A lot of dev’s have implemented feature’s into their pixel editors they believe will help in drawing pixel art. There also a lot of editor’s such as aseprite, pyxel and pickle to just name a few. After trying a lot of different editor’s, not just those specific to pixel art. There’s a few features which is essential that you should be looking for. There’s also a few others, that are not important but very nice to have.
layers is something that is important to look out for in an editor. Even though it is generally classed as a standard feature. I came across a few editors which didn’t support layers. I think layers is something that becomes more important when making art for games.
Being able to see each pixel is important. Being able to view the pixels by having some sort of grid will make life so much easier. This is something you might not find in some photo editing software.
Zooming Preview –
There generally seems to be two different way’s this can be done. The usual way is either being able to zoom right in and out. Though some editors give you two views, a zoomed out preview and a zoomed in editable view.
Features to look for
These are the features you will find less editors with, these will make life easier but are not needed. These will be down to your personal preference.
A quick and easily accessible way to choose between different shades of the colour you have selected. This can be very useful to easily shade your pixel art.
Some editor’s give you the ability to use certain colour palette’s so you can limit the amount of colours you can use. This will give your pixel art a certain style.
Animation could be classed as a very important feature but i don’t class it as needed. Animation’s can be made using other programs.
SpriteSheet Export –
Exporting as a spritesheet is only for editors that support animation. Spritesheet’s are used in most game engine’s for sprite animation.
Onion Skinning –
For frame by frame animation, onion skinning will produce a ghost image of the frame before. This allows you to see the differences you draw between frames.
Hopefully this will help you pick the pixel editor that is right for you. There’s a lot of other features out they’re to take notice of.