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Pixel a Capcom background by Kiwi-RGB Pixel a Capcom background by Kiwi-RGB
This is a companion piece to SPEED SPRITING WITH PHOTOSHOP, so check out that one for a better look at some of the main tricks mentioned here.

The goal with all these tutorials, as always, is to get more people able to make better-looking pixel art, faster.

If you decide to try it out, be sure to start off easy with a Gameboy palette. See if you can follow along to that galaxy example.

And for those wondering, final image is here
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-08-12
Pixel a Capcom background by *Kiwi-RGB Ive never seen so much useful information in one tutorial. It shows one of the many methods one can use to create a detailed image in pixel. I was initially going to give the DD to the image this is all based from, but this can be so much more appreciated by our community as a whole. ( Featured by Mistress-Jaeden )
:iconhiddenworlds:
HiddenWorlds Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this one too. Not sure I could accomplish this but could maybe try with backgrounds a bit so faving.
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2010
Congratulations on this DD. You certainly deserve it. I'm glad something from the TC image got selected. :)
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
Also, "the art has to look good before the pixeling to look good after the pixeling"
:iconlolwutplz:

I'm going to need some help wrapping my brain around that'un! This is full of a ton of information. And it's pretty cool seeing how it was built, too. Thanks so much for making it! Perhaps someday... :)
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010
easy translation: if it's a bad drawing before you start, pixeling it isn't going to magically make it good, so make sure you spend your time/energy on something worthwhile.

and what's with the reply to yourself, those don't show up in my messages :faint:
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010
Yeah, I realized what it meant not 5 seconds after I hit "send." :dummy: I'm not sure what state of mind I was in when I didn't get that. Sure would be embarrassing if I were really that stupid! Oh, and I replied to myself to avoid spamming you, and because I knew you would see it eventually. :)
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:iconecfor:
Ecfor Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
GIMP ftw
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:iconsaiyan-frost:
saiyan-frost Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been thinking of trying out a pixel background, this has shown me some very helpful methods of doing so. Thanks so much for sharing this!
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
Ah, very good -- I hope you get good results with this
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:iconsaiyan-frost:
saiyan-frost Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I'm sure I will :D (or at least better results than previous pixel artworks I've done :meow: ).
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:iconmetaru:
Metaru Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
hmn
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:icontan4500:
Tan4500 Featured By Owner May 19, 2010
at first i didn't respect pixel artwork but in time i grew to appreciate it when i started using pivot and playing old sprite games as well as current ones. I come to enjoy it so much i wanted to start doing some myself. Your tutorials have further ignited my interest in the field and i applaud you aiding me in not only animation but honing my art skills as well. As pointed out in your tut i was afriad of randomly plotting pixels and hoping they came out good. This tutorial made me look at spriting in new ways and you took alot of stress off my labor of love. thank you <3
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner May 21, 2010
Very very good to hear. And yes, some people do pixel art dot-by-dot here and there, but by far the best way for someone to start learning is to shrink completed artwork and translate it into pixels with a limited number of colors
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:iconodin787:
Odin787 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010   General Artist
very useful tutorial, this will come in handy in many ways since i'm doing sprite work too, a little question tho, can you provide a link to where you get the reference material for the capcom stages? i have tried to google them but i still cant find them, keep up the good work, you are doing great.
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
take a look at the journal on my profile page - it has links to a lot of pixel stuff including a site with backgrounds. Plus, any place with sharp screenshots can usually do the trick (you can usually see a lot of a game's background that way)
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:iconodin787:
Odin787 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010   General Artist
i didnt notice that on your page, (must be getting blind :P) anyways thank you, i'll be sure to credit you if i use any of the methods used on your tutorial.
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:iconkurotoboe:
Kurotoboe Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Nice tut Kiwi! though I must say, I get lost on the paletting part (Part 4) I'm still not getting it.
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010
I really should do a video tutorial on this sometime.. except that it could go for hours.
The color thing basically means that if I just picked, say, 12 colors on my own to be my shades of white for this BG, I might have wound up with either a boring-looking end product (like something that just went from gray to white, as opposed to these nice mixtures of blues and greens I wound up with), or something with a bland range of shading (kind of dark, kind of lighter, kind of lighter, light -- versus those sharp shadows on the metal, quick transition to midtones, then another quick transition to brights). If you're not stealing a color palette that you already know is good, you'd have to either be a brilliant artist or a workhorse with trial and error
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:iconkurotoboe:
Kurotoboe Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Ahh I see.
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:icontifa22:
Tifa22 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds very interesting! Great you made it this detailed :#1:
I should try it some day :)
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:iconhaku-hyoton:
Haku-Hyoton Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
No offense, but this is cheating

Photoshop make the spriting more easy

The real soul of the spriting, is make all in MS Paint or similar programs

You make a great job, but no in the real spriting
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009
You're exactly right.

I made a better pixel background than I could have done in MS Paint, and I made it in days instead of weeks.

And it was so easy, than almost anyone can do it.

That's why I made this.
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:iconchesney:
chesney Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
:iconiloveyouplz:
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:icontheiving-imp:
Theiving-Imp Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010
This comment has made my day. I thank you for it.
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
ah, you must have heard this argument before..
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:icontheiving-imp:
Theiving-Imp Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
Yes I have, and it never gets old.
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:iconeldahast:
Eldahast Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
Can come in handy someday...
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:iconjazylh:
JazylH Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Professional Filmographer
WOW thats Awesome. I'm so glad you chose cats lair for the BG. :)
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:iconpikachoo08:
pikachoo08 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
huh, i normally dont put my different colors on different layers. guess i have to try that *faves*
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
main reason to do it is if you're using the palette-converting tricks here (if I automatically converted my whole Cats Lair at once, I might've gotten some of my sky blues mixed in with my metal blues).

But in general it's also good for preventing colors from getting mixed, fixing mistakes, and modifying certain colors to look better with others.
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:iconpikachoo08:
pikachoo08 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
yeh i can see that =3
th only reason i dont do that because i use th smear tool alot (i like it for some reason)

but yeh, thanks for making a step-by-step =3
I was wondering how much time it did take to make that thunder cat scene X3 i was comparing it to my skills (it would take a year then)
but you made it sound like it only took you a few hours, so cool
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
It'd take me a year too, if I didn't discover these tricks. Not sure exactly how long I spent on it since I usually only work a couple hours at a time, but even then it was finished in less than a week - these methods are that simple.
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:iconroxaswantsacupcake:
roxaswantsacupcake Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Student General Artist
Absolutely amazing tutorial. It's so in-depth! I never would have guessed that the final result was pixelled.

Great job! I might use this for dithering, since I seem to have lots of trouble with it and backgrounds in general.
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
Very good, I hope you get some use out of either the auto-dithering part or the dither-brush trick, then. Remember, if you can draw it, you can pixel it
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:iconbubby-bobble:
Bubby-Bobble Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
HECK YES! :#1: Awesome tutorial, Kiwi!
Reading this makes me want to try my hand at making my own pixels. :)

Congrats on the DD too, by the way.
This is most deserving, IMHO.
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
:bow:thank you, thank you..:bow:
Yeah, I definitely put everything I had into this one (and maybe a little too much, with this insane size), and basically the lesson with it is that pixeling doesn't have to be hard and tedious. You just have to be able to convert your artwork the right way, and do a little cleanup after.

Definitely need to see some pixels out of you, too
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:iconbubby-bobble:
Bubby-Bobble Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed!There's no need to place such restrictive rules on a genre of art.
That only scares people away from creating, instead of enforcing a minimum image quality like some would want.


I've been practicing! I was working on an animated toast avatar earlier.
For some reason I just felt like doing something whimsical today. :lol:

That and I loves toasted bread, especially when it's a cute toastie!
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009
Ah-ha! I knew you had something random in store..
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:iconbubby-bobble:
Bubby-Bobble Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
That's my gameplan! ;p That way the enemy won't know what hit them!

:giggle: I'm crafty like that!
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:iconblasianonna:
blasianonna Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congrats on the DD! This is a wonderful tutorial and I hope I will use it one day!
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
Thanks, maybe even just some of the smaller tricks will come in handy for you - who knows?
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:iconrussianalfasubmarine:
Holy crap on a stick! That's pixled?!? The details is just incredible!

I like how you put how to do this in both GIMP and Photoshop. I also like how in-depth you are in the tutorial. :D

Also, congrats on the DD! :highfive:
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
Well thank you. Yes, pixels can look pretty slick when you work from a good base image.
And I definitely learned my lesson last time I did a tutorial with only Photoshop. I'd have never guessed that Gimp could do certain things easier than PS.
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:iconziggyman:
Ziggyman Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
Very complete work. Thanks for share.
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:iconpeannlui:
peannlui Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Professional General Artist
Hey, a Daily Deviation!! Well done! :party: Now you'll have thousands of fans watching you! :D

Great to see a Tutorial like this and have an insight on how you make these things; makes me want to make my own now... :(
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
Ah yes indeed, Kiwi's finally hit the big time thanks to, of all things, his incredibly nerdy mental encyclopedia of pixel cheats. :bucktooth: Who'd have figured..

Definitely gotta see some pixel art out of you sometime. EC's due for a remake
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:iconpeannlui:
peannlui Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009  Professional General Artist
Me do pixel art?:lol: YOU ought to do EC pixels and make a killing, not me. I is not of the spriting realm, I's not. :no:

Naw, I meant a tutorial! How about the Comic Book Colouring style 'Cuts'? No-one on Deviantart has done one of them. It's low memory usage, and the best thing about it is that you don't need a drawing tablet for it! Whaddya think? :dance:
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:iconkiwi-rgb:
Kiwi-RGB Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009
:la::la::la::la::la:..yesplz
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:iconpeannlui:
peannlui Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional General Artist
Then that is what I shall do then what I said. :nod:

Soon. :)
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:icontennyomelime:
tennyomelime Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Simply amazing tut. So much detail and things to help us learn. Thank you so much for putting this all together! It must have taken you forever. :iconfurryhuggleplz:
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:iconmozzaratti:
mozzaratti Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2009
You never see tutorials like this. Excellent work, very useful on many levels. Maybe someday I'll finally get into backgrounds thanks to this. Thanks for sharing your techniques! =D
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