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What to use for 2D art in Unity?

Discussion in 'External Tools' started by Goat-Boy, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Goat-Boy

    Goat-Boy

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    Hello. I'm new to Unity and I don't know what to use to make art for my 2D game that has still images and animations.

    1. What format should my arts assets be in? A sprite sheet? Separate images?

    2. What external tools are good for making art in the required formats (sprite sheets) and files? In my previous game with a different engine, I used vector graphics so that I didn't have to worry about the size of the image, just the proportions. So I'm lost when it comes to non-vector graphics.
     
  2. hammy2747

    hammy2747

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    I like Aseprite. It cost $10 but it is worth it.
     
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  3. Everbrave

    Everbrave

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    Hey there, goatboy.

    I actually just recently moved from 2d to 3d and have been making games with other primarily 2d engines for several years now. I started off making all my art with Inkscape (A totally free and awesome tool for vector art). If you want more info or some tutorials on how to use Inkscape, check out this guy's tutorial blog where he teaches you everything from scenery to characters: Here
    I found a pretty simple workflow for animating using Inkscape involving transparent boxes, and if you want more information on that, let me know.

    After a year or so of doing vector art my team decided to switch to pixel art. I used Photoshop for this because it has every function you'd ever need, plus the kitchen sink. You can even use Photoshop Elements for this I believe (if you can find a copy anywhere. I seem to get a hard disk copy with every art tool (tablet) I buy.) With Photoshop, the key to pixel art is to zoom way in and create it in 1:1 space, so you actually place each pixel where you want. I'd start with 16 x 16 sprites or 24 x 24 if you want, the more space you give yourself, the more daunting you realize pixel art is. Eventually you can graduate to 64 x 64 and 128 x 128 (Which I never made it to. Ha ha) After you're done with your sprite, you're probably going to want it larger in your game. So when you go to Image > Image Size you want to choose NEAREST NEIGHBOR instead of Bicubic which is usually the default. This will preserve the sharp edges and it won't blur your sprite. Try to keep your resizes in 2x or 3x ratios rather than changing a 16 x 16 to a 57 x 57 sprite. You're going to get weird results that way because you'll lose a row or two of pixels, or gain some.

    As far as format, I always used PNGs for my pixel art and usually BMP for vector (just because it's very similar to png and it's Inkscape's standard export format). PNGs are great because if you have a transparent background it carries that across to your game, and 99% of games will have some transparent areas in their characters and item sprites at least.

    If you want to create tilesets or spritesheets (which I don't know anything about when it comes to Unity) I recommend creating a very neat and perfectly aligned grid to do all your art within. Remember that each line in that grid takes up space too, so if you want things flush and looking nice, you'll have to draw tiles over the grid as you go. Photoshop has some nice measurement tools when you marquee select that lets you see how many pixels you have selected. This saves lots of counting time. Inkscape doesn't have anything like that, as far as I'm aware. Resizing things there is a lot more difficult and annoying, but it can be done.

    I spent a lot of time doing pixel art for many games so if you have any questions or need some help or tips, feel free to reply or pm me here and I'll help out as much as I can.

    Good luck to you! Art is the best part of game development in my opinion!

    EDIT: I just looked into Aseprite as Hammy recommended, and it actually looks pretty great. It's much simpler and more focused than Photoshop for pixel art, though it does cost $10 and doesn't allow you to go above and beyond to create other types of art like logos and such unless you want them all in pixel art as well. It looks like it has built in grids and an animation tool, which doesn't do the work for you, but simplifies aligning the characters. It also looks like it uses a layer feature, which is great when it comes to any type of art. It might be worth putting a few dollars into if you're serious about pixel art over vector.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
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  4. Goat-Boy

    Goat-Boy

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    Thanks for the detailed advice. I'm checking out Asperite. Looks like what I'm wanting, and I'm now trying to figure it out. The animation tool is whats puzzling me so I'm looking thought the documentation.
     
  5. Sinhabros

    Sinhabros

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    Photoshop have an extensive set of tools that, when used with Illustrator, will help create whatever you need.
     
  6. Goat-Boy

    Goat-Boy

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    Photoshop and Illustrator are also pretty expensive. Although its probably great for full time artist, for my needs, spending the subscription money on more specialized applications that I can have for as long as I want is a better option.
     
  7. steego

    steego

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  8. MaxieQ

    MaxieQ

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    If you're looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, that would be Gimp 2.8. Gimp is open source, and lies basically on the same spot on the spectrum as Photoshop does. It is an image manipulation program that allows for digital drawing and painting quite well.

    If you're looking for more specialised drawing and painting, then I swear by Krita. It is an utterly awesome program for drawing, texture work, digital painting. You do, however, need a Wacom tablet to use it best.

    Link to Krita's homepage: https://krita.org/
     
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  9. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Photoshop (expensive paid for 2d software)

    Gimp - (Freeeeeee!) (Very similar to photoshop, has lots of free plugins too!)

    Krita - (Free) Very Lovely software!!
    As MaxieQ suggested, better check out Krita's website and fast!! :eek:

    Illustrator - (Expensive paid for software)

    Inkscape - (Free) :D

    The guys/gals above my post, have made many very good points too. :D

    Now go download and learn one of these software, and start drawing FAST!!!! :D
     
  10. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Wow!
    I didn't know about these two!:eek:
    Thanks for that info dude! :D
     
  11. Goat-Boy

    Goat-Boy

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    Thanks for the help @BrandyStarbrite . I piked up a pixel art/animation editor, Pixen, for Mac and its working pretty well.
     
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  12. GustavMH

    GustavMH

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    is there any free programs that is great for pixel art?