Introduction to Pixel art (The Queen)

In this task, I was asked to create 3 images of game character sprites using one image as a reference. We were given to queen since she has never been a Pixel sprite icon before. In this, I will show you how I made the 3 sprites, how easy or hard points in the task and evaluate my work.

The visual problem I had with this was that there was no pixel art version of the Queen to follow by. I had to use a realistic image of the Queen for reference. This meant I had to create a pixel sprite of what the Queen would look like using my imagination and limited references. Of course, the pixel sprite I was doing also had a limited number of pixels so I had to pick wisely on what shakes to make using pixels, But I needed to make sure that if anyone had seen this sprite they would know it would be of the Queen. I had identified the key elements within the reference image, such as hair colour and shape, type of dress and crown. I could show people around to see whether they can identify who the sprite is.

I was not limited to colour since I was able to use any colour I wanted. The only limit I had was reference, the colours had to look like the ones from the reference picture so I could not give her purple skin or orange dresses, but I was not limited to the shade of the colour or the tone or hue of the colour. I solved this problem when my tutor explained that we could use the colours within the image so, easily by using the eyedropper tool to select the colours that were on the reference picture and experimented with what the right shade of colour that I thought would be suitable. This turned out to work because the colours matched up with the reference image and would not too dark or bright.

One problem I had to face was people’s expectations on what the Queen looks like. So for example, a wide audience would know who the Queen is and what she looks like. If I was going to show them my pixel sprite of the Queen, I will need to make sure that my sprite is able to be identified as the Queen and people would see what they think when they think of the Queen. I needed to play around with ideas to make sure that my sprite will be recognised as the Queen. So again, I could go around, ask people what they thought of the sprite, and see what percentage of them would say they saw the Queen.

The sprite also needed to have dimension/ look more realistic to the image reference. Therefore, the sprite would not look like a flat image on a piece of paper. I needed to somehow give the sprite dimension even though I was limited to just pixel art, so I used shading to make the sprite look more dimensional. It made the sprite look as if it is not just made of flat colour. I also if I could add in little details that I could fit in to add more realism to the sprite. I tried to add the pattern of her dress and even added the ribbons on her blue sash. Using techniques, I have experimented with in the past with my own work. The demonstration by my tutor I was able to give the sprite more dimension and all I needed to do was experiment on where to put the shading.

I first needed to set the size of the canvas for how many pixels I would need. I first start with the 16 by 16-pixel canvas. I needed the canvas to be pixels in measurement otherwise, the canvas might be too big if I was to use let’s say a 16 by 16 cm canvas. Once the canvas is open I needed to go onto edit, then preferences and then click on general which will take me to some options. I would go to unit and rulers and change rulers and types to both say pixels. Then I would go down to guides, grids and slices and change the gridline every and subdivision to both say 1, this will set up the grid so it is in sync with the canvas. After that, I would come out of the general window on Photoshop and go into the view menu and then there will be 2 options. I could press grid and if it fits that’s okay but if it doesn’t fit I would need to press pixel grid instead of grid. This grid will allow me to see where I can place pixels making it easier to draw down my design.

The first layer will appear locked on the canvas saying background, all I would need to do is double click the layer and press okay on the options to unlock the first layer. I would then need to paint bucket tool which can be found in the gradient option bar and paint the canvas a grey tone. Not too close to black or white but just enough to help with the colours of my sprite, so I know what it will look like if it was in a game. After painting the first layer I will need to make a second layer and make a silhouette for my sprite. I would need to change the brush tool to pencil since pencil is a pixel based tool and change the size to 1, this will be the right size for me to draw and colour my 16 by 16-pixel sprite. This goes the same for the eraser, I would go as normal onto the eraser tool then go to the mode option and change the mode to pixel and the size to 1. This will allow the eraser to remove 1 unwanted pixel instead of removing 1 and making the others fade.

Now that my pencil and eraser were set, I was able to start drawing out the silhouette which would be drawn in a darker grey compared to the background. After doing that, I would get the eyedropper tool and start taking colours from the reference image of the Queen I had. I then painted the sprite with the picked colours, also adding darker tones for shading and lighter tones for lighting. Each time taking a screen cap of my process which you will see in the images below.

Some of the same options will apply for the other pixel sizes. For 24 by 24 and 32 by 32-pixel canvases, the options in the general menu mentioned before sizes in preferences will still need to remain the same. The brush sizes and eraser sizes will also need to remain the same unless you want to draw or erase a vaster quantity.

A few problems I had with the grid and pixel grid were, the grid did not go on the canvas right, so I had to change from grid to pixel grid which I did not understand at first but when it was explained it became clear. Another problem I had come across was that the pages in Photoshop would overlap when you would open a file, so when I closed the open file I accidently closed my 16 by 16-pixel sprite work. Luckily, I had taken screen caps of my work so I was able to recreate the lost work with no further problems.

The objective of the session was to pick from one of two images of the Queen and create a 2D side-scrolling sprite in pixel art using Photoshop. This task was successful because it had fulfilled all objectives that were given. I was able to complete the task and the sprite was recognisable to an audience.


16 by 16 pixels


24 by 24 pixels


32 by 32 pixels


Mind maps and mood boards ( group game)

In this task the objective was to start creating a mood board and spider diagram to get ideas and inspiration out where it could be discussed.

Our key terms were ‘ancient Egypt; Ada Lovelace.’

Firstly, my thoughts were about Ancient Egypt (because I knew little about Ada Lovelace). So I thought about Tutankhamen and the ancient mummies of the 18th dynasty.  However, I quickly realised that I had 5 areas to either think about or research. These areas were: characters, scenes, objects, mathematics and levels/locations. These terms became the lead terms on the spider diagram. I had to research mathematics and Ada in particular – as I had the least background knowledge about them. I went to the Bio site (which is owned by A and E Networks, a TV entertainment company).  The web site had a lot of information. I also find out information about the Difference Engine.

When I did the three mood boards for Ancient Egypt, I already had a wide background knowledge, so I used terms that I already knew in the search bar for images on the internet. I also used some of the images and opened them in adobe colour and made a colour pallet of the image and added them to the mood boards as well. I also did this colour pallet extracting with items or characters to which is a really good way of getting colour pallets for a game. I had to make three mood boards, one for character ideas, one for object ideas that could be present in the games and one for the scenery or backgrounds for the game.

These will help me with ideas for the game me and my team will be making, It will help use develop and get a feel for the genre and idea of what the game needs to look and feel like. Even though I had a clear idea of Egypt, This mood board and spider diagram gave me a little more insight into Ada Lovelace since I had not known a lot of her history and shed some light on a few facts I didn’t about Egypt.




Dimensional Arts meeting


In our teams we discussed the branding for our company. We looked a examples of logos and we each designed and sketched some rough ideas of what we could use for our company.

My logo design sketched ideas:

At the moment our logo choice is undecided for now.

Our team name was chosen as our subjects that we cover are: animation, digital art, 3D modelling and visual production.

The social media we have chosen to promote our work is Facebook and twitter. After a big discussion and a little bit of research we found out that; both of these media platforms are very popular and have less floors and faults than the other programs we have come across. Facebook and Twitter have a wide range of ways we can display media and ways of linking to other Medias. It is also a lot easier to use as a lot of us are also familiar with the site.