My Thoughts About Aseprite

It’s really good. It’s worth the money but and this is a small but, it needs a few more tools or features to be incredible. From what I’ve seen these things have been requested and are being worked on.

I like how it animates, I love the onion skinning options but more importantly I love that you can break up the animation with tags. However I would like it on export, you could dice up your animation because of the tags but in bulk instead of one by one. Still though, that’s not really a major issue if you chop up your animation appropriately with layers, you could easily have a well organised sprite sheet. Below is an example of “tagging”.

Snap 2016-07-13 at 10.29.47

So far after using it a few times I have not encountered any drawing, colour or animation lag. However I did experience some major lag when selecting very large areas by colour. In the selection menu, just like in other major drawing apps there’s an option called “Colour Range”. This selected the very specific colour everywhere it’s used on your drawing. Most raster programs can do this, though the names vary. Clip Studio for example calls it Colour Gamut.

However, despite this lag it was to be expect with the size of my pixel artwork. All in all, it wasn’t that bad. For regular sized selections, it doesn’t lag much but it can and it’s something to be aware of. I frequently use the colour range option to change the colour of my line art.

Two things that Aseprite has above the other pixel art programs out there is the mirror tool and it’s ability to create repeatable tiles easily. As a pixel artist and needing to have everything flawless it can be very tedious to duplicate the other side if anything shifts during transformation or drawing it out by hand, counting every pixel only to figure out you’re off by one pixel. As far as repeating tiles go, Pyxel edit does a great job too but it crashes frequently. Below is a quick clip of it’s tiling in action.

Aseprite1

Aseprite handles repeating tiles very well as it draw with a sort of live update, allowing you to create a flawless pattern. It’s called Tiled mode and it’s a life saver. Any of you other there that are more experienced know exactly what I’m talking about. The old ways of doing it. The main way use to be with photoshop, draw it, select half cut and swap then edit the middle seam you just caused and go from there.

All in all I really liked Aseprite. It’s cheap, easy to use and not overwhelming. I’ve used a lot of pixel programs over the years and Aseprite is quickly becoming a favourite. Pyxel edit still wins for now with it’s ability to create tiles which you can then use to create tilemaps and export both the tilemaps and tilesheets and being able to export your tilemaps layers separately making it easier to put into your game immediately. I mainly use tilemaps in programs like GameMaker Studio for various things.

Another important feature is being able to add a LOT of detail and it still animates without lag. Something that most other programs seem to do. You can see a small example of what I did which I managed to livestream without any lag as well.

Sprite-0004-5

The finished animation on my deviantart, I completed in Clip Studio because it suddenly became to complicated and advanced and either I don’t know enough about Aseprite yet (most likely) or it’s missing a few helpful tools to make it possible.

A few other things I’d like to point out that makes this app great is the fact that it has Layer Blending modes. I used dodge and overlay in the work above for my lights and shadows and Aseprite’s blur tool on the light glow. This has me impressed. A lot of pixel program don’t offer Layer Blending modes and I have no idea why because we all use them so frequently. Before you needed Photoshop or GIMP to achieve it on pixel art.

I hope more people will see this program and use it. There’s so much you can do. I did enjoy the ability to change my image’s colour with I think it was curves or levels or something similar. But it was a bit buggy. Though that’s neither here nor there because as long as Colour Range works, there’s other ways to alter your sprites colouring.

That’s pretty much all I’ve found out and what I like about it. I like it’s simplicity though I would love a few more advanced tools, I’d be very happy without them. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone that asked about it.

Updates

Recently I decided to challenge myself with my webcomic and only use freeware to create Lost Words. However I have had an issue with both of my tablets. A while ago I had to reset my Laptop and it majorly screwed up everything. Getting my tablets reinstalled and working right has been a nightmare.

I’ve also been re-exploring animation of various types. Learning more types of animation and figuring out which one I like to work with the best. It’s going alright. I’ve created a few little gifs here and there. Still trying to figure out how I want to colour my animations.

MiwaSketch

June 6, 2016

Soonish I’ll be publishing my subdomain. I’ll add a page style link when it’s up. But I’m not going to mention what will be on it. Instead I’m going to leave it as a surprise 😉

Currently Making 3D

I’ve been back to working on 3D. My last upset was quite bitter. I lost an unfortunate amount of work to file corruption. However I decided to update and start again. I also got a trial of the latest Maya LT. The first time I was unimpressed. Second time round with their limitations lifted to something more reasonable and OBJ and FBX export I am enjoying it more. Still buggy.

Using Stingray was interesting but it is way to confusing for me to learn at this stage. I’m trying to make the choice between Blender Game Engine or Unity for a project idea. I can’t quite figure which one will be the most suitable.

How To Add Inbetweens Between Two Frames In Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint EX and Pro

There are two ways to select things on the timeline. One frame, or the whole timeline. You can split your timeline but only if the right conditions are met. I still don’t fully understand why I can and why I can’t sometimes but I’m getting use to it.

Picking up one frame is easy. Hold down shift to select more than one frame. A red marker appears at the front of each selected frame. Click+Hold+Drag to where you want. That’s it. Enjoy guys and my apologies for the speed of the video!

I Tried Pyxel Edit And I Liked It

Even though now I realise that I could change the frame time and didn’t need a million tiles, I’m glad I did because I can still take, copy and edit the sprite sheet and the gif if I wanted to,

I also could not find the onion skin but I found it when I realised there were two very small buttons unpressed in the frame window.

Snap 2016-04-07 at 06.41.06

Overall I’m extremely impressed with the tile live update. I’d always wanted something like this for making tilesets in RPGMaker or GameMaker. The only reason I don’t do it in Krita is because I can’t figure out how to make a pixel brush. One day I will though.

OpenToonz First Impressions

For almost 5hrs straight I streamed my first use of Toonz. I spent the day before trying to get it to stop crashing on startup.

So far many aspects of it function like Retas Studio. For me it is intuitive because I learned from very old software in the beginning of my journey but compared to today’s standards of 3D animation, Flash (now Adobe Animate CC) and Toon Boom’s Harmony 12, the layout and use is not very intuitive to most new users.

One thing to get use to is to use the preview frequently, especially when applying effects. The best advice I can give to new users is click everything and try everything. I haven’t explored it enough just yet to give it a full review but my first impression is simply this:

It’s good and it gets the job done.

Clip Studio Paint Animation Tip Inking and Colour

Assuming you already have an animation folder of your sketched out animation draft and you’re ready to move onto inking add a New animation folder above your draft animation folder.

Before you begin, skip back to frame 1 in the timeline.

In your new animation folder delete the first frame. Click on the animation folder and then add a new grouping folder. It will be auto-named to 1 as in frame 1 as it adds itself to the animation folder. If you added it outside the folder, drag and drop it in and name it 1.

Add a raster layer for colouring and two vector layers. One vector layer for inking, the other for shadow and highlight markup.

Ink on the vector layer above the raster layer like in the video. Add animated shadow/highlight markup on the vector layer above your inks.

Go to bucket tool and enable multilayer fill. Enable gap fill and if you need it, area scaling.

Select the bottom raster layer.

Fill in only one side of your animation. Go back and hide the shadow markup on each animation frame then fill in the other side with your other colour.

This is the easiest and bare basics way to ink, colour and shade your animation. Other techniques you could use would be the use of clipping layers and painting them in manually. The onion skin does allow for some shadows to be visible but it’s difficult to tell which is which when you have a lot of frames.

This isn’t the only way to do this, it’s just one method.

If you do not use grouping folders in the animation folder, each frame outside a grouping folder is a single separate frame entity of it’s own meaning it can’t be referred to as a fillable option for the bucket tool.