Staffer finds best software for pixel art makers

Ben Holland

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Staffer finds best software for pixel art makers

Aseprite is a picture editing tool specifically designed for pixel art and is one of, if not the best, pixel art editing tools. 

The software itself is a fully featured suite of tools that allows you to create pixel art with maximum efficiency. When creating a new sprite, you can choose three different Color Modes: indexed, which confines you to your color palette, RGBA, which allows you to use your color palette and any other color you want to make; and Grayscale, which is just shades of gray.

After setting your Color Mode and Image Size, Aseprite will present you with your canvas in the center, your color palette on the left, and your tools on the right. For those wondering, Aseprite does have key binds for all of these tools, along with a quick reference guide which you can find here

Aside from the basics of the software, Aseprite includes built-in tools for color selection, palette control, shading, and blend modes. On top of the coloring tools, the software also features onion skinning for animation, which allows you to see the frame before the one you’re currently working on to allow for an easier and smoother workflow. Along with tooling for most applications, Aseprite features effect tools that can automate processes that otherwise would be tedious and time-consuming, such as outlining or drawing symmetrically. 

If that wasn’t enough already, Aseprite features a plugin system that allows users to create specialized tools that users can use in the software. Some plugins include generating a normal map, parallax, a 1-point perspective line generator, and many more.

Aseprite has been a staple of pixel art and game development for years, and it’s clear why. The initial cost of $20 is an excellent investment for those serious about making pixel art of any kind, and if you’re more tech-savvy, you could even compile it for free.