Best Software for Making Sprites

Isabella Ava

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Hi everybody, because i want to make some unique sprite sheets & tileset i have tried out several software out there, but each software has its pro & cons


So i want to open this topic to talk about these Software & what they're lacking of


* Photoshop:


Pro:


- Well, almighty software for drawing/ editing Sprites


Cons:


- Unless you're an artist, i doubt you can make great sprites from scratch. Also alignments/ animation testing is not comfortable for making big sprite sheet such as


RPG MV Sideview battler


* Spriter:


Pro:


- Free version available.


- There are Bone/ Keyframe system, good for animation


Cons:
- Doesn't have graphic editing function


- Bugs here & there


* Anime Studio:


- Awesome animation software


Cons:


- Expensive


- I doubt it supports Pixel Graphic :p


- Not a good choice especially on working with low frame rate sprites


* Spine


Pro:


- Nice UI


- Same to Spriter but better


Cons:


- Not free


- I didn't test this software long enough


* PyxelS


Pro:


- Simple to use


- UI similar to Photoshop


- Seems great for Tileset creating, but not very good on Sprites


- Cheap, only $9 now


Cons:


- Beta, may be there is bugs


GraphicGale?


Pro:


- Free!!!


Cons:


- Not really sure what is it name :D


- Complex to use, UI not nice, too basic


- Seem not a good choice


What Functions a Sprite Making Software should have? Especially for RPG Maker MV


- Exporting in RPG MV default format? :p


- Few Samples?


- Extract useable resource from another image (lol) :))


How about you? What is your mind?
 

mlogan

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Since this is directly talking about the uses for making sprites, I'm going to move this to Resource Support.
 
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The programs I've used are Gimp (the General Image Manipulation Program) and Game Maker's Sprite Editor.  Gimp is a great drawing program, comparable to Photoshop, not the best at making animated spritesheets, but there are a lot of plugins to help out with that.  GM's Sprite Editor is not as handy at drawing, notably it lacks layers, but you can very quickly see your animation and flip between frames.  For a while I would have both programs open and copy-paste between the two depending on my needs.  (and this was for making Flash games)  


So happy am I with Gimp, that I have never tried anything else after finding it, but I have heard a few names.  A lot of deviantArt guys love Paint Tool SAI.  Krita is a new kid on the block, I've heard good things especially about its animation tools.  Pickle is specially designed for pixel art and contains animation features.  


As you are looking for the right program, it is VERY important that you can see your animation playing as you are working.  There's no substitute for seeing the animation when it comes to fine tuning movement and timing.  I guess it's maybe less important for the simple animations you can get away with in RPGMaker, but if you want to start animating more seriously, an easy-to-use animation interface can make a world of difference.  


Also, Photoshop is a waste of money.  I have Gimp at home and Photoshop for school and I honestly prefer Gimp for making artwork over Photoshop.  Photoshop is a great tool for photo-shopping, but for drawing, spriting, etc, it's not worth the pricetag or the file footprint.  


Lastly, I'm actually using Blender3D to make sprites right now.  I actually find 3D animation to be a lot easier than 2D animation, and learning 3D is not as daunting as people make it out to be.  
 

Isabella Ava

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I have tried to use GIMP but because i am not familiar with it, i feel very uncomfortable. Why do you like it so much? Does it has all Photoshop's function? Such as Grid/ Layer Blend Mode ...
 

Canini

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Gimp can do pretty much everything photoshop can, yes. It is what I use myself!
 

Isabella Ava

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What do you think current softwares lacking for, to make a best resource making Software for RPG Maker MV? I just imagine one software can help me to do every artwork


easily or automatically (not drawing but setup & alignment stuffs ) :p I guess you guys usually making your own resource for your game right? Is there any function that you guys wish for? :D
 
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Yeah, Gimp is not always the most user-friendly program.  I've been using it since at least 2008 and I'm still discovering new things about it.  I suppose at this point, I just like it because I'm familiar with it.  The most recent version of Gimp has a feature called Smooth Stroke that I LOOOOOOOOVE <3 <3 <3 !!!  


Can Gimp do everything that Photoshop can do?  Not exactly, but ultimately, Photoshop is designed for photo-shopping, Gimp is designed for drawing/painting.  If you want to start with a blank canvas and make artwork, Gimp is the stronger program.  Gimp also has a lot of plugins available to help its functionality.  Like, there isn't a lot of sprite sheet functionality built in, but there are several different kinds of sprite sheet plugins made by users that you can download.  


Gimp does have Grid settings and Layer Blend Modes.  For moving sprites around, you can go to Image -> Configure Grid to make the grid (48x48 for most MV stuff) then View -> Show Grid to see it and View -> Snap to Grid to make pens or selection rectangles snap to it.  While working, you will want to turn Snap to Grid on and off depending on what you're doing.  If you're making something like a template, you can draw one with Filters -> Render -> Checkerboard or Filters -> Render -> Grid.  You can also use an image in your copy-paste buffer as a fill texture.  


If you're feeling intimidated, there will be plenty of Intro to Gimp tutorials on YouTube and the like.  But I think what people like about PTSai and Krita are that they're not as complicated as Gimp, so it's worth checking those out too.  
 

Sharm

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Actually @mlogan, I'm going to move this to Program and Utility discussion, it'll be a better fit there.  Edit:  I mean Useful Development Tools.  Gonna take me a bit to get used to the new name.


I don't think there's any one best tool for making sprites, simply because it depends a lot on what you're making and your own workflow.  For example, I like the animation tools of Spine and Spriter but they're pretty useless for making pixel art sprites.  I personally use GIMP and Pyxel Edit to make sprites, but I'd probably use Spine in the future, or perhaps Live 2D to make non-pixel sprites.  Or maybe even Clip Studio Paint.  The hardest part about animation is the skill of animation, and there isn't really a program to shortcut your way around it.
 
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Schlangan

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And here I come, using... Paint.net ! It's free, light, and enough to do pixel art / painting for facesets. You have transparency, layers, bezier curves, it is far enough for me. Of course, many people will find it lacking since you don't play with brushes and so on, but don't forget we're playing with low resolutions here ^^.


Apart from this, there is a not free equivalent of Gimp/Photoshop : Corel Paint Shop Pro. Roughly the same options as the two aformentioned.
 

Isabella Ava

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Hey, i think i am going to develop a software especially use for making resource for RPG Maker series since i know about C++.


So do you guys has any request for such a software like this?
 

Isabella Ava

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Actually i am planning to make the most easy software for create resource for RPG Maker MV, so i came here to gather ideas & request for functions. This software should


be simple enough for kids to use. So i hope i can gather some useful ideas here :p thanks
 

Sharm

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Isabella Ava, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.


Ah, you should have said that's what you were looking for, coming up with ideas with what I'd want in a perfect animation software is different.


If there could be a version of Live2D with integrated bone animations and with a little more simplification in the setup then it would be perfect for what I'd want in a rasterized animation program.


For sprite animation, my absolute dream pixel animation program would, unfortunately, require something that I don't think you'd be able to do, the ability to see the animation in action on a level design while I edit it.  I think Pyxel Edit will get there someday.  Graphics Gale is pretty good, but the last time I tried using it I kept fighting with the interface and sometimes the way transparency and copy paste worked against me.  I would absolutely require the ability to rotate without adding anti-aliasing or weird one pixel jagged bits off on the edge by themselves before considering leaving my default programs.


For 3D?  Well, I just want simple.  Probably not possible.
 

Archeia

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If there could be a version of Live2D with integrated bone animations and with a little more simplification in the setup then it would be perfect for what I'd want in a rasterized animation program.


There is. It's called spine.
 
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Isabella Ava

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I didn't know to  Live2D until yet, what does it do?


" the ability to see the animation in action on a level design while I edit it " i don't really get it?


You mean preview animation with your dungeon below?


My software i am building will be a standalone software, such as Spine or Pyxel Edit but focus on


working with RPG MV. If you want preview animation playing on your dungeon you can take a screenshot


and put it in layer below :)


And hey, don't hesitate to ask for any function even it sound impossible, i can hire somebody to do it in the case i can't do it :)
 
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Sharm

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I thought Spine didn't have everything Live2D does?  I really need to sit down and try them all out sometime.
 

Umpikuja

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And here I come, using... Paint.net ! It's free, light, and enough to do pixel art / painting for facesets. You have transparency, layers, bezier curves, it is far enough for me. Of course, many people will find it lacking since you don't play with brushes and so on, but don't forget we're playing with low resolutions here ^^.


Apart from this, there is a not free equivalent of Gimp/Photoshop : Corel Paint Shop Pro. Roughly the same options as the two aformentioned.
This is what I used to edit clothing. I need simple. I do wish it had a frame with the active animation though.


@Sharmhave you done much with Live2D yet and are you using the free one or pro?
 
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Sharm

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Not a whole lot.  I've mostly just goofed around with existing resources to test out the animation.  I keep meaning to but my art time is usually spent on pixels and my traditional skills are rusty.  Oh, and I've only used the free version.
 
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rue669

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Back in the day I used to use a program called iDraw for RPG Maker 2003, but I don't even think it's available anymore.


So these days I've been using Photoshop. Used to also use Paint Shop Pro but it just is nowhere near as good or as user-friendly as Photoshop. 
 

Sharm

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Hmm, I am at the moment, but I don't do a lot with animation.  If you're really curious about what other programs don't have, you could go look at the development forums of some of the other animation programs.
 

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