Posted by: Ocean's Dream | January 25, 2009

Character Maker tutorial part III

Time for part III. This time, going over the toolbar to the right.


This is how it should look like. The space here is for you to actually work on and edit the picture. To the right is the toolbar that we’ll focus on.


Movement Arrows

These arrows here are for moving an image in that direction. It moves one pixel in that direction. When a part of an image is at the edges, it will wrap around. So if you have some pixels at the very left, then you move the image left again, those pixels end up at the very right. They won’t disappear, so feel free to play around with this. Example:


If you use the rectangle selection, the arrows will move the part of the image within that selection. So if you only select the head and use the left arrow tool (I used it 3 or 4 times for this example):


So it’ll do that for whatever direction you pick. It could be helpful for animating a waterfall for example, or aligning stuff.


Vertical/Horizontal flip

These are the Double arrows. Do they first move your image up a pixel then down one? Of course not, that’d be silly. I’d also consider it awesome if it did merely because it’d be hilarious. But anyway, these are the Vertical and Horizontal flip tools.

Here is the vertical flip tool in action:


And here is the horizontal one. Had to make a new example sprite because it’s hard to tell when something is symmetrical:


I find these pretty useful tools, particularly when doing auto-tiles. You can also use rectangle selection and then horizontal/vertical flip the selection only instead. Time saver when you’re doing old school 16×16 sprites.


Vertical/Horizontal Mirror

These arrows are odd looking. But anyway, these are interesting tools. They will basically mirror an image for you. They could potential save you a bunch of time… or at least save you a copy/paste and flip. As with the last tool, it comes with a Vertical and Horizontal version.

For the vertical, it will copy the top half of the image or selection, then mirror it on the bottom half. Example:


It replaces the bottom half with the flipped version of the top half. Note that it will not copy the bottom half and mirror it on top, so if you want that, use the vertical flip tool first before using this.

The horizontal is the same principle, but it will copy the left half of the image and mirror it on the right half. Example:


Most of the spear point was on the right side, but it mirrors the left side now instead.  Easy way to make something symmetrical. Or just make half of your image, use this tool and the other half is done.


Rotate 90 degrees clockwise/counterclockwise

These rotate your image. The top one rotates it clockwise, the bottom one rotates your image counterclockwise. Press either of them 4 times and you’re back where you started.





It’s not the same as doing horizontal/vertical flip. If you want, you could test it with these arrow sprites above.


Rotate by a specified amount

This one doesn’t rotate by 90 degrees like the previous tool does. You can put in the value for how much you want to rotate it. Negative values makes it go counterclockwise.


This is what resulted when I put -45 degree rotation. The safe choices to use are 90 degrees, 180 degrees (2 clicks of the previous tool), and 270 degrees (3 clicks) . Negative values of those are fine too. This tool is pretty destructive on any other values so you would generally have to do some editting to restore it. Sometimes it’s faster to just redraw it, but you may think it’s fine and just needs some cleaning up.



This resizes the particular section or selection you’re working on. When you click on it, you’ll see how big the selection is currently. Scaling sprites up proportionately tends to give the best results.


It started at 16×16. I put 32×32 for the height and width and put that next to the 16×16. I then resized it to 64×64 and put that to the right.


This is what happens when I don’t scale them both up proportionately. I did 32×16 for the first, and 16×32 for the second. You don’t always need to scale proportionately, it depends on what you’re working on. A flat one color area isn’t going to be hurt by rescaling it in a different way for example.

OK, that’s it for today. Next time I’ll go over the Character Size tool a bit more, and how it could help you greatly when working on tiles.


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