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Spriteapedia - Sprite school and guides

Forum Index > Pokémon > Pokémon Art > Art Schools >

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  • Info
  • Guides
Welcome to spriteapedia, a sprite school dedicated to detailed guides and giving critique on sprites. Under the guides section you will find some detailed lessons with assignments specifically made to do along with them. You will also find some guides and advice for sprite types that aren't enough for a full class. Feel free to ask questions about how to make sprites at this school, even if you aren't in a class.

Rules

  • Art theft will not be tolerated. Using a fanmade gen 6+ sprite without proper credit is considered art theft. Everywhere you post a sprite that uses a sprite someone else made give credit to them for the sprite, even if you've already told me where you get your sprites from in a previous post. Only use a sprite if it clearly states that it is free to use. The only exception is if you made the gen 6+ sprite yourself or only used official pokemon sprites to make it.
  • Please yell at ACottontail if she hasn't responded to you in a week. She is a procrastinator, and needs a push sometimes to make her stop putting things off.
  • If you want to join a class just ask.

Q&A

Q: What art program do you use? A: I mainly use the glorious top tier program of MS Paint. I do 95% of my sprite work in Paint. It's a good program if you want to make sprites in it. For transparency I put my sprites into Krita. For custom animations I use Scratch 2.0. Q: What's the best way to get better? A: I feel like the best way to get better is to strive to get better. If you push yourself to make sprites the way you want them to, eventually you will acquire the skills needed to make said sprites. Don't just keep making sprites so everything falls into your comfort zone for your skills. I feel like mastery over the skills of recoloring, fusion and scratch can make the majority of sprites out there. I also recommend getting critique on your sprites. At this school I offer to give feedback anyone's sprites to help them grow as a spriter. I can point out problems in your sprites, and teach you how to fix them, giving you knowledge you can use to improve your future sprites. But most importantly never give up. I believe anyone, regardless of skill level, can become an amazing spriter if they try hard enough. Q: What if I'm not very proud of my sprite work. Will I ever get better? A: Please never give up because you think your sprite work isn't good enough. You will get better if you try. When I started spriting, I made almost every mistake in the book. I used the fill bucket tool to recolor with default MS paint colors, I didn't know the difference between a JPG and a PNG and had to redo several sprites, I used sprites where the black lines were destroyed, I've used resized parts without editing them, I've made my scratched sprites way to big, I've scratched on parts without shading them or editing out the excess pixels, and the worst probably has to be in a sprite where I made the inside of Bellossom's skirt completely white and just put it on top of Togekiss's wing. But today I'm very proud of my sprite work, and consider myself a rather skilled spriter. So surely if I can can improve after making all those mistakes, so can you. Q: I passed a class. Now what? A: The classes here focus on teaching skills to students. Just because you passed a class doesn't mean you are a master in that area of spriting. It means you know how to use the skills in the class correctly. I don't believe in giving out a ton of assignments after you've shown that you can correctly use the skills for practice. I leave it up to the student how much practice they want to do, and what sprites they want to make. Q: How did you learn how to sprite? A: I think I taught myself with some help from my parents. To be honest I started spiriting so long ago I don't really remember. I remember starting with fusions, and it took me 61 sprites before I started to actually recolor instead of just use the fill bucket. Though for the most part I taught myself, and read the occasional tutorial. Q: Where does the art used in this school come from? A: Everything is either offical pokemon art, taken from ms paint, edited by me or created by me. Q: How long have you been spriting? A: I know at least since sometime in 2015, as I still have old stuff I made uploaded to Roblox around that time. Though I have made bad sprites even before then. I remember gen 4 being the newest generation, and getting sprites from pokemon elite 2000.com. Not sure when that was though. However I stopped for a while after making 61 sprites, and started making sprites again sometime after gen 5 was out. Q: Why did you start this sprite school? A: I want to help people get better at spriting. I've seen people make spriting mistakes over and over again where I feel like they could make their sprites better if they were just given a bit of advice. I've also seen people with good spriting skills make somewhat basic designs when it comes to stuff such as fusions, which is why I have some guides on design advice in hopes of diversifying the designs of sprites. I looked around and I couldn't really find any sprite schools that lined up with what I would want out of a sprite school. I would want critique on the sprites I made, as a lack of it can cause the same mistakes to be made over and over again as they are never pointed out. I would also want the class to give me assignments based on my proven skill level as there is no need to do 20 of the same type of sprite if you get the hang of it after 3. So I decided to start my own that does what I would want from and a spriting school, and create overly detailed guides to share all of my spriting knowledge to you.

Critique

I will give critique on any sprite that you want, regardless of if you have ever taken a class here or not. I can point out general problems in your sprites, and teach you how to fix them, giving you knowledge you can use to improve your future sprites. If you want me to give you spriting advice for a type of sprite I recommend giving me multiple sprites to give critique on as not every spriting error you make will show up on every sprite. If you want critique on how you made a specific sprite I recommend telling me so. If you want critique on your sprites just post the sprites and ask.

Core Classes

These classes will teach you skills that come up often when making sprites. Here is a flowchart that shows the recommended order to take the classes in.

Recolor lessons

An intro to recoloring

Recolors are pretty much using the color replace tool to replace one set of colors with another set. Using something like a fill bucket tool is harder, and makes it more likely for you to forget a part. However I do sometimes use it and the single pixel tool when recoloring small parts in a fusion. When recoloring make sure all of the colors line up, don't forget the shading or the outlines. Very rarely can you remove a shade without causing damage to the sprite. For example take Flareon's gen 5 sprite. In the blue recolor the shading on Flareon was ignored. This makes the sprite look flat. However there are exceptions such as the shade between Flareon's normal tail color and shadow tail color. It is safe to take that out without causing to much harm to the sprite. However I don't recommend taking out shades unless you have to due to your pallet, or you know what you're doing. The Flareon to above is a devamp. Devamps have strict color pallets so this could be necessary to do for them. There will be times where your pallet doesn't have enough colors or you are making a pallet. In those cases select the color of the closest shade, edit the color and make it darker/lighter. When making your own pallet try to avoid neon colors by decreasing the saturation, as neon colors rarely look good. If colors in the original sprite contrast each other, make sure the recolor's colors also contrast. After your done recoloring zoom out. If you can't tell colors apart or can't tell there is shading where there should be adjust the colors. A useful trick for recoloring is to put all of the shades of a color into a line of pixels going from lightest to darkest. Then next to it put the colors your going to change the pixels to. This helps you keep track of all of the shades in a recolor.

Lesson 1 - Color replacement tool

In this first assignment you will get used to the recoloring tool in your art program. Before starting any sprite I recommend copy and pasting an extra version of the unedited original sprite into your art program. This way you can refer to it if you mess something up. Also feel free to make the canvas size huge while working on the sprite, just remember to shrink it down in the end. I want you to take Frostlass and the color scheme to the right of it. Recolor the colors on the left side of the color pallet to the colors on the right. I recommend to do the colors in order, from top to bottom. You will notice that when you get to white the color replace tool will also change the background. You have to be careful of this in recolors. If you go about this like how you did for the rest of the colors orange will be everywhere. Very carefully with the color replacement tool, replace the white in Frostlass. The are two areas you have to be careful in. They are highlighted in orange above. On the arm to the right, right above the bow, there is an opening in the outline. Carefully recolor the inside while avoiding to recolor the outside. If you used the fill bucket here the color will spill out all over your canvas. Though you could use the single pixel tool to plug it up then use the fill bucket. Another area you have to be careful of is the area under Frostlass's head where it's arm is. There are a few pixels that aren't Frostlass between it's arm and it's body. Do not recolor those 6 pixels. They are a bit easier to see on the original sprite, which is why I said you should keep the unedited sprite next to what your working on for reference. Also when making the sprite transparent don't forget to make those pixels transparent too. You may be wondering what is the point of making this hideous abomination. It is to get you to see all of the different shades that go into the sprite, and the outlines. I want to ensure you don't gloss over them in future recolors, where colors look more similar to each other. I also wanted to teach you how to deal with pure white in pokemon sprites, and to avoid filling in the inner pixels that aren't the pokemon.

Lesson 2 - Pallet swap

In this assignment you will recolor Sandshrew with Flygon's colors. I want you to make the white parts light green, the yellow parts dark green, and the blue red. I slightly modified the Sandshrew sprite for the difficulty of this lesson. For the light green don't forget to also color in the claws and insides of Sandshrew's ears. Also don't recolor the pupils in Sandshrew's eyes.

Lesson 3 - Adding onto pallets

Sometimes when recoloring a pokemon you will notice that the pokemon you are recoloring has more shades than your pallet. In these cases you will have to edit the colors and make your own. For this lesson I want you to recolor Flygon with Infernape's colors. I want Flygon's light green to be orange, dark green to yellow and red to blue. Color pallets don't always line up with each other. The will be times where you are recoloring a pokemon with highlights with a pallet from a pokemon that doesn't have highlights. Don't recolor the pokemon's highlights color with the main body color. Everything will become much darker than it should be. Keep in mind the opposite for this is also true for recoloring a main body with a highlight color. Infernape's orange has a main body color, however doesn't have highlights. Flygon has highlights. In cases like these you will need to create a highlight color for Infernape's pallet. To get more colors into the pallet first get the color that is the closest to the color you want. Then change it's lum value to make it higher for lighter colors or lower for darker colors. Sometimes when making a color darker it will look neon or brighter than it should be. In these cases lower the saturation until the color looks right. While recoloring the dark green to the yellow outline color you will notice there is still one non-outline shade left on Flygon. Recoloring the shades with colors that were meant for outlines usually makes it too dark, and the opposite is true for recoloring the outline with colors that were meant for shades. In this case take Infernape's yellow shade color and make it darker, but not darker than the outline color. Of course the exception is when the pokemon your recoloring uses it's own shades as outline colors and vise versa. In that case follow the shading pattern of the pokemon your recoloring. In this recolor all of the colors you are changing require you to make at least one shade of it on your own. Note: While recoloring shades the wrong shade is a spriting mistake, there are times where it can work out. Take this Tyranitar recolor for example. It's main body color is the shade color of Jellicent. With an edit to the highlight, the recolor actually looks good. If you recolor a pokemon with a incorrect shade make sure your doing it purposefully, and that it looks good.

Lesson 4 - Creating your own pallets

The final lesson is to learn how to create your own pallet for a recolor. For this assignment I want you to pick any pokemon you want, and completely change it's color pallet aside from black outlines and the white in their eyes. Leave no extra color unedited. But don't make everything the same color. Also don't get any colors from other pokemon sprites. Getting a pallet that looks good can be hard. Try to avoid neon colors, as they rarely look good. Once you got the base color use what you learned in lesson 3 to make shades for them. Also try to make all the different colors on the pokemon go together. Make sure that you can tell apart the different colors on the sprite. The shading should be visible but not a jarring change. If colors were distinct on the original sprite they should be distinct on the recolor to. Sometimes on pokemon sprites with patterns there will be pixels to transition from the main body color to the patterns. This is called anti-aliasing, and it is used to make sprites look smoother. Keep in mind these pixels while recoloring. The image above shows gives an example of recolors that ignore it and pay attention to it. In some official sprites the colors on them flow together, such as the white and blue on Jellicent. When this happens shades from one color of a sprite can be used as shades for others, or in Jellicent's shades of one color is used as an outline color for another. If the new pallet doesn't flow together like the old one, you will have to be careful and make sure the shades match up with the new colors of the sprite. While recoloring pokemon to other colors, it is okay to get colors from other pokemon if you are having trouble getting the color look right. However for please don't do that the sake of this assignment. I want to see how you deal with picking colors on your own.

Fusion lessons

An intro to Fusion

Fusion, the art of combining two pokemon sprites together to create something new. Fusion mainly consists of being able to separate parts, and being able to put them onto a base smoothly. The skills used to make a fusion are used in a surprisingly large amount of sprites. Anytime you take a part from another sprite, these skills apply. I paid close attention while doing some fusions, and these lessons are based on the skills I used often in them.

Fusion design advice

To get the best results for the designs of fusions I suggest sketching them out first. A pitfall I see in sprites where the spriting starts immediately is that it often looks like parts are just pasted onto the pokemon because it's easy to make. To make better designs for my sprites I plan out the sprite first by sketching it. You don't even have to draw the entire pokemon or draw it well. Just draw the designs of body parts until you can get an image of how the sprite looks like in your head. When making fusions don't just put parts of one pokemon onto another. Try to fuse the very essence of the pokemon themselves. Look at body parts of both pokemon and think 'how can I fuse these elements together' or 'how can I create something new from these parts'. Take these Lapras and Ludicolo fusions for example. The first one I just put Ludicolo's hat on Lapras. On the second fusion I tried to fuse Ludicolo onto Lapras, combining parts like the shell and the horn with elements of both pokemon. While the 2nd fusion has many elements from the advanced recolor classes on it, I thought it was a good example to illustrate my point. You are free to put body parts onto the fusion where neither had those parts to begin with. You can also use parts for stuff they were never meant to be in the first place. Take this Manelectric Abomasnow fusion. See how Abomasnow's arms are used for floof? By using parts in unusual ways I created one of my favorite fusions. You may be wondering what colors to make a fusion. My answer is whatever looks nice. Don't be afraid to make the fusion the colors of the "base" if it looks good For exsample take the fusion above. The base is Glaceon, and it's design was based mostly on Glaceon's color scheme. Trying to force Virizion's color pallet on it made it worse. Don't forget shiny pallets are also available. If you really want to you can even use colors neither of the pokemon have if they look nice and add to the design your looking for. Often when I start making a sprite I get overwhelmed. I know I have to do all these thing for the design, and it just feels like to much. What I do is take a breath and focus on one small part at a time. Once I finish one step I move onto another. I keep going until I'm happy with the sprite, or I added everything I want to add onto it.

Lesson 1 - Erasing

When making a fusion you will often have to erase parts of a pokemon. This can come in the form of erasing the area around a part you want to use, or erasing the part on the base so you can place another part there. For this lesson I want you separate Mime.Jr's hat from the rest of it's body by erasing it's body. First of all when making a fusion always have a copy of the pokemon your using available somewhere on your canvas. This way if you make a mistake to one of the pokemon, and need the original it'll save you from having to copy and paste the sprite into the program again. When trying to separate a part from the rest of it's body first you should take the area around it with the selection tool, then copy and paste away from the rest of the sprite. Then go around the part with your eraser tool to remove the pixels that aren't part of the hat. After that you may notice there are some pixels that are too small to erase with your eraser tool without damaging the hat. For pixels such as those two above the right curve use the single pixel tool to erase them. In some situations you may find it suitable to use the fill bucket to erase pixels around the part your trying to get. All of this also applies to removing parts of a base pokemon such as a tail to make way for a different one.

Lesson 2 - Mending parts

When making a fusion you will sometimes have parts you want to use that are behind different parts of the pokemon. In those cases you will want to fix up the part before putting it into the fusion. For this lesson I want you to to take Articuno's tail, erase the parts around it and fix the parts that were blocked by other parts of Articuno. The first step is to erase the parts around Articuno's tail. It's okay to leave pixels if you think they will become part of the tail's outline. The next step is to draw the outline with the single pixel tool. Use the two outlines next to the area blocked by other parts as a reference to how you should draw the outline. Try to make it smoothly transition from one part of the outline to the next. The next step is to replace all the pixels that aren't Articuno's tail inside the tail with the base color of the tail with the single pixel tool. After that fix up the shading and details in the areas that were obscured by other parts. While those areas of Articuno's tail didn't have any shading, they did have changes in the outline color. Use the outline colors of the lines that weren't blocked by other parts as a reference to what the colors should be. Articuno's tail also has two lines as details. Use where the lines already there as a reference for where the missing lines should go.

Lesson 3 - Adding & Blending together parts

When making a fusion you will add parts onto a pokemon. After getting the part you want via erasing the rest of the sprite around it drag it onto the place you want it to go on the pokemon. If there is something in the way you don't want, such as there being another tail, you should erase it first before dragging the new part onto it. For this lesson I want you to replace the end of Lucario's arm with Octillery's mouth to create a sort of arm cannon. You will quickly run into the problem of just placing the mouth doesn't look good. This is because Octillery's mouth is way to big for Lucario's arm. In order to fix this draw a line starting from the outline of the top of Lucario's arm to Octillery's mouth a few pixels at a time. Every few pixels move the line up by one. When going up stop drawing and move up and left one before drawing again. Avoid pixels in outlines that connect pixels in a sharp L like way unless you are trying to make something like a sharp point. You don't have to connect the very top of Octillery's outline with Lucario's arm, stop once the outline of Octillery's mouth connects with the line you are drawing naturally. After that do the same to connect the outline of the bottom part of Lucario's arm with Octillery's mouth. Then erase the pixels outside the outline you just created. Finally fix up the shading making the end of the shading on Octillery's mouth meet up with the shading on Lucario's arm. While it didn't occur here sometimes when placing parts in programs like MS paint, the white parts will show the pixels behind them. In order to fix this change the color of the part to a random color nowhere else in the sprite, move the part over, then make the part white again. This can also be fixed by working on a background that isn't the color of any other part on the sprite, or by just fixing it up once you moved the part, though the latter is prone to more mistakes. Another thing to look out for is where things logically are on a sprite. A common spriting mistake I see is placing a part behind a pokemon when it makes no logical sense. Take the image above for example. Due to the way Accelgor is angled the wings are coming out of his back and his left shoulder. The sprites on the right fix this by placing Accelgor's other wing where it logically should be, so both wings are coming out of the shoulders. Depending on the angle the pokemon is facing wings won't always be facing towards the back. Sometimes it is more logical to place the wings to match the direction they are facing. However putting both wings on one side of a pokemon can look weird. Do what feels the most right. In the example image I did both, and it changes the angle Accelgor looks like its facing a little bit.

Lesson 4 - Sandwich placement

Sometimes when making a sprite you will want to place something in front of some parts, and behind other parts. In order to do this first copy the part on the sprite that you want to go in front of the other part. After that put the middle part onto the sprite. Finally drag the part you copied earlier back onto the sprite. For this lesson I want you to take the Mime Jr. hat you separated earlier and put it on top of Thundurus, but have the front Thundurus's spiky part be in front of the hat. I want you to place the hat to show that you understand this skill as opposed to a logical placement. Don't forget to fix up the white part on Mime Jr.'s hat if the pixels show through it.

Lesson 5 - resizing parts

Sometimes you will want something to be bigger or smaller. Never use a part you only resized, it will never look good. Sometimes you just need to change the size by a only few pixels. In cases where you need it smaller select part of the part with the rectangular selection tool and shift the part closer to the rest of it by one. Try going for areas where the outline has more than one pixel first, and most of the time you should try going for the longest outline segments first. Afterwards adjust the outline and shading around the area you compressed to make it look natural. Repeat this until satisfied. To make it slightly bigger move the part away from the rest of the part and then fix it up. For smaller parts use the gen 7 minisprites. Those sprites were made with the intention of being tiny so if they aren't small enough for you, nothing will be. Be sure to recolor them to the part to the colors of the front sprite, as minisprites often have different pallets than front sprites. For this lesson I want you to make Espeon's tail two pixel's taller and two pixels thinner. If you are having trouble resizing the tail on Espeon, take it away from Espeon then edit it. Move it back onto Espeon afterwards.

Lesson 6 - Making a fusion

Now for the moment you have been waiting for. Making the fusion. For this lesson I want you to fuse any pokemon together that you would like. When making a big change to a sprite you should make a backup by copy and pasting the sprite somewhere on your canvas. That way if you don't like the change you made you can go back to a previous version without much hassle. Erase the backups once you are finished with the sprite. All of the lessons beforehand were teaching you skills for this moment. I want you to go all out on this fusion. Show me everything you learned(unless it harms the design of the fusion). Before starting please read fusion design advice. I want you to try to make a fusion with a design you think looks nice instead of one that is easy to make. It's okay if you something mess up, it will only show you what you need to work on to get better.

Fusion Creation process

Here I will walk you through the process I go through for fusions. For this fusion I will be fusing Vaporeon and Cofagrigus. Now when you first think of this fusion you might think of something like this. My problem with this sprite is that it is too simple. There is so much potential when fusing these two pokemon together, yet this fusion takes the easy way out. While the hands going out of the fins and tail is cool, this sprite fails to really go anywhere with the idea of the fusion, and is just Cofagrigus arms on a recolored Vaporeon. My first step when making a fusion is to plan it out with a sketch. When making a fusion I try to fuse the very essence of the pokemon together or make something new. For example take where Vaporeon's fins were. On Vaporeon's head fins come out. Ghostly arms come out of Cofagrigus's body. I decided to fuse these two concepts together by making ghostly arms come out where Vaporeon's fins should be. There are stripes along the tail with it ending with the face on Cofagrigus's head to try to create something new out of Vaporeon's tail using elements from Cofagrigus. After the first sketch I sketch out and refine ideas for the sprite. In this case it is the stripes along the front paws and having the fin along Vaporeon's back be ghostly like Cofagrigus's arms. Then I draw a second sketch where I put all of the elements together, and try to make the pokemon look like the pokemon if I mess up the first sketch horribly. Now you will notice in the second sketch I forgot the ghostly back fin. This is because I forgot to draw it. I tried to draw it in the pose I wanted it in, the fusion creeping about. Notice the simplicity of the sketch. These are meant to help you plan your ideas out. Details such as hands(Seriously who can draw them?) are simplified to get the general point across without making the sketch take 3000 years. I will be using Vaporeon's HeartGold sprite as it is closer to the pose I am aiming for. For this sprite the first thing I do is get the sprite ready for the pose. This gets the sprite ready to work on Cofagrius parts latter. I move and mend body parts into the pose I want. I also remove part of the fin as it was in the way and I won't need it for the final design. For the paw off the ground I made a copy of the sprite as it was a part of the sprite I was likely to mess up. I did a few versions that didn't look so good until I got a final version I was happy with. Next I decided to focus on the head. First I remove the fins as I won't need them. Then I move the head closer to the body as the frills took up a lot of space. Then I worked on the mouth and eyes. When making the mouth I had a feeling like I would have to reshape the eye, so I made a copy of it. After that I made another copy in case I messed up the head while adding the hands, and I should have started with a copy of the full body, as I realized only after I placed the hands. I also adjusted the smile a bit as in sprites adjustments are key. Just a few pixels can drastically change the feel of the sprite. I realized the hands are to big as they will cover up a significant portion of the sprite if I left them as they were. I shrank the size of the hands, and then placed them. I originally was going to have the leftmost hand behind the other hands, however it would get to covered up, so I considered moving it off to the side and just using the central hand again. I decided to have the hand hover over the other two as to not get in the way. I then drew in the ghostly arms to connect the hands to the head. Next I add on the face on Cofagrius's head onto the tail of the fusion. Then I recolor it. I fix up the back fins and recolor them into a ghost-like substance. I also fix up the neck. I tried to make the face yellow, but that wasn't really working out. I changed it to black, and also changed the direction of the face to match the direction of the mouth and eyes. I was having trouble with getting the smile to look right. While I don't usually do this in fusions, I decided to grab the mouth off of Gengar's minisprite to make the mouth look better. The mouth on Cofagrius's minisprite is to small to look good. I tried edit the mouth to make it more pointed like Cofafrius's teeth, but that made it look worse. So instead I fused it with the current mouth and lightened the color a bit, and that mouth looked good. To get the mouth on the fusion I filled it with a near white color, then changed it back. Next I add the stripes. I grab the color pallet and add them along the arms, legs and tail. I thought the fusion was looking a bit plain in the area, so I added a stripe to it's stomach. However it looked worse so I kept it the way it was. Finally I worked on the headdress. I was going to make it mimic Cofagrius's. However I realized that while I changed the direction the fusion's head was in, I didn't change the direction the headdress was facing. After fixing that I focused on the headdress. And now, the fusion is finished. While making this sprite I used techniques from all 5 core classes. I recolored Cofagrius to Vaporeon's colors. I obviously fused parts of Cofagrius onto Vaporeon. I scratched part of the smile, the ghostly arms and the sides of the headdress. I put the fusion in a pose, and for advanced recolor I put on a stripe pattern onto Vaporeon. As shown here these skills come up everywhere in spriting, which is why they are core classes. This sprite is actually a remake of an older fusion sprite. I wasn't as into giving my sprites poses then. Here you can clearly see the difference it makes. The old sprite uses Vaporeon's gen 5 sprite and pose. The result looks like it's making the surprised Pikachu face while sitting down. The next sprite has the fusion lurking around with a big slasher smile. This pose is much more fitting for the fusion, and tells you a bit about it's personality. And here is what my workspace looked like once I was done with the fusion (Though shrunken a bit): That showed just one way to fuse the two pokemon together. There are still infinitely more ways the fusion can go. This time instead of completely fusing the pokemon together I am going to fuse the concepts of Cofagrius onto Vaporeon. For this fusion I am aiming for a rich, and bit ghostly fusion. As you can see the first sketch doesn't remotely look like the pokemon. After thinking through some of the parts, the 2nd second sketch is a lot better, and actually looks like a pokemon. For this fusion I will use Vaporeon's platinum sprite as it is the closest to the pose I am aiming for. The first thing I do is get the pose right. I move the tail behind Vaporeon, lift up Vaporeon's front arm and add in the back legs. This was tricky as the tail was covering most of it. My first attempt looked wrong as it made the belly looked large and fat. My second attempt's legs looked worse. I edited the pixels between the first and second pair of legs, and went with the first attempt's back legs as they looked better. I also adjusted the front arm going up a bit to make it look better. Next I work on the bow tie. I tried placing the hands in front of Vaporeon, but that did not work out. For the bow tie I looked at the barrettes from the diamond and pearl games as inspiration. Finally I got something I was happy with, and put the hands behind the back. Next I add in the head piece. As you can see, putting it on Vaporeon's head as it is, is way to big. I tried shrinking it, but those also flopped. I ended up editing the one on the minisprite a bit. Then I made the gold bands, I also edited the lines and shading of the head piece a bit. After that I added the golden thing to the tail. I also closed up the lines on the back fin. While I put in everything I wanted to, the fusion still looked a bit plain. I added a neck band that has the symbol of Cofagrius's head on it. I also tried giving it the eye of Horus as Cofagrius is based on an Egyptian Coffin. I tried to tone it down a bit, but it looked like it was crying... Clearly not my intention, so I removed it entirely. I edited the shading a bit, and with that the fusion is finished. Here is what my workspace looked like in the end: You can make many different versions of a fusion using the same two pokemon. Here are four fusions using the same two pokemon, and that's just as Vaporeon as the base. So the next time your making a fusion, instead of just dragging a part onto a pokemon and recoloring it, remember there's a whole world of possibilities you can make. Let your creativity shine!

Scratch lessons

An intro to scratch

Scratch, creating things by yourself by hand. Scratch is basically pixel art. While it can look overwhelming at first it really isn't that bad most of the time. Scratching shows up everywhere. In retypes and even fusions sometimes you will have to scratch new parts or modify parts in order to get the result you want. There are three key things to scratch, keeping good proportion sizes, having a solid outline and shading the sprite.

Lesson 1 - Scratching a sprite

While this is one lesson it's a long one, as I wasn't really sure show to break it up. For this lesson I want you to try to create a sprite of a gen 6+ pokemon. I suggest trying do make a simpler pokemon. Part 1: Proportion The first step when making a sprite is to get the portions down. If you don't the sprite could end up being too big compared to other pokemon sprites or have something much bigger or smaller compared to the rest of the sprite. First find a pokemon of a similar size to the pokemon you will sprite. Then draw a neon colored box around it, make sure the sides of the box are just outside the outer most pixels of the sprite, and is right next to it. The easiest way to do that is to start using the rectangle tool until your cursor is in the corner of the sprite. Then without moving your cursor stop the current rectangle and create a new one going all the way to the other corner of the sprite. After that remove the pokemon from the middle of the box. That box serves as a reference for the size should make your pokemon. If a pokemon has something large hanging off of it like a tail you might want to make two boxes, one for the main body, and one for the tail. Then you want to draw a sketch. Using Neon colors draw the general size + place of what things would be. Make sure to use different colors for different parts or it becomes hard to tell what's what. Usually I do two sketches, one to get the location and size of things on the sprite, and another to form more details. Pokemon sprites tend to face left so keep that in mind while sketching the sprite. After that go into more detail with a second sketch. Once that is done it is time to move onto the outline. Though there is one trick that you can use if you are having trouble. Take a 3D sprite or artwork of what you are trying to scratch and scale it down to the size of the rectangle. Quickly get the general shape and then erase what isn't part of your sketch. Let me get one thing clear. DO NOT TRACE IT EXACTLY. The point of this is to get the portions for the sprite. If you carefully trace it, it is no longer a scratched sprite but instead a pixel over. It is painfully obvious when someone does a pixel over from the 3D sprite or artwork. Just draw circles and lines to get the general shape of the pokemon. After erasing what isn't the sketch, move the parts of the sketch to the pose you want the sprite to have. After that make the 2nd sketch where you go into more careful detail. This image is an example of what I mean. The one on the left is lose and gets the general idea of the portions down without being exact enough to trace. It leaves enough room for your second sketch to make the sprite your own. On the right it is literally traced. It is very tempting to make that your outline with some adjustments. This is a pixel over, and it doesn't really teach you how to make a scratched sprite. Part 2: Outline The next step is to create an outline for your sprite. Carefully go around where the sketch is and make the outline, one line at a time. When making a circular shape, if there is a part that looks rather long and flat add a line segment on top of part of it. Then erase the inner part of it. Alternatively you can lengthen the line segments leading up to it. When making the outline avoid making sharp L shaped groups of pixels unless you are making something like a spike. This will make your outline look a lot cleaner. A useful trick I remember hearing for curves is when a line segment of one pixel is next to one of 3 or more pixels, make a line segment of 2 pixels in between them to try to transition them. I find that this usually makes my line art look better, though there are exceptions. In the image above the lines on the right use this trick while the ones on the left don't. Be sure to zoom out and see how your outline looks from time to time as that is how people will view your sprite most of the time. Another trick I found if you are having trouble with making the shape of something is to draw the line quickly in about one mouse press. After that fix up the line by removing L shaped clutters of excess pixels and adjusting the line segments that look off. Adjustments are key. If something looks off you might have to adjust the shape or size of something. When making narrowish parts with the top/bottom left/right halves next to each other try to make both of the line's line segments move in sync with each other. This will help you keep the width of the object consistent. Sometimes you will sprite something small, and the pixels won't seem to fit. In these cases you will have to play around with the pixels. You might have to redo it a few times. Keep altering them until you have something you are happy with. For things such as Mimikyu's cloth I keep trying to get one pointing out of it section right, and then I base the rest of it off of that. For details that will be colored such as eyes you might want to draw them in using a different color than the rest of the outline. Just make sure not to confuse it for your sketch. It's okay to find yourself jumping back and forth between the outline and coloring. Sometimes when scratching sprites I complete one body part at a time instead of doing the outline all at once. Once you are finished with the outline erase your sketch. I do this by replacing the sketch color with white/transparent. Part three: Color Finally it is time to color in the sprite. First get a pallet. Colors often have a base color, a shade color, an outline color and sometimes a highlight. Official gen 5 pokemon sprites have 15 colors on them, 13 counting black and white. If you are aiming for accuracy try to stay within this 13 color limit, which includes different shades of a color. Place shading on the sprite like you would normally when drawing. If you don't really know how shading works that's okay, I don't either. Since the lighting of sprites come from the top left, place the shade by the bottom right parts of sprites. Also place shading where something on top of/in front of something would block the right. Despite my inexperience I can usually make the shading look descent through that. When adding the shade draw the outline of where the shade would start, then color in the inside. Also keep in mind other light sources such as flames, as that could affect how you shade the sprite. There is a technique known as dithering that you might want to use if you want a shade in between two colors. It can be seen on the neck of this Bayleef. To dither make everything of the same color connect diagonally. Dithering is usually used sparingly on sprites. If you are ever unsure on how to shade or make something try to find an official pokemon sprite to use as a reference on how to make/shade it. Color the outline based on the color around it, based on what it would be if the sprite were to continue on. If the outline is by the base color, color it the outline color. If the outline is by a shade color, leave it black. You might also want to change the color of the outline so it doesn't blend in with objects surrounding the outline. Sometimes when a highlight color is by an outline the outline is colored with the shade color, however this is used sparingly. Here is an image showing the progression of me making a Mimikyu sprite, so you can get a rough idea of how the sprite looks like at each stage.

Lesson 2 - Editing/Adding scratched parts

When making sprites there will be times where you will want parts you can't quite get from other sprites. In these instances you will have to make the part yourself. For this lesson I want you to give Shinx emo bangs(Think Staraptor) that go over one of the eyes. A lot of what you learned in the previous lesson still applies. However this time you have to be aware of the pixels around the area you are creating the scratched sprite. Base the size of what you are making on the pixels around it. Carefully make the new outline with the existing pixels. If you damage the surrounding pixels erase a bit of the area around the newly scratched part, not the entire sprite. Then copy and paste a backup. Move the sprite with the new scratched part over the backup. After that erase the parts that become irrelevant, in this case the remaining parts of the top head fluff. Finally shade it.

Pose lessons

An intro to poses

Poses can bring life into any kind of sprite you make. There is a difference between a Growithe that is just standing there, and one that looks excited to see you. Finding the right pose can give your sprite more of an emotional impact, and help with the theme you are going for.

Lesson 1 - Facial expressions

Giving your sprite the right facial expression can help sell the emotion the sprite is going for. Eyes: Try to keep the shape and color of the eyes in mind while making changes. Also don't forget to color in the outline for newly added parts. When making the eye close, make the line in the center of the eye as pokemon tend to have a top and bottom eyelid. Example expressions:
  • Eyes closed with a curve going up - Happy
  • Eyes closed with a curve going down - Calm/sleeping
  • Top part of eye curves down - Worry/upset
  • Bottom part of eye curves up - Annoyed/going crazy
  • Eyes slant towards center of face - Anger/Hostility
  • Pure white - Shocked
  • Stars as pupils - Amazed
  • Looking down - sadness
  • Looking away - Timidity
Mouth - Make sure the edited mouth is around where the original mouth was. Try to mimic the style the mouth was in if possible. Example expressions:
  • Curve going down - Happy
  • Curve going up - Upset
  • Straight - neutral, a slight smile or frown is also used sometimes
  • O shaped - Shock
  • Drooling - Hunger
For this lesson I want you to take any pokemon or sprite you've made that doesn't have Chikorita's face that you want and give it the same expressions as the image above. Make sure the pokemon has a visible mouth and eyes to make expressions of. While these are a bit much, it should let you practice most of the expressions you would give a sprite. Anger - Make the pokemon's eyes slant towards the center of their face. Give the pokemon a frown. Add an anger symbol by having three red curves face inward from a center. Use the example for reference if you are having trouble making it. While you wouldn't put it in all of the sprites you are trying to make look angry, it can really help sell the emotion. Saddness - Give the pokemon a frown. Make them look down. Start by blanking out the eye. Then add the pupil. After that draw the rest of the inside of the eye around the pupil. Be careful to preserve the shape and color of the inside of the eye while making changes to it. Also Make the top part of the eye curve inwards. After that add tears under the eye. You don't want to have the tears make a jarring contrast between the pokmon and the tears themselves. Calm - Make the pokemon's eyes close and curve down. Give the sprite a slight smile. Awkward Laughter - Make the pokemon's eyes close and curve up. Give the pokemon an open mouth smile. Add a drop of sweat to the pokemon's face about where the upper part of the eyes are. To sprite the sweat drop make a vertical line of two pixels. Then give it an outline everywhere but the top and corners. Are you serious - Make the top of the pokemon's eyelids a flat line. Give the pokemon a flat line for the face. Shock - Make the pokemon's eyes completely white. You make have to make the eyes a bit more circular. Give the pokemon an o shaped open mouth. Shy Crush - Make the pokemon look towards it's bottom right. Add in some blush. If you are having trouble adding blush that isn't to hard or soft looking have a hard pink color surrounded by some light pink color like the example image. Sad Anger - Find the center point for the eye. Make a pixel to the side closest to the center of the face. Make a diagonal line that keeps going up until you reach the outline of the eye. Then below + diagonal to the center pixel add a line that goes to the outline of the eye. Make the pokemon frown. Add in some tears. Awe - Give the pokemon star shaped pupils. Give them a huge smile.

Lesson 2 - Posing the body

For this lesson I want you to put Kirlia's gen 5 sprite into a pose of having one hand on it's hip and the other out. I also want you to separate it's feet. In order to put a pokemon into a pose you should take the end of it's limb and place it where you want it to be. Then scratch the remaining portion in order to reconnect it with it's body. Also clean up the area where the limb was if it was blocking something. Keep in mind the size of the pokemon. Try to keep the width of body parts consistent and try not to stretch or shrink parts too much. First apply this to making Kirlia's left hand stick out. Next move Kirlia's right hand to it's hips as while it is on the skirt it's not quite on the hips. It will be a bit harder to connect to the body. If you are having trouble making it look right take Kirlia's elbow and attach it to the end of Kirlia's hand. For the legs start by separating the foot, then placing it where Kirlia's two feet will be. After that make the legs so they connect from the feet to Kirlia's bottom. Keep in mind Kirlia's legs are about 1 pixel thick.

A note on using past generation sprites

Pokemon has been through 5 generations worth of sprites. Sometimes you may see a sprite from an older generation that has a pose that would be great to use for the sprite your making. Generation 3 and 4 sprites are okay to use. However they may have a different color pallet so you have to make sure all of the colors are consistent in the sprite. Gen 3 tends to have a different color pallet from the gen 4 & 5 sprites so you may want to recolor them before using them. Generation 1 and 2 sprites however are too different to be used with generation 3, 4 and 5 sprites. If you want to use them you have to revamp them first. I don't mean just a recolor, but a ton of edits to the shading as gen 1 and 2 had color pallets that servely limited their shading. As for using the generation 6+ 3D sprites in sprites, don't. They are very hard to recolor as they have 30 million colors on them that prevent the color replacement tool from working. It is also very hard to make scratch edits to them without there being a jarring clash between the two styles. This is why people either use fan-made gen 6+ sprites or do a pixel over of the 3D model.

Advanced recolor lessons

An intro to advanced recolor

Sometimes you want to make parts of the sprite of the same color different colors. When this comes up spamming the color replacement tool doesn't work anymore. The key to complicated recolors is being careful. These lessons will also cover adding patterns to a sprite.

Lesson 1 - Recoloring only parts

When recoloring sprites sometimes you only want to recolor only parts of a certain color to another color. When this happens go in very carefully with a small color replacement tool and recolor the parts you can recolor without changing the other parts. After that go into the smaller areas with the single pixel tool. For this lesson I want you to recolor Burmy's leaves the alternating colors of the Watmel berry. Start by making the top most two leaves pink. For the pink color use the 2nd lightest shade for the base color to avoid using highlights as the base color. Use the darkest shade as the shade color so you can tell the base and shade color apart. Create your own outline color. Next change all of the leaves surrounding Burmy's face to Watmel green. Use the 2nd lightest color for the base, the 2nd darkest color for the shade, and darken the darkest color a bit for the outline. Here you will have to be a lot more careful. If you aren't you could change the color of the leaves beneath them by mistake. When your color replacement tool gets to small recolor the remaining pixels with the single pixel tool and the fill bucket. Be careful about the outlines. Some of the outlines blend into the leaves below them. Recolor the outline closest to the inner part of the leaves you are recoloring. Do not recolor if an outline pixel is diagonal to the inner pixel of what you are recoloring as most of the time and in this case it is the outline for something else. Once that is done recolor the next row of leaves pink, and the large part at the very bottom green.

Lesson 2 - Patterns

When adding patterns make sure the color of the pattern goes with the pokemon's color scheme. Another thing to look out for is just copy and pasting the pattern all over the pokemon. Make sure the pattern for the pokemon follow's it's outlines and doesn't go on top of them. However it is okay to recolor an outline color to an outline color for a pattern if the pattern was going to continue there. If there is an outline that indicates a change of shape in the pokemon such as an arm that covers part of the body, chose where the pattern will show and erase the other part. It looks rather unnatural when markings on two places of the body just happen to line up to look like one marking with a line through it. Try to avoid it unless it is intentional in your design. Also make sure to follow the shading on the pokemon. Another thing is variation. Varying the pattern you put on the pokemon can really make it look nicer. I recommend starting off with a normal sized marking and a smaller one, and making more as you see fit. Of course if you want to make every marking unique go for it. Now let me tell you about anti-aliasing. They are pixels put between two colors to make it look smoother. Look at the Clefairy above. The Clefairy on the left has anti-aliasing and the one on the right doesn't. See how much smoother the Clefairy on the left is? To make anti-analising chose a color between the base color of the pokemon, and the base color of the pattern. I find that the best way to get the color is to get a tool that makes semi-transparent strokes, get the color from one of the strokes and then undo the stroke. Then put a pixel in areas that look rough, and could be smoother. Do not go overboard with anti-analising. In the games it is only really used to make spots on pokemon look better. Don't surround the entire pattern with anti-analising. Anti-analising is only mainly used in areas of the base color. If there is a part in the shade a new color of anti-analising isn't made for it. Either remove it all together in shade areas or use a color that is already somewhere on the sprite. There is also usually only one anti-analising color. For this lesson I want you to give Clefairy a star pattern. Start by finding a color that looks good on Clefairy. Then either draw patterns using the base pattern color onto Clefairy which is better for unique patterns or make them off to the side which is better for repeating shape patterns. For smaller stars you can make them + shaped. For bigger stars you can make a line of 5 pixels, with one of 3 pixels under it. Add a pixel to the top and onto the bottom outer corners. You can make your own star shapes too if you want, these are just for guidance if you get stuck. Now for the anti-analising. For the bigger star on the bottom most pixels add a pixel going towards the center. I find that is what looks the best. You don't want to over do anti-analising in sprites. For instance if you put anti-analising in the corners of the smaller star it will look like a spot. Now if you didn't draw the shapes directly onto the sprite copy and paste the shapes onto the sprite. Be careful about the placement. You want to find a nice balance of not being to cluttered and varying the shapes you place down. Once that is done fix up any outlines you broke. Then recolor the parts that need to, including outlines.

Lesson 3 - Adding advanced multi-color patterns

Sometimes when making a sprite you will want to create a complex pattern in multiple colors. You will then come to the horrible realization that you have to keep track of shading while creating the pattern. However I've come up with a method to make it much easier. The first thing you want to do is make a copy of the sprite your making. Then draw the pattern directly onto the sprite using flat colors. You can completely ignore shading for now. Make sure not to use colors already on the sprite. You also have to color in areas you want to keep their original color in a different color. Make sure to also color in outlines you want to be that color. After that make a copy of the unedited sprite and the sprite covered in patterns. Make one of the colors in the pattern transparent. Then drag it over the unedited sprite. After that recolor everything to the color you want, and this includes shading. For the rest of the colors make another copy of the unedited sprite. Then on the sprite you just recolored make another color transparent. Drag that over the unedited sprite and then recolor. If you are trying to keep some of the colors the same as the original sprite do it last, as otherwise you might recolor it to a different color. For this lesson I want you to recolor Walrein with the pattern provided on the right. The pattern was made to be really annoying to recolor onto the sprite without this method. I trust that you will be able to create patterns on your own, recoloring everything correctly is the part I want to focus on for this lesson. The pattern gives you the base color for the body, but you will have to create all of the shades on your own. Start by making the red transparent and then drag it over the Walrein sprite. Then recolor it. I want you to try to stick to the same red for the entirety of Walrein's sprite. Though you want to make the Red on the white parts of Walrein lighter than the rest of the body. Be careful about mixing up the pure white on Walrein's sprite with the pure white patterns on it. After that do the green. Then the white. For the yellow just leave Walrein's base color there. Having many different colors together can make it hard to see the shading on the sprite, so be careful when doing this.

Side Classes

These classes are for specific sprite types.

Custom Animation

An intro to custom animation

It's not an animated recolor. It's not putting sprites from multiple generations together. This is making your very own animations for sprites. This is done by converting the sprite into a vector sprite, moving it around, cleaning up the images then converting it to a gif. For these lessons you will need a program called Scratch 2.0. You can get the program here. The program was designed to be an educational coding program, but we are interested in it's art editor. These lessons were made with a computer in mind. Scratch 2.0 won't work on most tablets and phones.

Lesson 1 - Rigging a sprite

Before you can animate a sprite, you got to rig the sprite. For this lesson I want you to rig any official pokemon sprite or sprite you made/edited. The first thing to do is to open up Scratch. Click costumes which is boxed in red. Then you want to import the sprite into the program which is boxed in orange. You want to right click and duplicate the first image. Remember to save what you do in Scratch. The save buttons are boxed in light blue. Scratch has crashed on me before when I was using the magic wand tool. Stay on the safe side and save. Then on duplicated image erase everything but a body part which is boxed in yellow. These parts will be the parts that you are able to move in the animation process. Instead of operating in pixels like any normal art program, Scratch operates in SUB-pixels. That means many features are able to be done in a 4th of a pixel. This is bad when doing pixel art. All but the smallest 2 eraser sizes automatically erase subpixels, and the smallest two will erase subpixels if you use it willy-nilly. The thing to do is carefully with a small eraser erase the boundary between the body part and the rest of the sprite, never doing diagonal strokes. Then erase the rest of the sprite with a bigger eraser without damaging the part. Then erase what you couldn't erase with the bigger eraser without damaging the part with a smaller eraser. Depending on the part you may want to extend it a few pixels outwards so it looks better when other parts are moved away from it. After that click convert to vector that is boxed in green in the lower right corner. Repeat the process above until you got all of the body parts. You will want one vector image to put all of the body parts together on. Copy and paste all of the body parts onto one image. Copying and pasting in Scratch is finicky. You will lose what you just copied the second you are off of a vector image. It may also take a few tries. Once all of the pieces are on one image it's time to reconstruct the sprite. Carefully put the parts back together to form the sprite, you can drag it and use arrow keys. However this also involves subpixels. Try to use segments of single pixels on the sprite to try to line things up. You can also do this as you separate the parts, which is what I do. When you are done go back and forth from the original image to the reconstructed one and check for differences. Ideally they should look the same. For this lesson I want to to screenshot the end result once you reconstructed the sprite.

Lesson 2 - Animating the sprite

For this lesson I want you to animate the sprite you rigged in lesson 1. First you want to get the reconstructed vector image as the only costume in a sprite. I recommend duplicating the sprite you were working on by right clicking the image for it on the bottom left corner of the screen, then clicking duplicate. Then press X on all of the costumes in the sprite until only the vector image is left. Now it is time to animate the sprite. First you should duplicate the first frame. Now you want to move it a bit. The vector editor also works in sub-pixels, so try to use the pixels around the part to judge how much you moved it. If you move things by less than a full pixel it will not show up in the final animation. You can also rotate and resize parts. For frames that continue current motion duplicate the frame you just worked on once your finished working on it. Adding pixels to the animation is a bit tricky. First you want to click the button that looks like a square with circles in the corners. Then on the bottom left corner of the art editor you want to click the solid rectangle. Then use the eyedropper to get the color you want. Using an existing pixel as a guide, make a rectangle about the size of a pixel. Then place them where you want to put the pixels. You can use the tool that looks like a stamp to copy and paste those pixels(and parts). The animation should eventually loop back to one of the frames. Focus on making the unique frames for the animation. Don't create extra frames looping back to the first sprite if you want them to look exactly the same as other frames you already have. You can test out your animation in the editor. Click the scripts button that is next to the costumes button. There are bits of code that let you control the sprite. Under looks there is a block that says "Switch costume to (NAME)". That will allow you to change what frame the sprite is currently on. Use the arrow drop down to select which frame it will become when used. Under control there is a block that says "forever". Put one around the rest of your code so the animation keeps looping. There is also a block called "wait (1) secs". This block will allow you to add pauses to your animation. Typically you want to put waits of 0.1 seconds in between blocks that change the sprite. Finally there is the "repeat (10)" block. This allows you to loop parts of your animation. This is useful if you want a part of the animation to loop a number of times before doing something else. Changes can be seen to the left of the screen. You can duplicate blocks by right clicking on them. You can start and stop code by quickly clicking on it. Keep adjusting your frames and animation until you get something you are happy with. For the next step you want to clean up the images. This avoids the grainy and broken outlines problem many gen 5 sprite animations have. First of all go under motion and get the block "go to x:(number)y:(number)". Make both numbers zero, then click it. This will get your sprite to the center of the screen. Now open up the program you use to make sprites. Take screen shots of the screen but make the white part transparent. Start by taking screen shots of the farthest reaching frames, and put them over each other. Make sure the screenshots line up. Then draw a 1 pixel wide box around the edges of the sprite. This box tells you how big all of the frames should be, so you wouldn't have trouble latter. If you are having trouble getting the images to line up create this image in a separate sprite in the scratch editor. Then move around the screen shots so that the pixel in the middle stays white. Clear the inside of the box. Now take a screen shot of a frame. Save it. Create a new image that has what was in the last image. Repeat this for all of the frames. Once you do that crop the images so they look like above. Now it is time to clean up the image. Remove the semi-white pixels or make them a color in the sprite's pallet. Close up any broken outlines. Make sure all pixels are within the pallet's color. This is a comparison of the screen shoted image to the cleaned up image. The gen 5 animations can look messed up at times, and Eelektross is a great example of this. Very often during the animation the arms and the top of the head have their outlines broken. Cleaning up the frames can help you avoid this. Once you've made all of the backgrounds transparent go to ezgif.com or another gif making website. Upload all of the frames that will be in your animation. Scroll down a bit to the options. Click don't stack frames. For the delay time set it to what most of the frames were in the scratch editor. 0.1 in a wait block = 10 delay time. Now it's time to put the animation together. Each frame is given a number based on their file name alphabetical order. Use that to keep track of what frame it is. Copy and drag frames into the order you want them in. There isn't a way to loop part of an animation, so if you want part of an animation to play after another part loops a number of times, you have to do that manually. Once you are done count how many frames there are total in your animation. Each row can fit 6 frames in them. Set the right number under toggle range of frames to how many frames there are in the animation. Then press make a gif. EZgif deletes gifs on their servers after a while, so make sure to save the gif to your computer. Upload the image somewhere else where it won't get deleted.

Silhouettes/Galaxy

These two are so closely related I merged them into one class.

Lesson 1 - Silhouette

Grab the fill bucket or color replace tool and make everything the same color. Make sure to make everything the same color. Sometimes pokemon have colors that are near black on them, that are easy to miss if you are making the silhouette black. A good trick to make sure you don't miss anything is to fill bucket the sprite a neon color once your done then change it back. For this lesson I want you to make Leafeon completely pure black. Don't forget the almost completely black lines on the sprite.

Lesson 2 - Full Galaxy

You can also make Silhouettes using pictures. After completing the first step put a giant square around the silhouette, and make the silhouette transparent. Then drag it over the picture. Then remove everything outside the square, and then the square it's self. You can even do this in paint by making color 2 the color of the silhouette and turn transparent selection on. For this lesson I want you to change the Leafeon Silhouette you did into a full galaxy. Just follow the steps above but with a galaxy picture. If you are having trouble finding a galaxy background you can use this one by JL Field on needpix.com. It is free to use commercially with modification, so it is okay if you sell sprites in a shop made with it. If you get your own galaxy background make sure it is free to use with modification, as otherwise it is art theft. If you plan to sell galaxy sprites in a shop make sure the image is free to use commercially with modification.

Lesson 3 - Partial Galaxy

Partial Galaxy is a lot like full Galaxy except you are only filling in parts of the sprite with a solid color. If there is white in the sprite your using you will want to make the transparent color different from white in the sprite. When making a sprite a partial galaxy you don't want to keep all of the lines. In the area your making a galaxy remove all but the most important outlines inside of the pokemon that creates it's shape. Otherwise it will look cluttered. Though at the same time don't remove to many outlines. If you do, the pokemon will begin to lose it's shape. Keep the key outlines to keep the shape of the pokemon. Remember to recolor the outlines around the parts you made galaxy. The outline should be a deep purple, or whatever the color of the galaxy is. Other variants that exist of this are galaxies that are the same color as the original pokemon. However don't take any galaxy color and apply a semi-tranparent brush over it, it will look muddy. I don't have the tools to show you a proper example of this, but don't make it like the image above. Another type that no one really talks about are line galaxies. These take all of the lines of a pokemon, and applies the galaxy to them. When making these make the background the darker part of the galaxy image, as having something bright like a star doesn't look as good. Your assignment is to make a partial galaxy sprite.

Guides

These are guides on how to make certain sprite types that don't require enough unique skills to get their own class. The best thing to do to learn these is to try it on your own then ask for critique.

Miscellaneous beginner info

Getting sprites

There a few websites you can use to get sprites
  • The cave of dragonflies is useful if you can spell the names of pokemon and can generate random sprites. You can generate up to three gens 1-5 sprites at a time, so it's useful when you don't know what to sprite. It even gives you the frames used when sending out a pokemon for 4, and a gif of the animation for gens 2-3 so you have even more sprites to chose from. However it lacks minisprites.
  • The spriter's resource is a useful place to get sprites from the spinoff and main series games. They are useful for getting minisprites and PMD sprites, along with sprites from other obscure spinoffs. It has the most sprites out of all of the sites listed here. The sprites come in a giant sheet filled with sprites. However I won't link it because I'm unsure of the moderation of the comments section.
  • Pokemon DB gives you a giant list on one page with every pokemon on it. However it has spoilers for the gen after 7 if you scroll down enough, has alternate forms on the pokemon's pages and has news on the front page. The site lacks send out animation sprites and gen 5&7 minisprites.
  • I usually get my sprites by copying and pasting them from Serebii.net, however it's banner at the top of the page has spoilers for the gen after 7 so be careful about that, and it's a news site. You can view sprites by generation pokedex, and then by type. The site lacks back sprites and send out animation sprites, and it has gen 7 minisprites that are inconvenient to recolor.
Usually when you copy and paste a sprite into an editor it will come up as a black square. Either use the paint bucket to remove it, or in MS paint turn on transparent selection and make color 2 black. Sometimes you will notice part of the outline has disappeared. NEVER use a sprite in that state, it'll hurt the quality of the sprite your making. In these cases printscreen then paste into your art program. Get get the sprite out of the screenshot and your good to go. See how much better the sprite on the right looks from the sprite on the left? That is why you shouldn't use sprites in their black outline removed state.

tools

There are many art programs out there. Here is a list of tools I recommend having in an art program.
  • A single pixel tool. Being able to change individual pixels is important to have in an art program. This allows you to add patterns, scratch, mend parts, don't use an art program without one. Make sure it is in solid color and doesn't leave semi-transparent pixels everywhere.
  • A selecting + moving tool. You will need this for fusions and slightly adjusting the size of things. While you could get away with only having a rectangular one by spacing separate parts away enough from each other I recommend using an art program that also has one where you draw out the shape.
  • The ability to zoom in. Sprites are tiny and it will make your life much harder if you try to make them at 100% zoom. 300% zoom is the minimum you could get away with, though I recommend 500% or 600% zoom. While using an art program that shows a version of the sprite at 100% zoom while your working would be nice to have, it is not necessary and you can easily get away with not having that.
  • The ability to copy and paste. Being able to copy and paste is key for getting sprites into the program to edit, and for fusions. I recommend using a program that can copy and paste images you copied outside the program as it makes getting the sprites into the program a lot easier, but in that case your program at least needs an import function.
  • A color replacement tool. I highly recommend having a tool where you can select parts of the sprite to change one color into another. It also allows you to recolor parts of the sprite of the same color different colors. Having a tool that changes all of the colors into another color at the same time would be nice to have, but isn't necessary as you can just go over the whole sprite with the recolor parts tool. While you could get away without a color replacement tool, that makes it much easier to make mistakes while coloring.
  • Color select + editor tool. Being able to select colors is key to recoloring. Being able to edit colors is also important as it allows you to add in shades when your pallet doesn't have enough, and to make your own pallets.
  • Transparency. Having a transparent background looks a lot nicer than having a white background around your sprites. While this is useful to have in your main art program, you can also export your sprite to an art program that does have transparency. I personally use Krita to give a transparent background to my MS paint sprites.
  • Layers. They are useful for working on parts surrounded by a bunch of other parts you don't want to mess up. Though this isn't required, and even I(most of the time) use an art program that doesn't have them.
  • A large square eraser tool. This makes it much easier to get parts for fusion, and remove parts you don't need. While you could do this via the single pixel tool or selection tool, I find using the eraser first time saving. Make sure the eraser doesn't leave transparent pixels around. Also make sure the eraser doesn't erase sub-pixels as a program that works with sub-pixels is harder to make sprites in.
  • Fill bucket tool. I find this useful when I'm quickly recoloring small parts of a pokemon. Though this isn't required.

MS paint tricks

I have been using MS paint for a long time and I'll share some of my knowledge of the program with you. First of all click the select option and turn on transparent selection. It will make your second color not be moved when you use the select tool. This is key to making sprites, especially in fusions. However I've noticed a bug in it. In saved drawings it suddenly stops working. I've found that control+A, up arrow, down arrow, select any other tool fixes it. However it comes back up if you use the pencil tool. Doing that fix again fixes it. This also fixes the color replacement tool not working. Another extremely useful thing I found is that if you go to view and click on thumbnail it will show a version of your sprite at 100% zoom while zoomed in. This is really useful and saves you from having to zoom in and out all of the time to see if the sprite looks good. However it only shows up if you are in 200% or more zoom. To recolor first get the color you want to replace as color 1, and the color you want to change it too to color 2. Then go to the eraser tool and right click and drag over the areas you want to recolor. With the pencil, color picker and fill bucket tool left click for color 1 and right click for color 2.

Retype design advice

Just like when making fusions I recommend sketching out the design first. When making a retype I suggest adding in a theme on top of the retype. It's easy to just set Jirachi on fire to make it a fire type. However think of this. Jirachi is based on Tanabata, a japanse festival based around making wishes. Fireworks is something fire related that are often associated with festivals. Imagine a Jirachi covered in white and red striped fireworks, with a fireworks crown. I feel like adding a theme to retypes make it much more interesting than just adding parts of said type onto a pokemon. Retypes can also be multiple types. For example this fire/ice Jirachi. Keeping with the theme of having themes this example was also given a theme. Jirachi is based on stars, a celetial object. Another celetial object are comets, and thus it is based on a comet as comets are made up of mostly ice. While it looks mostly like an ice type with some flames at first, it is based on how when stuff like meteors come into earth's gravitational pull they speed up and catch on fire, and this Jirachi can set it's self on fire if it wanted to and thus it's fire typing. While the most types a pokemon can have is 2, you can make a retype with multiple types if you want. Some cannon pokemon already look like they have more than 2 types. For example Delmise looks like it could be a water/steel/grass/ghost type pokemon. Also remember that types aren't all just one color. People often go to green when they think grass type. However there are pokemon such as Exeggcute, Tangela, Jumpluff, Seedot, Lileep, Cherrim's sunshine form, Sawsbuck and Foongus that have very little or no green at all on their designs. Don't feel limited by typing when deciding what color to make your retype. Another thing to be aware of are cliches when it comes to retypes. Other than the color, fire retype tend to be set on fire and grass retypes tend to just have Shaymin's flower added to the pokemon. While there is nothing wrong with liking those designs, there is a lot more you can do. Take the grass type pokemon above for example. None of them are green or have leaves or flowers. There is no one solution to retyping a pokemon. Try to think outside the box for a truly special retype. If you are stuck on what to change look at the pokemon, and ask yourself what makes the pokemon the type it is. Does it have fins as a water type? Does it have a lightning bolt tail? Try changing those parts to match the type you are trying to retype it to.

Evolution design advice

When making an evolution for a pokemon try to avoid bigger mon syndrome. I notice in a lot of fan evolutions they take the pokemon, make it bigger, and add stuff onto it. Almost no evolution line does this in pokemon. Take the Squirtle line. All members of the line have different tails and ears. Instead of being an in-between for Squirtle and Blastoise, Wartortle has it's own identity by having white wavy ears and a tail no other member has, and also has blush. While at the same time Wartortle looks like a middle evolution, and keeps the theme of being blue turtles in it's design, which prevents it from looking like it's from a completely different evolution line. Almost every pokemon is like this. So when designing an evolution for a pokemon or fakemon instead of making it a bigger or smaller version of the pokemon, try to give it it's own identity while still fitting in with the line.

Devamping pokemon, gen 1

The first step to devamping a pokemon is to get a gen 1 sprite with a similar color scheme to the pokemon your devamping. A devamp only has 4 colors, white, lighter color, darker color and black. This turns into the pokemon having two colors, white with lighter color shading, and lighter color with darker color shading. You want to decide which colors of the sprite you'll make lighter and which parts you'll make darker. Then recolor them. Make all of the outlines black. I find this method makes devamps look better than if you made all the colors of a devamp correspond to different shades of colors in a sprite. But what if a sprite has many colors you may ask. In these cases use a gen 1 sprite with the color most similar to the main color and you have to try your best to place the rest of the colors. Generally make all of the places of one color the same color, and make color right next to each other different colors. None of this applies to devamps in the gen 2 style, where you use two different colors instead of the lighter color and a darker color. However I am clueless when it comes to doing these so I can't be of much help...

Undertale styled sprites

Undertale styled sprites are sprites that make the pokemon white on a black background. The first thing to do is get the sprite you want to make on a black background. Then decide what parts you want to make black and what parts you want to make white. If there are not quite pure black outlines on the sprite recolor them to a visible grey to make it easier to see where the outline is on the sprite your working on. The key thing in Undertale styled sprites is to convey the details of the pokemon in only two colors. For parts you want to make white fill it in white. For parts you want to make black give it a white outline. Be careful around small parts like the eyes and mouth as those are the easiest to mess up. You don't always have to include the outline as part of what you make white, sometimes making part of it black can give the part a better shape, and make it look better. One thing I noticed in these sprites is that not everything has to be connected. You do not have to make the outline to connect everything like in pokemon sprites. If when zoomed out it looks okay then you are good. This most often comes up when two body parts outline's are very close to each other. For example take this Cubone. Notice how there is no lines under the skull. This is what I am talking about. Despite the fact there isn't an outline connecting the arms to the skull it still looks nice. Another thing I noticed is that there is very little shading. Most of the shading appears to be shine for armor, and even then details come first.

Lineless

Lineless is taking a sprite and then replacing as much of the outline you can with color. For the most part you should take the colors around the outline for what color to make the outline. If there is an outline next to two different colors, use the color of the part that looks like is in the front or on top of the other part. If you have two parts of the same color on top of each other try to convey their distinct shape with shading. For example let's take the lava dripping from Slugma's head. If you colored it exactly as it is in the original sprite it doesn't look like it's there. So instead of making light outlines or keeping it the way it is, you can alter the shading around the part to convey that it exists. Don't be afraid to change the shading if it makes the pokemon's shape more clear. If you are going to change an outline to pure white, and it is on the outside of the sprite make it the next lightest shade of white on the sprite. If all of them are to dark make up your own. Otherwise the white parts will blend in on white backgrounds. Some pokemon have natural lines in them, such as Drifblim. In these cases make those lines the next lightest color, or create a new color if it looks to dark. Otherwise you should only really use light outlines to convey details as a last resort when you can't make it look right with shading.

Tron Design advice

The main appeal of a tron pokemon are neon colors that pop out due to the rest of the pokemon being dark. Don't make to much of the pokemon neon. This will make the neon go from standing out to everywhere, which ruins the appeal of the sprite. If you need more colors make them dark. If the color is to light it will pull the attention away from the neon colors.
Feel free to suggest any classes I should teach! Also any suggestions on how to improve these guides are welcome!
Check out my gym, and my Journal. Vearus sprite + banners by me.
Beta Wooper from the 1999 Gold/Sliver protype, the sprite was revamped and animated by me
~The trainer of raging dragons~
ACottontail's AvatarACottontail
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Reserved.
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Also reserved. Spriteapedia is now open!
matecocido's Avatarmatecocido
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I want to study ! username: matecocido classes: poses other: am i required to have learned scratch first ? i do have some other examples- fusion (sprites by conyjams) can show more if needed :)
»» NO PMS PLEASE !! «« * * * *
ACottontail's AvatarACottontail
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@matecocido While I recommend knowing how to scratch parts onto sprites as it's a core part a spriting and small parts of it comes up when making poses, you should be okay making poses without taking the scratch class first. Also thank you for being my first student! So for the poses class we are going to start with giving facial expressions to sprites. Here is the first lesson. Feel free to ask questions if you have any.

Lesson 1 - Facial expressions

Giving your sprite the right facial expression can help sell the emotion the sprite is going for. Eyes: Try to keep the shape and color of the eyes in mind while making changes. Also don't forget to color in the outline for newly added parts. When making the eye close, make the line in the center of the eye as pokemon tend to have a top and bottom eyelid. Example expressions:
  • Eyes closed with a curve going up - Happy
  • Eyes closed with a curve going down - Calm/sleeping
  • Top part of eye curves down - Worry/upset
  • Bottom part of eye curves up - Annoyed/going crazy
  • Eyes slant towards center of face - Anger/Hostility
  • Pure white - Shocked
  • Stars as pupils - Amazed
  • Looking down - sadness
  • Looking away - Timidity
Mouth - Make sure the edited mouth is around where the original mouth was. Try to mimic the style the mouth was in if possible. Example expressions:
  • Curve going down - Happy
  • Curve going up - Upset
  • Straight - neutral, a slight smile or frown is also used sometimes
  • O shaped - Shock
  • Drooling - Hunger
For this lesson I want you to take any pokemon or sprite you've made that doesn't have Chikorita's face that you want and give it the same expressions as the image above. Make sure the pokemon has a visible mouth and eyes to make expressions of. While these are a bit much, it should let you practice most of the expressions you would give a sprite. Anger - Make the pokemon's eyes slant towards the center of their face. Give the pokemon a frown. Add an anger symbol by having three red curves face inward from a center. Use the example for reference if you are having trouble making it. While you wouldn't put it in all of the sprites you are trying to make look angry, it can really help sell the emotion. Saddness - Give the pokemon a frown. Make them look down. Start by blanking out the eye. Then add the pupil. After that draw the rest of the inside of the eye around the pupil. Be careful to preserve the shape and color of the inside of the eye while making changes to it. Also Make the top part of the eye curve inwards. After that add tears under the eye. You don't want to have the tears make a jarring contrast between the pokmon and the tears themselves. Calm - Make the pokemon's eyes close and curve down. Give the sprite a slight smile. Awkward Laughter - Make the pokemon's eyes close and curve up. Give the pokemon an open mouth smile. Add a drop of sweat to the pokemon's face about where the upper part of the eyes are. To sprite the sweat drop make a vertical line of two pixels. Then give it an outline everywhere but the top and corners. Are you serious - Make the top of the pokemon's eyelids a flat line. Give the pokemon a flat line for the face. Shock - Make the pokemon's eyes completely white. You make have to make the eyes a bit more circular. Give the pokemon an o shaped open mouth. Shy Crush - Make the pokemon look towards it's bottom right. Add in some blush. If you are having trouble adding blush that isn't to hard or soft looking have a hard pink color surrounded by some light pink color like the example image. Sad Anger - Find the center point for the eye. Make a pixel to the side closest to the center of the face. Make a diagonal line that keeps going up until you reach the outline of the eye. Then below + diagonal to the center pixel add a line that goes to the outline of the eye. Make the pokemon frown. Add in some tears. Awe - Give the pokemon star shaped pupils. Give them a huge smile.
matecocido's Avatarmatecocido
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Here you go !! My child's a bit too hard :') but mystery dungeon helped a bit !!
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@matecocido I see you went with Mudkip. Mudkip can be a bit tricky to start with due to it's large oddly shaped mouth and tiny eyes. Though I do like how you used Mudkip's gen 4 sprite.

Large image

For the sadness expression I like how you tried to lower Mudkip's tail. That is a good way to help sell that emotion on a sprite. However Mudkip's tail is not symmetrical. As seen in this pokemon card it points further towards the top. On top of this flipping the tail also flips the shading. When you flip a part, make sure to fix the shading afterwards so it matches up with the new way it's facing. The best way lower Mudkip's tail would to be to shrink it down and move it down a pixel or two, then fix it up. Since Mudkip's tail doesn't look very flexible, so it doesn't look like Mudkip can move it more than slightly. Mudkip's mouth has a natural smile towards it. When giving it a negative emotion you have to actively make the mouth frown or it will look like it is smiling. Mudkip's mouth also goes from cheek to cheek. In the sprites you've made with Mudkip's mouth open, the mouths look like they close too early instead of at the cheek. Here are the official main series sprites of Mudkip where it's mouth open that you can use as a reference. I also noticed in many of the sprites where you gave Mudkip a smile the right side looks uneven with the left side. To fix this I suggest making the right side of the face also go up a bit more to match the left side of the sprite. In Mudkip's gen 4 sprite it's eyes don't line up exactly. The left eye is one pixel higher than the right. While in it's normal sprite it looks okay, sometimes when you modify the eyes it can look off. This is most notable in the sprites you did for Mudkip making a calm and sad anger expressions. You can fix this by moving an eye up or down a pixel so they line up. Do this when the alignment of the eyes look off to you at 100% zoom. For the Mudkip with the awkward laughter expression the sweat drop could use some work. As you can see from these gen 4 accessories extra effects on pokemon often have outlines. Though if you did give the sweat drop you gave to Mudkip an outline around it you would only have to remove a pixel from the upper right corner to make it have a good sweat drop shape. Though the problem with giving the sweat drop a more refined shape is often that it is too big for the sprite your giving it to. I find that making a line 2 pixels tall then giving it an outline everywhere but the top is the best way to make a smaller sweat drop. For the Mudkip making the are you serious expression I feel like you should add another 2 pixels to the inner part of the eyes to make the top of the eye feel more flat. In Mudkip's eyes, black is the strongest color for conveying expression. The blue pixels surrounding it are for the most part anti-aliasing used to make the eye look smoother and round. I feel like your awe expression fails to sell the emotion. The eyes you gave it look too close to the ones you would give a shocked expression. One way to give it's eyes the expression is to make it's pupils star-shaped. Another way is to add sparkles to the eyes, like in these PMD portraits which both show an awe expression. Though be careful doing that on sprites with small eyes such as Mudkip as it can easily make it look like it is crying. To make it's mouth sell the expression you need to give it a huge smile. Aim for something like the smiles on official core series sprites I showed earlier. Though I really like what you did with the shy crush expression. Mudkip's face sells the expression perfectly. That is also a good anger mark you used on anger expression. Your next assignment is to give Marshtomp expressions of anger, are you serious and awe. For anger turn Marhtomp's natural smile into a frown, and give it's eyes a defined slant towards the center of it's face(You may need to mess with the pixels a bit to get a good one). For the are you serious expression make it's eyes noticeably flat at the top and try to give it a neutral face that isn't quite a smile or a frown. I feel like the are you serious expression you gave Mudkip was too much of a smile. For the awe expression give it a huge smile like in the Mudkip sprites I showed above(It's Emerald and alt gen 4 sprite has one) and give it an awed look in it's eyes.
FluffyRoll's AvatarFluffyRoll
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I want to study! Username:FluffyCrow Classes:Fusion or Scratch Other: Here are some recolours I did (If you think I need to work on that first Ill trust your jugment) I also added the scarf to my avatar
ACottontail's AvatarACottontail
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@FluffyRoll. I think you have a good grasp on the recolor skills needed for fusions and scratch. Let's start with fusion as it is easier to do. Feel free to ask questions if you have any. (Also thank you for being my second student). Edit: I see you're also taking fusion at Icy's school of spriting. Since the fusion sprite you've made for that fusion class shows that you already can do what lesson 1 would have been, let's start with mending parts.

Lesson 2 - Mending parts

First of all when making a fusion always have a copy of the pokemon your using available somewhere on your canvas. This way if you make a mistake to one of the pokemon, and need the original it'll save you from having to copy and paste the sprite into the program again. When making a fusion you will sometimes have parts you want to use that are behind different parts of the pokemon. In those cases you will want to fix up the part before putting it into the fusion. For this lesson I want you to to take Articuno's tail, erase the parts around it and fix the parts that were blocked by other parts of Articuno. The first step is to erase the parts around Articuno's tail. It's okay to leave pixels if you think they will become part of the tail's outline. The next step is to draw the outline with the single pixel tool. Use the two outlines next to the area blocked by other parts as a reference to how you should draw the outline. Try to make it smoothly transition from one part of the outline to the next. The next step is to replace all the pixels that aren't Articuno's tail inside the tail with the base color of the tail with the single pixel tool. After that fix up the shading and details in the areas that were obscured by other parts. While those areas of Articuno's tail didn't have any shading, they did have changes in the outline color. Use the outline colors of the lines that weren't blocked by other parts as a reference to what the colors should be. Articuno's tail also has two lines as details. Use where the lines already there as a reference for where the missing lines should go.
FluffyRoll's AvatarFluffyRoll
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I feel like you give a lot of cronstructive feed back and more instruction, but at icys school of spriting its a greater influx of projects and I have absolutly no ideas to practice so im doing both lol sorry if it caused confusion heres the tail!

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