Lately, I've been playing with Disney PIXEL'D
on my iPad, and I've been enjoying using it a lot. While I've been able to
make pixel art with other programs on my computer, this is by far the easiest
program I've used to make pixel art animations.
So far I've been using the free version, and it has worked great. The stamp
features are geared more towards kids, but this is a very well done
application for adults to use, too. The $4.99 pro-pack gets you 7 layers
instead of 3, camera import, additional animation frames, and the ability to
remove the pixel'd logo from exporting large animations.
My only complaint is that I couldn't figure out how to remove animation
frames once they are added. As a result, the first animation I made turned
from a walking cowboy into a dancing cowboy.
I think it turned out well, though.
Mostly, I have kept to a 16x16 pixel canvas. It limits the amount of detail I
can add, but it's a very different experience creating art. For example, even
though it is far from anatomically correct, the cowboy's head and hat are 8
pixels high, exactly half of the whole canvas.
We humans place such an emphasis on faces, though, this cowboy with a head as
large as his body hardly looks strange to us. In order to create a character
at 16x16 pixels, I find that one needs to stretch proportions a bit. Faces
are much too important to place at 1/7th
to 1/8th of the whole, since that would give us only 2 or 3 pixels of
height to work with.
Using a this rule-of-thumb to use half the canvas, I created a portrait of a
cat. The head-to-body proportions are cartoonish, but it allows me to create
a cat character.
I drew this bus while on the bus. Breaking from my previous drawings, it uses
a canvas of size 32x16.
This “snail” started life as something similar to the USB
trident-style symbol . I find it interesting
how little animation it takes to turn a symbol to a strange creature.