Pixel Art Level Up & JuiceFX

Howdy, it's been a while! This is a post with more of a personal approach to it. It's likely that my path with Zaibatsu will merge once more at the end of this month, meaning that time for my game projects will be a little scarce. I'll try and approach everything nice and slow and not put too much pressure on myself about things outside of work, I'll try to work out a balance so I can work on my job and personal stuff as well. Plus I got proper glasses so I should be all good for some more sweet sweet PC time without headaches or critical eyeball failures. March also has the new Grim Dawn expansion and Sekiro, no less! It's gonna be one busy spring. For now I've been trying to shed the rust off my 3D-modelling skills and get better at (pixel) art, so things that might help me most with my job.

In light of that, I have the pleasure of telling you about how I've been trying to get better at pixel art, and it's very much due to Street Fighter III, probably one of the most impressive and beautiful pixel art in a game. The animation part is a little too much for my pea brain at this moment so I'll focus on studying the colors and feel of the sprites in SF3. I mean the fluidity of motion in the animations will just drive me nuts but I'll get to it at one point.

I made my own character while trying to get a feel for the palettes and outlining techniques usually used. Anatomy is also of course the key element and it's sorely obvious when you done goofed with it when it comes to such a small amount of pixels to work with.


Overall it was pretty fun to evaluate and sample SF3 characters and create little palette blobs with them.


I find the coolest technique to be the shift of a darker tone with a different hue, like Ibuki's blue pants where the shadows have a purple tint:


There are some rather subtle changes, like how the switch between a light spot and dark shadow is bordered with a darker color. The outlines are also very subtle, rather than one monotone black outline for the sprite it's quite a realistic approach instead. I hope to one day do something like this with ease. For now I'll look at these sprites REALLY hard and then try to implement some tricks to my work. It's a lot of knowing and playing around with light and color theory which you can't avoid if you want to be good.

On another important note, I follow a good portion of software creators, and the maker of FX Designer recently released JuiceFX. Very recently, in fact. If you want to do some cool trickery like teleportation or damage effects with your sprites like this:


(would work better had I animated it)

Then be sure to get it for a steal on itch.io: https://codemanu.itch.io/juicefx

I like to support and shout out indie developers wherever I can and these guys do such awesome work to make your pixel effect workflow more efficient, and dang it...I appreciate that. So go get it if you have some love for the pixel arts!

Now I'll go and spend time with my parents, it feels great to be home. Until next time! <3

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