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Forums Artist Galleries Voltra's Guide to Pixel Art

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 07:59:58 )


Welcome to our little guide for how to make pixel art in Voltra's Style.
We hope that this thread will help anyone interested in applying for a pixelist position to adapt and understand the basics of how we make items for the site.


Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:07 )
░░░░░▒▒▒▒▒▓▓▓▓▓ T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ▓▓▓▓▓▒▒▒▒▒░░░░░

Streaming Schedule
Image Tutorials
Video Tutorial Resources

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:21 )

Streaming information coming soon


Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:30 )

Voltra Bases

Voltra Greyscale

Voltra Gradients (Photoshop)
Voltra Gradients (Non-Photoshop Program)

Tools required for pixeling:
Any program to pixel
Photoshop to use Gradient Maps

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:37 )


Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:45 )

How Qtea made this Boho Top.

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:52 )

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:00:58 )

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:12:19 )

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:12:26 )

Artist — Lion Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 08:46:33 )
Okay! This is helpful! My few questions:

So does Voltra items normally get made in just grey, than colors are worked into them on separate layers (I imagine you pick a color, switch it to the “Overlay” setting and BAM!) or is it more complicated? Haha. I do think this breaks down the process well though!

Recolor.Me requires you to create items with gender poses (so if you make a shirt, it must have both a male (flat chested) and female (boobs) pose separately... as well sleeves having to be on separate layers) Is Voltra as specific? Or is one layer good?
(Cause’ I could pop out like a whole themed set in my head for you guys 🤭)

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 14:59:35 )
@KDA Drew: Yes! We always work in gray and use what's called a "gradient map". We have a collection of custom made Voltra gradient maps that are used to recolor custom items. Commons don't get recolor manually, we have a backend system that recolors them for us. So you would just make the grayscale in that case.

That is correct, we also unisex items. So you do have to make a male and female version due to the differences in the bases between genders and also adjust the items to look more masculine or feminine. In terms of layering we work very similar. For example you would create your item as followed: Front of shirt, back of shirt. Say you have hair: Front ponytail, base hair, bangs, back ponytail (If ponytail is long does some layer -over- base or it's just behind?), back of hair. These would all be layers and considerations you'd have to make.

Here's an example of how the item is cut into layers:


Donator — Divine Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 23:37:15 )

thank you for posting this! I really needed this


°<°art by Keturah🖤🦖🖤

Donator — She/Her Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/24 23:54:25 )
I can't wait to see everyone's creations.

Voltie — they/he Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 00:49:39 )
what is a binary layer? does this have something to do with making an image in greyscale?

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 06:11:25 )
@Bioshock: It's the layer you have your binary base on.

Binary is also known as pixel brush / pencil in some programs. It's the tool that helps you create pixel art because when you use it you create one pixel at a time vs a soft brush.

So when I refereed to the binary layer I meant the layer that you did your pixel outline and silhouette on.

Over here I used a binary / pixel / pencil brush to create the clean pixel outline on a new layer ABOVE the sketch.

Where as over here I filled it in with a bucket tool to create a silhouette of the item.

Then once you are done with the silhouette you can change it to the base color and lock the opacity on this layer because you won't want to draw outside of the pixel lines. That's what gives it the sharp clean look on the outside and soft look when shading inside the silhouette.

So after all that is done, your sketch that you used to trace your pixel outline and is now under the silhouette is going to be moved above the silhouette since you are going to clip the layer. Or also refereed to as "create clipping mask" in photoshop. Clipping means it attaches the layer to the layer below, but it will show the drawing only where the -art- exists on the layer below. Meaning if you had a circle silhouette and you had a square sketch that got clipped onto the circle, the square sketch would only be visible where the circle exists. The reason we do this is because you don't have to erase your sketch to match the pixel outline, but instead have the clipping tool achieve that for you. One that is done you can merge the two layers and it will merge as a clipped layer, the outline will stay nice and clean like intended in the silhouette.


Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 06:36:42 )
If you guys have the time, you can watch this video tutorial of my process.

How I made this Boho Top.

Voltie — they/he Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 07:11:50 )
@Q t e a p o n: ohh i know about clipping masks and the pencil tool, i just didnt know if there was a layer mask or something called a "binary layer" in photoshop or another program XD

so you put your sketch layer right back over the base layer and use that? the sketch must already be cleaned up at that point. i had assumed you were drawing all the details in with the pencil tool over your sketch layer since it is a pixel art. is just the outline pixelated and the inside done with soft brushes?

with non-pixelated art the process im used to is sketch>clean line art over that(then hide the sketch)>fill in under the line art with a base color, lock that>other colors, then shading, then highlights in a clipping mask over that>lock and color in lineart if i wanna get fancy

but since ur using a greyscale and something called a gradient map(which i just had to google cause i had NO idea that existed wow ahah) it sounds like the process is more focused on a restricted number of color values to produce a result consistent with the rest of avatar stuff on voltra, so of course the process is different

Voltie — oink Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 20:15:24 )
@Bioshock: Oh ok, I wasn’t sure if you knew so I wanted to make sure I’m not assuming your level of knowledge in the programs just safer to explain what it is. XD

You are absolutely correct, if the style was pure pixel art then you would be only allowed to use the pixel brush. Because we do a style called soft toolshading the process only requires the outline to be done with a pencil to give that pixelated edge look and inside is done with a soft brush as you explained.

The sketch step can be done as you had explained, you can simply trace a cleaner version on your base layer but simply making the opacity lower so you can see your sketch under. That is not a wrong process, using my original sketch is just my process so you are welcome to alter it to what’s easiest or best for you.

There are some pixel artists that do work like you mentioned, each hue has a new layer. Personally I feel like it’s harder to blend the shades because brushes tend to have a blending aspect to them so they would grab from the color that is laid out and mix with the one you are laying down so give a more soft transition. But if working on different layers is better for you and it’s the way you work by all means. At the end of the day the final result is what matters, not necessarily the process of the artist.

In terms of consistency, you are very correct by matching hues to the sites items. I always say that make sure that the majority of the item is the base color. So if say you do a lot of shading on the item and the base color is barely visible your item will not match with other items. That’s why you have to be careful of over shading and putting too much detail when shading. If you feel like you’ve over done it then I would just go back in with base hue and gently bring it back into the item where you feel like the shading has gotten too dark.

P L E A S E - P I N G - M E

Voltie — they/he Posted 1 year ago ( 2019/12/25 23:22:19 )
@Q t e a p o n: it's useful information for anyone whos not familiar with it yet anyway! it blew my mind when i found out about clipping masks in photoshop and now i look for them in any other art program i try. soooo useful!

thanks for explaining ur process to me, i also watched the video and its neat to see the way u get to the results and keep it consistent so that items look great in other colors!

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