How to make your own sprites?

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Kokoro Hane
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How to make your own sprites?

#1 Post by Kokoro Hane » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:45 pm

One of the biggest importance of a VN is the characters. I would like to know how to make my own character sprites. I am unable to use PSD sets because I only have GIMP, I do not own any expensive photo programs. Also, how do you start drawing your own? I draw on paper, and I do not have a tablet on the computer. How would I go about making all the character images the same size with different expressions and positions? Anyway, thank you for reading! It'd be really cool if someday I can make my own sprites and not always have to rely on other artists or freebies.
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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#2 Post by LVUER » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:53 pm

To make your own sprite... you need to draw them of course. You don't need a tablet but that means you need a scanner. You could also draw using mouse (I do that for my first year doing digital art) but I must tell you that it's not a fun experience... unless you're doing 3D art.

GIMP is OK. You could use that to make sprite. As long as your program supports background transparency, everything is OK to use.

Back to drawing question. You could draw on paper, scan them in big resolution, edit them in GIMP (don't forget the background transparency), color them, and then finally rescale them to your like (it's very advisable to make all your art as big as your PC/notebook can handle and then rescale them later).

To make all your sprite looks the same, you could trace them. It's very easy when using digital art since you could use layer... but if you're doing traditional art (AKA using paper and pencil), you need to trace a little bit.

That's it for now, I guess... If you have any other question, don't hesitate to ask.
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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#3 Post by Celianna » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:57 pm

Having no tablet is no excuse to not draw on the computer, I'm 100% mouse based and I don't complain (the pen tool is your very best friend). You can also scan your pictures, or if you have no scanner, take pictures of the drawing and use it as a guideline when drawing on the computer. GIMP is fine to use, I suggest looking up tutorials on how to do line-art in GIMP. There should be plenty available on DeviantArt. Then learn how to shade in GIMP, that sort of thing.

And always work at a very large resolution (let's say, 4000px long), because you can always scale it down, but never scale up.

As for different expressions, this is where layers come in handy. You make a base, which includes the entire body you want to show, but with a blank face. Then have the eyes, mouth and eyebrows on a different layer so you can change them when needed. Each expression needs to be saved as a new sprite though.
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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#4 Post by Kokoro Hane » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:03 pm

^ Ah, thank you so much! And I do have a scanner (every aspiring mangaka needs one XD!!) and cool, so I can use my GIMP (I have made transparent backgrounds all the time, so I know how to do that for sprites). I used to draw with the mouse, but for me, it's easier with paper and pencil, so I think I'll go with the scan in art idea. Okay, thank you so much!
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Journey of The Scroll[COMPLETE][RPG][v.2]
An Encounter ~In The Rain~ [COMPLETE][IntRenAiMo'19]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]
30 Kilowatt Hours Left [COMPLETE][GameJolt GDC Jam2016]

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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#5 Post by Fawn » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:14 pm

There really should be an FAQ thread for art here so you could get your answers instantly. This is just one of the questions asked often...

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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#6 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:55 pm

Celianna wrote:Having no tablet is no excuse to not draw on the computer, I'm 100% mouse based and I don't complain (the pen tool is your very best friend).
Be careful about drawing with a mouse - carpal tunnel syndrome is no fun. Drawing with a mouse is horrible for your wrists, and doing it long term can cause damage. If you stick entirely to the pen tool you're probably okay, however.

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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#7 Post by Celianna » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:29 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote: Be careful about drawing with a mouse - carpal tunnel syndrome is no fun. Drawing with a mouse is horrible for your wrists, and doing it long term can cause damage. If you stick entirely to the pen tool you're probably okay, however.
They're still debating whether or not you can get carpal tunnel syndrome from using the mouse or not. RSI on the other hand is definitely documented. Considering I've been using the mouse well over 10 years now, every day, I make damn sure I'm in a comfortable position and make minimum movements when using it.

I only use the pen tool when I need to draw something round, or curved, those are the things that my mouse won't ever be able to do :lol:
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Re: How to make your own sprites?

#8 Post by LVUER » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:11 pm

I also never heard about carpal tunnel syndrome but often heard about RSI. Well, using mouse too much is never healthy in the first place (for drawing or not). I have use mouse for more than 16 years and always feel discomfort on my wrist after prolonged use (more than 16 hours a day) or when using mouse in uncomfortable position. This is never a good sign.

And like I said, I use mouse to draw for about a year. In that year, I usually draw using mouse for more than 4 hours straight (8 hours average, sometimes up 12 hours straight) every day... well, the plan is everyday, but the fact is after 4 days straight of drawing, my wrist hurts like hell. So hurt that I couldn't use mouse anymore. So I have to rest for about 3 days before the pain subsides.

This persists every time. Fearing RSI, in the end I decided to buy a tablet. And I love that decision ^_^ Not only I draw comfortably, I also draw faster and better (since I originally pencil and paper type of person). Right now I have a plan of buying Wacom Cintiq 12WX (originally I was planning to buy 21UX but 21UX is too freaking expensive).
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