2D Game Art For Programmers

2D Game Art For Programmers
Our Properties:
Gamasutra
SEA RCH
LOGIN
UPDA TES
A LL
GameCareerGuide
BLOGS
GO
EVENTS
CONSOLE/PC GA MES
Member Login
CONTRA CTORS
IndieGames
GDC Vault
GDC
IGF
App Dev Stories
ADC
GA ME JOBS
NEWSLETTER
SOCIA L/ONLINE GA MES
STORE
SEA RCH
SMA RTPHONE/TA BLET GA MES
GO
INDEPENDENT GA MES
Blogs
Email:
Password:
LO GIN
Forgot Password? Sign Up
2D Game Art For Programmers - Part 1
[updated]
by Chris Hildenbrand on 10/15/11 09:20:00 am
Contents
37 comments
2D Game A rt For
Programmers - Part 1
[updated]
The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
Printe r-Frie ndly
Ve rsion
Introduction:
PROGRA MMING
A RT
With the help of free software like gimp, inkscape, truespace, daz studio and vue pioneer (just to
mention a few) combined with a basic understanding of art creation pretty much anyone can create
impressive and professional looking results.
A UDIO
DESIGN
PRODUCTION
BIZ/MA RKETING
Latest Jobs
View A ll
Post
RSS
September 25, 2013
W argam ing.ne t
Tools Docum e ntation
Spe cialist
W argam ing.ne t
Platform /Se rve r
Software Engine e r
W argam ing.ne t
Tools Engine e r
Airtight Gam e s
Se nior Graphics
Program m e r
Let me start by clarifying some common believes when it comes to creating game at.
"I need expensive software tools to create truly professional game art."
No, you don't! There is a huge amount of free tools available that offer a true alternative. Gimp is one
of the most well-known examples in the 2D realm as well as Blender in 3D field.
For the full time game artist upgrading your tools to ' industry standards' makes sense. Especially
when collaborating with others using standard file format makes sharing and exchanging art a lot
easier.
"I can't do art. I can't even draw a stick figure."
Yes, you can. This is where modern computers to come in and allow you to create good game art
without having a graphic arts degree.
n-Space , Inc.
Mid to Se nior
Te chnical Artists
Latest Blogs
Post
I will try to start with some basic ideas and exercises to improve this kind of understanding. All of the
examples will be based on free software. The workflow will be similar if you work with different
software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop, CorelDraw or others. I will try to mention the
different approaches for those software packages. With the vast variety of software available at the
moment and the sheer endless amount of our art creation tools and techniques it is impossible to
cover everything but I will try to keep my examples basic enough to work with the software of your
choice.
"Buying an expensive tool will automatically create better art."
No, it won't. It's always the artist creating the art that makes it great. Given the simplest tools like
pen and paper a good artist can still create stunning pieces, while the most sophisticated tools still
need a good artist to create something special.
W argam ing.ne t
UI Scripte r
View A ll
Creating your own art work is a necessity for most independent developers. Due to the budget
restraints or in a lot of cases the complete lack of a budget a lot of young indie game developer can't
afford to hire an artist or buy art assets.
RSS
"My game is good as it is. I don't need art."
Yes, you do. The independent game market is getting larger and larger and is attracting a lot more
attention than it used to a few years back. In order to stand out your game should be the whole deal
- have a great game play as well as rewarding and consistent visuals and matching sound and music.
September 25, 2013
Common hurdles
Features
View A ll
RSS
September 25, 2013
Postm orte m :
Drink Box Studios'
Guacamelee! [5]
High Expectations:
One of the main problems facing independent developers are the expectations they have themselves.
For single developers or small studios it is close to impossible to create AAA games match the quality
of big studios. You should try and aim for the stars. Making games is all about that. Do the best you
can and constantly push your limits and improve your skills...
but thinking realistically and adjusting your expectations to your abilities and your budget is a big
step towards creating the best game you can create.
GAO
A Ne w Pokémon for a
Ne w Era [7]
Defining a theme:
Puppeteer: A m acabre
A lot of the time game creation happens with a spark. We have an idea of how the game playing
fairy tale gam e m ade
'the Japane se way' [9]
might work and start creating. Creating very concrete in game art in the early stages of development
Press Releases
View A ll
can often lead to problems as the game evolves during development.
It usually helps to create a working game engine/ core gameplay before starting on the actual art
work. Once you know how the game plays it's a lot easier to find a visual theme that encompasses
the whole game.
RSS
September 25, 2013
Consistency:
Creating a consistent look and feel is a key element in creating a good gaming experience. It starts
with the icon, the splash screen and goes all the way through to the game over screen. The most
common mistakes are:
Calendar
View A ll
Submit Event
UTS Sydney
A nimation Festival
Sydne y, Australia
- the overuse of fonts - stick to 2 or 3 for the whole game UI [unless the font is used in images as
lettering for shops/ packaging/ etc.]
- drastic changes in light and contrast - keep screens on a similar level - you can progress through the
colour realm - usually starting out less colourful and getting more colourful for boss/ epic scenes
- photoshop effects - they are fun but a lot of 'artist' think the more you use the better the image will
09.26.2013
be... My suggestion is limit your use of fx to a few and keep reusing and variating them
- lighting - look at your screens and imagine the light sources needed to create the highlights,
LOGIN Conference
shadows of your ingame/ ui elements... It's scary how often you find lights being randomly used for
2013
objects that appear on the same screen
SAN FR ANC ISC O ,
Unite d State s
09.26.2013
NYC - Internet of
Things - Hackathon to
Build Mobile Gaming
A pps for Multiple
Devices
Losing focus:
It is only easy to get carried away with your art work as well as game play or coding. We all tend to
focus on those elements we like to do while neglecting those we don't. A good example is generally
the menu system/ UI. These usually are implemented at a late stage in the development with
motivation at a low point. Yet they are one of the first things the player gets to see and they can
greatly define the look and feel of the game.
Ne w York , Unite d
State s
09.27.2013
ISVCon 2013 in Reno,
NV
Let's get started
R e no, Unite d State s
09.27.2013
The first tutorial is based on inkscape using mainly the circle tool [marked in orange in the tool bar on
the left] and the nodes tool [marked in green].
About
Editor-In-Chief:
Kris Graft
Blog Director:
C hristian Nutt
Senior Contributing
Editor:
Brandon She ffie ld
News Editors:
Mik e R ose , Kris
Ligm an
Editors-A t-Large:
Le igh Ale x ande r, C hris
Morris
A dvertising:
Je nnife r Sulik
Recruitment:
Gina Gross
Education:
Gillian C rowle y
C ontact Gam asutra
R e port a Proble m
Subm it Ne ws
C om m e nt Guide line s
Blogging Guide line s
Gama Network
If you e njoy re ading this
site , you m ight also want to
che ck out the se UBM
Te chW e b site s:
Game Career Guide
Indie Games
A very similar result can be created in a bitmap tool [e.g. using circle shapes in gimp]. The work flow is
a little different but as long as you keep elements on different layers it's easy to move, alter and
modify.
The second tutorial works the same way - this time using squares:
The outline version still looks somewhat messy but it shows that the whole scene is made up of
nothing but squares and deformed rectangles.
One very useful tool is the gradient fill. Let's have a look at it in the next tutorial:
Next we are moving on to more complex shapes with the help of combined shapes using union,
intersection, difference, exclusion and division.
This concludes the first post. I hope you have fun trying to recreate some of the tutorials yourself or
just play around with inkscape, gimp & co.
...and please let me know what you think about the tutorials, tell me what you would like to see
featured or would like me to change.
Read more in Part 2.
Comments
E Zachary Knight
15 O ct 2011 at 7:14 am PST
This is a really awesome tutorial. As a programmer who dabbles in art using Inkscape,
this kind of tutorial can really help me. Thanks.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement