Introduction to pixel art (Harry Potter)

In this project, I was asked to create pixel art of an 8 bit, 16 by 16 canvas in Photoshop and make pixel game sprites of harry potter characters. I will be telling you the process of how I made these sprites, what pixel art is and evaluate my work.

 What is pixel art?

Pixel art is a style of art that evolved from the graphics of old technology. Old technology had the blocky graphics due to the fact that we were still perfecting it at the time. This also went for video games as the colours and images you could see where programmed in not drawn in by a digital program like Photoshop. After a while we started to perfect our technology with smoother and detailed visceral aspects, using more and more bits to create a clearer sight. One of the oldest paint, MS paint or Microsoft paint uses pixels for the drawing tools which is a program that can be used for pixel art. Pixels are usually found on raster-based programs like Photoshop. People started to recreate the pixel images and created pixel art and games like many years ago and it’s now a common style in this century. Even if the games or art is made of these non-crystal graphics, some have made millions in profits and have become some of the most beloved games or pieces of work.

Making the sprites

Using Photoshop I created a 16 by 16-pixel canvas with 8 but and RGB colour settings and I named the file. On this new canvas, I navigated my way from edit to preferences then to general, the settings that had to be changed where unit and rules + guides, grids and slices and I had to change some options to pixels. Then I have to navigate to through view and turn on the grid so I could see where my pixels are and turn off the snap so I had more freedom when making the pixel sprites.

I needed to change the brush tool to the pencil to and change the pencil size to 1 pixel and the boldness to hard using the size and hardness options. This also had to be done for the eraser where the eraser had to be changed to pixel and the size had to be changed to 1 pixel as the grid is pixel by pixel grid.

I had to go onto Google and look up reference images of the harry potter characters and open them images in Photoshop so I can look at them while I work so I don’t have to keep going back and forth from Google to Photoshop. I copied the image and then opened a new file there was the clipped image option which is the option to have the canvas the same size of the image that I had copied. I made the canvas and pasted the image onto it, I then laid out the canvases to they were viewable and easy to see.  I then for the canvas that I would make the pixel art sprite needed to double click onto the background layer and change it to an unlocked layer which means it will be able to have a clear background. That layer had to be paint bucketed a grey colour to help me when I needed to make the sprite. I then made a second layer in which I drew a silhouette of what shape I wanted the sprite to be. The silhouette also had to be a grey but a much darker grey that the background. I then for every other layer I made I would have one for the hair I would draw, one for the skin, one for the clothes and this was so if I made a mistake and needed to delete a layer. I wouldn’t have to delete everything that I had made.

For some processes, I took a screen snap of what I did and they will be viewable in the images here.

pixel-harry-1pixel-harry-2pixel-harry-3pixel-harry-4pixel-harry-5pixel-harry-6

Evaluation

In these project, I found out that there is a lot more to pixel art than I originally though, as there is some history behind the method and that there are calculations with pixels that are used with TV’s or monitors as well explaining what quality of the picture or better resolution. I also had learned that there are 8 bit, 16 bit and 32-bit options, for colour meaning the lower the bit the less amount of colours available.

What I did well in this task was colouring and shaping the sprites when drawing them in pixels. What I could have done better was I could have spent a little more time fixing Dumble Dore’s cloak and shaded the sprites better to make it look more dimensional instead of flat. I could have also made the characters a little more detailed to make them look like the character designs.

Now I have learned this I can use this knowledge to my advantage for future projects at college, at home or even when I start work. This would also be another good skill to add to my CV when applying for a job like in games or animations and so on.

Promoting Indie Games

In this report, I will be researching the best social media platforms to promote an indie game. Because indie game designers have a low budget they use social media for promoting their content as social media is free to use. This means as an indie developer you can reach a wide audience at a little to no cost.

I have chosen to investigate the following social platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress

Facebook

Around about 1.70 billion people used Facebook on a daily basis, 91% of millennials “15-34-year-olds” used Facebook. This information was collected around about 2015 to 2016. Facebook is used for communicating with friends who are too far to call or visit or just friend in general, videos, images, statuses, groups, pages, live videos and a lot more. The disadvantages of Facebook are that it can be very addictive to a certain present of people. There is also the use of fake id’s meaning someone can present himself or herself, as someone else and you won’t know unless the police are involved and track the IP address of the account user.

Twitter

About 300 million to 600 million users are active on this platform. It is like Facebook where you can share and comment on images, statuses, videos and more.

The advantages of twitter are what they call word of mouth, this is where something is passed on from person to person, making it more well-known throughout the community.

The disadvantage is the limit to how much you can type in one status is 125 to 150 words. There is also the fact that twitter does not use pages and groups like Facebook if you want to make something like a group or company page it will have to have its own profile. You would then have to get people to follow that page and it’s more of a hassle.

YouTube

Having over a billion users watching over hundreds and thousands of videos and having upload ever minute. There are people that make over billions of dollars in earnings as they have a large following on YouTube such as Pewdiepie and YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon.The advantages of using this platform are, you can explain and show so much in a video including diagrams which you can show and so much in one video.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an image viewing site where you can “pin” images to your wall that other people have uploaded. There is estimated count, of 100 million users on Pinterest in recent surveys and 85% of users are female using Pinterest. This site would be good for showing development images and content including links to other websites but Pinterest is less used than Facebook and Twitter

WordPress

WordPress is a blogging website where you are able to blog about work you do and research you conduct. It is a good way to keep a diary entry of all your work and how you progress and developed. We use this for our work in this course to blog and update our blog for us to evaluate and explain our work. The disadvantages of WordPress are the tool to edit images when making a blog is not as flexible and easy to work with like the ones you find in programs like word or Draw.io. The other disadvantage is that there are not as many users on WordPress as there is on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

 Reference links

Facebook referencing links: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/, https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/facebook-used-by-half-the-worlds-internet-users-10426003.html

Twitter Referencing links: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/march-2013-by-the-numbers-a-few-amazing-twitter-stats/, https://www.statista.com/statistics/282087/number-of-monthly-active-twitter-users/

YouTube referencing links: https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/en-GB/statistics.html, http://www.statisticbrain.com/youtube-statistics/,

 

Pinterest referencing links: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pinterest-stats/, http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/17/9348519/pinterest-100m-monthly-users, http://www.moveo.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-pinterest-for-b2b-marketing/

WordPress referencing links: https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-use-WordPress-com-and-how-many-use-WordPress-org,

 Reflection

This research has led me to a conclusion on what media platform I think are the best to promote the work of my group. I have picked five options and will be narrowing down my answers to two platforms to make a discussion with my group members and see if they agree. Using the research I have conducted, I will discuss my views, the information and what company I think will be the best for promoting our work.

For the research I conducted, I will show the extent of how much are population uses these Medias at this time. This is also good for promoting our work faster and cheaper too. The most populated media platform on this list was YouTube. The only problem with YouTube is the work we are producing on a time limit, so to get all the time we have available we can’t waste it on editing videos. Sometimes videos can take hours to edit and upload so this will not do for promoting work on a time limit. The good things about YouTube where that it can be a lot easier to explain information and show our work in a video, the audience will be in big numbers due to YouTube’s popularity.

With Facebook, they also had a large population of users but not as big as YouTube. This site is one of the sites that I thought made a better platform to promote our work on. The work we will be making could go on a Facebook page, where the content and page can be shared across other people’s accounts showing friends and family our work, possibly making them share too. We will be able to share links, videos and other digital media on Facebook. The problem with Facebook if we all want to upload any work we might have to use the same account unless your able to make multiple admins which would allow us all to upload content without having to keep logging into one profile.

The other social media that got my attention was Twitter. Just like Facebook, It’s a large based media platform that has a big popularity and is used by many larger companies. Unlike Facebook, Twitter uses # to make a subject more popular. There is also sharing the content on Twitter and links, which could be useful for showing all types of work. The disadvantages of Twitter are the limits to how much you are able to write in one post. There is also the fact that you cannot make groups or pages on twitter like you can on Facebook. You will need to make a profile for your company to promote your work.

Pinterest was a platform I researched but did not find a good deal for promoting our work. The website is as stats shows that mainly females use Pinterest, which means there not a wide community audience. There is also the fact that Pinterest is mainly used for images and there is not an often-used status feature. Pinterest is not as popular as the other media platforms so this platform is not so good for our work.

WordPress is a good site to work with as I use it for my course work and there are lots of ways to present and promote work, but it might not be chosen for our team’s game work, but we will post stuff that we have done for our game and we will link the sites we will pick to our WordPress.

Game Development start/story starter

For this week we have started to develop ideas for a game to make in our media teams/companies. Out of a hat, we picked 2 pieces of paper, one with a genre/scene, the other would be a historic Icon. For our selection, we got Ada Lovelace for are historic Icon and for are genre/scene we had Ancient Egypt.

We started looking up the history of our Historic icon. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and writer, she developed the first algorithm and regarded as the first computer programmer. She was born in 1815 which is way before computers we know where invented. This was a time where inventions were being made left and right but they were for simple things like making sewing machines sew or simple objections.

We also needed to look up a little about are genre/scene. For ancient Egypt we looked up famous Egyptian landmarks like the natron salt lake or the pyramids of Giza, we also looked up King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus and what types of stones used when making it. Also, what gemstones were in Egypt? The Egyptians used a lot of gold and had gemstones like peridot or lapis lazuli. We also looked up Egyptian symbols like the eye of Anubis and the meanings for it, Egypt also used mathematics with was seen as some strange connection to Ada Lovelace.

With this information, we started to build up a story for what the game could be about and what could happen in it. Here is a short example of the idea for the story:

Ada Lovelace is making an invention when she finds out that there is some Egyptian mathematics which could make her invention a success. She takes a trip to Egypt to find some strange hieroglyphs when, she figures out, a portal opens to a realm of death and danger and she falls in. Her objection is to make it out of the portal and close up the realm, using the powers within gemstones to push the demons back into their dimension.

Our company

Our group consisted of four members that were grouped together at the start of our course. We grouped together based on the presented job roles we were shown when we participated in an activity that will be linked here; https://daniellesoulsbydigidesign.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/unit-3/#more-186.

As a team of designers, we needed to come up with a name, a logo and slogan for our company. We had a discussion on our company name so we started with turns we would find in the subjects and job roles we are presented with.

 

 

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