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Stuck in a money loop, and how do I learn to draw?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Denisowator, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    So I want to make a 2D retro platformer, like Capitain Claw. The only probelm is, I can't draw! And therefore would have to pay someone to make the pixel art for me. This is where the loop happens. I'm too young to earn enough money to pay a pixel artist, so my best bet would be croud funding like Indiegogo or Kickstarted. But obviously noone is going to donate anything if they can't see any proof of the game being worked on. And since 99.9% of the game is pixel art.... well you know, I can't show anything that I don't even have! This means no money, and no pixel artist. And the loop starts over. :(

    My other option would be to learn how to make pixel art. And here comes in another problem. How the hell does anyone learn to draw. because I've been wanting to learn to draw and paint for years! And all I get from schools and the internet, is how to use colour and shading. And NOTHING at all about how to actually make the thing you're drawing look normal. For example, I have no idea how to draw a person, whether it's realistic or catoony. I just don't understand how to draw the human body. And all I can find is how to use colour properly. And therefore I don't know what I'm doing wrong, which means I can't practice since everything I make just ends up looking like a Xenomorph on LSD. :(

    Someone please explain this to me. How does one learn to draw, and how do I get the money to hire a pixel artist?
     
  2. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    Make a prototype showing that you have a working game & just need an artist; post in the collaboration forum; checkout sites like www.opengameart.org to see if there is any art there that is close enough to what you want that you can use it as placeholder art for the prototype (if you find some you like contact the artist & see if they will do it all for you as either profit share or a package that they can then sell to others etc).
    Also, don't forget sound design
     
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  3. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Stop worrying / focusing on the art and just focus on your game. Using colored cubes/rectangles, pyramids/triangles, spheres/circles works fine. Using ultra low poly models/low res pixel art works fine. The thing to be focusing on is your actual game not the graphics unless you just have an interest in becoming a (better) digital artist.

    A good question to ask yourself is do you want to make great graphics or do you want to make a great game? Either one is a great answer and you just need to figure out which is most important to you.
     
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  4. Tomnnn

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    If you can spare $9 you can get pyxeledit. I recommend it and I think they have a free version you can try before you buy.

    I'm not very good at making pixel art but I was able to manage the following by downloading samples of pixel art and replicating them with variations. I turned whatever this was original into an attack on titan character :p
    eren2.png
     
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  5. Eric-Darkomen

    Eric-Darkomen

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    There are a ton of awesome resources on the web however I've found some people have the gift and can just draw and others like me need to practice for around 40 hours a week. That said there is some basic info that might help as you start out.

    There are two basic kinds of image, a vector and a raster. All raster images are pixel art, some just have a whole lot of pixels, e.g. my forum avatar which was painted in photoshop.

    Pixel art is when there is a uniform grid of dots and each dot has a defined color. Vector art on the other hand is like a dot to dot book, it is a series of points with lines between them. Each line has curvature information that describes how the line bends between its start and end dot. Vector art IMO is much easier to produce quickly and has very hard edges for a very clean look. You can easily convert from vector to raster but it's less simple the other way around.

    Either way, whenever you start a drawing its a good idea to find a few images of what you want to draw online and use these to pick out the necessary details to ensure that they're included and check that you are keeping everything in a reasonable proportion (i.e. the size of one part is correct in relation to the size of another part). Using a program that supports layers and tracing is also a good way to start out.

    Once you have your basic graphic there are a ton of filters out there to make your artwork blocky at the push of a button (and maybe the slide of a few sliders). Here is the graphic (minus hat) after clicking filter->pixelate->mosaic in Photoshop.



    I understand that you probably cant afford Photoshop if you cant afford a pixel artist but I can recommend free alternatives to both PS (raster) and Illustrator (vector), namely The Gimp http://www.gimp.org/ and Inkscape https://inkscape.org/en/ . Like everything though it largely boils down to practice, or, if this isn't your thing having another skill to trade.
     
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  6. Denisowator

    Denisowator

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    Thank you guys so much for the informative and helpful replies. And of course all your advice. :)
     
  7. ippdev

    ippdev

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    There is this http://vectormagic.com/home

    Grab some images from google images. Any size.
    Run them through vector magic.
    Resize, tweak and fill with your color/gradient choice in Inkscape.
    Export as raster.

    For animations grab short video clips and do the above per frame.
     
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  8. goat

    goat

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    I would draw the best you can and then let you cruddy drawing be your original take on style.
     
  9. dogzerx2

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    You're in luck!

    The best way I've found is to shamelessly copy inspire myself in other people's art. You learn a lot by it. Then you can add your personal touch. Mix it up. Slowly but surely you create a mental art library, which you access without needing to look existing art.
     
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  10. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    Honestly the best way to do it is to just practice, just start practicing, watch some tutorials on Youtube, try to make exactly what people make in the videos, and eventually it will be second nature to you.
     
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  11. MurDocINC

    MurDocINC

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    Sorry to be a party pooper but you should know that side scrollers are a very saturated market. You going to need something really new to get noticed.
     
  12. goat

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    LOL, like a very amateur looking drawing style. People will know you are authentic in creating it yourself at least.
     
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  13. Kiwasi

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    Every one has given some good advice on how to get art or become good at it. But there is another way to approach this problem. If you can't do art, don't make a game that relies heavily on art assets. Plenty of good games out there that are successful for reasons other then having great art.

    Focus on the things you can do well.
     
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  14. Kiwasi

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    Also on learning: Any decent art school should be able to teach you the technical aspects of art. They often can't make up for the feel and intuition great artists have. But most of the technical aspects just come down to understanding some basic maths, proportions and colours. After a semester of art I produced a human face that looked decent enough to be selected for inclusion in the local museum's Picasso exhibition. And my natural art talent makes @Tomnnn look like Michelangelo.
     
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  15. Prototypetheta

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    This. This is working out pretty well for me. Go on the internet, you should be able to dig up some tutorials explaining the basics behind pixel arting, but what's really helpful is finding existing pixel art, sitting down and trying to figure out what makes it work, then have a bash at replicating the style yourself. Eventually you'll find your own style.
     
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  16. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

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    I'll believe that when I see it. SHOW ME YOUR PIXEL ART!

    When it comes to 3D modeling or pixel art, I can at least achieve a recognizable form... sometimes... but I am certain if we were both to draw something, mine would be worse.
     
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  17. SCoolidge

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    ive always appreciate art/graphics in gaming and other mediums. However, if the game is really good, i dont notice or care as much.

    Look at minecraft and terraria, they are a couple of games that put I in an insane amount of hours in the last few years. They are not up to par with todays kiddos VR standards, but the gameplay and fun factor trump that imo. Well, until you run arcoss some kid telling me, but imagine if those games looked like real life man....

    Perhaps its just my perspective on the subject matter. I started playing video games in 82 at the age of 4. I can still appreciate early graphics and art style. The original Tron blew me away....... a kid today might laugh at that and tell me how it sucks.

    Oh, and not to derail the tread.. sorry..

    OP, art just takes practice. Im not great by any means, but my art has developed into my own style over the years and i take pride in that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
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  18. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Fortunately you are in luck. Since presumably you are human and capable of reading and posting here you have eyes and hands that work. (Though those aren't necessarily a limiting factor). You have all the tools you need to learn how to draw. People have been doing it since, well... arguably, since we could be called people.

    Learning to draw is very easy and essentially free. There is no trick to it and no really no lessons or tips required and only really 3 simple steps:

    1. Find a subject. (Parks are great, as are coffee shops, magazines, pictures, things sitting on your desk or around your house, whatever you want to draw.)

    2. Draw it. (Paper and pencil is all you need, though I prefer pen as it forces you to be more thoughtful about every line)

    3. Evaluate. (What looks right? What doesn't? The stuff that doesn't focus on next time. Nailed it? Sweet! Next drawing, pick something new or more complex. Ask others for their opinions)

    Now repeat those 3 steps many thousands of times and you should be starting to get pretty good. Imagine if those years you have been 'wanting' to draw, you had spent drawing, you'd be part way there now.

    True, most schools/courses are only mainly cover application techniques and less broad areas, like color theory, composition, technical drawing, anatomy, and so on. This is because they expect you bring base skills to the table. Many of the top schools require you to provide portfolio to gain admission.

    It's like many things, if want do it/be good at it, you just need to put in the effort and do. Waiting to start or expecting to at some point someone to 'teach' you is a good way to never getting it done. Learning is an active endeavor, not a passive.

    If you want to be an artist, start drawing. Don't stop.
     
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  19. Tomnnn

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    No worries, that was still very much on topic. Speaking of which, did anyone hear about it snowing in Alaska yesterday!? Snow in late September, what!?

    Coffee shops? Did he say he wanted to learn how to draw hipsters and laptops? :p

    For someone affiliated with disney I'm surprised you'd give that advice. Plenty of faces don't look quite right in their films. You silly.

    And that's going way too far for someone who wanted to make a pixel art platformer that resembles Captain Claw :D

    so racist!

    mantis.jpg
     
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  20. Denisowator

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    That reply just made my day! :D
     
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  21. Kiwasi

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    Please don't feed the jester. Acknowledging his existence only encourages him. :)
     
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  22. goat

    goat

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    It's true, I learned imitating comic book artists who can be atrocious artists in the comics but eventually I got to where I could draw good representations of people I knew and trust me I was awful starting out. I draw, erase, redraw, and so on...slow and tedious but you learn.
     
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  23. zombiegorilla

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    I can only assume you are referring to Liefeld. ;)
     
  24. goat

    goat

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    No, I'm way too old to know who Liefeld is. I found a 7-11 slurpee cup with the Thing on it in 1975 and there started my comic collection. Despite all the admiration of Jack Kirby even I as a boy was thinking that art is awful.

    LMAO, I google Liefeld and most of his work is passable but whew when he fails, he fails.
     
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  25. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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  26. Tomnnn

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    My morning replies drone on a little longer than the others, but I'm glad they can still be amusing. The last part of my post, the mantis shrimp, is a reference to other species that have eyes. In fact, if your brain could handle the information intake, mantis shrimp vision is considered superior to ours!

    How is that a bad thing? :p

    I certainly wouldn't turn down a special little name tag. Instead of community moderator it would say community jester. It would grant no additional role / privilege but give initial context to readers and perhaps gain a little more leniency with mods for my thread derailment conquests.

    Not that I go out of my way to derail threads... often.
     
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  27. Not_Sure

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    Don't be affraid to try different approaches to the art assets.

    Use digital images like MK. Do clay animation. Use action figures and digitize them. Do primatives like Crossy road.
     
  28. UnleadedGames

    UnleadedGames

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    I sadly grew up with Liefeld destroying my child hood. It's because of this guy I can't draw muscles correctly cause I learned mostly from his art style as a young adult. I couldn't even break the habit in college so I stuck to normal sized people, animals, cars, and buildings lol.
     
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  29. antislash

    antislash

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    Adobe CS2 suite is abandonware and does everything needed
     
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  30. Martin_H

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    Go on amazon and buy "drawing on the right side of the brain" by Betty Edwards. That's a good introduction that requires no prior knowledge. It explains how some things in your brain work that prevent you from drawing what you see.
    After that continue with anatomy books and books on perspective and composition.
     
  31. Eric-Darkomen

    Eric-Darkomen

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    absolutely and Affinity by serif https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/ is current and getting rave reviews for like £40, gimp is free and is a serious contender and frankly paint is under-rated.
     
  32. antislash

    antislash

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    to the OP, to learn to draw....draw, draw, everywhere, in the toilets, waiting the bus, wherever, whenever, draw
     
  33. Prototypetheta

    Prototypetheta

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    Or you could use my favorite drawing program, pen and paper, or alternatively a sharpie and the forehead of a passed out mate :p

    Joking aside, it's a good idea to just keep drawing to get a feel for it. I'm crap at art, got all the hand eye co-ordination of a lobotomised gorilla, but just practicing like a madman does eventually pay off and I can (nearly) almost reliably work on concepts myself.

    I'll warn you though, small scale pixel art is a completely different ballgame, but actually very interesting in it's own right.
     
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  34. Eric-Darkomen

    Eric-Darkomen

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  35. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

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    That'd do nicely.
     
  36. Eric-Darkomen

    Eric-Darkomen

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    you think that's good, you should see my $6 bill, lol
     
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  37. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Fantastic book!
     
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  38. ippdev

    ippdev

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    John Buscema's work in the black and white Conan comics is something to study. He can create amazingly vibrant action scenes with the least amount of lines needed to see the sword move, the stance and the enemies scattering from the sword slash and blows. Just the right tension in the lines shows the work the biceps and triceps are doing, where the weight is centered in the body and the lines of the falling enemies indicates precisely their trajectories through space. Frazetta was another who with a single stroke of a well loaded brush could create a fully shadowed and specular hilighted biceps with one deft stroke. Compare that with the tediously overwrought detailing of Boris Vallejo who uses studio muscle and breast models composed with three point lighting and traces the photograph using a lucigraph. Both Buscema and Frazetta were like the greatest of the Sumi painters who could achieve amazing detail with single strokes. The Japanese will pay over a million bucks for an original Frazetta (1980's figures I heard from an avid millionaire collector of fantasy art) and they will pay only 10's of thousands, if that, for a Vallejo, a one trick pony.
     
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  39. swyrazik

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    Sounds like the book I always needed. Do you have any other similar recommendations or should this book suffice for accessing my right brain's potential?
     
  40. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Study the old Masters sketches... da Vinci, Rubens, Albrecht Durer. Study the oils of them, da Vinci's sfumatto, Van Eyck's almost raytraced realism, Rubens gestural use of color, Michaelangelo's dynamic posings and pure colors palette.. I found good engraving of the human form to be quite helpful when young as it allowed me to visualize the surface better due to the flow of the etch lines being the composition.
     
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  41. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Something else that should be addressed. Learning to draw on its own will not break you out of you money loop. If it's cash you are after, there are more reliable ways then making games.
     
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  42. Martin_H

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    If you ask an average adult without any art training to draw a portrait of someone it will more often then not look like a child drew it. This book explains why that is how you need to approach drawing to be able to draw what you see without it looking like a child did it. But that is like 5% of the whole journey. It is the best book I know to overcome the first roadblock that everyone faces and needs to tackle. But the skill to just copy what you see alone is not worth a lot to a games artist. It'll get you ohhhs and ahhhs from people who didn't overcome that first challenge and it goes a long way in helping you understand the things you really need to learn to become a well rounded artist.

    I've recommended some other books here:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/video-courses-to-start-learning-game-art.351697/#post-2276290

    Anatomy books are important to learn how to draw, but I don't think there is a "holy grail" of those books. "Strength Training Anatomy" by Frederic Delavier is maybe a not so obvious but good suggestion. It's a book for bodybuilders and to my knowledge there isn't any text on drawing in it. But it is full of great reference drawings that show muscles and bones in detail. You need to understand how things work to be able to draw them if you don't just copy references. Maybe check out some of the classics from authors like Andrew Loomis and Burne Hogarth. You might also be interested in "Force" series by Mike Mattesi. I didn't read any of those but they stress aspects that others (Hogarth not so much) sometimes neglect. Like I said, there isn't one book for this, you'll take away a little from each one.
    Also do what @ippdev says, it is great advice!
     
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  43. antislash

    antislash

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    those speed-painting vids are awesome and show how to paint stunning scenes
     
  44. darkhog

    darkhog

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    The better free alternative for artists would be Krita: https://krita.org/ - as GIMP is more for when you want to edit that pesky zit out of your face in a selfie, not when you want to draw a Mona Lisa ;).
     
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  45. Prototypetheta

    Prototypetheta

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    As much as the FNAF fan art on the front page of that puts me off, this genuinely looks like quite a useful tool. Going to definatly look into this one, thanks.
     
  46. antislash

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    i had painter, mypaint and other free stuff, but i found i could do exactly the same with Adobe CS 2 , plus you have all the features of PSD files and all the image editing Tools.... i prefer have all thing concentrated in on Tool.

    on the road.jpg
    wip.jpg
    launch_area.jpg
    water.jpg
    gerett.jpg
     
  47. darkhog

    darkhog

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    Krita has layer stuff on par with PS. I would use it more, because for one it is free both for commercial stuff and not and is launching faster than PS (except maybe photoshop 5.0, but who would use such ancient version...)
     
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  48. antislash

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    my point is, tool doesn't matter, talent matters, if you like to draw you can do whatever you want, a good tool will not make you a good artist.
     
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  49. darkhog

    darkhog

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    It may, though, make you an average artist. Meanwhile bad tool (say, MS Paint) can definitely make you a bad artist unless you want to spend several day on a single piece.

    I have virtually no chances making a game using assembly or raw openGL/DX. I have, however pretty big chance of doing so using Unity.
     
  50. Prototypetheta

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    Obviously talent is always more important than the tool you use, but people may find one program easier to use than another, and may hold their own preferences.

    Although, that said, does Photoshop CS2 have the normalmapping plugin? Or was that only for later versions.