I haven’t given up drawing with a pen (quite the opposite), but I thought I’d post some pixel art game concept work that I don’t think is quite right (yet). The idea was to try making some pixel art backgrounds look more “hand-drawn”. I don’t think it’s the right approach for the game I’m working on with the other Pixelgrams team, but it is something I will pursue on a personal project if I get the opportunity. This tile set was made using Pyxel Edit, which to date is the best tile editor I’ve used. I’m sure there are others out there, but that’s the one I use.
For pixel character animations I have started using Aseprite:
This is a work in progress, and mainly an exercise in getting textures and meshes at the right size for a small side project. Next step is to look into bump mapping the duck, and rigging for animation, of course. This version of the duck is relatively low poly. Below is a render with a sub surface modifier applied to the little fellow. The background textures are hand-drawn and coloured, scanned into Photoshop. They’re imported into Blender as planes. The duck is the usual combination of cubes, spheres and cylinders.
Bitsy is a free-to-use game making tool by Adam Le Doux (here is his twitter). Most people in my timeline know about Bitsy’s many charms, but if you don’t then here’s a few words about it:
Bitsy is a very simple to use tool for making small (and not-so-small) narrative games that run in a web browser. There are limitations regarding the level of detail you can put in your game’s graphics and also in the interactions between your sprite and other game objects. However, Bitsy does allow you to set up useful things like conditional dialogue for characters, exits to and from different scenes and collectable items. It’s great for making little worlds where a player can walk around, explore, talk to characters and collect stuff. Understanding and working with Bitsy’s limitations encourages you to solve game making problems in subtle and creative ways. There’s a lively Bitsy community over on Itch, which is a good place to look for ideas and solutions to problems.
There is almost next to no coding involved in making a Bitsy game, making the experience an ideal playground to quickly try out some game / story ideas. It’s also a great tool for novices (children, middle aged accountants etc) to see if they like the game making process. I’ve made a few bitsy games, but I haven’t put them online as I don’t think they were up to much. I did start a new one a few weeks ago, intended to only to take a couple of days but as ever I’ve been distracted by work and other projects. However, I’ve been tinkering with it in short periods of spare time, and it will probably be finished in a couple of weeks.
Here’s a broad selection of my freelance animation and design work on many 2D and 3D animation projects. It contains my work on Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee!, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Moshi Monsters, Tee and Mo, short films, mobile games and corporate videos. I hope you like it. I use all sorts of tools in my work, the main ones being:
Adobe Flash (now known as ‘Animate’)
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
Unity3D and Godot
I still love Flash, even after all these years. Blender is my new favourite thing and I’d like to work on more projects with it. If you’d like me to help you with your animation project (any size or scope / as an animator, or animation designer… or both) then please get in touch: