Currently I'm practising some pixelart drawing for games. But when I do anti-aliasing for lines, I don't know whether I should draw them by hand or just tick anti-aliasing box in photoshop. Could you please help me pointing out the differences between those two and advantages for drawing by hand?

  • I don't consider pixel art as part of graphic design. Well, maybe a little in some cases, but not really. I think there are pixel art communities out there that would be better fit for pixel art related questions, information and overall knowledge.
    – Joonas
    Aug 1, 2012 at 11:56
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    Pixel art is defined by being aliased. So, no, you do not want to use anti-aliasing (which blurs the pixels in between for smoother lines). I'd consider any illustration style appropriate for Graphic Design (unless we now have a SE site just for illustration...)
    – DA01
    Aug 1, 2012 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

  1. No you should not use anti-aliasing for pixel art
  2. You can draw by hand or on the computer but in the end you need to use the pencil tool for the majority of the work you do on the computer, that's the whole idea behind "pixel art."
  3. I have no idea what you mean by the rest of your question, are you trying to do anti-aliasing by hand? That doesn't really exist. Are you just asking for the benefits of drawing by hand in general? It depends on your skill set.

Do you mean "by hand" as in go in and do each pixel of the anti-alias manually? If that's what you are referring to than yes that is exactly what you should do. For most things though in pixel art you leave that off entirely.

Say you have a gray cinder block you drew by pixel. The cinderblock is on grass. You wouldn't draw a lighter gray edge on the cinder block you would go straight from gray to green. If you do anything else you can outline in say a black or you can of course shade with different tones of gray but you shouldn't be going around the edge with a lighter gray to create an anti-alias - that is the exact opposite of what the "pixel art" style is.

Here is a nice tutorial on dithering that also illustrates the edge: http://kitted.deviantart.com/art/DITHERING-TUTORIAL-Basics-69747353

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    It's really what i wanna say: "go in and do each pixel of the anti-alias manually". I found some good tutorial that teach how to do anti-aliasing, but all of them are doing manually, and now I can't understand why we'd better do it manually instead of just ticking anti-alias box?
    – wanting252
    Aug 1, 2012 at 12:17
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    Because in the "pixel art" style you don't really do anti-alias. Anti-alias would for example take a black box and add some varying shades of grey around the edge so that its "soft". When you do it manually to make pixel art you wouldn't generally do as many different colors, yours will be "harder"
    – Ryan
    Aug 1, 2012 at 12:43

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