Working with Developers

How to make art and have a happy relationship with your developer

Create Transparent PNGs

Don't give them PSD files.

Create Art at 2x if possible.

Create vector art or @2x art assets if possible. If you make art too small, it won't look good on retina screens.

(also, it should be exactly 2x, not some weird multiple like 1.75x)

Name your files nicely.

hero-120x120-600x120.png

hero-walk-1.png

 

Not: image-23.png

hero-1-revised.png

Don't change the file name.

If you make updates to the art, send a new zipped folder. Don't rename stuff in the middle of the dev workflow.

Use a Consistent Grid

Every asset in an animated sequence should have the same PNG size.

2D Game Art

Line Art to Spritesheet Workflow

Goma Games

stem.gomagames.com

1. Draw Stuff

On Paper (or Other Media)

Brainstorm

Brainstorm all the different animations for your characters & environment.

For an endless vertical platformer, we will need:

1. Idle Character

2. Jumping Character

3. Walking Left & Right

4. Baddies

5. Platforms

Draw on Paper

Draw each of the frames needed for hero animations.

Idle

- Character Up

- Character Down

Walking

- Legs Together & Short

- Legs Apart & Tall

Jumping

- Squished Flatter

- Squished Taller

Draw the Other Stuff

You can add animations for the baddies and other objects. In this example, only the Explode animation will have multiple frames.

Baddie 1

Baddie 2

Several Powerups

Platforms

Explosion Animation

Color on Paper?

Optional. At this point, you can color your art for a "handmade" look. I decided to color my art later on the computer.

...or Draw Art
in an App

Draw on a Smartphone in an App & send to your computer.

Apps I Like:

- Draw ability in Google Keep

- Adobe Draw

I like these apps because they both use vector math for line art, which makes editing easier than some other popular tools. Everyone has a personal preference though, you might have other preferences if you have a brushier style. :)

...or Draw Art in Flash 2015

1. Draw with the Brush tool.
2. Color your art.

3. Export as an SVG.

Flash CC 2016 and later is terrible for line art. :( Older versions of Flash (2015 and earlier) have a nice loose brushy "sharpie" look that I like for character art. If you have Adobe CC, you have free access to older versions of Flash (look it up). I don't even animate stuff in Flash most of the time. I just draw stuff.

2. Take a Photo of Your Art

(and then clean up your photo)

Photograph

Your Art

Lean your artwork against a slanted surface so you don't cast a phone shadow.

 

Don't use your camera flash! We want a nice even background color, so instead, shine a lamp (or another phone flashlight) on your art and take a no-flash picture.

2. Clean Up & Transparency

Using Photoshop

Import

Import your image into Photoshop.

 

Convert Image Mode to Greyscale, then back to RGB.

Clean Up

If your image is grey, you will need to clean it up.

 

Add a Curves Adjustment Layer with an "S" curve. This will remove all the greys and convert the image to black and white. In this example, it's a really sharp "S".

White Out Non-Image Areas

Make a new layer on top of your art later, and use a white brush to white-out the non-image areas (or, just use the eraser tool on your image area).

Select Lines with Channels

Go to the Channels Panel, and Command-Click on the RGB layer. This will select all the white areas of your image.

 

Hit Shift-Command-I to invert your selected and select the black areas of your image.

Transparent Line Art

Create a New Layer on top of everything, and fill your selection with black.

 

Turn off all the other layers, and you've got transparent line art!

Make Spacing Adjustments

Adjust your images that are crooked.

 

Make sure there is A LOT of space between images. This will make tile-creation much easier in the next steps.

Color your Art

Set the blending mode of the line art layer to Multiply.

 

Add a new layer under the line art layer and use a brush to color your art.

 

When you are done, Export your art as a PNG

2. Clean Up & Transparency

Using Free Online Tools

Clean Up your Image

As best as you can, use the editing controls in  your phone/computer/tablet to get really clean black & white art.

Example on a Mac
(other devices will have similar controls!)

1. Open Preview

2. Move Saturation bar to the extreme left

3. Play with the position of the 3 triangles in the top area. Find the position where the background turns white and the lines are really black. (Your arrows will look different)

4. Save

Convert to Transparent PNG

I searched for "Convert to Transparent PNG" online, and I ended up here: http://www194.lunapic.com/editor/?action=transparent

 

I used this tool to remove all the white in the image and downloaded the result.

Edit in Pixlr

You can make spacing adjustments and color the line art the same as the photoshop steps with Pixlr. 

http://pixlr.com/editor/

 

Export your image as a PNG when you are done editing and coloring.

3. Preparing Grid Items

Using Sketch (Mac Only)

I don't think I've seen anyone use Sketch for Game Art...though I've found layout tools such as Sketch to be one of the most useful tools for art prep.

Import to Sketch

In Sketch, make an iPhone 6-sized Artboard (750 x 1334).

 

Plop your PNG art onto the art board. Does it look about right? If not, resize until it looks correct.

Create Artboards

Create an Artboard for each element in your collection.

Notice that:

- the hero character is always aligned on the same "floor"

- elements that are part of the same animation have the same grid (see the explode animation)

Export

Select all the Artboard layers. In the right side panel, click on the + next to Make Exportable. Settings for PNG export will display and previews for the exported images will appear.

 

Click Export Artboards.

3. Preparing Grid Items

Using Figma (Online Editor)

Figma is nearly identical to Sketch. It is a free online tool for collaborative application design, though we can use the robust Export tools for game art prep.

Import to Figma

In Figma, make an iPhone 6-sized Artboard (750 x 1334).

 

Plop your PNG art onto the art board. Does it look about right? If not, resize until it looks correct.

Create Artboards

Create an Artboard for each element in your collection.

Notice that:

- the hero character is always aligned on the same "floor"

- elements that are part of the same animation have the same grid (see the explode animation)

Export

Select all the Artboard layers.

 

In the right panel, be sure that Background is Unchecked.

 

Click on the + next to Export. Click Export Layers.

4. Creating a Texture Atlas

Using Texture Packer (Free)

Drop PNGs into Texture Packer

Create a new Texture Packer document. Drag all your PNG images into the sidebar.

Sprite Settings

Go to Advanced Settings

and Uncheck the Allow Rotation checkbox. (Phaser requires that images are not rotated).

Trim mode is Trim.

Uncheck "Allow rotation"

Publish

sprite sheet

Click "Publish sprite sheet"

Publish sprite sheet

4. Creating a Even-Grid Spritesheet

Using Texture Packer (Free)

Drop in PNGs

Only drop in images that belong to the same size grid.

 

You won't be able to re-order images, so be sure they are named well so they appear in an organized order.

Adjust Settings

In Advanced Settings, Don't Allow Rotation and set the Trim mode to None.

 

Publish sprite sheet.

Example:

Video Demos

Photoshop, Sketch, & Texture Packer

Get Inspired!

www.gaimoria.com
fb.com/gaimoria
twitter.com/gaimoria

Motivation is a load of BS. Professionals aren't motivated, they're disciplined.

A lot of amateurs complain about "not being inspired" or having "no motivation." Professionals know that stuff is fleeting and just work anyways. Discipline to work trumps all.

 

Isaiah, EYUH Games

Motivation is a load of BS. Professionals aren't motivated, they're disciplined.

A lot of amateurs complain about "not being inspired" or having "no motivation." Professionals know that stuff is fleeting and just work anyways. Discipline to work trumps all.

 

Isaiah, EYUH Games

All Things Game Art:

http://polycount.com

More Resources

(I haven't used these myself, though they were recommended by the folks at Global Game Jam)

Editing

http://renderhjs.net/shoebox/
http://gimp.org

http://www.getpaint.net/
http://www.mapeditor.org/
http://colororacle.org
http://inkscape.org/
https://krita.org/
http://www.aseprite.org/
http://www.piskelapp.com/
https://goo.gl/drj1Xd

Assets

http://opengameart.com

http://www.cgtextures.com
http://www.openfootage.net
http://glitchthegame.com/public-domain-game-art/
http://lunar.lostgarden.com/labels/free%20game%20graphics.html
http://bit.ly/18avkmQ

2D Game ArtArt to Spritesheet Workflow

By Kelli Borgonia

2D Game ArtArt to Spritesheet Workflow

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