Friday, September 3, 2010

Pixel Art

When I really young I thought I wanted to create videogames. Most guys probably thought they could do this when they were younger as well. Unfortunately for me I didn't grow up with computers at my disposal to grasp the understanding of how games were even made. I remember at one time my family had a Commodore 64 that had the big keyboard, a joystick, and even the printer. The only problem was that it had no manual since we bought it from somebody else and the only thing I really knew how to do on it was load games and make text documents to print out from the dot matrix printer that sounded like an industrial meat grinder. The closest I think I ever got to making a game was when I was at a friend's house and we found out he had the program ZZT for his DOS computer. The program didn't exactly teach me how to create a game, so to speak, but I learned how to make some rather awesome(or stupid) graphics for the rooms in our creation. That's when I realized I actually really enjoyed creating graphics a lot more than figuring out how to make the things move or work properly.

Years later when I was around fifteen years old, I believe, I borrowed a book out of the library on C++ programming. That was definitely not something you just handed in book form to a teenager and expected him to learn how to do it. I had barely even fully grasped how to use everything in Windows at that time so reading through a book explaining how to create class codes, placement of data, and compiling it all together boggled my mind. I stuck to drawing instead, but I still enjoyed how graphics in games were made.

When I first started out with pixel work most of it involved editing and combing already made sprites to make them funnier. I vividly remember one of the first ones I did involved Sonic the Hedgehog throwing a hadouken like Sakura from Street Fighter.
I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Then for kicks I took my favorite character from Waku Waku 7 and made him look like a disco star.
Yeaaaaah, take that Saturday Night Fever!

As time went on I found that I enjoyed animating a bit more than just working on pixel work. The first time I got a wacom tablet and found out about Easytoon I got carried away very quickly. One of the first pixel based animations I made using that program that I felt very accomplished with was for when I acquired a Dreamcast for the first time.
I think I'll make a post about nothing but animations I did with Easytoon later on as showing all the fun I've had with it in just this post would be a long and graphic intensive read. Back on subject though.

The more I worked on animations done with pixels the more I wanted to try making them in color and full detail. I spent a good six hours, yes, six HOURS, working on one animation in full detail.
Creating it was a lot of work, but the gratification of making something so large and detailed move was well worth it. I was so impressed with how well this turned out at the time that I wanted to try creating my own graphics for a fighting game using MUGEN. The first character I tried designing was this girl who was supposed to be like a SEGA mascot. She was known as Sega Gal, which the more I think about it sounds really lame.
I look at this now and now remember why I studied anatomy so much when learning to draw better. Aside from that though I never did finish this character to make her in a game. I finished her walk cycle and a punch attack, if I remember correctly. I eventually pushed the project to the side because I didn't enjoy how she was turning out. It was a long time before I picked up doing pixel work after I tried this project, but I'll save that for a later post.

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