Drawing both a chibi base and larger anime-styled base.
The very basics of pixelling to get you started making your own pixel art.
Using Microsoft Paint to create your pixel art and pixel dolls.
Step by step examples showing how to sketch and shade a pixel doll.
Using basic shapes to illustrate shadow and light placement.
Adding patterns when making a pixel doll.
Introducing animation using GIMP by making a pixel doll blink.
Creating a 50x50 icon for use in places such as DeviantArt.com
Various colour palettes for pixel art, as well as a random theme generator.
Animation Tutorial with GIMP
In this tutorial I will be using the free graphics software GIMP to do the animation. Windows users can download GIMP here. At the time of this tutorial, the current version is 2.6.8.
An animated gif is made up of many pictures called frames.
Each frame is slightly different to the previous one and is set to appear for a certain amount of time. This time is called the "frame delay".
Often the frame delay is only part of a second before it moves to the next frame. The shorter the time delay, the faster the animation.
So, what movements are involved in blinking? Eyes open, eyes closed. Two states and therefore at least two frames are necessary.
I've animated the two frames we had in our plan and you can see that this will work as an animation (especially if you want a fast blink), but it still looks pretty static and the animation itself is quite sharp.
To fix the sharp movements, we need to add frames in between.
Ok, now we've got 4 frames. Eyes open, half open, closed, half open and then it repeats. Comparing the previous example, you can see there's an obvious difference. The transition between frames appears much smoother.
With our frames planned out, we'll open GIMP. You'll be greeted by a few windows; your toolbox, layers and the document window (which should be empty).
Because this is an animation tutorial, I'm not going to go into the tools, only using the layers window for animation frames and saving it out.
Our step now is to create the document for the animation in the "Document" window. To do this, click on the File Menu and select "New".
The left dialogue box will appear. If you know the pixel size of your animation, add the width and height in. If you don't, estimate and you can trim it down later. Hit ok and your document is ready to draw on / paste frames into!
To the right are my frames, ready to be pasted in separately. I have filled the parts I want transparent with green.
Now, select your first frame (in whatever program you've drawn it in) and "Copy" it (Ctrl+C / Edit->Copy).
In GIMP, paste the frame in, by going to the Edit Menu, down to "Paste as" and across to "New Layer".
That's our first frame.
To remove the green and make it transparent, use the Magic Wand tool. I unticked the "Antialiasing" checkbox in the toolbox because we don't want it. Click on the green areas and hit "Delete". To select nothing again, go to the Select Menu -> None (Shift+Ctrl+A).
Now you can add the remainder of your frames as new layers and make them transparent.
All of my frames are pasted in and made transparent. Now I need to delete the background layer. To do this, click on it - the blue means it's the "active" layer. Next, click on the trash can icon to delete it. If you see a checker-board behind your frames, that's fine, it shows the frames are transparent.
To set the frame delay in GIMP, you specify it in the layer name. Double click on the name (in my case, "Clipboard") and type your time in brackets, then hit Enter.
You must write it as ([time here]ms) for it to work.
This is the delay in milliseconds before it moves to the next frame.
- 1000ms = 1 second.
- 500ms = 1/2 a second.
- 200ms = 1/5 a second.
- 100ms = 1/10 a second.
The most common ones I use are 200ms and 100ms unless I want a frame to stay there longer. I have chosen 1000ms for the first frame, because I want the eyes to be open for a second before closing again.