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I have Photoshop experience and a bit of drawing experience, and am looking to learn how to create sprites like this:

Any tips on what app(s) to use and any reading material/online tutorials to get started?


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closed as off-topic by MrCranky, Trevor Powell, bummzack, Josh Petrie Jul 21 '14 at 15:33

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about "how to get started," "what to learn next," or "which technology to use" are discussion-oriented questions which involve answers that are either based on opinion, or which are all equally valid. Those kinds of questions are outside the scope of this site. Visit our help center for more information." – MrCranky, Trevor Powell, bummzack, Josh Petrie
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Best is very subjective. Do you mean ease of use, quality, cost..? – The Communist Duck Jun 29 '11 at 17:33
After reading through the comments there it seems the poster used Adobe CS4. – Roy T. Jun 30 '11 at 6:59

Adobe Illustrator is a professional vector drawing tool. An open-source alternative would be Inkscape.

If you'd like to animate the sprites too, there's some basic animation-support in Illustrator. A better tool for vector-animations is Flash though.

These professional tools are rather expensive. If you just want to get your feet wet with vector graphics, it's maybe better to learn a free tool like Inkscape. You'll find some Inkscape tutorials over at:

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Dare to explain the downvote? – bummzack Jun 29 '11 at 18:49
i guess not, but i upvoted you to compensate – ixtmixilix Jun 29 '11 at 21:16

Well, Inkscape and AI are two good vector graphics editors (I use Inkscape myself) but to make things look good, you really need to have art skills. Also, if you want bone based animations, you're most likely going to have to write something yourself because I dont know of any solutions for that. However, to animate (hand made) you can just make spritesheets with whatever vector program you're using and copy the sprite and make your own sheet, changing each copy.

Also, heres a link on how to do skeletal animations

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FYI: Flash can do bone based animations since version CS4. – bummzack Jun 30 '11 at 6:37
+1 for need to have art skills – wes Dec 23 '13 at 3:36

There is software specifically designed to make it easy to develop sprites and spritesheet. ToonBoom is a good example of this, however it is quite costly ($350,-) there might be cheaper/free ones out there with similar functionality but I wouldn't know for sure.

Most normal painting programs are not really suited for creating sprite sheets because you can't define 2D bones to stick arms and legs on (this makes it easy to at least make a rough pose with consistent art, before smoothing things out). However with enough persistence you could of course even do it in paint. And there might be plugins for photoshop and the likes that make this process easier.

Of course there are many tutorials on creating sprites:

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These are all pixel-based editing tools. The OP asked for vector graphics though. – bummzack Jun 29 '11 at 16:03
@bummzack ToonBoom's website says Animate is a tool for vector graphics – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 29 '11 at 16:07
@bummzack, I've re-read the question three times, but I don't see vector graphics mentioned at all. – Roy T. Jun 29 '11 at 17:46
Title of the question? @BlueRaya: Oh I never saw that. I only knew Toon Boom Studio which is pixel based (AFAIK). Also Animate is way more expensive... – bummzack Jun 29 '11 at 18:48
@bummzack, doh! I kept reading the question, but never looked at the title... Good call. – Roy T. Jun 30 '11 at 6:53

From my experience as a game animator I would suggest to use 2 different programs:

first program to draw separate textures. I use "Corel Draw" for vector and "Gimp" at for raster textures. Gimp is free.

second program you will need to create animation of your textures and to render a sprite sheet. I use "Anatomy Sprite Animator" tool at

After that you can import transparent sprite sheet into your game creation system(I use Unity in 2D mode).

good luck!

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