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Article - 'Beginers guide to charset making' by Guest

An item about Graphics/Audio posted on Aug 9, 2003

Blurb

A beginners guide to creating character sets!

Body

The amount of people who do not at least try to make their own charsets is amazing!

I try before I ask but this isnt a rant or a show off this is how to gt into making you own charsets or in fact any over graphics in a step by step way so that even the most N00bish person can understand.

1.learning shading and colouring
When I first started making my own sprites it was simple rtp edits and all I did was change the colour.
as you an see on all sprites the they are not just flat textures they have shaded areas so I will use Alex as an example. He has a blue suit of armour on and has brown hair. this first part is how to make his hair BLUE! first you pick the darkest shade of blue from his attire (I then change to fill for the next bit) change the darkest brown bits of his hair to the colour you have chosen. Then pick the second darkest shade of blue from his attire and fill the second darkest shade of brown. Repeat this process through all the shades going right down to the lightest (and remember do this to all animations)
and hey presto Alex now has blue hair and hopefully you have learnt how to shade!

2.Copy and paste(merging graphics)
This is pretty self explanitory but it needs to be mentioned. sick and tired of the same people having the same faces well then simply highlight the desired face or even body parts, copy them and then paste them over the same body part of the origional sprite(again remember do this to all directions and copy the limb for the respective frame)

3.getting trickier
now then you should have by now learnt how to colour/shade and also how to copy and paste specific body parts now you get to the tricky stuff actually making your own. There are lots of templates around which supply you with the outline of the character use these first!
they are set up like this...
Up Up(still) Up
right right(still) right
down down(still) down
left left(still) left

this was put down to avoid any confusion
now then I usualy start with the head down so we start with hair. Sy the hair is blue, so pick the darkest shade of blue that you want and place down where you would like the shading to be darkest(realism applies here so you may want to look at peoples hair or other charsets) then again choose the second darkest colour and so on. Do this for the whole body form all angles and frames to create your own graphics. After this I suggest that you try the templates without the character drawn in because you should by now also appreciate size(for the width of a tile measure 4 pixles in from the left and right hand sides of the rectangel)
I hope this has been of help