While surfing the web or playing some video game, you have come across truly striking icons and images. In addition to high-resolution images, with complex shades and elaborate drawings, however, you could not help but notice other types of illustrations, less realistic but definitely interesting, created with the technique of pixel art.
Maybe they reminded you of old video games or PC icons from many years ago, or maybe you were just struck by the particular effect they are able to give. In any case, now you would like to replicate this style and, therefore, you would like to know come fare pixel art on your PC, smartphone or tablet. Am I right, right? Then know that you've come to the right place at the right time! Today I am going to explain to you how to achieve this goal with simplicity.
How do you say? Aren't you a great graphic and computer expert? Don't worry, my guide is suitable for everyone and contains simple and precise instructions. If your intention is to create pixel art, then, all you have to do is get comfortable and take a few minutes to read this guide and follow the steps. I am sure you will have no difficulty in doing this. Are you ready then? Happy reading and have fun!
Before explaining in more detail how to make your images in pixel art, let me give you a quick overview of this fascinating technique. You must know, in fact, that in addition to having a decidedly particular aesthetic charm, pixel art has one history which dates back to the days of the first video games and multimedia systems.
The term pixel art, in fact, denotes all those images and graphic elements that refer to the style present on the first computers, usually equipped with graphics processors capable of showing images to 8 o 16 bit deep, with very low resolutions. Just the limited resolution, far from the Full HD now considered standard nowadays, allowed you to see the individual pixels that made up the image.
Each image, therefore, was made up of a handful of pixels capable of representing, with few colors and very few details, objects, entities and elements of all kinds. If it seems to you something outdated and not very usable, know that famous video games like Tetris, Pac-Man e Space Invaders have been created using only pixel art graphics. Surprising, is not it?
Now that you've learned the basic concepts behind this unique and fascinating digital art form, I'm sure you can't wait to start learning how pixel art is done and what tools you can use to make it. No more chatter, then: in the next chapters I will show you the main methods to achieve your goal. Let's get started!
How to Do Pixel Art in Photoshop
Surely you have heard of Photoshop, the famous photo editing program developed by Adobe capable of manipulating photos and images in an advanced and complex way. But you must know that Photoshop is also very suitable for doing graphic work, including those of pixel art, thanks to some very useful features included within it.
If you haven't already done so, then, I recommend that you install Photoshop on your Windows PC or Mac and run the program. Then press the button Create new ... and change the values Width e Height inserting the value for both 48 (or another value you prefer, the important thing is that it is the same in width and height). Finally make sure the menu to the right of the option Width contain option pixel and if you like, set a background as well transparent for your image. Then press the blue button Crea, to create it.
If your new image is too small, don't worry - just hold the button down Other on your keyboard and use the mouse bottle (or pinch the trackpad you may use) to zoom. Alternatively you can press the top menu item View and click on the item Zoom in to achieve the same result. Now, press and hold the del icon Brush on the left toolbar until the menu is displayed, then click on the icon Pencil.
Well, you are ready to go! By clicking on a any point of your image, you can notice the appearance of a colored square: it is your pixel, just drawn by the Photoshop Pencil. You can delete a few pixels from your image at any time by pressing and holding the icon of Rubber with stars in the left toolbar and clicking on the icon Rubber in the menu that appears. By pressing on a drawn pixel, now, you can erase it.
If you want to change the color of your pencil, click the colored square at the bottom left, the upper one of the two present, and choose the color you want to use. You can also change the size and stroke of the Pencil by doing click destroy anywhere in your image and choosing the settings you like best. However, remember that not all settings are suitable for pixel art: don't be discouraged if the initial effect isn't what you want. Keep trying and you will surely reach your goal!
At this point you have all the tools to be able to create your first image. When you are done, remember to save the created image by going to the menu File> Save located at the top left.
You can save the image in PSD, if you intend to modify it later with Photoshop while keeping its original quality intact, or choose any other format. If you want to preserve the transparent background, choose PNG o GIF.
That's it, you've learned come fare pixel art on Photoshop. Simple, isn't it?
How to Do Pixel Art in Paint
If you don't have Photoshop or if you want to use a simpler tool to make your images in pixel art, you can rely on a program present in every version of Windows: Microsoft Paint. Often considered a very basic graphics program and not very suitable for complex jobs, Paint is perfectly capable of helping you in the creation of pixel art.
To open Paint, click on the button Start (l'icona della bandierina collocata nell'angolo in basso a sinistra dello schermo), close Paint in the menu that opens and select the first occurrence found. At startup, Paint offers you a plain white image without any kind of setting.
You can change the size of the project by holding and dragging any of the white squares present on the edges of the image. You can also adjust the zoom by holding down the key CTRL on the keyboard and using the mouse bottle, or by clicking on the tab View in the top menu and pressing the buttons Zoom in e Zoom out.
Now, tap on the icon of Pencil in the center, next to the icon Bucket. In this way you have activated the mode that allows you to draw one pixel at a time: in fact, you just need to press on any point of the image to see your pixel appear.
You can change the color of the pencil by pressing the button 1 color o 2 color in the top menu and choosing the color in the space on the right. If you want even more choice, click the button Change colors to select new ones.
To delete one or more pixels entered by mistake, click on the icon Rubber in the top menu and click or hold the left button mouse over the areas to be deleted. Again, the results may not be immediate. Pixel art requires a good deal of patience e imagination initially, but don't give up: by continuing to try, you will be able to get your result.
When you are satisfied with the result, save it by going to the menu Fillet of Paint (top left) and choose the option Save with name. You can choose from various output formats, but none of them allow you to keep the background transparent.
How to Do Pixel Art in Minecraft
In addition to using graphics tools, know that it is possible to do pixel art even with less conventional methods. You can, for example, create pixel art in the popular cube game Minecraft. Yes, you read that right! Thanks to the structure a cubi of this game, you can use the same ones to simulate real ones pixel and create the images you want.
To simulate pixels in Minecraft, get units of Lana, and then use dyes to make it the right color. I recommend that you create the following colors in order to simulate the colors RGB present in information technology: Black Wool, working the wool with 1 unit of Ink Bag; Red Wool, working the wool with 1 unit of red dye; Green Wool, working the wool with 1 unit of green dye; Lana blu, working the wool with 1 unit of Lapis Lazuli; White Wool, working the wool with 1 unit of Bone meal. You can also create some Yellow Wool working the wool with 1 unit of yellow dye to simulate the yellow channel present in some old video game platforms.
Now that you have the colors at your disposal, you just have to arrange them on the world of Minecraft using the right key mouse on the ground or on a previously inserted block. You can proceed in different ways to make pixel art using wool blocks, the only limit is your imagination; despite this, I would like to recommend a method which could help you reach your goal more easily.
To best simulate an empty image, place it on the ground 24 horizontal lines superimposed composed of 24 units of White Wool, in order to obtain a matrix of 24 × 24 cubes of this material. This way you will have created a kind of "blank image" to start working on.
You can of course choose the amount of units you prefer, depending on the size of the image you want to create, but remember that the smaller the matrix and less details you can enter inside. As you can see, doing pixel art in Minecraft is a fast and fun operation. By increasing the matrix size you can increase the level of detail at your disposal.
In addition, you can create other types of wool of different colors so that you can draw more images realistic and satisfactory. Simple, isn't it?
App Per Fare Pixel Art
If your purpose is to learn how to do pixel art on smartphones and tablets, I have good news for you. There are, in fact, numerous apps designed for this purpose. One of the most interesting is called Pixel Studio and is available for both Android (on the Play Store and alternative stores) e iOS / iPadOS. It's free but through in-app purchases you can unlock additional features and remove ads.
Once downloaded and installed, the app asks for permission to access the phone memory at the first launch. Push the button Allow, to continue, then press the button Crea to set your first image. Select the options you prefer for your image, such as size and background color, then tap the button Crea.
In this screen you can immediately start drawing by selecting a color at the top of the screen and dragging your finger about pixels to color. In case of errors, tap on the icon Rubber in the tools menu at the bottom and press on the pixels to be deleted. Pixel Studio also offers the ability to create more levelsby pressing the icon + located at the bottom of the layer bar, in order to use different spaces with multiple overlapping images.
In addition to the pencil, Pixel Studio allows you to use a considerable amount of tools: the dropper, to choose a color already present in the image; the bucket, to fill all adjacent transparent spaces with a single tap; the selector, to select a portion of the image; the menu functions, containing useful functions to further manipulate your work; the instrument cancels, to undo the last operation; there Magic wand, to modify equal parts of the image in a single tap; the instrument move, to move an element or level.
In any case, know that Pixel Studio offers a function that allows you to know immediately what the chosen tool is for. By tapping the button with a Question markin fact, a small box will appear with an explanation of the instrument in use, including how to use it.
When you have finished your work, if you want it, you can save it by pressing the button with three horizontal lines and choosing one of the options available in the menu that is proposed to you. You can, for example, decide to save the image on your device or share it on social networks or in another app by pressing the button, respectively Save or button Share.
Thanks to the functions available by pressing the button Preview or button Pixel PerfectFurthermore, you can double check the final result before saving it permanently. Convenient, right?