Pixel Art Related Links

Links contributed by 8 Bit Dreams

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 1/8/2016 13:52

Online tool for optimizing animated gif images to reduce file size. Compress gifs by reducing colormaps or dropping frames.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 1/8/2016 13:40

Our Lose the Wait series is all about improving the performance of your web applications. As we have mentioned, a great way to lose the wait is to lose the weight, as in the weight of your page content. In our last post, we talked about using HTTP compression to reduce the size of the data that needs to be sent to the client, as well as the challenges that are involved.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 8/10/2015 11:28

Charming 8-Bit GIFs Depicting Every Day Life In Japan by Toyoi Yuuta

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 7/14/2015 07:04

A great resource for this art program. This tutorial is a pretty good starting point.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 7/3/2015 11:31

Retired C64 pixel art gallery.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 7/3/2015 10:58

Launched in 1985 the Commodore Amiga boasted graphics capabilities that were unsurpassed for it's time.

It featured an intricate collection of custom chips that enabled it to do things that, until then, had been impossible to achieve with other personal computers.

This site is dedicated to graphics made with or for the Commodore Amiga home computer.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 6/26/2015 08:53

Rachel Simone Weil is an experimental video-game developer and design historian whose work explores femininity, allohistory, and speculative/electric dreaming. Weil runs FEMICOM, the feminine computer museum, creates NES games and glitch art under the alias Party Time! Hexcellent!, and helps organize Austin's monthly indie games event, Juegos Rancheros.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 6/26/2015 08:50

About FEMICOM Museum is a hybrid physical/digital museum and archive dedicated to the preservation and reimagination of femininity in twentieth-century video games, computing, and electronic toys. Read more about the mission and beginnings of FEMICOM: Hello World! Introducing FEMICOM.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 5/8/2015 06:34

Think you know everything about finding images online? You don't.

A picture is worth 1,000 words. And that's just in the "physical world." Online, the 1,000 words:1 picture ratio is a gross understatement. Up here in Webbernetland, words are damn near meaningless. Most of what passes for "written communication" is a bunch of barely coherent word sneezes punctuated with hashtags, emoji, and nonsensical text-talk.

If you really want to get a point across, images are where it's at! I don't want to hear about your vacation, I just want to see pictures of you snorkeling and pointing at exotic sealife! Don't tell me how you're feeling when an animated Family Guy gif will more than suffice. Is there really anything you can tell me that a Game of Thrones screengrab won't? SRSLY.

Thankfully, Google is here to facilitate our species' downward spiral into the lingual apocalypse via a robust image search function. We've previously delved into some of the cool little tricks available in regular Google search—most of which are still relevant in the image side of things. But there's an additional bag of little tricks specific to the image side of search that you may not be taking full advantage of.

Backwards Image Search

Once upon a time this feature was only available to Chrome users, but now all the major browsers allow backward Google image searches. With this function, users can simply upload an image (or image URL) and find out where else that image exists online or even just find images that are visually similar.

Just go to the images.google.com start page and click the little camera icon in the search box to prompt a pop-up box where you will find the option to paste an image URL or upload an image from your computer. Conversely, you can even just drag an image from your desktop into the search box.

Search History

Whether you are aware of the fact or not, Google keeps a scarily detailed list of your all your Web doings. That's how it optimizes your eyeballs and sell them to advertisers. Feel like you're being used? Maybe you are. But keep in mind that's also how the company manages to keep all its neat little Web tools—like Maps, Gmail, and search—free to use.

Google is at least transparent about how it does business. The company gives you the option to view (and edit) the detailed online diary you might not have known you were keeping.

If you have a Google account (i.e. a Gmail account), you can view your online dossier by heading over to history.google.com (you'll probably be asked to log in to your account). Here you'll find a list of recent Web searches—including your Google image queries. You have the option to peruse your past queries via the search bar at the top of the page or just look back through time by clicking the older button at the bottom. You can revisit these old searches, or—should you feel the need to—delete them from your Google record by clicking the little box next to them and then hitting the Remove items button at the top of the page.

Advance Search Options

When you conduct an image search, you'll see a long list of choices to click on at the top of the page. At the far-right end of the option bar, you'll see a Search tools button. Click that, and it will highlight a bunch of advanced options, each with its own pull-down menu. Let's go through each one:

Size: This gives you a variety of choices in regards to physical image size including Large, Medium, and Icon. You can even get really specific by choosing the Larger than… or Exactly… options.

Color: Here you will find the default Any color option as well as Full color and Black and White. Transparent means that the image has a clear background—this option is probably only of use to graphic designers who want to add an image into an existing picture. At the bottom of the pull-down menu, you'll find 12 smaller color boxes that you can click on—this will return images where that color is featured prominently.

Type: This allows you to filter further for the images you do want, including Face (images where a human face is prominent); Photo (no clip art, animated gifs, or line drawings); Clip art (helps you get your MS Paint on); Line drawing (for when you want to do some coloring); Animated (you'll have to click on the image to see it in motion, otherwise the page would be chaos).

Time: Allows you to search within different time ranges. Why does this matter? Take a look at the difference in top image searches for "Bill Cosby" in November 2013 and those from November 2014. Notice a difference in the choice of images (and facial expressions) people on the Web were using?

Usage rights: This allows you to search just for images that you can legally reuse based on their stated license, the most liberal option here being Labeled for reuse with modification (a lot of Wikipedia files here) down to Labeled for noncommercial use (meaning you can't use it in any commercial endeavors). For more, check out How to Find Free Stock Photos That Aren't Terrible.

And More

If you're looking for the naughty stuff, you can toggle the default Safe Search in the top-right corner, which will prompt a pull-down menu. Also, if you really want to get into the image weeds, you can do an "Advanced" image search via the gear icon in the top right-hand corner. This will prompt a new screen, which will allow you to really drill down into the search terms and allow you to search with multiple filters in one easy UI.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 5/6/2015 11:41

Welcome to the world of Hal Lasko, The “Pixel Painter”.

“Grandpa Hal” as he was better known, made paintings that may resemble a classic 8-bit video game but upon closer inspection many are calling it fine art.

All of Hal’s pieces were lovingly if a bit tediously crafted by guiding a computer mouse through a decades-old software application. It's hard to imagine such a level of complexity could be achieved in something as simple as Microsoft Paint. Yet Lasko's art gives proof in the pixels.

Lasko did all of his painting despite challenges that could’ve ended his passion for painting.  In his later years, he suffered from wet macular degeneration, an age-related, chronic eye disease which severely limits the center of his field of vision. It's a formidable handicap for anyone, but especially someone who'd made a living off his artist's eye.

Long before age began to take its toll on Lasko, he'd enjoyed a successful career as an artist of a different sort than what he's become. He started out as a graphic designer, working in the military during World War II drafting maps. After his military career, he worked on creative projects for several companies and eventually retired from American Greetings in the 1970s. Throughout it all he would paint at home to satisfy his artistic urges.

But the older Lasko got and the less he could see, the harder it became for him to paint. Things changed for Lasko when his family gave him a computer as an 85th birthday present.

His new PC came loaded with Microsoft Paint software. The program was developed in the '80s but gained popularity with the release of the Windows 95 operating system in 1995. In today's Age of the iPad, Paint might be viewed as more kitsch than cutting edge. But Paint's easy interface and pixel precision allowed Lasko to journey down a new artistic path with a style that could be considered retro cool.

"When I got the computer and saw what the Paint program offered, I started a whole new career almost. It's so easy for me to handle," Lasko said. "Every time I paint on it, I'm trying to do something that's approaching fine art."

With help from his grandson Ryan and Ryan’s friend Josh, Lasko has shared his work and story with the world. He hoped that people who see his work will understand that age and handicaps may challenge you, but they shouldn't stop you from pursuing what you love.

"I get a lot of assistance because of my handicaps, but I don't treat them as handicaps because I still think I can do some painting," Lasko said. "I discovered quite a long time ago that this was my thing, and I just love to paint."

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 4/23/2015 08:47
PIXEL is an LED display for pixel art. Simply select the art from PIXEL's free apps on your Android, PC, Mac, or Raspberry Pi. After that, PIXEL runs in stand alone mode with no device connection necessary. Or leave your device connected and use PIXEL in interactive mode for things like Twitter feeds, interactive GIFs using the optional proximity sensor, and camera video phone feeds.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 4/20/2015 07:01

SPARTAN (Small Pixel Art Animator) is a freeware pixel art painting program specialised in creating small animated sprites for games.  As of version 1.2 it also includes a parametric toolkit for creating pixel art tiles generatively using a modular and visually editable set of procedural components.


  • Draw, Line, Circle, Ellipse, Fill, Select, Move and Pick Colour tools, set up to provide complementary functions on left- and right-click.
  • Hierarchical data structure that allows you to easily build up multi-animation, multi-direction, multi-frame, multi-layer sprites.
  • The ability to create linked frames and layers, where updates made to one are automatically applied to the other.  Makes it easy to maintain and create variants of animated sprites.
  • Freeform ‘scratch pad’ palette, which can be saved separately and re-used.
  • Colour mixing (on the palette, hold shift and right-click on a colour to mix with the current one)
  • Flip and 90º rotation tools
  • Colour replacement tool – can recolour all the frames in the sprite at once
  • Generate outline tool
  • Mirror editing mode
  • Optional pixel grid
  • Preview tools: horizontal and vertical tiling (for doing repeating textures), onion skinning (for animating), 1:1 Zoom quick-toggle.
  • Variable-speed animation preview (that you can draw in while animating, to produce natural movements).
  • Batch import and export
  • Export to icon (.ico) and animated .gif formats
  • Sprite sheet generation, automatically packing multiple sprites, frames etc. into one image and outputting a markup text file.  Allows sprite padding to prevent texture bleeding and has the option to limit the spritesheet image to power-of-two or square sizes.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 4/20/2015 06:45

Alex Hanson-White AlexHW, primarily creates pixel-art for a living. In his free time he codes video games. Recently he been developed an online pixel-art editor.
Below are a few features that Alex feels set this editor apart from the rest.

  • Pixel with others simultaneously! With all my years of pixeling, I've never came across a tool with this ability that is geared towards pixel artists. I believe it will be useful for game projects with multiple artists or for quick gamejam asset creation between collaborators. It can also be great for tutoring sessions, or other fun collaborations.
  • You can record the entire process and also replay it. This allows everyone to share and relive each other's work step by step, offering an exciting way to appreciate a work of art. You can also branch off anywhere in the replay and pixel it a new direction.
  • The Colordex system that makes it easy to apply multiple colors intelligently with a single brush stroke while maintaining order of any specific color ramping you've defined. I was inspired by the HD Index Painting technique my friend Dan Fessler popularized, however I found that technique a hassle to manage, and the software expensive. The Colordex system I created solves these issues, allowing you to focus on pixeling. The best way to understand how it works is to experience it yourself.

A PJ forum thread can be seen HERE

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 4/17/2015 08:09

Video Link

PaintTool SAI is high quality and lightweight painting software, fully digitizer support, amazing anti-aliased paintings, provide easy and stable operation, this software make digital art more enjoyable and comfortable.

- Fully digitizer support with pressure.
- Amazing anti-aliased drawings.
- Highly accurate composition with 16bit ARGB channels.
- Simple but powerful user interface, easy to learn.
- Fully support Intel MMX Technology.
- Data protection function to avoid abnormal termination such as bugs.

his software has 31 days trial period. You can use this software with full function without fee during the first 31 days. (CAUTION: This software disable the file open/save functions immediately when 31 days trial period expired. It means that you lose painting since the saved point.)
If you'd like to continue using this software after the 31 days trial period expired, you need to purchase the"Software License" from this site.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 4/9/2015 06:43

An online archive of thousands of arcade game advertisements dating back to the 1970s.

Prepare to waste time.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/31/2015 13:15

A fun browser based Voxel tool, exports in PNG and GIF formats. Also available on mobile devices.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/31/2015 12:19

Voxel Builder is an open source tool that lets anyone design and edit 3D voxel (cube) models easily, right in their web browser.

How it works

Use the Builder to create and edit voxel (AKA cube) models.

When you are done, export it as a PNG file (from the menu in Builder).

You can manufacture your critter using either a 2D printer or a 3D printer.

2D printer

Visit this page and drop your critter PNG onto it to generate pages. Print the pages so that each layer is a different page on a color printer. Then use scissors and glue to assemble each layer!

3D printer

Visit this page and drop your critter PNG onto it to generate a 3D printable STL file.

At this point in time there are over 1400 creations that have been made with Voxel Builder. Any of them can be loaded into the ndarray-stl demo.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/27/2015 08:21

Fast tutorial about how you can easily replace different colors in MS Paint.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/27/2015 08:16

In this tutorial I will show you how to save pixel art. Saving is definitely one of the most important things and I have seen how someone messes up his work by just saving to wrong format a lot. So, I hope this tutorial will help you all.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/26/2015 09:58

"Hello and welcome back to my blog!

This time something a little different – I commissioned a guest post about designing a tile-set from a studio who specialise in pixel-art. After searching long and hard to find exactly the right style I was after I settled on a company from Poland called Blackmoon design. Check out their site, its pretty cool looking. Anyway, here is their post:"

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/26/2015 09:44

For the generation that grew up on NES and SNES there's something endearing about the video game graphics of days since past. And with the rise of indie game development in recent years, 8-bit pixel art saw a resurgence in popularity. Call it the nostalgia factor, but I think it serves as a reminder that we don't need to use bleeding edge technology as long as games are fun and engage our imagination.

I tend to make pixel art primarily because it's easier for me to animate and draw sprites pixel by pixel than it is to try and draw them out with a tablet consistently. I have to say making pixel art is one of those things you gradually get better at and so I've come up with helpful hint for anyone looking to make 8-bit pixel art.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/26/2015 09:40

Great site! You basically choose your desired sex, pose, level of nudity and length of time and it’s like having a life drawing class with a warm up and everything!
They also have similar resources for hands and feet, facial expressions and animals.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/26/2015 08:58

This massive pixel art tutorial is written by Fil Razorback from LesForges.org. You can find the original tutorials here. A big thank you to Fil Razorback for allowing OpenGameArt.org to translate these tutorials and archive them here!

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/26/2015 08:54

Piskel, free online sprite editor. A simple web-based tool for Spriting and Pixel art. Create pixel art, game sprites and animated GIFs. Free and open-source.

Pixel art and animated sprites

Remember the good old 2D games and their beautiful sprites ? With Piskel you can create your own in a few clicks.

Live preview

Piskel gives you a live preview of your work.
You no longer have to guess how it will look like when it's done : you see it !

Your gallery

Keep track of all the sprites you created.
Everyone can see your public gallery, but you can keep any sprite you want private.

Offline versions

Offline builds are available for Windows and MacOS. Checkout the download page.

Export to GIF

Since we're animating images, might as well share them as animated GIFs.
So yeah.

Open Source

If you want to contribute or check the code, everything is on Github.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/25/2015 09:11

Pixel Dailies is a pixel art group I started on twitter in mid 2014. Based on the successful art group Sketch Dailies, Pixel Dailies (PD) is a place for people to practise their pixel art by doing pixel art every day. Under such huge time constraints, you can’t afford to endlessly iterate on a piece, rather you just have to get it done and move on to the next day. Personally I’ve found my pixel art skills to improve significantly, and PD has allowed me to meet other pixel artist enthusiasts from around the world. The contributors to PD vary hugely in ability but we’re a friendly and supportive bunch. The themes are different every day and we try to cover all the interesting keywords. Some past examples have been #animal,  #rocky#leather, #pirate, #dungeon_monster, #timemachine, and #steampunk.

Rules We’ve got a few simple rules to keep the group fun and focussed. We only accept art that’s done specifically for Pixel Dailies, within a few days of the theme being announced. There are a number of existing communities  (PixelJoint, DeviantArt, pixiv, tumblr) that are more suited for a general portfolio or pixel art discussion. We also only accept pixel art as defined here. So, for example, art that has been post-processed with a filter or processed with software is out of the question, though there are occasional exceptions.

If you’re interested in joining in, then make a twitter account and follow Pixel Dailies. Then, when a theme is tweeted, simply upload your artwork with the tags “@Pixel_Dailies” and “#pixel_dailies” and the theme. You can also just search #pixel_dailies on twitter to get a huge collection of previous artwork. Here is a small selection of some of the better pieces submitted to the group.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/24/2015 08:46

piq is a free online app for creating pixel art. It's fun, easy to use, and it's simple to get started - even if you've never made pixel art before! You'll also find:

  • an active, social community
  • a growing gallery with over 25000 free to use pictures
  • a friendly pixel art forum
  • weekly contests to win
  • over 50 achievements to earn

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/24/2015 08:43

Web browser based sprite program.

This is an open source pixel art drawing tool by me, jennmoneydollars!

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:12
Isoblox - an isometric pixel art tool project ("isoblox")

This project is hosted by SourceForge.net.

A cross-platform sprite-based pseudo-3D isometric pixel art modeling aid. Written in 100% BlitzMax. Uses precise building blocks and a minimalist interface. Blocks snap to a grid aiding with precise construction. Can also save and load creations.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:09

The intuitive 2D animation and object creation tool for video game makers.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free Trial, Pro $25.00/USD

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:08

Currently in development. Mac DPAINT-like.
OS: Mac, “eventually” Windows
Price: Free (current state)

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:06

Pixen is a pixel art editor designed for working with low-resolution raster art, such as those 8-bit sprites found in old-school video games.
OS: Mac
Price: $9.99

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:05

Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 08:03

MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/18/2015 07:59

Pixel art, chiptunes, retro and science fiction things, game dev and related stuff.

I’m probably stuck in the 90’s. Back in those days, I pushed some pixels for a demo group on Commodore Amiga. Since early 2013 I am playing with pixels again and share some of my works on tumblr. Beside this, I developed a jump’n’run game called “Baby Mummy’s Curse” and maybe I’ll develope the one or other game more in future.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 3/17/2015 13:38

is three pixel artists who want to improve, inspire, and have fun with their art! this blog is for weekly challenges, theme pieces and more!

What’s this blog all about?

This blog is all about pushing our boundaries as pixel artists and developing, re-examining and polishing essential skills required of a pixel artist, via weekly/monthly challenges based on:

  • re-colouring/re-tiling example pieces
  • creating a piece based on a central theme or object
  • speed challenges
  • and challenges based on certain pixel techniques or styles, for example dithering, anti-aliasing, isometric, spriting, etc.

Every Sunday, unless we all happen to be too busy to update the blog. All submissions will be published on the Sunday following the initial post.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 2/17/2015 07:27

Giotto is the free Flash animation package made for you to design, not to code. With Giotto you can relax and focus your imagination on creative concepts, integrating stunning graphics and music into masterpieces of design.

The latest versions of Adobe® Flash® are moving away from designers. They are becoming more and more oriented towards coders. With the introduction of ActionScript 3, creating a simple action such as button click now requires ten times more coding than before.

Giotto has full support for ActionScript 2, but we made built-in effect generators that will help you create outstanding effects without any scripting at all. This software is made for you, designers.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 2/3/2015 08:29

What is MSX Resource Center?

MSX Resource Center is a website about the 8bit MSX computer system, which was introduced by Microsoft and ASCII in 1983. We have an extensive archive of MSX news, an active MSX forum, lots of information in our MSX wiki and a large section of free MSX software.

As a first time visitor, our MSX wiki might be a great starting point to find out exactly what is MSX, learn how to run MSX sofware on your PC or mobile with MSX emulators and more.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 12/9/2014 08:32

Personal favorite mobile games developer. Maker of Fairune and the upcoming Drancia which has been used as the basis for the popular Slayin. Shares his palettes and his Twitter gives info on his development.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 12/9/2014 08:26

Great tumblr page dedicated to video game animated gifs, loads of excellent references to look at.

Posted by 8 Bit Dreams @ 12/3/2014 17:39

A similar program to Pyxel Edit. Free trial is available, comes in Window and Mac flavours.

Play party games with QuizBash app
Play party games with QuizBash app


Want to give some dough back to all those amazing pixel artists? Donations provide prize money for contests, help cover hosting costs and support new initiatives.