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hardcore_gamer

What is the best free graphics tool?

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GIMP is good for heavy, fancy editing/effects (if a bit confusing).

Paint.NET is great for being low-resource, quick, and elegent (if a bit simplistic).

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Yet again, GIMP, paired with the GIMP Painting Suite (GPS) and G'MIC plugin set.

Inkscape for vector art. And Krita isn't bad for digital painting, though.

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GIMP.

I'm still using a 12 year old version of Macromedia Fireworks. Fuck Adobe, even if they bought Macromedia. The new versions always claim to have new features, yet I go back to my 12 year old version and the new features are all there.

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Gimp2 is great. I use it for my sprites and textures.

I usually start by using MS paint (for custom doom sprites and textures), because its a lot less cumbersome to use. But afterwards, I manipulate the image further in gimp2. Gimp's color select, and blur filter help to make really good gradient effects. The stark contrast between colors is usually what makes a sprite look "MS Painty" and obviously 2D. Blurring bordering colors with one another helps to create a pseudo-3D effect for the sprite. Also, never use extremes like black and white.

Here is an example.

The image on the left was made solely with MS Paint. The image on the right has the aforementioned gradient effect done in gimp2.

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Kontra Kommando said:

Gimp2 is great. I use it for my sprites and textures.

I usually start by using MS paint (for custom doom sprites and textures), because its a lot less cumbersome to use. But afterwards, I manipulate the image further in gimp2. Gimp's color select, and blur filter help to make really good gradient effects. The stark contrast between colors is usually what makes a sprite look "MS Painty" and obviously 2D. Blurring bordering colors with one another helps to create a pseudo-3D effect for the sprite. Also, never use extremes like black and white.

Here is an example.

The image on the left was made solely with MS Paint. The image on the right has the aforementioned gradient effect done in gimp2.


I actually like the image on the left more than the one on the right. It looks more lively while the other one, which I feel is too dark and lacking in color.

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Grazza said:

Funny, it seems like only yesterday that people weren't saying such nice things about GIMP.


lol, The interface certainly is a steaming pile as they said. But once you get the hang of it; gimp2 is a useful tool.

hardcore_gamer said:

I actually like the image on the left more than the one on the right. It looks more lively while the other one, which I feel is too dark and lacking in color.


Ironically, the color I choose for them look darker in Doom's palette anyway.

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hardcore_gamer said:

I actually like the image on the left more than the one on the right.

Not me, it looks blotchy and reminds me of palettization artifacts.

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No graphics tool, free or not, can replace two essential tools called "talent" and "hard work".

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Maes said:

No graphics tool, free or not, can replace two essential tools called "talent" and "hard work".


I never said that they could.

I am not trying to create any super fancy art (and I don't have to), I just want the visual presentation to at least look like it wasn't made by a 12 year old in MS paint.

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What if it looks like it's made by a 12yo old with color markers on a coloring album? :-p

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Maes said:

No graphics tool, free or not, can replace two essential tools called "talent" and "hard work".


I agree. I feel compelled to learn photo shop because it is an industry standard. But ultimately the person must possess talent before hand. Just like the best guitar doesn't necessarily produce the best guitarist.

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I got a second question.

Is there any software that makes the process of creating the actual game board easier? Obviously it can simply be made in a program like paint or gimp, but the game board has to have a X amount of spaces and each space has to look exactly as big if the board isn't suppose to look ugly. This can be a challenge to do well (not to mention annoying) in a conventional drawing program.

Are there any softwares that would be well suited for making the actual game board?

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There's this, but it might be too basic and/or require a lot of configuration to create something really unique. I think that most good/memorable board games has their own, free-flowing designs rather than looking like cookie-cutter affairs.

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Maes said:

There's this, but it might be too basic and/or require a lot of configuration to create something really unique. I think that most good/memorable board games has their own, free-flowing designs rather than looking like cookie-cutter affairs.


That thing is no good. It doesn't allow me to manually put the spaces where I want them. It just auto-generates everything. I need large amounts of control over the game board.

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hardcore_gamer said:

I need large amounts of control over the game board.


Then any template-based solution won't do. Your best bet is starting working by hand.

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I'm not sure I understand what it is you're looking for, but perhaps "snap to grid" in Gimp could help.

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Maes said:

Then any template-based solution won't do. Your best bet is starting working by hand.


The art has to make it's way into my computer somehow. I don't have the tools for that.

EDIT: I think I might have sort of discovered a solution. I make a single perfect square in ms paint, and then use the select tool to copy and paste it over and over again right next to the pre-existing ones. I can imagine it would take a considerable amount of time creating a whole game board this way but at least it works.

Now if only I was any good at drawing actual art...

EDIT: Perhaps there are any volunteers who are willing to create some visual art for the board? It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Anything is likely to be 40 times better than what I could draw.

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hardcore_gamer said:

The art has to make it's way into my computer somehow. I don't have the tools for that.


If it's hand-drawn art, then the only way is a scanner (or a high-resolution camera with proper positioning/lighting).

hardcore_gamer said:

EDIT: I think I might have sort of discovered a solution. I make a single perfect square in ms paint, and then use the select tool to copy and paste it over and over again right next to the pre-existing ones. I can imagine it would take a considerable amount of time creating a whole game board this way but at least it works.


...and then you claim that template-based tools are not good enough for you and "too restrictive"? [/facepalm]

Seriously, if all your assets are meant to end up into fixed-size rectangles/squares anyway, what more do you need than copy-pasting properly scaled versions of those assets ne next to the other? This is simple multi-layer work in GIMP, using only scaling and positioning.

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