Aug 19 2014 17:25 261 notes


HELLO IT IS CAE AGAIN who enjoys explaining many things— and since i did this over twitter, i thought HEY why not keep it on my tumblr for safe keeping with my other tutorials. ( COLOUR TUTORIAL, MSPAINT ONE, MINI PALETTE TUTORIAL)

SO!! here i’ll be talking about an element of pixel art which can be VERY!!! easily applied to non-pixel arts: COLOUR REDUCTION and HUE SHIFTING


one of the very backbones of pixel art is keeping a reduced colour count because historically, games could only support so many graphic demands. nowadays, a reduced colour count demonstrates one’s control over colour at the pixel level— a demonstration of technical skill and keeping with pixel tradition! you can read more about this on pixeljoint!

also let’s be real it just looks that much more better!

so here we have a straight ramp and the apple seen above

all the hues are played straight up and pure— dark green goes to light green, dark red goes to red.

it’s doable but, very boring ! also, there are a great number of UNNECESSARY COLOURS— which can be seen here 

so many similar tones!! so indistinct!! 

a technique that many pixel artists use to reduce their colours is HUE SHIFTING.

that is, choosing an end shadow and light colour and making all the hues on the canvas work toward those accordingly.

original palette ganked from this post, if you look at the palettes, you’ll see that both the bottom and the top follow a logical progression of dark brown to green/red to yellow. to make the progression make “more sense” i reduced the saturation for both the green and the red. as well, i made the red a little more cool (purple-red) and the green a little more warm (yellow-green). concept explained here, if that’s confusing!

there are of course MANY WAYS to play with how the colours transition. here, i upped the amount of warmth (yellow) and saturation present in the midtones! the shadow and light colours at the ends are the same as the previous apple, i’ve just shifted the colours in the middle.

HOHO and another example— you’ll see that i added another two colours to transition more smoothly for both palettes! however…

those two colours are so similar — especially when you greyscale it— that they might as well be the Same One. 

so i resolve this by picking a shade inbetween those two colours. this is probably a really nitpicky thing, but it’s something to think about if you do ever want to try your hand at pixel art (esp b/c these subtlities matter on a smaller scale)!!!

the world is your oyster with this really HAHA. pick your shadow and light colours as you will and play around with the middles!! so long as the progression is logical for all your hues, im sure it’ll look hELLA SWELL


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