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TIGSource ForumsJobsCollaborationsTixel - Now Hiring!
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FoxBlitzz
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« on: November 15, 2008, 07:52:51 PM »

Okay, time to get this thing off the ground. If anyone is willing to dedicate time to this project, please make a reply to this thread. Once enough positions are filled, we'll see where to go from there. There isn't really any limit to the number of people who can take up any single role (at least, for now), so if a position already has a member, please don't be shy about joining.

Also, the programming language and libraries will be set in stone after a couple programmers have volunteered their help, in order to resolve the dispute quickly and begin work on the technical side of the project.

The roles:

Project Management

Programmers

General Design

Interface Design

Artwork


Current Members:

Gold Cray - Programmer (C++, Java, Python(learning); SDL, OpenGL, FMOD)
Decipher - Programmer (C++)
Corpus - Mac Port, Interface, Artwork
agj - Interface, Artwork
sereneworx - Design
coderneedsfood - Programmer (C++, Python)
Hideous - Code Ruiner (C++)


Once a significant amount of developers have been accumulated, new threads will follow to facilitate further discussion on various issues.


Original post below...


I figured since this place has some decent coders, plus interest in pixel art, that I might as well ask here about a collaboration project. That is, a project to develop an editor program for pixel art.

Of course, there are about a dozen graphics programs out there, but the majority of them to me seem to either be expensive, awkward, or only available for a single platform. I personally would love a more usable editor for pixel art, and would have great joy in designing one, but I only really know how to program in C, not C++, and I also have many other projects which I am occupied with. Here are the main features I'm looking for (sorry if it's asking for a bit too much):

- Sane GUI with easy-to-locate controls but not too sparse that necessary functionality is missing.
- Cross-platform. wxWidgets seems like it might be a nice library, since it uses native GUI elements on each platform, as opposed to GTK which is too Linux-based to help a whole lot.
- Support for several visual aids, such as zoom (obviously).
- The following base set of tools: Pencil, eraser (maybe coupled with the pencil for easy access), line (ditto), flood fill, color picker, selection (including several extra methods, such as selection by color), shape drawing (rectangles, circles, etc)
- Support for layers, frames, and onion-skinning
- Sane keyboard shortcuts for most actions, but at least for zoom, quick color picker, and all the basic tools
- Good palette editor/generator
- Support for saving to a special format (for saving layers and etc.), plus various standardized file formats, possibly with SDK for implementing new ones.

Would anyone at all be interested in working on something like this? I've talked to several people and the general impression I'm getting is that it's difficult to find a decent pixel art program that works sufficiently, so it wouldn't be entire unnecessary to make one of our own. While I might not be able to help with coding, I could give input on the program design.

Yay? Nay? Also, if this is in the wrong section, feel free to move it. I wasn't really sure where to place this.

Edit: For now, the program's name will be "Tixel". If some majority of users wants it under a different name, though, I could change it around.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 03:47:16 PM by FoxBlitzz » Logged
neon
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 08:20:55 PM »

well, we all love http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/index.php or http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/, and i don't think either of them are expensive or awkward, although they are only available for windows.  so,  Undecided
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FoxBlitzz
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 08:27:34 PM »

From my experience with Pro Motion I felt that there were a few conventions that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to new users. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of selection support, and I'd suspect that some people would be turned off by that (I know I am). Hence why I proposed this.
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Michael Buckley
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2008, 08:50:05 PM »

I'm not committing to this, as I have too many other things on my plate right now, but I've amassed a lot of experience with the various cross-platform toolkits, and if you want something that looks nice on Mac OS X, wxWidgets is pretty much your only option.
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Renton
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 01:39:19 AM »

well, we all love http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/index.php or http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/, and i don't think either of them are expensive or awkward, although they are only available for windows.  so,  Undecided
I find GraphicsGale to be really awkward. I might try Pro Motion though.
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sereneworx
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 01:56:34 AM »

Just thought I'd put a little input in, even though I can't code for crap.

One thing that really annoys me in a lot of pixel animation programs is the bad animation systems. I'd love to see something similar to flash, so that you can animate one layer at a time, rather than having to do it with all of them at once.

This sounds like a great project, I'm interested to see if it gets off of the ground.
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Inane
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2008, 02:26:35 AM »

I'm confused, Sereneworx. What do you mean one layer at a time? like, foreground/background?
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real art looks like the mona lisa or a halo poster and is about being old or having your wife die and sometimes the level goes in reverse
Renton
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2008, 02:29:31 AM »

I've been using PS for both spriting and animating, as I'm more familiar with it. It's pretty good.
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neon
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2008, 02:44:37 AM »

well, we all love http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/index.php or http://www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/, and i don't think either of them are expensive or awkward, although they are only available for windows.  so,  Undecided
I find GraphicsGale to be really awkward. I might try Pro Motion though.

i don't like graphicsgale either.  i have promotion though, and i love it.
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Annabelle Kennedy
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 03:56:06 AM »

i think graphicsgale and promotion are both really really cumbersome and awkward to work in...

i use IDRAW3 for everything but if you arent careful it crashes and also eats your work some times...
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 04:02:23 AM »

I'm real happy with Pro Motion and find it extremely easy to use and quick to work on and oddly for a program I find it fun to use.  Maybe it's because I grew up using Deluxe Paint and it's pretty much the same thing.
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sereneworx
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 05:06:07 AM »

I'm confused, Sereneworx. What do you mean one layer at a time? like, foreground/background?

I mean using a timeline approach, where each layer has it's own line on the timeline.

Like so:



This would be brilliant if you were, say, animating a HUGE sprite, and you wanted to first animate his torso for the entirety of the animation, then animate his legs (or even animate one leg at a time). Do you get what I'm saying?

I've always thought that the Flash-type approach would seriously streamline pixel animating, especially for really large things. (Which I love. In everything. Giant bosses, giant monsters, giant giants, but not giant penises)



If there was a program that melded Fireworks' (what I use for pixelling) awesomely convenient non-antialiased vector abilities and Flash's timeline, I would be in love.
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Laremere
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2008, 06:55:20 AM »

I use Pixen (for mac), it has everything you asked for but onion skinning.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2008, 07:02:11 AM »

Just thought I'd put a little input in, even though I can't code for crap.

One thing that really annoys me in a lot of pixel animation programs is the bad animation systems. I'd love to see something similar to flash, so that you can animate one layer at a time, rather than having to do it with all of them at once.

This sounds like a great project, I'm interested to see if it gets off of the ground.
I completely agree, and that's why I've been so turned off by pixel animation so far and have been doing my things in Flash
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2008, 08:18:26 AM »

Pixen sounds amazing but the devs are real dicks about making a windows version.
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godsavant
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2008, 08:33:04 AM »

I think that's because their original intent was to create an exclusive pixel art program for Macs, since nobody else was doing it. They're not really going to try and make a Windows version if there's so much competition there from other software developers.
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2008, 08:41:22 AM »

yes, but they have the only program that's free, regardless of platform.
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2008, 08:43:24 AM »

I have been working on something like this.  Originally started it more than 5 years ago in fact, but the original version got delayed and eventually scrapped for various reasons.  I recently restarted the project from scratch though, and I'm confident it'll end better this time Smiley.  (If anyone here does ludum dare, this is the gfx editor I talked about during the tool compo).  It was originally named 'dotpoke', which is a horrible pun you're better off not knowing anything about, and later renamed 'Panda Paint'.  I think there might be something else named that though, so the name's not final.  (Also pandas have been somewhat overused lately, but this was long before that.  Anyway, that's not important..)

I'm using SDL 1.3 for this new version.  1.3 is still in heavy development and not really ready for serious use yet, but it has some new features over 1.2 that'll come in handy when it's done, like multiple windows (though PP will probably be mostly single windowed), cross-platform tablet support, hardware acceleration, etc.  I did consider using an already existing interface library like GTK or wxWidgets, and while that would certainly speed things up in the short term, I think the project will be better off with SDL.  It avoids some issues other libs have (GTK has buggy tablet support, for example, and wxWidgets uses GTK on Linux so inherits all that), and adds some bonuses like hardware acceleration and such.

When it's done, my intention is for PP to be fully cross-platform, and support everything in the first post and more.  However, this iteration of the project is still young, and won't be complete for quite some time yet.  (Also, if it turns out to be good, I might try charging a little bit for it.  Or maybe not.  We'll see.)
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Powergloved Andy
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2008, 08:48:55 AM »

I loooooove GraphicsGale. I swear by it. I usually use GraphicsGale for pixelin' and then illustrator and PS for the most detailed art in a game. But GraphicsGale is my program of choice. I never tried Pro Motion or anything else.

I'm getting ready to try Pro Motion, though.
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2008, 08:57:34 AM »

I love the Pro Motion demo and intend to buy it some day ($78 is expensive but reasonable, unlike Photoshop etc.). But even just the demo works very well, and is better than any free drawing program I've tried.
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