WeaskerInterviewing Experts
Interview with ae1996 

Pixel Artists on Tools and Techniques for Creating Pixel Art

I am a pixel artist of over 5 years. I have worked on a diverse range of projects: from creating tile sets and sprites for games, animated shots for film, album covers and twitch screens and assets.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
I have five years of professional experience as a full time pixel artist, but I have been a hobbyist for nearly a decade! When I first started, a lot of my artwork was built off of existing styles and copying references. My main sources of inspiration were the Monkey Island games I used to play as a child, which put me on the path to exploring this artform. Over time, my confidence has grown, and with that, my approach has changed to be less about copying existing styles, but about analysing the project in front of me, and pulling inspiration from whatever style best suits the current needs. I think it's very easy to get in your head as a beginner artist, and overthink what you're style is, or what your approach to a project should be. Truthfully, these things develop naturally over time as you gain more experience.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
My specialty is unique cover work, usually for albums, screens or banners. I enjoy creating detailed environments, and playing with colour and lighting. I like my colour palettes to be bold and exciting. Often times, pixel art is more about a limited palette, than it is about resolution! Having said that, I have worked on a diverse range of projects. I have worked on character sprites and environment assets for games, assets for streaming, and even animated shots for film! I am always surprised by the diversity of media pixel art is used for, and whilst I do have a specialty, I do try not to pass up on opportunities outside of this, to avoid limiting myself.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
I am quite versatile in adapting to different styles within pixel art. It all comes down to analysing the reference images, and figuring out what makes a style a style. Is it flat or shaded? Does it have outlines? Does it have aliasing or smooth gradients? Positing these questions can help narrow down the requirements for a style, as well as analysing how things are abstracted, and figuring out the way in which a style plays with shape and proportion. A lot of the time, this will come with experience and practice, and nothing helps develop your versatility than actually doing!
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
You can find some of my pixel art work here on my portfolio website:
https://www.ashemritte.co.uk/pixel-art-portfolio-1

Or here, on my Fiverr:
https://www.fiverr.com/ae1996/create-pixel-art-for-you?source=order_page_summary_gig_link_title&funnel=ffced49bb4cf47a989bb55e9561696b6
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
I mainly use Aseprite for creating pixel art pieces. I use it primarily because unlike other software such as Photoshop or Illustrator, it has been built primarily for pixel art, so it saves a lot of setting up in other software. On top of this, it's "pixel-perfect" freehand tracing algorithm is really useful in creating clean lines, especially when working on shapes with a lot of curvature and organic outlines. It is also very simple and intuitive to use, and comes with all the tools necessary to create great artwork! There are also scripts available that allow you to export as a Photoshop document, to allow for easy sharing. For vectors, I usually export from Aseprite as a .svg and clean up in Illustrator.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
Mostly PNG, as it is lossless and supports alpha channels. Usually, .gifs will often suffice, especially for online content, but it is very much dependent on the clients' needs. Unfortunately, .gifs do not have alpha support and can cause colour issues due to compression, so do keep this in mind. In terms of scaling, always be aware that to get clean lines and keep a consistent pixel size, you will want to scale by factors of 100, and using the Nearest Neighbour interpolation method. I personally work on a 240x135 for projects that require a 16:9 ration, and upscale by 800% for the final 1920x1080 resolution.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
Yes, I do create animated pieces. I have worked on character sprites, environment animations, and animated shots. One of the main challenges for animation is timing, and figuring out the best fps for your project. Sometimes, a client will want really smooth animation (around 12-24 fps), other times they will want something more retro (around 8-10fps). For pieces at a lower frame rate, the challenge comes in expressing a lot of movement within a single frame. Usually action lines come in handy, but as you have less frames to play with, you do have to get creative! Another challenge is shading. For still image pieces, it is easy to create intricately detailed pieces with a beautiful render. Keeping this consistent during animation is very difficult! I usually find the best way to do this is break things down into layers, so that you can easily manipulate things and have a greater degree of control.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
Yes, I have created pixel art for games. One of the important things to keep in mind is visual consistency, so familiarise yourself with the references provided by the client for the aesthetic of their game. Each asset will need to feel like they belong within the same world, so developing a style guide with the client if one isn't already provided is a useful endeavour. The other is readability. If a character sprite is placed in an environment and doesn't pop, or blends too well with the environment, or makes the whole thing look too busy, then there is a problem. Always keep comparing your assets to existing pieces, and if possible, test them!
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
I accept pretty much all requests, and enjoy the versatility of working on a diverse range of projects.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
The main factor in pricing my work is complexity. This depends a lot on the content of the scene, the animations required, and the shading style. I try not to price by size/resolution, as there is a lot of variety in terms of complexity even at the same resolution. I would also price animations separately, as they are usually quite time intensive. I usually provide a base price for the still image sprite/environment/asset design, and then break down the additional costs of animating these pieces. Whilst resolution is not the main factor in pricing, it is important to keep in mind that the increase of pricing based on the increase of resolution is exponential, rather than linear.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
If you are able to provide work in progress images, that is always helpful in keeping a client in the loop, and on board with design decisions. This may not always be possible dependent on the project, but it is useful. A lot of the time, delivering work clients are satisfied with starts with the brief. Making sure there is clarity between you and the client as to what you are expected to deliver is crucial at the initial stages of the project. Do not be afraid to query, or ask for additional information or references. Before starting a project, I will usually send a final message to the client summarising what has been discussed, to avoid any potential for miscommunication.
weasker.com
ae1996Pixel artist about 1 month ago Contact
First and foremost, a clear brief is always appreciated! Having references of existing work that you like is always helpful. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Most pixel artists are experts in their field and may be able to offer suggestions if you are unsure as to what direction you want your project/artwork to go in. You may not have all the specifications at hand when first approaching the artist, but this is fine as long as you can work with the artist to iron out the details before starting. They may be able to offer you a range of options. As for choosing a pixel artist, it's all in the portfolio! If you like what you see, and you think an artist's style is a good fit, do reach out! Also consider what media the artist works in, whether they exclusively work with games, or if they do other types of pixel artwork.