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I'm looking to create a sprite sheet for an 8 bit, 2D RPG I'm making. All I need to do at the moment is render in some textures. To do this, I want to make an 8x8 sprite sheet. Now, I am really bad at using anything to do with GIMP or Paint.NET, so I came here for some help.

Are there any ways to create an 8x8 blank sprite sheet using either GIMP or Paint.NET?

I have some other info you might need for whatever reason down here:

  • I'm using Java to code this game.
  • I'm following Ryan van Zeben's (DesignsByZephyr) tutorials, and I'm trying to make the same sprite sheet he made in Episode two of his series.
  • At the moment, I don't have access to Photoshop or anything that requires a lot of money (I'm quite young).
  • I'm willing to use plugins and/or other free photo-editing programs.
  • I am using Windows 7 as my OS, and Eclipse Luna as my IDE.
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Sure, this is quite simple really. I'll guide you through Paint.net.

  1. Open the application and go to New.
  2. In the dimensions, put 8 for width and 8 for height.
  3. A new 8x8 canvas will open, typically I zoom in all the way to 3200%.
  4. I'll also get rid of the white background layer, by making a new layer, then deleting the background one.
  5. Now you have the canvas to work on, you can save it as a .pdn file.
  6. When you are ready to save the tile/image/sprite, go to File -> Save As, and choose file type: PNG.
  7. A "Save Configuration" box will open up and you can choose "Bit Depth: 8-bit" to save the completed work.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks man! You have made my day! You're explaining was excellent, your simplicity was excellent, your overall answer was great. Thank you very much! \$\endgroup\$ – AnnualMelons Oct 10 '14 at 7:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ For a transparent background, you won't have to create a new layer. Just hit Ctrl + A to select everything, then hit Del to remove everything, leaving you with a 100% transparent canvas/background layer. \$\endgroup\$ – Mario Oct 10 '14 at 7:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks AnnualMelons! and thanks to Mario for an alternative way to clear the white background! \$\endgroup\$ – RenaissanceProgrammer Oct 10 '14 at 16:00
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Note: This question specifically asks how to make an 8*8 sprite sheet using 8 bit graphics. A sprite sheet is a series of images meaning more than one image on a single image(not 8px*8px). You can do all the editing and creating you want to do before changing the image to the indexed format using Gimp which will convert the image to the required 8 bit format. Palettes are used when pictures are 1 bit, 4 bit, or 8 bit. Both, Paint.net and GIMP 2 have there own unique good and bad qualities. Where one is lacking the other usually does not so I use both for a single sprite sheet. Some of the features the manipulation programs have are not simple and require some time and effort to acquire a working knowledge of the tools.

To make the 8*8 sprite sheet using 8 bit graphics I will walk you through this using Gimp.

  1. Open the application.
  2. Click New
  3. You will want to make the sprite sheet so that it is in a nice easy to retrieve size such as 32*32 or 64*64 or 128*128 example: (32*8 = 256) or use preferred way of measuring
  4. Select Advanced options and fill with transparency
  5. Click OK
  6. The menu option is at the top of the screen- click image
  7. Hover Mode- select indexed
  8. Now you have the option of generating a palette or choosing another way of retrieving a palette
  9. Enabling dithering may be a good option
  10. Now when you view the toolbox the choice of foreground and background colors will give you a nice choice of 8bit color per pixel to work with.

    Make sure you pay close attention to the measurement on the top and left of the screen so that you keep your sprites within the boundaries you set when creating the 8*8 sprite sheet. If you choose 32*32 then each sprite should stay within those measurements with a total of 64 sprites to use in your RPG which should be plenty to work with for your first RPG. You can make your sprite sheet with as many pixels of your choosing and still use the 8bit per pixel rule. Also, with Gimp you can choose to use the rectangle tool which can be very useful making your sprites the right size. You can drag the rectangle/square to size and then work within the boundaries of the rectangle/square without worrying about drawing over another sprite which keeps them all perfectly square and neat. Good Luck. Your sheet should look something like the following image made with gimp for 8*8 pixel sprites on a 64px*64px layer . Each square represents a space for a sprite...

Example_Sprite_Sheet_Layout

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