Designed to look like something running on the Commodore Amiga but with all the modern conveniences, Grafx 2 is pitched as "The ultimate 256-color painting program."
GrafX2 has a long history, with the first versions being published in 1996. The development by the original team (Sunset Design) continued until late 1999, when they stopped working on it because no one had interest in running a DOS drawing tool by then. Fortunately, they published the sources so that their work would not be lost.
In 2007, PulkoMandy recovered these sources and ported them to modern operating system. This was the rebirth of GrafX2, which then saw many improvements and finetuning, making it the great tool you know and use today.
Neat touches include extreme custom resolutions (including nonsquare pixels), powerful pallette manipulation (including color cycling) and a prominently pixelated King Tut, as is mandatory for all pixel-art related Amiga shenanigans. Read the rest
Tokyo based artist Yuni Yoshida created her Layered series by manually cutting out cubed "pixels" of foods that recreate the gestalt of the original. Read the rest
Pixatool (previously), an excellent app that turns any image into perfectly-tuned pixel art, is already on its second edition: a complete rewrite that adds a much better user interface, can batch-process images, and can load restrictive palettes for all your peculiar 8-bit nostalgia needs (I'll be making use of this to conform work to the Amstrad CPC pallette, one of the 1980s' more masochistic examples). Best of all, the new version's on sale at $9.95.
The creator, Davit Masia, also created a simple online toy that turns pixel art into bead art or lego. Read the rest
You could load an image up in Photoshop, reduce the color depth and fiddle with the pixel diffusion slider a bit. Or you could get Pixatool, a brilliant app completely dedicated to tuning pixelated images to the finest and most authentic details. Line and contrasts are rendered so well there's often an uncanny suggestion of hand-drawing, and the dithering smokes what mainstream painting apps offer.
It's $30, with a free-of-charge demo version. There's more examples. Artists are sharing their work with the #pixatool hashtag.
Update: check out the new version. Read the rest
Directed by Noah Harris and animated by Nicos Livesey from character designes by McKay Felt and Rufus Dayglo, this meta-bit pixel masterpiece accompanies the latest single from Gorillaz. Read the rest
For twenty dollars, you can download 1600 1-bit sprites for use in artwork, games, icons or whatever other project you desire. [via]
You can use this game assets for personal/commercial projects, no credit needed. If you do, please let me know to promote it on my twitter! ;)
Made by Davit Masia, it's such an incredibly vast and deep set of work. Expect to see its DNA in pixel-art inventories and villages for years to come.
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Ben Stewart's Sword Shop is a minimalist buy-and-sell game. Every day, people come into your sword shop wanting to sell your their old gear. And, hopefully, more will come it to buy it.
Everyday you will be offered swords at different conditions and rarities, your goal is to make a profit. This is accomplished by buying swords for low prices and selling them at higher ones. Every sword you buy has a certain chance to sell at night, and if it does, you will see if you have made a profit.
You can plow profits into upgrading the store, or buying fancier swords. It's like running a pawn store, but with gorgeous pixel art stabbers.
It's fun figuring out the basic value ranges for each kind of sword and the materials, and I love its aesthetic and how it puts the exclusive focus on one tiny yet key mechanism of computer role-playing games (cf. my own Character creation is the whole game). However, the mechanism selected is the loot grind.
You quickly realize that you're on that particular treadmill and that the treadmill is randomness within a range: if there is any narrative support for the grind, or interesting "handmade" loot to cherish, I didn't get there before hopping off. Go play it and tell me if I missed something cool. Read the rest
Alex Clay created "Arabic Pixel," which is to his knowledge the world's first public domain (CC0) Arabic font. Read the rest
A classic favorite of Boing Boing editors, the Useless Machine has been implemented as a website for your button-pressing pleasure. Read the rest
Mauri Helme (previously) created a 16-bit tribute to King-Size Homer, one of The Simpsons' more surreal turns: "It's a pixel art animation as if there were a 16-bit game starring Homer and his muumuu." (Compare to the "real" 16-bit Simpsons game, which was comparatively sane stuff) Read the rest
Path of the Rabbit is another simple, addictive, beautifully-pixelled game from Daniel Linssen. Lay down the land for your lapine friend to leap across: it'll follow whatever line leads from the spot it stands.
The trick is to arrange tiles to allow multiple leaps and to avoid the edge, from which the rabbit can't come back from, while keeping it regularly watered and occasionally beating up foxes to level up. It's surprisingly tough going, but I kept going back! Read the rest
Hexels is a charming and powerful art-making app built around grids: perfect for making isometric worlds, geometric illustrations or traditional pixel art.
Hexels is an exciting grid-based painting tool that enables you to effortlessly create brilliant works of art. Whether you’re a pint sized pierogi, a professional cuddler, or my imaginary friend, Hexels’ shape-shifting personality will captivate you.
We’ve added advanced features like animation and layers, a sharp, customizable interface, refined painting tools, and a slew of other improvements to bring you the most dynamic version of Hexels to date!
Here's a video that makes clear how it works:
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Over April Fool's weekend, Reddit introduced r/place, a blank canvas where users could add pixels of any color. It quickly emerged into an astonishing piece of collaborative digital art with several hard-fought battles to keep and erase certain elements. Read the rest
There are typefaces that attempt to remain legible at ludicrously small sizes. Ken Perlin's Tinyfont attempts to do so while retaining traditional letterforms, putting LCD subpixels to clever use. There are various 3x5 pixel fonts for those who prefer the crisp purity of the traditional pixel, and prior attempts at the holy grail of a legible 3x3 nerd font.
Minima is an effort to make the perfect 4x4 pixel font, allowing itself a little more space but also going step further toward abstraction, abandoning legibility in favor of more easily-distinguished characters. It's €10 and I need a tylenol.
via Brutalist Websites. Read the rest
German designer Marcus Blättermann created this nifty series of scalable pixel illustrations based on Greek mythology (Tantalos shown here). Drag your cursor around at his site to alter the image. Read the rest
Hypertalented pixelmaster Paul Robertson created this animated GIF for Blackbox, the new logistics company for indie makers that was launched by the creators of Cards Against Humanity. (via Waxy) Read the rest