I’m personally a big fan of pixel art. It is both highly nostalgic and aesthetically pleasing to me. But I wouldn’t say that’s the entire reason Aeternum uses pixel art. I also have a great appreciation of a lot of modern hand drawn HD graphics as well. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not a painter, and I’m definitely not a traditional animator. What I am is a questionably passable pixel artist with a lot of patience.

So to give a little more insight into what it took for me to bring Aeternum to life, I’m going to outline several of the steps of creation and animation of Winter’s sprite.

seamstress-01 I started by painting the basic blocks of color and shape over the common character base.
 seamstress-02  Next I refined the shape of the hair, and filled in some extra details.
 seamstress-03  Further refinement of the hair.
 seamstress-04  Decided that light blue would be a better match than a dark gray for the hair.Also lightened up the dress and rounded it out by adding highlights.
 seamstress-05 Adjusted the shape of the head, since soon I would be looking at animating the hair and it needed to be rounder.
 seamstress-fly-01  After getting the static character how I like, I start a floating idle animation with some simple up and down motion.
 seamstress-fly-02  The bangs are the first bit I animated here. I find hair is a good starting point to get a good feeling of motion.It was important here to have the basic up and down in place to know when the hair should fly up and when it should fall down.I usually start with the two extents, the highest and lowest points, and fill in from there.

I think Winter’s bangs turned out especially nicely.

 seamstress-fly-03  After being very satisfied with the bangs, I moved on to the rest of the hair.With the bang motion in place, it was easy to match the basic beat points and extents frame by frame.
 seamstress-fly-04 I then moved on to animating the dress.

Often I will switch to blocks of solid color so I don’t have to have little details getting in the way.

 seamstress-fly-05  With the dress motion in place, I matched the dress color and animated the legs.Here the leg motion was achieved simply by selecting chunks of the legs and nudging them a pixel at a time per frame.
 seamstress-fly-06  Next game matching little details to the animation, and adding some extra personality to the character.I made the dress sleeves and front appear loose by again matching the extends developed for the hair.
 seamstress-fly-07  I went a little crazy animating the color on the eye.
 seamstress-fly-08 And the final idle sprite!The only thing left here was to pick a frame and draw the eyes closed to use for a blink animation.


WastedBrilliance is an independent video game development studio run by Brooks Bishop. With contributions by Nate Graves, Jesse Bishop and Geoff Schultz.