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Pixel Blending + Shading Tips by BluE3 Pixel Blending + Shading Tips by BluE3
In-depth Anti-Aliasing Tutorial: blue3.deviantart.com/art/Anti-…

Learn a few tips and tricks for pixel art.

Feel free to post any questions or comments about the tips.

Update- Picking Anti-alias colors:

First, you pick a hue that is between the hue of the two colors you have.

For instance, if your two colors are red and yellow, you would pick orange.

Now, along the edge where the colors meet, there are two places that you could place this new color. One is on the red pixels, the other is on the yellow pixels.

If you put it on the yellow pixels, adjust your hue for orange to be more yellow-orange color.

If you put it on the red pixels, adjust the hue to be more red-orange in color.

Also, change the saturation, and brightness just a tiny bit. Try to get the saturation and brightness between that of the original two colors.


I am a dummy! :happybounce: Nuu I am a dummy! :happybounce: Nuu 
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Personal Computer UPDATE (OCT. 22, 2014) : Looking for ALPHA / BETA Testers for PIXEL ART EDITOR!~
 
I'm developing online pixel art editor tailored specifically for pixel art and online collaboration.

If you want access as an alpha/beta tester, send me a private message for details! :3 w00t! Hi! 

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I am a dummy! :happybounce: Nuu I am a dummy! :happybounce: Nuu 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsonaakali:
sonaakali Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
Thank u!
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
*bow*
Reply
:iconlexicore:
lexicore Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015
oH MY GOD
thank you so very much for this! C:
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
But, of course. I only hope that it will prove useful for you. 
Reply
:iconmakaylafashion:
Makaylafashion Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is super helpful!
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Good! I'm happy it was helpful for you!~ :3
Reply
:iconbluefire-phoenix:
BlueFire-Phoenix Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Featured on my page!
Reply
:iconmokastrawberrylatte:
MokaStrawberryLatte Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
Great tutorial, ty :)
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ty :)

I hope it helps. Feel free to post here if you have any pixel art questions. 
Reply
:iconoobiedoobs:
Oobiedoobs Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
w00t!  Someone linked me to this, it's exactly what I've been looking for :happybounce: Thankyou :thanks:
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
^.^ Glad it waws helpful. 
Reply
:iconskunkyfly:
Skunkyfly Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you.. this is really helpfulJumping la 
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That makes me happy to hear. ^^
Reply
:iconmaple-cherry:
Maple-Cherry Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you! I could use this when I wanna sprite certain things :)
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm-hmm! *salutes*
Reply
:iconmaple-cherry:
Maple-Cherry Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
:iconspongebobsaluteplz:
Reply
:icontheloneducky:
TheLoneDucky Featured By Owner May 7, 2012   General Artist
Should get me on my way with wanting how to start learning how to do pixel. Thankies!
Reply
:iconpinkoprint:
PinkoPrint Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks so much for making this. :glomp:
Reply
:iconmeihua:
meihua Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
Thank you for this! It helped me in my creation of these two related pieces: [link] [link]
Reply
:iconaceryn:
Aceryn Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Very helpful! ^^
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to hear it :}
Reply
:iconsandtree:
sandtree Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
I just noticed Anti-Aliasing is good for flames on paint
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, flames can be blury, and anti-aliasing is effectively bluring.
Reply
:iconxypter:
Xypter Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha that little guy at the end made me laugh xD.

Nice tutorial dude, this really helped me out considering I have a lot to learn still about pixel arting o3o
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great, I'm glad it helped ^^
Reply
:iconreach4tehstarz:
reach4tehstarz Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
gfcbfvnvbgtbnhunjlhbnyu Yet another useful tut from you =u= Thank you!
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome, glad it's helpful ^^
Reply
:iconreach4tehstarz:
reach4tehstarz Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
^^
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Why should anybody AA a 45 lines? , it'd be better if you learn the techniques first and make a tutorial if you know what are you talking about.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, the point of the AA there is to blend the two colors together a bit more seamlessly. I made this tutorial for a person who asked how I blend my colors together. AA is one method.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I really tried to write an answer, but it's hard to explain something without showing result. I think you haven't understand some basic techniques, I just don't agree with your essay in all points. But if you think you are right it's also OK for me.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for trying... I guess I will learn eventually.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
45 degree lines are jagged.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
45 lines are the same as horizontal or vertikal lines. You don't add AA to them, except they are part of a curve or you want to blend them with a curve.
AAing a straight 45 line will cause blur or you'll have got banding - two very bad things.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for your valuable insight. It is true, sometimes anti-aliasing is not desirable.

But please keep an open mind. The purpose of this tutorial is for "blending colors" ... making colors appear connected seamlessly. In this case, blur may be desirable, regardless of the angle of the line.

Anti-aliasing is a minimal and selective way to achieve blur.

My goal is to give the artists the tools and methods. I leave it to them to decide when to use them. I do not want to create closed minds. I want to open them. People should experiment.

Anyways, when I made this tutorial, I wasn't thinking about the angle of the lines, I just happened to use an example with a 45 degree angles. I agree that sometimes it's not necessary to apply AA to 45 degree lines.

But I have to disagree with you that it is exclusively unnecessary (unless they are part of a curve or are blending into a curve). 45 degree lines at the pixel level are composed of square pixels, attached corner to corner, with two corners of each pixel jagging out perpendicularly to the line. The reason you say that 45 degree lines are the same as horizontal or vertical lines is because the distance from the jagging pixels to the neighboring jagging pixels is minimal, and our human mind can fill in that small light gap to create a straight line mentally.

So visually, in passing, these jagged pixels may be indistinguishable in the mixture of light emanating from a high resolution monitor, but at lower resolutions, and at second glance, the jaggedness can be discerned.

I agree that manual AA is blurring. Selectively and minimally blurring. But I have to disagree that it is necessarily bad. I think the difference in our viewpoints arises at what level is minimal and what level is excessive. I feel that the individual artist working on the individual work should determine that.

But I have to ask, what exactly is banding? Why would it occur on a 45 degree line? Is it when you have 3 or more pixels in a vertical column or horizontal row? I can see how banding can occur on a 45 degree line where the line is a separate entity with it's own color and there are colors to each side, but when there is no line, but rather two colors who simply meet, as in this example the line is an assumed mental construct. There are only two colors that meet, it is the contrast between the two colors from which the mental line arises. And in this case, anti-aliasing these two colors to make their meeting smoother should not give rise to banding, because at most there should only be two pixels used for anti-aliasing.
Reply
:iconholyquac:
HolyQuac Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You submit this to "mspaintmasters"?
Why?
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a tutorial. These methods can be used in MS Paint. Hope you find it helpful ^^
Reply
:iconholyquac:
HolyQuac Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
True, but you didn't use paint. But whatever, it's a fine tutorial!
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, yes, I used Graphics Gale for this but all the functionality I used is available in paint... the focus was pixel blending methods that are universal to any graphics program that can define custom colors and manipulate individual pixels.

MSpaint is such a program, and many pixel artists use MS Paint.

Back in the day, I actually started out pixeling with MS Paint and did a lot of my own pixel art with it, and I can vouch that all of these tips can be applied in MS paint. It is possible to set custom colors by hue, saturation, and brightness, and at high zoom, the grid can be enabled (although I heard from a fellow pixel artist that the grid makes it more difficult to draw, but I never noticed that and like the grid for some reason).

Anyways, I'm glad you like it ^^

Thanks for commenting :]
Reply
:iconholyquac:
HolyQuac Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, yeah, It is possible to set custom colors, but that's a lot harder to do then with other pixel programs.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I wouldn't say "a lot harder," but you're right, it is a little bit more involved. The dialog to customize color is at least 2 clicks away, if I recall correctly, whereas most other graphics programs have a color adjusting dialog readily available as part of the workspace.

I guess those 2 clicks make life more difficult for those with weak fingers, but I guess that's a price we have to pay for making pixel art in ms paint.

And before you know it, all those clicks will make your fingers stronger.

Anyways, that, and also keyboard shortcuts and color picking with right mouse click are the main reasons I find it difficult to go back to MS Paint. I'm spoiled with those extra "unnecessary" but convenient functionalities
Reply
:iconholyquac:
HolyQuac Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
...Uh, yeah, I don't wanna sound ignorant... But are you mocking me?
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No, I just made a general joke, please don't take it personally.

The internet is like that... There is the affordance and constraint of written communication that excludes tone, intonation, gestures, facial expression.

If I were to say the same thing to you in person, we would both be smiling and chuckling. :]

I meant no disrespect. You are my brethren in pixels, and you always shall be so.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconpaudraic:
Paudraic Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Very informative.
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, I'm glad.
Reply
:iconplutonia-v41:
Plutonia-V41 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dithering is cool but antialiasing with Paint is blasphemous! :ohnoes: Everything made with Paint is supposed to have jagged pixel edges, or otherwise it doesn't look like Paint anymore. Just kidding. In my style of art I don't want antialiasing, but it's very useful in small-scale pixel art and isometric pixel stuff. :)
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:) Hehe, yes, I agree, jagged pixels are quite characteristic of Paint-style artwork and pixel-art. However, for an Artist, it's always nice to have options.
Reply
:iconartiste-pars:
Artiste-Pars Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011
Ah! Love this! thanks!
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconblue3:
BluE3 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure. First, you pick a hue that is between the hue of the two colors you have.

For instance, if your two colors are red and yellow, you would pick orange.

Now, along the edge where the colors meet, there are two places that you could place this new color. One is on the red pixels, the other is on the yellow pixels.

If you put it on the yellow pixels, adjust your hue for orange to be more yellow-orange color.

If you put it on the red pixels, adjust the hue to be more red-orange in color.

Also, change the saturation, and brightness just a tiny bit. Try to get the saturation and brightness between that of the original two colors.
Reply
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