[Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

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renoa-heartilly
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[Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#1 Post by renoa-heartilly » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:26 pm

Hello everyone!
today i bring you a quick tutorial on how to create character sprites for Ren'Py using the program My Paint.
it is possible to use layers and export a PNG that you can use in Ren'Py directly without having to pass through any other editing program to achieve a transparent background.
the problem is, My Paint is very basic and is lacking in a lot of ways. mainly, it cannot copy and paste, there are no editing tools, you can only paint and save in it (i love it, though, it is easy and the canvas is endless!) another shortcoming is it is wonky on MAC and no more updates are being created for Windows.
Anyway, here is the tutorial, i hope you can make use of it in some way or another:

Download and Install My Paint: http://mypaint.intilinux.com/
here is their deviantart page, it has a bunch of cool tutorials and brushes: http://mypaint.deviantart.com

depending on how you like to start your sprite, you can either open a sketch from a JPG or PNG and ink it on a new layer, or start sketching on the empty canvas right away.
I use all-digital art so here is the process i use:
*CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE*
Image

it might seem like a lot, but the first three top images are the process of any digital art piece.
1- sketch the character facing the way you want, here the image is made 50% smaller. my sprite was super huge so i advise you to make it in this small size if you don't use any powerful editing programs like photoshop.
2- create a new layer on top of the sketch layer, set the sketch layer to 50% Opacity or less, begin redrawing the lines in dark ink in the new layer.
3- hide or delete the sketch layer. I plan to change the clothes and hair of the sprite, and also want to make her eyes more expressive, so i made those on separate layers later.
4- begin coloring in any way you want, it doesn't have to be pixel or cel shaded because PNG are badass and can show true colors with a transparent background! here i made the background Dark Grey only because it is easier on my eyes, you can use any background you like, or choose from existing MyPaint backgrounds.
*CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE*
Image

as you can see, the background will not be exported if you follow the tutorial (you can export it if you are making normal art, but since we are making sprites we will not need it in the finished file)

5- The character is finished, i have drawn the eyes between the layer of color and ink, so that i can change them however i like. Now if you have extra stuff at the bottom like i do, you want to Crop the finished file so Ren'Py doesn't bother you by desplaying the whole image with the unwanted junk.
You can Crop the image by telling MyPaint what the document frame is:
Image
Change the Width and Height of the Document Frame until you have exactly what you want. It is a little difficult to get used to this method when you have used the Crop Tool in other editing programs, but hey at least it's a better option than going through hoops of other apps just to trim the ends!


6- Now export the image in MyPaint using the file->Export dialogue (CTRL+Shift+E) and in the file formal to save, there are three PNG options, choose the "PNG Transparent".
*CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE*
Image

Pro Tip: if you are experienced with MyPaint, you can learn to use the Multiple PNG Transparent, it creates a separate PNG file for every layer and automatically adds a prefix. I didn't try it but you can give it a try if you have your Eyes, Mouth, Brows etc on separate layers.

7- the last image shows the character declared and inserted into the Ren'Py Script, i created a mouth layer for Lip Flap effect, now it looks like this when you start the game:
Image
(There is a strange effect happening on the outline of the character when the mouth layer is shown in Ren'Py, i haven't discovered why it happens but it does not bother me yet. this is not the finished sprite and i may redraw the whole thing anyway. It is worth noting, however.)
Common Frustration: To get Lip Flap to work, you must change the Characters-Per-Second (CPS) from 0 to any number in Line262 of Options.rpy file. ( config.default_text_cps = 0) change it to ( config.default_text_cps = 10) or something, then go to the Ren'Py Launcher and click the line in the bottom box that says: Delete Persistent. It will not change the CPS and activate Lip Flap in your game unless you delete the persistent.

Here the Script i used in the game to declare the character and make her lips move. My game is Arabic so it might have a few more script chunks not needed in your English game: (Attached at the bottom of this post)

have fun, it takes some practice to draw sprites without the use of copy and paste and magic wand, but if you can learn to use it to your advantage it will not only give you beautiful sprites, but you will become a better artist by not depending too much on cheats! (oh god i really need the Lasso tool though...)
** I will Add the tutorial and the Arabic version in a bit, and will cross post it to my site http://baskoot.fatafeet.net
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Last edited by renoa-heartilly on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#2 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:43 am

I had to delete your second posting as it was written in a foreign language.

The rules of other languages than English is against the rules of our forum.
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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#3 Post by renoa-heartilly » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:14 am

it was the same tutorial but in Arabic. I don't visit these forums often so I'm not always up to speed with the rules and branches, where was i supposed to place the Arabic tutorial then?

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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#4 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:07 am

Off-site. You may link to the Arabic tutorial, of course.
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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#5 Post by renoa-heartilly » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:52 pm

...what?
i find it hard to believe that a program whose latest update was 'foreign policy' which was aimed at non-english speakers would not allow non-english tutorials on the official forum...?

not allowing other languages "at all" on any part of the official site would alienate everyone in the world! even those who learn basic English need a helping hand with the coding in their better language to at least get started, it doesn't make sense to have them jump through hoops when several non-english speakers already visit the official forum.
i've taken a look at the rules in the top forums, all it says is not to use netspeak and use proper english as the 'common' language, nothing about other languages not being allowed. I'm not sure about the hierarchy on these forums but Pytom has replied to some of my threads with Arabic translations in them and he didn't mention anything about that not being allowed...?
if my main language is not welcome in this art forum then I'm afraid i must ask that you remove the English tutorial as well. I will limit my knowledge to my own language if you insist on limiting your knowledge to your language. (that's not fair to anyone but what you're asking isn't fair either.)

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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#6 Post by qirien » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:00 pm

This looks great! I have been trying to learn MyPaint on Linux
(downloading the tutorial in case this gets deleted later...!)
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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#7 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:58 am

renoa-heartilly wrote:...what?
i find it hard to believe that a program whose latest update was 'foreign policy' which was aimed at non-english speakers would not allow non-english tutorials on the official forum...?

not allowing other languages "at all" on any part of the official site would alienate everyone in the world! even those who learn basic English need a helping hand with the coding in their better language to at least get started, it doesn't make sense to have them jump through hoops when several non-english speakers already visit the official forum.
You have a good point, and I've put it up for discussion among my fellow admins. We COULD make an exception to our rule 3 for tutorials.
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
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Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#8 Post by PyTom » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:52 am

We're discussing this on the secret admin forum, and we haven't reached a decision yet. So this is just me explaining my personal thoughts on the matter.

The LSF has users who are fluent in many languages. According to analytics, the most popular are English, Russian, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, and Brazilian Portuguese, in that order. If we allowed posting in multiple languages, we could quickly get to a point where there were posts that seemed interesting, but couldn't be read by many of the users. I've been on forums where that's the case, and it gets frustrating very quickly, for people of all languages.

I've got to think it would be just as frustrating for a person brought to the forum by your excellent Arabic content, only to find out that he or she can't read any of the other posts. What's the answer? I think it's that there should be many communities devoted to VN development, in all sorts of languages. I think that will lead to the best results when it comes to making VN development accessible to people all over the world.

(And I think we could do a better job of interacting with other-language communities, perhaps by curating a list of them in the General or Welcome sections.)
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Re: [Tutorial] How to make Character Sprites using MyPaint

#9 Post by renoa-heartilly » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:37 am

oh, you updated the rules. a heads-up would've been nice, or y'know, undeleting the post... :roll:
الدرس بالترجمة العربية موجود هنا http://baskoot.fatafeet.net/?p=1021
click the link to see the arabic tutorial http://baskoot.fatafeet.net/?p=1021

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