How To Animate Your Pixel Art For Your First Game

what is this series about

In this series I will be discussing the process of how I made my first mobile application, Dr. Dino, giving you tips, tricks, and tutorials on how you can get started with game development.

If you want to check out the first game I ever created, click the button below:

In this post, we will discuss how to animate pixel art for your game.

how to animate pixel art

determine necessary frames

Before you begin animating any characters, backgrounds, or other game objects, it is important to have a plan. Like most things in life, without any direction you won’t be able to effectively utilize your time and, therefore, won’t get much done.

Generally, there are only a few different animation sequences that you should consider creating. Depending on the type of game you choose to make, you may need:

  1. An Idle Animation
  2. A Running Animation
  3. An Attacking Animation
  4. A Jumping Animation
  5. Crouching Animations
  6. Dying Animations
  7. Power-Up Animations

trace on multiple layers

Rather than creating an entirely new document to make each individual frame of your animation, it is much easier and more convenient to use that same document and make layers on top of the object and change it from there.

After you have made a series of layers for your animation it is time to trace your art onto those other layers. The way that I find more intuitive is to just reduce the opacity of the main lay and just outline the game art. This allows you to later change or alter various parts of the outline to create the different animations you will need to make your game.

color and shadowing

After all your animations are tarces out you should begin to color in each outline.

When you color in each outline it is important to keep a consistent look with the character’s color, clothing style, size, and more. If some form of consistency is not maintained, then the animations you create will turn out rough and choppy.

Additionally, it is important to shade different part of your objects and and art to help players distinguish various parts of you art from being in the front or in the back of the game object’s design.

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