Having a software that creates crisp and pixel-perfect virtual art – for free – is a big win for pixel art lovers. And in this age where NFTs are gaining popularity, selling well-created virtual art can be an easy way to rake in some money. A software like the Piskel free editor can come in handy if pixel art is something you're into, whether for fun, sale, for use in your website or even games. This article reviews this Piskel free online editor software to see if it is worth using.
What is pixel art?
Pixel art has been in existence right from when the first photo editing software along with 2D games having graphics was released. However, the phrase was initially coined by Xerox PARC's Adele Goldberg and Robert Flegal in 1982, even though the concept had existed for ten past years, such as in Richard Shoup's SuperPaint system from 1972.
Pixel art was a technique for creators to produce artwork with minimal graphics and computational resources, although it wasn't exactly considered ‘art’ at the time. Because graphics systems could only generate some pixels at a time, developers had to deal with every pixel individually to guarantee that the entire image made perfect sense. Because of the earlier stated limitations, this was painstaking and arduous work but as technology advanced, the manual technique grew outdated.
However, this pixel manner of making images has survived as a digital art form due to nostalgia as well as the peculiarity of the graphic style. Many recent games still utilize pixel art for their major visual motif, but they're no longer constrained by the number of pixels that a graphics card can render and display on the monitor. Pixel art has popularity across the virtual art world and, presently, is not confined to games.
Pixel art, therefore, is a type of virtual art in which images are designed and modified using graphical editing software at the pixel level. Pixel art is distinguished by its distinct visual style, in which each pixel act as the image's building components. The result is a visual style that resembles cross-stitch, mosaic art, and other needlework techniques.
What is Piskel Free Online Editor?
The Piskel free online editor is a simple and effective tool for making animated pixel art, as well as sprites (2D images or animations that are integrated into a larger scene). Even if making animated sprites appeals to a little, niche audience, the site's user-friendly editor makes the pixel art still entertaining to experiment with.
By simply clicking to include pixels inside the editing software, you can design any type of sprite that your imagination can conjure. You can still view animated figures created by other users if you need some ideas. Each one of the figures can be examined in Piskel's free online editor, allowing you to see how these were made and expand on them if desired.
The Piskel free online editor is one among the few internet projects with the sole aim to benefit the entire community. Piskel does not hold any rights for creations generated with their editor because it is open source and free. There are advertisements on the website, but they're worth it if you want to utilize their generally free product.
Your works can be simply exported to PNG, GIF, and other file formats. You also have the option of making public or private sprites. One can as well get live animation previews while working on them in the editor. Piskel is an excellent free alternative if you want to play around with a fun animation tool or just desire to produce an animated sprite for a digital project.
Steps on how to Import a Sprite Sheet with Piskel free online editor
When dealing with art materials, there are situations when a single picture has many sprites. This may necessitate manually slicing the file into many images or isolating every frame of the animation individually.
GDevelop, on the other hand, contains the Piskel free sprite online editor built-in, which can help you avoid putting in this manual effort. The Piskel free online editor can import sprite sheets natively and make the process easier. For this process to be successful, there are certain requirements that must be met. These requirements are as follows;
The sprite sheet file has to be in either of the following formats: png, jpg, or gif.
The sprite sheet has to be used for just one animation.
The sprites on the sprite sheet have to be evenly spaced.
Below are the steps on how to import a sprite sheet with Piskel free online editor –
Step 1: Creating the Animation and Sprite Object
Click ‘Add a new object’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the Object List. There will be a new screen opens.
In the menu of object kinds, select Sprite. The fresh sprite window appears.
Give the new sprite a title around the Object name area.
Click on ‘Add an Animation’. The very first blank frame will appear, followed by more buttons.
In the Optional animation-name section, you could also provide the animation a name.
Step 2: Import the animation and sprite object into the Piskel free online editor
Click on ‘Edit with Piskel’. Thereafter, Piskel free editor will appear.
Select Import from the panel on the right-hand. The panel with several import options will appear.
Click on the Browse Images button in the ‘Import from Picture’ area.
Select the sprite sheet folder and open it.
Select the appropriate file.
Click on the ‘Open’ button. The window for Import and Merge will open.
Step 3: Finish with the features of the Sprite sheet
Click on ‘Import as Sprite Sheet’ from the Import and Merge box.
Each sprite's size should be specified in the frame size. This will be an even value in most sprite sheets.
To appropriately match the size for every animation frame, adjust the frame size.
For example, a sprite sheet that is 512 pixels wide by 96 pixels in height when imported must have the screen size reduced to 1/4 of 128 pixels or 512 pixels. The sheet should be put up with an equal distance between the four frames.
The blocks evenly divide each block of animation after modifying the frame size.
Step 4: Bring in the Sprite sheet
Click on ‘Import’ from the drop-down menu.
This will replace the existing animation, according to the confirmation. Click on OK.
Your animation would be moved into split files, and then a preview will play in the upper right-hand corner.
Make any additional modifications that are required.
Save the file. The animation for the pixel sprite object will be constructed.
For every extra animation as well as a sprite sheet, repeat the process.
Functions of Piskel free online editor
The Piskel free online editor tool has been designed to carry out a whole lot of functions, below are some of those functions:
If a creator does not wish that anybody else sees what has been made on Piskel, the creator can place all of their creations in their private gallery, in which only the creator will be given access to see them.
Piskel can be used to produce 2D still pictures or animated sprites in the iconic pixel art pattern, which has been resurgent in popularity in recent years.
A creator can decide to sign in to Piskel using their already existing Google account, which in turn eliminates the concern of having to create new accounts.
Advantages of using Piskel free online editor
In the use of the Piskel free online editor, there are some advantages that have been noted by the users and creators of this platform. Below are some of the advantages -
Piskel's free online editor's private gallery can be used to save every one of the artworks you have created on the platform. This is ideal for bashful or private individuals who do not want to share their recent creations with everyone else around the globe right away.
Piskel can be used to generate either moving or still graphics sprites in a nostalgic retro style known as pixel art.
Any of the creator's artwork can be exported online as a variety of files, guaranteeing that your work can exit the application if the creator desires to.
Disadvantages of using Piskel free online editor
Some of the disadvantages with Piskel free online editor are as follows -
The sprites' movement is limited, which is to be planned for, given the little processing time that GIFs require.
Retro pixel art is the only kind of artwork with which you can genuinely express yourself and work with. You can also copy different types of art, but it will always remain pixel art after all has been done. (This is not so much of a bad thing if you're really into pixel art or it fits your intended purpose.)
If you use your Google account to sign in to Piskel and it turns out that your password is stolen, your account can be hacked and someone might then gain access to the account.
Piskel's free online editor, as seen, has to unarguably be one of the best entertaining and free online destinations for artists. More so for those who enjoy the nostalgic vibe of classic video games from the 1980s. If you appreciate this type of work, you will almost certainly enjoy your time on Piskel.
Many people were unaware of the presence of sprites prior to utilizing Piskel, but they are always glad to have learned about them as they're both adorable and a fun mechanic to interact with, allowing for more flexibility than a static life image. In the Piskel free online editor, there is a private gallery. With this feature, the created artwork can only be accessed by the creator. This, among other features, seems to be appreciated by a vast majority of computer graphics enthusiasts.