Creating an Isometric Pixel Character (part 1)
1. Lines in pixel graphics
These lines are the basis for the most common isometric style in pixel art. The style that we will use:
This style is created by placing two pixels on the same horizontal level and indenting the next level one pixel down. Such lines look relatively smooth and are used to create rhombuses:
Most lines with a similar structure look pretty good. But the more the slope becomes, the more uneven they look:
For contrast, here are examples of lines with a disproportionate structure:
They are angular and not very beautiful. Try not to use them.
Our character will not comply with all the rules of isometric projection, so let’s first create a simple cube to get started with volume.
Create a new 400 by 400 pixel file in Adobe Photoshop. Let’s get to work and create one line 2: 1:
I prefer to use 5% gray instead of pure black so that you can add shadows later with black and low transparency. You can also change any color individually using the Magic Wand.
Here are some ways you can create a line:
Using the Line tool, setting the Pixels mode to a thickness of 1 pixel and unchecking the Smooth option. When drawing a line, make sure that in the window with a hint where the current value of the angle of inclination is indicated, 26.6 degrees are displayed. The Line tool is suitable if you need to create lines approximately, and the accuracy of the tilt angles is not important;
Create a rectangular selection of 40 by 20 pixels, then use the Pen tool (1 pixel size) to click once in the lower left corner, and then, while holding the Shift key, click in the upper right corner. Photoshop will automatically draw a line between the two points. After practicing for some time, you can draw the correct lines without a rectangular selection;
Draw two pixels side by side with the Pen tool, and then select them and hold the Alt key and move the selection using the arrow keys or the mouse (hereinafter referred to as the Alt offset) so that the two sets of pixels touch the corners. Then you can select two sets of pixels and continue to draw a line.
We got the first line. Let’s select it and Alt-shift, or copy, paste the selection and slide the layer down. Then flip the layer horizontally (Edit> Transform Path> Flip Horizontal).
Let’s combine two lines:
Then again select and “Alt-shift” them, flip them vertically and combine to complete our rhombus:
Now it’s time to add the “third dimension”. “Alt-shift” or copy the rhombus and place a copy of it 44 pixels above the original:
Tip: If you hold Shift while moving an object using the arrow, then instead of one pixel it will be shifted by 10 pixels.
To make the cube look neater, let’s smooth the corners by deleting the left and right pixels of the rhombuses. After that add the vertical sides of the cube:
Now remove the backs of the lower rhombus. And start adding flowers. Choose any color of a light shade and fill it with the upper rhombus:
Now increase the brightness of this color by 10% to draw light corners along the front edge of the color rhombus. Due to the way we created our cube, these light lines look better if we place them one pixel above the black lines (instead of replacing the black lines with light ones):
Now we will remove these black lines below the bright ones. The Shift-Pen combination also works with the Eraser tool. For it should be set to “Pencil” mode, size – 1 pixel.
Using the Eyedropper tool, select a color from the top rhombus (this can be done by holding the Alt key and clicking in the right place with the Pen tool or Fill tool selected). Use this color to draw a vertical line in the middle of the cube. Then reduce the brightness of this color by 15% and fill the left side of the cube. Decrease the brightness by another 10% and the right side of the cube:
Our cube is complete. At a scale of 100%, it should look crisp, with relatively smooth edges.
3. Add some characters
I create characters with thin bodies and slightly larger heads. This allows you to use straight lines.
I recommend starting with the eyes. If you strictly follow the rules of isometry, then one eye should be slightly lower on the screen than the other, but at a small scale it’s not scary if we neglect this “optical illusion” to make our characters more attractive and aesthetic.
We are creating a little man so that in the future you can add various furnishings to the image. In addition, creating a little man is much easier than a big one.
Create a new layer. To make the eyes, we simply use two pixels, and one empty pixel between them. Step one pixel away from one eye, draw a vertical line: