Over the years, the concept of pixel art has been able to gain a substantial amount of popularity successfully. Pixel art best refers to a digital art form where color is applied to individual pixels in other to create an image. In 1982, the term pixel art was first published, even though the concept had already been in existence for at least ten years beforehand. Today, new generations of designers and artists have adopted the use of the digital brush in other to create modern pixel art designs and masterpieces. As the popularity of pixel art continues to grow, so have the tools used for making it. This is why today, there are numerous existing as well as upcoming tools to help more artists produce phenomenal creations.
While there is an abundance of these said tools, choosing the suitable one can be somewhat challenging, which is why this article will focus on some of the best software for creating pixel art. Irrespective of if you are a beginner or just seeking to expand your skills, you can rest assured that we will provide you with the most efficient software to fit your needs. Here are some of the best pixel art software that you should consider using whether you are a professional or beginner, and they include;
If you require a free and simple drawing app online, then look no further than Pixilart. This pixel art software is more than a drawing app, as it serves as the perfect platform for game enthusiasts and creative minds looking to learn about creating digital art. Since its establishment in 2013, Pixilart has aimed to become the Social networking site for all pixel art enthusiasts. The application comes equipped with an advanced interface as well as other features that are generally not available on any other pixel art software. The platform also connects you with other artists, and what’s more, it is available for users of both IOS and Android devices.
Aseprite is another pixel art software that is not only cost-effective but also a highly recommended program designed explicitly for pixel art. One thing to note is that this software is available for free if you can arrange the program yourself, but if you can’t, you can easily get a complied and finished software at an affordable price of 15 dollars. One of the reasons why Aseprite is a popular choice among artists is that it is easy to learn, and it is also equipped with features that allow users to edit fonts into pixels and perform other heavy-duty tasks effortlessly. This software is also available to use on the Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms, respectively.
Paint.NET serves as one of the best alternatives for GIMP and Photoshop, especially for those that belong to the windows community. It works effectively on all Windows versions from XP down to the Win10, including the upcoming ones based on the update. The Paint.NET software supports basic functions like image editing, which serves other purposes apart from designing pixel animation. While this software’s features are not as robust as those of Photoshop, it is, however, effortless to use and allows users of the software to work more effectively. A significant drawback of this software is that it is only compatible with windows, making it non-accessible for Mac or Linux users.
This program is one of the best open-source applications for creating pixel art. It is free, easy to use, and offers numerous features, including hotkey-activated popup panels, customizable canvas, layering, and unlimited undo’s. It serves as a suitable alternative to the Windows-only programs in the pixel art world. The interface is easy to use and understand, plus it is the perfect tool for experienced artists and beginners. More importantly, Pikopixel works wonderfully with both Mac and Linux.
This is another popular pixel editor that is generally preferred by pixel artists worldwide; it is popularly known for its friendly user interface as well as its ease of use. One factor that remains a big selling point for Pyxel Edit is its elegant interface. The program also includes all the necessary features for creating animated and static images, including animation onion skinning, allowing users to overlay sequential frames in their pixel art. The Pyxel edit software is not only cost-effective, but it is also available on both the Mac and Windows platform, respectively.
This software or program is solely dedicated to the creation of pixel art and animation. It is one of the best options for artists looking for a free and easy solution to their pixel art needs. This program is cost effective and attracts no extra expenses, making it a suitable choice for users. What makes Piskel favorable to numerous users, including beginners and professionals, is that it is easy to navigate and understand the user-interface. This software also comes equipped with essential features, plus it also allows users to export GIF animations, Sprite sheets, and static images. A significant benefit of Piskel is that it is available on Windows, Linux, Mac, and even Online for web browsers.
Tile Studio focuses on a particular aspect of graphics designing, which is creating tiles. The software is especially useful for game developers seeking to develop tile-based games. It comes equipped with essential features, including a bitmap editor, which serves the purpose of making tiles. One major benefit that Tile Studio provides its users is that it functions effectively with almost any programming language type, which is why numerous designers and game studios use Tile Studio for their projects. The software is, however, only available for Windows users.
This software also belongs to the category of fully functional online pixel editor. One significant advantage it offers all users is that it is very easy to use, plus it serves as a good option for anyone seeking to let their imagination run wild. The standard starting point for this tool is the white canvas, which encourages freehand drawing instead of rigid grid designs.
One of the reasons why Adobe Photoshop is a popular choice among people is due to its versatility. It doesn’t just serve the purpose of digital printing and graphic designing, as it is also one of the best programs that can be used for pixel art. Though Photoshop was not explicitly made for pixel art, it contains all the necessary tools for creating professional quality pixel art and animations. Photoshop can be cumbersome for beginners, especially as it includes many features, given that it serves multiple functions as well. Adobe Photoshop is the best software for you, especially if you plan on creating more than one type of animation. The software is also available for both the Windows and Mac platforms.
Pixlr is a more advanced pixel editor that provides its users with a wide range of drawing tools that are perfect for creating digital arts. While it is not well-suited to sprites, it, however, allows users to save their works online. It easily resonates with any graphics-based pixel art software you may have used before the moment you register and start using it. Pixlr is equipped with tools and an easy-to-use interface, making it a quality web-based pixel art software.
iDraw, though very simple in design, remains a prominent software in the world of pixels. It comes equipped with basic features, including a customizable palette, drawing tools, selection tools, amongst others. iDraw is very common among the RPG Maker community, and it adopts the style of creating pixel art, which was common in the ’90s. This pixel art software is available to users for free, and though it lacks modern features for animation, there is no doubt that it is still a preferred option for people judging from the RPG Maker community, which is still going strong. This software is, however, only limited to those who use the Windows platform.
This pixel art software provides users with all the necessary tools needed for creating pixel art, plus it is also available for free download online. Most artists might see this software as too limited for professional work; however, beginners will enjoy it as a stress-free starting point for learning pixel art. The Pixie Engine Editor allows its users to draw static images as well as open and save images. It is also equipped with a tune composer that is useful for game developers who want to make sound effects or music for their games.
Gimp is often referred to as the free alternative to Photoshop. It comes equipped with a robust set of painting tools as well as general image editing tools. Unlike Photoshop, this software has a friendly user interface that is easily customizable, so it’s better suited for beginners. It also includes a timeline and an animation player that is similar to the ones of Photoshop. One of the reasons why Gimp receives a lot of support from experienced users as well as creators is because the program is popular among many digital artists. This pixel art software is also cost-effective as it helps save money for those on a limited budget while still providing the complete package. This software is available for use on the Linux, Windows, and Mac platforms.
Lunapic is another pixel art software tool with a wide range of capabilities for image editing. One of its numerous features is the ability to pixelate images as well as photographs. All it requires is for you to upload your image, proceed to click adjust before clicking pixelate, where you can choose to what degree you want to pixelate your image. Lunapic can be downloaded at no extra cost for online use.
GraphicsGale is one of the best pixel art software mainly because it comes with a retro user interface. It is not only free to download, but it also comes equipped with all the essential features required from a program dedicated to pixel art. It allows for drawing, layering, animation, palette control, among numerous others. GraphicsGale also allows its users to preview their animations in real time, which helps speed up the animation process. One of the best features of this program is that it allows users to import images from a scanner or camera with the aid of TWAIN imaging. While GraphicsGale offers many features for its users, unfortunately, it is only available on Windows.
This pixel art is a fun online tool that allows its users to draw their pixels straight away. Compared to some of the other programs, it might be considered or seen as basic; however, it could be your best or option, especially if you are looking to quickly sketch an idea or a prototype of a game character or object. Make pixel art comes with the necessary features, making it easy for a beginner to adapt and learn without difficulty. The software is free to download for online use, cost-efficient and attracts no extra expenses, which is one of the reasons why it remains an affordable option for users.
Various cartoonist, concept artists, digital artists, and illustrators all prefer Krita because it is a free and open-source professional painting program that offers more benefits than expected. Krita provides the opportunity for users to create amazing art with the aid of a few available settings on the application. The program is easy to operate as it aims to serve the needs of digital painters and artists. Though Krita does not have as many features as GIMP or Photoshop, it is however equipped with some tools which you can’t normally find in other pixel-based programs. Krita is perfect for beginners and experienced artist,s thanks to its easy-to-use and customizable layout. The software is currently available on the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
GrafX2 is an application that serves the purpose of editing bitmap images. Its inspiration was gotten from the Amiga Deluxe Paint. Twenty years back, the original version was released; however, the source code was later released as an open-source project. GrafX2 is a personal favorite for most people, not just because of its retro origins but mainly because it is equipped with an intuitive interface and a powerful toolset. It provides the user with everything expected in a drawing program, including numerous other features that make it a popular choice and personal favorite for artists. GrafX2, due to its age, has been able to successfully gain a large following and numerous learning resources on websites like google. This software doesn’t just provide users with a wide set of tools and effects, but it also allows for frame animation as well. Fortunately, the GrafX2 software is available to all Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms.
This is a relatively new online graphics editor which is specifically created to be pixel-perfect, easily accessible, and intuitive for all users. The goal of this pixel art software is to be simple enough for beginner level pixel artist while still being suitable for experienced artists. While remembering that this application is still relatively new, it is necessary to understand that there are still various features that are yet to be developed; however, one good factor to note is that it looks promising already, especially with its one of a kind interface as well as its ease of accessibility online. As of writing, the Lospec Pixel Editor is still only available for free online use; however, there is no doubt that the software is worth keeping an eye on, especially as the developers continue to update the application.
Pro Motion is a program that helps create accurate animations, pixel art, and tiles more quickly and efficiently. This pixel art program is the perfect choice for artists who are looking for an apt software that pays more attention to details. Game developers for handheld gaming devices and smartphones make use of Pro Motion to satisfy their designing requirements since the tool is popularly known for creating exceptional graphics.
The software supports tilemap and bitmap, plus web designers use it to create light graphics for online games and apps. It also functions effectively with most game engines or popular frameworks to get started. Unfortunately, this pixel art software is only available for users on Windows platforms.
There you have it, above are some of the most efficient and prominent pixel art software’s that are available for most operating systems. Most of the software or programs listed above are cost-effective, easily affordable, and provide users with some of the best features to help you save money and still get the best pixel editing art tool. So what are you waiting for? Why don’t you choose one out of the various options and start creating images, enhancing animations, images, amongst others. Irrespective of which software you choose, you are sure to get your desired result and satisfaction.