Posted by: Ocean's Dream | January 22, 2008


Flower power! Yes, this tutorial will be about flowers.

You might think “But flowers are easy! Just draw some dots on a tile and you’re done!”. Sure  you can. Drawing flowers isn’t really going to be the main focus of the tutorial, it’s more going to be about color division.

I’ll ignore the putting dots on an upper tile part because you shouldn’t need a tutorial for that. Let’s get to some actual flowers! I recommend looking up google or taking a look at chipsets like Seiken Densetsu 3 for inspiration.

We will be using the pink upper layer side for most of these. However, you don’t need to, and there are a few alternatives. You can place them directly on a grass tile and put them on a lower layer to save upper layer space. You can place them in an animated tile space so they can animate. You can also put them on a characterset sheet so that you don’t use up the upper layer, and you can use the flowers anywhere without needing to add them to another tileset.

Let’s start a flower. Since 16×16 would be too easy, I’ll go for 2 tile height instead. I looked up some flowers on google, and found this. This is what I’ll use:

So, I’ll start with the stem. I don’t care that I’m not seeing the whole flower, I’m not going to dedicate that much space for it. If I find that I need more, I’ll edit it later. Solid color, I’ll worry about the shading later.

The flower itself is pinkish/purplish. Ignore the lines and lighting, just get the basic shape down. You DON’T need to put in all the details, even in the finished sprite, so feel free to simplify it. I thought Pink was going to be a bit harder to use as a background if the flower is pink, so I changed it to medium grey. It’s my preferred background.

I’ll take a lighter pink and outline the different petals.

Before I go on with the flower, I’ll talk a bit about color divisions. This means that instead of putting black outlines, you just use different colors to show the divisions. This is very useful in regular sprites since you have a 24×32 limit. An example sprite to show what I mean. Outlines everywhere in the first version. You don’t need an outline if the colors are different enough! If the characters pants are green and the shirt is blue, players aren’t going to mistake them just because they don’t have an outline! I’m not saying never to use outlines, but sometimes they aren’t needed, and could allow you to put in more pixels.

Back to the flower. I added some highlights to the stem, and to the left side of the flower. Since I had the tree lit from the left side, I want to keep that the same. I put some grass tiles on the side and placed the flower on top. The stem needs to be brighter for it to stick out, as it blends in too much.

So, added some highlights. I put the place on the grass tile to test it out. We’re pretty much done with this flower. Forget all the lines and stuff the flower had in it. The flower isn’t 640×480, it’s 16×32. You don’t want to over detail something, especially at that size.  I could have used a darker outline as well, but I didn’t feel like it.

And the resulting chipset:


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