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Top 6 Pixel Art Makers for All Ages in 2021 [PC, Apps, & Online]

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If you are engaged in making cartoons, mobile games, and other content that needs pixelated graphics, you must go for the best pixel art maker software. However, finding the ideal one on your own may be a time-consuming task, so we have listed below the most efficient apps or tools you can use to produce incredible pixelated images, sprites, and GIF animations.

The best pixel art creator should have all the required features and tools, which assist you in gaining the desired result whenever you use them. It consists of various drawing instruments, live preview, adjustable color palettes, and advanced features such as adding filters, pixelated texts, tilemap processing, and onion skinning.

So, let's learn more about the features of the best pixel character makers below without any further ado!

Part 1: Is Pixel Art dying?

Even if you weren't there to confront the wonders of classic video games from the 1970s all around to the 1990s, it's never too late to develop an appreciation for this distinct pixel art form that evolved to meet the requirements of games. This art form also presents one of the best ways to earn your stripes in 2D computer-aided graphic design.

The underlying reason for this is that pixel art places heavy demands upon the artist. It is more rigid and needs more discipline than most other art forms. Pixel art induces you to isolate and aim upon what is essential in an image and use that without offering the finer control you could apply in a more enhanced drawing style. This approach to drawing is "less is more," making the artist better at drawing.

However, this art form takes time to master, but it doesn't mean dying. After all, you create your images one pixel at a time, and every image needs careful planning. You'll have to understand how to work with a limited palette and without the advantage of natural curves. Furthermore, there's a need to work exclusively in a 2D environment, where if you need a 3D look, you'll have to make it via tricks such as parallax scrolling and isometric perspective.

Contrary to what you may wonder, the pixel art market is significant, and it's growing. Expectations were usually that pixel art would die out once technology reached the point where it was more feasible and practical to use 3D CGI and vector art. However, there is still strong demand for pixel art and pixel art makers, and it has gained a broader scope of application.

Areas where pixel art is selling include as follows:

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    Mobile games and retro-themed games

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    Infographics

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    Website design

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    Interface design

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    Designs used on clothing, key tags, etc.

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    Television graphics (e.g., The IT Crowd, Good Game)

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    Pixel art comics (e.g., Diesel Sweeties, Kid Radd)

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    Movies (e.g., Pixels, Wreck-It Ralph)

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    Private collections and Pixel art exhibitions

There can be other potential areas that arise from time to time.

Part 2: 6 Best Pixel Art Maker for All Ages

Learning how to work with pixel art has become a crucial skill for all mobile game developers. Read on to find out how a best pixel art maker online or pixel art creator performs at their highs.

1. Pixilart

pixel art maker pixilart

Pixel art is undoubtedly the best pixel art maker by design enthusiasts and game creators. Moreover, it keeps attracting multiple users with an extending set of rudimentary as well as advanced tools.

You can use the program to create pixel drawings, such as GIF animations, sprites, and even pixel texts. It contains all the customizable tools to help you with various kinds of projects. In addition, you can preview the outcomes in full-screen mode once you finish creating the pixel art pieces. There are multiple instruments and handy features that are bound to satisfy both professionals and beginner users.

Price: Free

Pros

• Dithering options

• Entry-level and advanced tools

• Pixel text support

Cons

• Not always save the latest changes

2. Piskel

pixel art maker piskel

This is another straightforward pixel character maker used as a free mosaic maker both online and offline. Its online version is optimized for only Windows devices, while the downloadable one works smoothly on Linux, Windows, and Mac platforms.

Piskel is combined with standard tools for creating animation, exporting sprite sheets, and creating static images. As a result, this platform appeals to people with an understandable interface and neatly arranged tools.

Price: Free

Pros

• Well-designed Lighten and Darken tool

• View mode

• Works both online and offline

Cons

• Lacks an undo option

3. Photoshop

pixel art maker photoshop

Though Photoshop wasn't intentionally for pixel art, it has multiple handy tools that you can use to use as a pixel art creator. For instance, the Timeline and a Pencil Tool facilitate making pixelated elements and assist in outputting them as MP4 or GIF format.

Besides, Photoshop supports layers and assists you in producing and editing pixel art characters with the most incredible precision. Other handy tools you may take benefit of are our brushes, textures, and color palettes.

Price: Free Trial; US$20.99/mo

Pros

• Numerous drawing tools

• Layer support

• Extensive color palette

Cons

• Deep learning curve

4. Aseprite

pixel art maker aseprite

Aseprite is an excellent pixel GIF maker program that is a frequent choice for beginners who want to make catchy animations without confusing different settings. The purpose-built pixel mode adds accuracy and smoothness to the process of drawing lines and shapes.

The program is crammed with various functions required to master the art of creating pixelated images – the onion skinning option, the possibility to see all the animation frames, export the whole sprite sheet, and save projects in GIF format, and more. You can test the capacities of the software for free as well.

Price: $19.99

Pros

• User-friendly

• Lots of animation tools

• Pixel Perfect mode

Cons

• Lacks tilemap option

5. Filmora

Filmora is one of the famous and easy video editing software for Vloggers. Less complicating editing tools are beneficial to edit videos hassle-free, and it boosts the workflow. Both its free plan and subscription are available; so that the users can experience its features in detail. Including image stabilization, delicate blending, the continuous updates of the software are making a vast amount of novice users.

All in all, Filmora contains all the specs and features for a beginner-friendly and is the best-pixel art maker.

Price: Free Trial; $39.99/year

Pros

• Easy to handle and perfect for beginners

• Rendering capacity in high-speed

• The process of trimming, editing, and uploading works quickly without creating any hassle

• Multiples of animation tools and filters.

• Layer support

Cons

• The free version has a watermark.

6. Pixelable

pixel art maker pixelable

This app facilitates the stress-free and intuitive drawing of pixel art. It has decent features, like color making, layer editing, and various tools. You can also reduce and enlarge and reduce the canvas by pinch in or pinch out.

It has main functions, including layer editing, tools to create pixel drawing, animated GIF export, color making, adjustable canvas size, and reflection function via which you can reflect the selected layer vertical and horizontal.

Price: Free

Pros

• Easy to use

• Simple interface

• Some useful features

Cons

• Only available for Mac

Part 3: How Do You Turn a Picture into Pixel Art?

Thanks to the renewed familiarity of retro games like Super Mario and Minecraft, pixel art is more significant than ever as digital art. Most of this art form is created by hand, with an artist working pixel by pixel — which can be a labor-intensive procedure — but you can gain a similar effect via a few quick steps in Photoshop.

Below is a step-by-step guide to turning an image into Pixel art via Photoshop's pixel art maker.

Step 1: Select a base image that has bright colors, flat background, and distinct shapes. Because this effect purposely pixelates the picture, anything with patterning or fine details won’t turn out as well.

select image

Source: shutterstock.com

Step 2: Now, we need to boost the saturation of our image to capture all its bright colors. Open the Saturation/Hue menu (Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation) and boost the saturation to 25 at least, or until your colors start to show.

adjust image

Step 3: Then, increase the contrast of your picture. Go with the Image > Adjustments > Levels tab. Pull out the black-and-white input-level tabs inward until you begin to see more definition in your image. You can use the values indicated above or play with different levels depending upon the image you’re using.

set image contrast

Step 4: For a proper pixelated display, try to minimize the number of colors used in our picture. To do so, visit the Image > Mode > Indexed Color, and copy the settings shown above.

copy image settings

Step 5: With our set colors panel, we can begin playing with picture size to make the effect of large pixels. First, open Image > Image Size, minimize the Pixel Dimensions to 75 pixels wide and hit the OK tab.

set pixel art photoshop

Step 6: You'll now notice that your image has dramatically shrunk. To resolve this, again visit the Image Size window. Directly modify the settings of Pixel Dimensions from pixels to percent. We'll stretch the picture back up to size by increasing the dimensions by 1000 percent. Based on the size of your original image, you may need to increase or decrease this number. Always place the percentage rounded to the nearest 100, and your image will have the same effect.

When your image blows back up to full size, you'll see that the fine lines of your image got replaced with large color pixels.

pixel art image

You can also hover among a few different elements to change the final product:

– In Step 4, try changing the number of colors used: more colors create a softer result, while fewer colors make a relatively abstract and dramatic look.

– You can decrease or increase the number of pixels in Step 5 to modify the size of the pixels in the outcomes. Increasing this number will mean smaller blocks; minimizing this amount creates bigger blocks at the end.

Part 4: How to Turn a Video into Pixel Art?

Bringing new ideas and creating your images and art is the only thing that separates you from the crowd. Many designers use pixel art creators or pixel art makers to give a different outlook to their displays. The significance of such pixel art never goes out of fashion sense.

Pixel Games have always been a phenomenon. They assemble or organize the usage of pixel arts and graphics to bring a powerful and promising experience to the players. On the other hand, Filmora presents visual effects and motion graphics to post games, films, and especially videos.

Variant from other video editing software in the market only comes with minimal video effects. Filmora offers 300+ free effects, including Picture in Picture, Transitional effects, Intro/Credits, Titles, Jump Cut, Sound, Mosaic, and loads more. All these concepts make your video go to the next level. In the following, we'll show you how to add pixel art special effects to a video. Download it to have a great try!

Wondershare Filmora

Get started easily with Filmora's powerful performance, intuitive interface, and countless effects!

Step 1: Add video clips to the program

Before you add video clips to the Timeline panel, you need to import them first. There are mainly two ways: either through the "Import" tab over the main panel or drag and drop these clips from Windows File Explorer to the User's Album. This video effect software supports all famous video/audio/photo formats.

import files filmora

Step 2: Imply video effects to photo and video files

Now you can easily add media files and apply those special video effects. Firstly, drag the video clip from the User's Album to the Timeline of the video. And then go to the Effect tab at the top. Just choose one of them to apply. You will see a blue track, a sub-track just above the video track.

Note that the added video effect will only imply the overlayed video. If you want to heighten the duration of the effect, hover the mouse over the filter clip's edge, and when the "double arrow" cursor appears, drag it to any length you wish.

pixel effect filmora

Step 3: Export video

When you are ok with the results, hit the EXPORT tab to save a video with effects. You can save the video in all famous formats on the PC system by switching the Local tab and mentioning some basic settings. If you want to play your video on iPhone, iPod, iPad, hit the Device tab and choose the thumbnail of your device. It's also a fantastic idea to share your project directly on YouTube with your friends.

export video filmora

Conclusion

Thus, the article provided a brief overview of the six best pixel art makers and how you can create one yourself. In addition to this, the report offered a step-by-step guide on how you can turn a video into pixel art by Wondershare Filmora. Ultimately, we hope that we were as clear as crystal in the entire procedure.

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