Bjork’s Biophilia iPad app and its first in-app release, Crystalline, are STUNNING. Seriously, words cannot really do it justice. You play a game where you collect crystals in certain sequences to unlock different arrangements and elements of the song, which you can then arrange in real-time while playing the game by choosing different tunnel. I’m addicted, and Bjork is giving me something I’m willing to spend money on.
Ok, now that’s past us, let’s chat about pixel art. I have always been a HUGE fan of pixel art both in games and as a form of art. As an aspiring game developer (games coming soon 😉 ), I found pixel art a great fit for me. Not only is is aesthetically pleasing, it also allows developers to create “better” art than developer art. All it takes is a little patience. Today, I’m going to share with you how I have configured Photoshop to create some pixel art and eventually show you how to make your own Bitizens from Tiny Tower in a follow up post. Some of you might argue that Photoshop is not the way to go and that there are better tools for Pixel art. I have tried quite a few and keep coming back to PS because of some of it’s great features (shapes, layering, masks, gradients, noise filters, etc…). We can use a lot of these tools to our advantage when creating pixel art, PS just needs to be set up correctly. Just a heads up before I start, I’m using Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Mac. Change The Way Photoshop Scales Images First, we need to change the way PS scales images. This is useful for when you are ready to export your sprites for production. By default, PS uses a Bicubic algorithm when you want to enlarge an image. This generally produces a very blurry effect. It’s quite useful in many cases, but terrible for pixel art. Here, we need to tell PS to use a “Nearest Neighbor” scaling algorithm. This will preserver all of our edges without PS mucking with the blending. To change this setting, navigate to Photoshop->Preferences->General The only setting you need to modify is “Image Interpolation”. Make sure to change it to “Nearest Neighbor”. (via Configuring Photoshop For Pixel Art)
They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, so we are going to flatter the heck out of the Nimble Bits guys are learn how to make our own Bitizen characters from Tiny Tower. I have found that a good starting place for learning pixel art (or anything really), is to start with something that already exists, copy it, then modify it. Once you do that a few times and get comfortable, then you should have the confidence to branch out into creating your own artwork. When creating a game (or complex piece of pixel artwork) that involves a ton of different characters, it will save a ton of time and energy if you create a “base character”. What I mean by “base character” is one that is very bland and plain. Something that is easily customizable. So, that’s what this tutorial is about, we are going to create a bland white guy for Tiny Tower. One thing I want to point out before we start is, I have lowered the resolution of the character a bit and am not putting in as much detail as the Nimble Bits team. This is just for simplicity’s sake in order to get my point across and make things easier on you. (via Pixel Art Character Tutorial – Creating And Customizing A Bitizen)
Not made by me, but by j-o-n-i-b-o-y Have you been obsessed with NimbleBit’s latest iPhone game Tiny Tower as much as I am? And wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those cute little characters as an avatar for a forum or a social network? After reading Brandontreb’s inspiring Bitizen Tutorial [link] I thought it would be nice if everyone could simply customize his personal Bitizen with just a few clicks, which was the reason I decided to create this template. (via Fan-made Bitizen Creator | Irishstu.com Blog)
A solution in search of a problem, or a solution to a problem that you were too proud to cop to? SoftEther has just revealed what might be the final blow to Barbie’s distinguished career: the sensor-splashed QUMA. So far as we can tell, the human-shaped puppet contains a myriad sensors to pick up precise bends and flexes, and then pipes that information to a screen. Aside from showing your team of ballerinas exactly how their routine should look, we’re guessing that the real future here is in far more sophisticated tasks – things like artificial intelligence, major motion pictures and scientific research. As the saying goes, a video’s worth a zillion words, so have a peek for yourself just after the break.
The Clone Factory in Japan via Danny Choo
Danny Choo checks out this company that can make action figures based on your own appearance. This can be with another pop-culture figure (like the one above), or a figure that has more resemblance to yourself.
More photos about the process and other examples can be found here