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Thread: Do sprite artists use drawing tablets?

  1. #1
    Script kiddie VENGEANCE MX's Avatar
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    Do sprite artists use drawing tablets?

    Very, very quick question here - just wondering if the pro artists here (looking at you, DayDream ) use drawing tablets to make sprites? Seems to me like if you're working at a pixel level, a stylus would be a bit unwieldy, hard to hold still.
    http://www.birchlabs.co.uk/
    You know you want to.

  2. #2
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    first of here a great website that covers everything you need to know about pix- art:
    http://www.pixeljoint.com/
    and always a look worth, their weekly show- page:
    http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixels/new...1&vtype=thumbs

    I gues it depends on what you call pixel art. Some hardcore pixel artits for example stick to a fixed color palette (e.g 4c (colors)) and they use a lot of dithering techniques.
    The advantage of a tablet imo. however is that you can easily smear colors nicely together with different stroke sizes and color variation. Many japanese companies use CG art created with a wacom tablet (wacom is even a japanese brand) for dating simulations and such- they usually feature fine art draings with sharp lines and smooth transitions between colors and shaders (e.g cloth foldings) (of course not only, but its rather popular).
    Some games like Final Fantasy tactics or other RPG use this style in the avatars of the players- its rather smooth with thin anti- aliased line art.

    another information:
    Capcom hired professional animators for their street fighter series (e.g street fighter vs. SNK) who drew the frame by frame animations by hand (with pencil). Sprite artists then converted them to shaded sprite art. (sorry cant find any pencil sequence for this anymore on the net) - anyway what I do think that as soon as you have to colorize the pencil sketches a tablet might be very usefull even if its just about solid pixels (no anti- aliasing).

  3. #3
    ********* mentuat's Avatar
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    working in a team of pixel animators a while back we all had tablets.

    even with a fixed palette of 8-16 colours (ie. lots of dithering) and at a small scale, I couldn't imagine a quicker, more intuitive or precise input device for that kind of work.

  4. #4
    Script kiddie VENGEANCE MX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renderhjs
    another information:
    Capcom hired professional animators for their street fighter series (e.g street fighter vs. SNK) who drew the frame by frame animations by hand (with pencil). Sprite artists then converted them to shaded sprite art. (sorry cant find any pencil sequence for this anymore on the net) - anyway what I do think that as soon as you have to colorize the pencil sketches a tablet might be very usefull even if its just about solid pixels (no anti- aliasing).
    Ah, yeah, I know the tutorial you're talking about. It showed how to animate the guy, too, right (although that was just shifting the torso down a few pixels, I think)?

    Thanks for the info!

    Surprised by that, mentuat - I've always found tablets to be imprecise (although I have a very shaky hand and a very small tablet).
    http://www.birchlabs.co.uk/
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    Style Through Simplicity alillm's Avatar
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    Yea, I think it has a lot to do with being used to it. The thought of doing pixels with a tablet is strange to me too, but to an artist who is used to working with a tablet every day, it is probably far more precise.

    Ali

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    I wouldnt say more precise but rather natural,- when I use my tablet I dont have to think about controling it.
    With the mouse you usually (and here it works great) set single pixels,- a tablet is great for strokes and shapes. Ever tried drawing a neat circle or diagonal line with the mouse?, most people (including me) fail at it + with the pen pressure (even in pencil mode) you have to adjust less each time you need a different brush size.

  7. #7
    Script kiddie VENGEANCE MX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renderhjs
    With the mouse you usually (and here it works great) set single pixels
    Yeah, that's why I thought it was strange to use tablets for pixel art... isn't it usually done pixel-by-pixel?

    Quote Originally Posted by renderhjs
    Ever tried drawing a neat circle or diagonal line with the mouse?
    So true.
    http://www.birchlabs.co.uk/
    You know you want to.

  8. #8
    Style Through Simplicity alillm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renderhjs
    Ever tried drawing a neat circle or diagonal line with the mouse?
    Actually...I do all my art with a mouse! I even used to use my laptop track pad. Then again, Im not a proper artist, so I don't worry too much about these kind of things

    Ali

  9. #9
    Senior Member DayDream's Avatar
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    I work with the tablet - have been for 10 years now... It feels more natural to me... plus it's easier on the wrist... Everything from digitial photoretouching to pixelart and vector illustrations works fine with the pen.

    I usually have a mouse on the left hand side [am right handed] and use the right mouse button on the mouse rather than on the pen [finding that button extremly stupid to use]...

  10. #10
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    I'm thinking my Wacom tablet is much too small (A6) because I usually end up drawing with a 'real life' pencil, scanning the drawing in and working on top of the scan.

    I don't think there's any 'right' answer to this question. It all depends on personal preference and style.

  11. #11
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    You could always buy a XP-Pen Drawing Pad which wouldn't cost that much.

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