Pixel Art

Pixel Art is artwork designed to a high degree of pixel-level intent.

or..., Pixel Art is typically crafted through the practice of placing pixels with the use of precision oriented tools. Thus, any tool with which an artist can predict exactly the outcome through its use is considered a pixel art tool. The most basic of the Pixel Artist's tools is the 1x1 pixel Pencil Tool.

Categories

Pixel art is commonly divided in two subcategories: isometric and non-isometric.

The isometric kind is drawn in a near-isometric projection. This is commonly seen in games to provide a three-dimensional view without using any real three-dimensional processing. Technically, an isometric angle would be of 30 degrees, but this does not produce a good result in pixel art since the pixels in these lines do not follow a neat pattern. To fix this, a ratio of 1:2 is picked, leading to an angle of, approximately, 26.565 degrees (arctan 0.5).

Non-isometric pixel art is any pixel art that does not fall in the isometric category, such as views from the top, side, front, bottom or perspective views.

Uses

Pixel art was very often used in old computer and video console games. With the increasing use of 3D graphics in games, pixel art lost some of its use. Despite that, this is still a very active professional area, since mobile phones and other portable devices still have low resolution and then require a skillful use of space and memory.

Icons for operating systems with limited graphics abilities are also pixel art. The limited number of colors and resolution presents a challenge when attempting to convey complicated concepts and ideas in an efficient way. Microsoft Windows desktop icons are raster images of various sizes, the smaller of which are not necessarily direct scalings of the larger ones and could be considered pixel art.

Another use of pixel art on modern desktop computers is favicons.

A favicon (short for "Favorites icon"),  is an icon associated with a particular website or webpage. A web designer can create such an icon, and many web browsers—such as recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, and Konqueror—can then make use of them. Browsers that support favicons may display them in the browser's URL bar, next to the site's name in lists of bookmarks, and next to the page's title in a tabbed document interface.

http://mppierce66.home.comcast.net/web/fi/collage.htm

 

Constraints

The aspiring pixel artist must remember to keep the color count low; the art is often to be used on systems where the number of available colors is limited, such as older video game consoles or mobile phones. The color constraint is also part of the genre.

Generally, "pure" pixel art must be created by manual pixel-level editing, without the use of any automatic filters. In the pure form, it is generally said that "each pixel was placed carefully". Purists within the pixel art scene say that pixel artists should only use tools that place individual pixels (usually the pencil tool), and no tools that automatically create shapes for you (like circle, square and line tools). Others say that the line tools and the bucket fill are acceptable, as they do nothing more than speed up the work without impacting how the work looks. The use of automatic filters such as anti-aliasing, on the other hand, is generally considered not valid in "true" pixel art, since the filters will add new pixels automatically, eliminating the careful placement.

Anti-Aliasing (also referred to as AA) is a blending technique used to simulate greater Resolution in images, or to reduce the "grid" effect caused by the screen pixel-matrix . This is achieved by placing a middle color, or colors, at key points between two contrasting parent color-shapes in order to create the perception of smoothly curved edges. The intermediate color or colors can be either chosen and placed "by eye" or by using mathematical formulae dealing with subpixel accuracy. Applying Anti-Aliasing will increase the blurryness of the image where used. Blurring is a byproduct of Anti-Aliasing, but is usually not a primary goal.

Also, a common mistake is to think that any drawing or doodle done using the pencil tool is pixel art. This is not true, since pixel art is categorized by the method of drawing (pixel by pixel), not the results (therefore, special renders and automated filters do not apply either).

But, it is possible to have a photorealistic pixel art piece, as long as it was done by the pixel by pixel method (frequently called "pixel pushing").

 

Saving and compression

Pixel art is preferably stored losslessly, that is, in a format that can save each pixel of the image without loss of precision. Because of the often-limited color space, using a color palette can be very efficient. PNG and GIF are two examples of formats that can do this space-efficiently. Run-length encoding is a possible tradeoff when memory or computational power is limited.

Pixel art should not be saved as JPEG files because the lossy compression of the format cannot handle the details involved in pixel art. Even at maximum quality there will be several losses in detail, especially in the matter of colors of individual pixels. Also, JPEG files tend to become larger in size than the GIF or PNG.

 

Links

http://hello.eboy.com/eboy/

 

 

http://pixel.nascimpact.com/

http://www.flipflopflyin.com/index.html

http://park12.wakwak.com/~bongo/

http://www.oldschool-themovie.com/_GAME/game.html

http://www.madbox.com/portfolio_mid.aspx?catID=9

http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=787

 

Tutorial

How to Make a Small House in Pixel 

art.http://pixel.nascimpact.com/tut_house.php


First, draw the principal lines of the house, while taking as bases on the ground, a rectangle in isometric sight.


Fill the various zones of the houses, I choose as a preliminary a pallet of nuances of colors. To keep well at the head the source of the source of light.


Trace contours of the principal forms and angles with colors corresponding to surfaces.


Add some elements such as windows, carries, etc by using the same one to proceed.


At end, one can obtain this image by adding a shade, details (to walk on, barrier, lawn with the filter 'noise').

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pressstarttobegin/2242333964/in/pool-the_pixel_artists