A course for anyone who wants to learn how to create pixel art for games. This course is available on Skillshare and teaches the fundamental principles of working with pixel art.
Link to Course here
- Course Title: Pixel Art Fundamentals: Create Pixel Art for Games
- Level: Beginner
- Duration: 41m
- Released: 2017
- Software Required: Adobe Photoshop CC
Rather than just explaining the physics behind setting up software to colour in the pixels, the instructor gives a nice introduction to what pixels are, their usage, and how game art has evolved historically. He does also show you how to configure a new file, and the options needed to create pixel art, and his software of choice is Adobe Photoshop CC.
You are taught several terms in the pixel art world and what exactly they refer to when drawing, and choosing ‘what to put where’ on the screen. He displays knowledge of what looks great and what looks dull when it comes to working with pixel art, and the images you see at the start (assuming they are his) are quite impressive, so he knows what he is talking about.
He also touches lightly on file types which is a useful tip, if you have no idea about that subject. In addition, he also introduces you to perspectives and angles that you should consider when drawing, as well as colour decisions during your artistic process that give varying results depending on your choice.
If you just want to learn about the pixel art concepts, and you intend on using other software instead of Adobe Photoshop, you don’t need to have Photoshop just to go through the course since the concepts are the same in any software you choose to use.
The instructor’s voice is a little monotonous so I found myself drifting off, and having to go back and listen again to what I missed. His pronunciation of some things in English is understandable but not that great to be honest. I was glad that some of the points he’s trying to make are displayed as text in the video – otherwise I would not have been able to understand that he was saying ‘’Too Little Anti-Aliasing’’ when he was pronouncing it rather unusually.
He doesn’t actually go through drawing anything from start to finish with you. What he does is let you watch him create a sprite character (in speeded up time) and then you watch him create the same character in a side pose. This was a very cool look at how making something that is so artistically restricted can still end up quite detailed and impressive. I enjoyed watching him make this, but I would have appreciated him showing me how to make something while he talks me through it. The title “Pixel Art Fundamentals: Create Pixel Art for Games” is slightly misleading (to me at least), in that the second part of it suggests that you might actually make something (albeit something very simple) but at least finish the course having made your first sprite. This course is all about concepts and how to apply them to get better results, which is a great course idea in itself, but I was expecting something else when I signed up for it.
The course ends at Creating Backgrounds, where you watch him copy/paste sprites from a sprite map to put a simple background image together. He doesn’t tell you anything about the process in putting the sprite map together; you just kind of have to figure this out by yourself. However considering it is indeed such a short course, you should assume that only the basics are going to be covered here.
Being a pixel art fan myself, I found the content of the course very exciting, but would rather have spent the 41 minutes listening to a more professional speaker teach the lessons. Nevertheless, I am still going to go through the lessons again (in small doses) and this time actually learn the concepts that he speaks about with clear authority. I would still recommend taking this short 41 minute course as your first introduction to pixel art, because of the terms that he goes through, and the considerations of colour and perspective that give you a base to begin learning to create pixel art from. That said, the instructor mensions in the course comment section about working on advanced classes, so let’s see what’s on the horizon.