any pixel artist or spriter, it allows you to edit an image pixel by pixel in any colour or arrangement you wish to proceed with. What a lot of people don't know is it is also good for removing pixels, you do this by setting the primary colour to white (if you are using a white BG) so it's never too late to undo your mistakes if your hand happens to slip. This tool should be the very first and very last rtool you use to make sure the detail on your sprite is to the best quality you can do it, you might ask how you are supposed to see individual tiny pixels when using the pencil, well this can be resolved by using Zoom.
When making a sprite always edit fully zoomed in this allows you to see all of the shading, detail and features clear as crystal, paired with the pencil it allows you to view each pixel as a larger image, this effect can be reversed by zooming out (Right clicking) allowing you to view your sprite in it's regular size, it pretty much works with every tool except font - which we do not need to use for this tutorial. if you are using windows 7 in the bottom right hand corner it will tell you how far you are zoomed in our out so you will always know if you are looking at the actual sized image.
The fill tool allows you to fill any area with colour, however if an area is not closed off the fill tool will fill the entire page with colour rather than the bit you selected, for example if you were to fill the inside of a rectangle that would be fine, what wouldn't be fine would be if you tried to fill half a rectangle with colour that would then fill the entire page, the same principle applys to sprites some pokemon don't have closed off features so it's easy for the colours to spill so it's always best to double check this before you do so or you will have to undo what you did and start again, to avoid this simple use the pencil tool and a red colour just to close the feature off allowing you to fill it then remove it with the pencil tool with the white colour selected. This tool is best used for large areas of colour it makes recoloring easy, especially if you've used all the colours in your pallet.
Okayy this is where the tools get complicated. the colour picker allows you to select any colour that is on a sprite so you can add it to your pallet, there are some tricks with this that alot of paint users do not realise for example, if you hover the color picker over a color of your choosing and left click it will select that colour as the primary (which is fairly obvious) what they do not know is if you right click a different shade of the same colour or a different colour it sets that colour as your secondary, secondary colours are used in combination with the eraser trick, it's also a neat way to get your pallet of colours built up identical to the pokemon your spriting, after you have selected either a primary or secondary colour you can save them by clicking on either of the colors and clicking edit colours then clicking add to custom colours. the line they savew on is called your pallet, It would be best to play around with this feature before attempting spriting so you understand the concept.
This is the most important tool for recoloring, recoloring you say? yes. the eraser only erases in white because the secondary colour is set to white as default, when you change the secondary colour the colour that the eraser is changes, why? this is so it allows you to layer over specific colours that you selected without having to do it with the pencil or fill tools, this is extremely handy for outlines and facial details on sprites as all you do is go over the existing colours with new ones. to perform the eraser trick you will have to follow the image below in a paint window of your own and test this for yourself, explaining it in detail will only confuse you further, though there will still be some written explanations as to whats happening in the image, be sure to practice this numerous times to get the hang of it it seems confusing at first but it's very easy to pick up.
Ok, now that you're aware of of the tools, it's time to begin spriting. Open the file you saved as My First Sprite in paint, once you have done so increase your work area by adjusting the width and heigth with the little box in the bottom right hand corner of your canvas. it doesn't really matter how much room you give yourself but more is generally preferred to less, put serior on the very far right hand side of your canvas away from gardevoir and meloetta he will not be used until later, next space gardevoir and meloetta at least 3 of your fingers width apart doesn't need to be exact you're just going to need a little space between them. now, this is where it gets interesting, remove gardevoires torso leaving just her head from the neck up and the thinnest part of her waist, i would reccomend using the eraser tools smallest size or the pencil, this may seem a bit backwards but that space is going to be for meloettas top half. If you have done this correctly you should have ended up with this:
now that you have kept only the parts you need from gardevoir, you need to do the same to meloetta, however this time we are only going to keep her top half and her head, you may wonder why we're keeping two heads for one sprite and the answer is because we are also going to merge their features in this tutorial, otherwise you would just remove the head you did not want to use.
With meloetta be sure to erase her body at an angle, this is so that is matches up with gardevoir's bottom half and makes the overall result much better looking.
The next step is fairly simple you're now going to start removing the body parts you are going to replace, some people preferr to just paste the parts over another but for me completing the sprite properly is the way forward, What you are going to need to edit before the next step is meloettas headband/hair piece, If you zoom in full and look very closely at her head band the green outline you will see maps the shape her head is supposed to be until it reaches her hair line then it changes to black/dark gray you still need to continue the line at this point using the pencil tool with white selected. if you have followed the above steps correctly your window should now look like this:
Now that your work area is clean, you are familiar with the tools and you have your sprites ready to start editing let's move onto the next step, now would be a good time to save your work.
Removing "dead cells"
Right this is where it starts to get tricky, "dead cells" are the features on the pokemon you do not want to use, you remove these so you can piece the final sprite together easier. before you attempt this be sure to set the background to transparent which can be found in the drop-down menu on the select tool. this is completely optional, most people preferr to keep all of a pokemons features i however like to edit them it just makes the sprite look newer and fresh. all pokemons features can be removed or changed it's just following the correct line on a pokemon that will mean the difference between success and failure.
For example if you were removing dead cells from a circle on a red background, nothing but the outline of the circle should be left on the page allowing you to do whatever you please with it. this is something that takes good hand eye co-ordination so do not stress if you don't take to it straight away it takes time to be able to remove and reconstruct features. here is what happens when you remove gardevoires "dead cells" from her face and head:
As you will notice that's just basically the structure of her features not colored in, the reason you do this is so you can match the head to the line you just created around meloettas sometimes you can layer it over on transparent, other times it's best to fill all the white on this inside with red allowing you to keep the inside solid but the outside transparent. to make this just the outlines use the fill tool and fill all her hair in with white, her skin, her eyes but always keep the outlines and definitive details such as the shaper of gardy's cheek bones or her fringe and hair line.
This next bit is entirely down to you, the only way you can learn is by practicing so fill gardevoire's hair in with red, and remove the outline where her eye was, if you struggle with this part you can copy my image above by right clicking -> Save Image As and then continue using that, after doing those little edits place it over meloettas head, how you position it is entirely upto you but leave enough room to see her eye or most of it, once you've found the right placement you now need to begin coloring it in correctly, select the color picker tool and left click on the red and then right click on the lightest shade of green in her actual hair, go over the red with the eraser and then do the same with the other green colours that are the outlines using the darkest shade of green from her actual hair, If you have problems doing this just re-color the red with green and leave the rest. If you have followed the above steps correctly meloetta should now look like this, or similar to it:
As you can see her face is now a cross between gardevoire and herself, i shortened the fringe and changed the shape of underneath her hair to suit gardevoire's features, again this is entirely optional as long as you distinguish the shape of gardevoire's cheeks.
Putting it together
This tutorial is almost over, now we move onto the second to last task - putting the body's together. this is probably the easiest part of the whole process, all you do is align them up correctly and then you're done! If the angles you erased them at don't look right you can always edit them with the pencil tool. After lining them up you need to bring jalorda in towards meloetta we are now about to re-color our sprites!
Your window should currently look like this:
If it does, continue to the next step, if not go through the above step again and find where you went wrong, fix it - then come back to the next step.
Recoloring your sprite
Okay, this is the final step in the tutorial. You can recolor a pokemon by using the eraser trick i taught you above, if you already know how to recolor then this step should be easy for you. Using serperiors colours only you need to re-color your fusion - make sure you always colour swap the lightest shade for the lightest shade, and the darkest shade for the darkest shade or the overall effect will be opposite and your sprite will looked messed up, each pokemon generally has 1 or 2 outline colours if the main pokemon your fusing has just one you can always create a secondary one in your pallet by selecting a colour in your secondary colour slot and performing the eraser trick.
For my sprite i chose serperiors gold collar for meloettas hair, and the light green in his underbelly for the bottom half of her dress, you can do this either way round you like it's entirely down to personal preferance, alongside my sprite i have another gardevoir/meloetta fusion that i did a few days ago, on that one i have added one of bellossoms flowers to her head and used vileplume as the colour scheme. so you can pretty much mix and match with your recolors. always remember never to recolor anything that started off white such as eyes, claws and teeth those should be left alone at all times (unless the main colour of the pokemon is white, then you can edit). you can however recolor the colour of a pokemons eyes - with mine i chose a brown colour to match the golden hair and give it a different look. here's mine to give you a bit of inspiration to how you want your colour scheme to be:
Once you have recolored your sprite then you have completed this tutorial! well done ^_^
If you feel this tutorial was not helpful please feel free to leave a comment, if you found it useful you can also do the same, feedback is always good!
Last edited by shade; 03-14-2012 at 05:01 PM.
Credits to HK
Wow I'm loving the tut so far this could be really useful. Might broaden my skills :P
Emperor of Awesome
thank you icey, that's the aim ^_^ this should be finished tonight, had a few problems along the way -_-
Emperor of Awesome
This tutorial is now finished, more may be added at a later date but for now this is the final result, massive thanks go to kyohack for increasing the text/image limit otherwise this would not have been finished, thanks again man. Enjoy! ^_^ any questions you have feel free to ask as some things may not be explained clearly enough to you as an individual and may need to be ironed out a little.
The 4th Legend
Simple, yet effective!
Nice tutorial ^_^
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