"Life is too short to make bad art."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bytes That Rock - and the winner is...

Today I received the email from Bytes That Rock... and the winner is... yours truly. :) 

"After collecting over 15,000 votes from the public and getting the results from our Jury of experts, we are ready to announce the Bytes that Rock winners, which have been unveiled today.

The results say that 2Dgameartguru won the 1st award in THE BEST GAME BLOG category as you can see here: http://www.rockybytes.com/bytes-that-ro


Thanks to all of you who voted for the blog and all those who keep me inspired and motivated to write these tutorials and make the videos for this blog. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Creating seamless 2D grass tiles in vectors using Inkscape

It's been a while and I still haven't managed to make a video of it but here's the step-by-step for the grass tile to get things started again.

The workflow is based on the video tutorial I posted earlier on Creating tileable patterns for seamless background.


It's a good idea to make a copy of the design before creating the clip as there might be a problem with access images when releasing the clip later on to edit the design.

When exporting the tiles from inkscape to bitmap, set the size to 2x or 3x the size of your ingame assets. Scale the art assets down in tools like gimp or krita. A good practice to avoid antialiasing on the edges is to export to e.g. 514x514 pixels and then reduce the canvas [not scale but crop] to 512x512 pixels to cut the 1 pixel around the tile. The loss should not be visible if then ingame art works with tiles of 128x128 pixels or smaller.  

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial as much as I did finally getting back into writing it. :)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Game Art Quest - Kickstarter campaign

Here's something worth looking into and backing:

Create Professional 2D Game Art: Krita Video Training by Nathan Lovato. He's a truly talented guy and shares his experience in great videos on game art creation in Krita.

In this series he will run you through the process of creating professional grade static assets for games. He will share his workflow and his productivity tricks. He will show you how Krita is becoming a solid option for professional work.

The concepts you will learn apply to any painting application or medium. To become a more efficient game artist, you have to sharpen your observation skills and explore drawing techniques. These are the same regardless of the tools you are using.

Check it out!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2D game art tutorials going multi-lingual

The blog has attracted readers from around the world and sadly my language skills are limited to German and English. I have been writing the blog in English so far but there are ongoing efforts to translate the tutorials to other languages.
Developpez.com is a French developer site that has been translating my tutorials to French for a while.

Gamerboom.com has translated a few of the tutorials posted on Gamasutra to Chinese.

The latest addition come thanks to Jhonatan Sneider Salguero Villa who took on the task to translate the tutorials to Spanish:

A lot of the 2Dgameartguru readers come from Brazil and Germany and it would be nice to translate to their native languages as well. 

I will have to rethink the design of the blog to make those translations work. I would love to get your feedback on the matter. Is it worth the effort? 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bytes that Rock Nomination - please vote!

I just received the email about the nomination as one of the 'Bytes that Rock' in the category videogame blogs. It's a nice recognition and I would appreciate it if you would take the time and vote!


It's time to get back into blogging. ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Still alive...

I haven't been posting for a long time... way longer than I would like...

Mainly it's thanks to health issues that keep me from doing what I enjoy. I am suffering with a neural muscular disease called Charcot Marie Tooth.

It's a progressive little pain in the ass. I my case the nerves in the legs and arms mainly are dying off and leave me with gaps in the body's information delivery. Instead of feeling the legs firmly on the ground and my bum in the comfy office chair, I get pins and needles, cramps and  massive pain signaled to the brain. 
It gets worse every now and then and I need to adjust my mental blockade to deal with it. In the end I can put it aside as 'white noise'.  
At the moment I struggle 'building the blockade' fast enough to keep up with the pain...

I want to say a big thanks to all for the support and feedback I received. 

I took time off and tried to get some rest and work on a way to deal with the aches and pains without turning to drugs. I am getting there and hope to post the next tutorial really soon.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Create tileable patterns for seamless backgrounds in Inkscape

I got sidetracked again by a readers request. It's a nice and easy to follow trick to create seamless patterns in Inkscape. I had to split the video up and will cover the basic idea in this tutorial and the more game art related creation in the next one(s). 


The tutorial works with plain coloured backgrounds and shapes that are smaller than the tiling square. Bigger objects will cause problems when tiling.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tip. The next video will use the basics covered here and I will make ground and grass tiles for use in top down game background.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Seamless 2d ground tiles created using inkscape and gimp

It's been a request I received a few times by now and this morning I set down to try a quick and easy way to create seamless ground tiles for top down tile sets.


This is what I came up with in a quick test. The tiles are create in Inkscape and then exported as pngs, trimmed in gimp and put together to test. 

I am planning on making a video tutorial on this as soon as possible. The idea is to show the basic creation of e.g. a grass tile, a ground and a water tile and the creation of a mixed tile for the border between e.g. grass and ground. 

Please let me know if there are additional points I should cover in this tutorial. 

Keep in mind that it might result in splitting this tutorial into two or three parts in order to stay within the 10 - 15 minute mark. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reusable 2d art objects for background buildings using Inkscape

Another quick tutorial on the advantages of using vector art for your game assets. I played around with some simple shapes that would allow me to build a multitude of houses for the background of a game. Rather than create each house from scratch, I created a small library of elements that I could quickly drag onto the scene and build the houses by placing, scaling, rotating and colouring those assets. 

It resulted in a lot faster and easier creation - and this video tutorial. 

The video turned out to be a little bit longer than I would have liked - but I hope you like it nevertheless and won't get bored halfway through. I recorded this after a short night and no morning coffee yet - hence a few problems with the controls, my graphic tablet, the recording software and finding my way through inkscape.  

The main tools I used while building those houses were the 'select and transform', the align tools, groups and for the creation of the elements I used a lot clips.  

Should you feel like creating more assets for this pack, some of the earlier tutorials might be helpful:

The clip tool:

Building wooden beams:

Creating a brick building:

If you you like the assets, let me know and I will build some more. I already have a modern set and a medieval castle on my todo list. 

Here's the download link for the current set:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Animation of an insect's wing motion

This is a quick video I put together after doing an animation of a butterfly and a ladybug for the kid's educational application. The reference image of the flying insect had an odd way to animated the wings. 
Rather than flap the wings they were just rotated. A way to animate wings that seems rather common. The deform instead of the rotation is not much hard but the results are a lot nicer in my opinion. 

Here are the animations as gif images to get a better look at them:

I hope you enjoyed this quick video that is off topic but I will finish the complete game art series next and make the assets available 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

ZEEF - bringing some order into the posts

I have put off the changes to the blog for a little bit [again] as I would like to focus on the video tutorials for a while. 

To help with the 'chaos' of the blog I came across ZEEF a great online list of resources. It was a piece of cake to create a list for my posts and block them into something that might resemble some order. 
I hope this is helpful - for the time being - and I will try and keep it updated. 

Now it's back to the videos and having some more fun with animations in inkscape.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Complete game - playable alpha

Thanks to Claus Pedersen there is a way to play the game as it is now (missing some animations of the enemies and maybe different level designs).

[Controls: cursor keys left/ right/ up to move and space to shoot]

Monday, June 15, 2015

Complete game - Animations 'Running in 8 frames'

Now it's starting to get interesting. It's time to make the robot run. The process is similar to the previous post. Starting out with the key pose and copy&pasting it to a new layer. After altering the position of some body part, it's copy&paste again and onto the next step.

Using additional tools like texture packers can help a lot when bringing the art into your game. 

Here are the animations as gif images to get a better look at them:

I hope you enjoyed watching the latest part of the series (which is slowly nearing completion).  

The next part of the run animation with the gun is already recorded and will be online soon. I just didn't fit it into the 10 minute target size.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Complete game - Animations part 1 - basics and idle

Next step is the animation. There are a lot of ways to do them and a whole bunch of tools out there to use for animation. You can take your character's body parts and use tools like esoteric software's spine, brash monkey's spriter or Adobe Flash to create the animations in there. 
You can even take your separated png images into Unity5 and do the animations right in there using their 2D animation tool. 

The advantages of those tools lie in the re-usability of the animations. Once you define an animation it's a lot easier to replace the elements for a upgraded version of the character or even a totally different one (as long as the proportions are similar). 

I am planning on covering some of those tools later on. For the moment I am busy getting into the video tutorials and the finishing touches to the this series of tutorials. 

As a result I staying within Inkscape for the animations. I have covered it in an earlier tutorial before (s. character animation) but this time around it's in a video with a little more attention to detail. 

Here are the animations as gif images to get a better look at them:

As always I hope you enjoyed watching it as much as I did creating it. 

I do apologize for not fitting the running animations into this video but it was just getting too long.
By now the next part has been recorded and will go online as soon as I did the editing.

Complete game - Setting the key poses [video]

Here we go... you asked for it... and even if it took some time to convince an old dog to learn new tricks... here is my 1st video tutorial.

Before going into animation it's helpful to create some key poses to give you an idea what the character is supposed to look like when we animate him later. For this game the important parts will be the run, jump, shot, get hit and die poses.

I had fun doing this and it won't be the last video tutorial for sure. 
I hope you enjoyed it as well. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Taking giant steps towards my first Video tutorial

I had the animations done and they do look ok... but when it came to the tutorial I was a little stuck and the current step-by-step format is not all that helpful when it comes to explaining animations.

So... I did what I probably should have done a long time ago and sat done with a screen grabbing software and took a few test takes. Rather than go straight for the kill, I chickened out and chose a slightly easier topic - the key poses. This first step of the animation is a little less spectacular than the moving images but I was a good test to get into working while explaining and recording the whole thing. 

After three or four takes I ended up with something that started to look like it could work. I am not all that sure about the sounding good... but hey... it's my voice and there is little I can do about that (being a non-native speaker). 

I will do a little bit more editing before releasing it for feedback and comments. Hopefully it can be useful - alone or in combination with the written tutorials. I can't say I am 100% convinced yet but I had good fun doing it.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Complete game - in action (WIP)

My good friend and gamesalad coder Darren Spencer of deep blue apps has taken the time and put the assets so far into place and made them come to life.

Here's the video on the current state of things:

It's nice to see things actually work together nicely.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oculus VR Jam

One of the reasons I have been a tad busy lately was the Oculus VR Jam. 
Along with a team of talented 3D artists from qube, great coder and more than my fair share of coffee I worked on an entry for this competition. It's a 3D compact hidden object, puzzle game about finding the building blocks for a rocket ship in a messy kid's room. 

I am quite happy with the way it turned out seeing it was a rushed job (what are deadlines for if not to leave them to the last minute? We submitted with 30 minutes to spare... ;) )
Even though it didn't make it to the finalists - but there is still the public voting.... sooooo... I am asking for a small favor here.
If you got a moment, maybe you could vote for the entry 'Rocket Builders':


Making textures for 3D models like the ones used in 'Rocket Builder' can be nicely achieved in Inkscape as well and I have put a tutorial on it on my todo list... after... well a lot of others still on that list... ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Complete game - background [part 2]

After a much longer break than planned - for various reasons and a bit of turmoil in my life - I finally get to sit down and continue the tutorial for the the complete game art.

This time I will continue fleshing out the background - before moving to the much anticipated and a more fun part of animating our character.

Even with the cogs in place the background still looking rather empty. It's not matching the style of the platforms with their rich decor. The elements in the background should match but not overwhelm the platform or enemy/ player elements.

Taking the layers into gimp and adjusting different levels of blur to them - increasing slightly the further back the layer is - results in something like this.

Putting the platforms on top along with the cogs and some light rays (simple rectangles deformed, blurred and the background works nicely. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of the tutorial and I can assure you the next one will be a lot of fun as we start animating the main character. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Complete game - background [part 1]

On to the next task - the background. There is a lot of space to cover and with the level of detail in the character, platforms and the enemies it will need some work and detail to match.

Now that I am done with the step-by-step tutorial and ready to post it here, I realize that I did explain some of this briefly in the tank tutorial a while back. Blame it on my old age or just having written too many of these tutorials to remember properly - but I still hope this is helpful as it's a bit more detailed. 

Next up will be a part on creating pipes, connections and some nice silhouettes for the background.