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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Definition of Pixel Art

Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 15:51
Jayenkai and I had a slight squabble in the Mud Chat, regarding the definition of pixel art. Turns out we have two different views on what can be categorized as pixel art, and what cannot.

We can both agree to that this is pixel art.

Jay, however, does not think that this is, whereas I think it is.

Jay says that sprites like these aren't pixel art, because they're meant to be placed in a specific context (most often games) and aren't really meant to be viewed on their own.
Jayenkai Pixelart is something created outside of the world of gaming, with no real gaming purpose.

My reasoning is that both images have had their pixels placed by hand. Both have been given much attention to detail. On sites such as Pixeljoint and Pixelation, these sort of sprites are posted all of the time, labelled as pixel art. It requires just as much of artistic talent to create the former as it does to draw the latter.


Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 16:26
It's definitely an interesting question, but I'm sticking by my rule that Sprites and ingame Graphics are a different thing than PixelArt.

I mean, you don't call Sonic, Mario et all Pixel Art, do you?!
No, they're just sprites.
Sure, they were drawn as pixels, and god knows there's a load of work put into them, but they're still just frames of animation, and tiles that make up a game.

Google Images : Pixelart

Artwork drawn using pixels.

It's a completely different thing, in my eyes.

You can't write a game, and then on the credits screen say "Pixelart by XYZ"... Those are graphics!!

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Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 17:23
Wikipedia Pixel art is a form of digital art, created through the use of raster graphics software, where images are edited on the pixel level.
I'll go along with that.
Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 20:54
I'll go along with that.

Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 21:42
I mean, you don't call Sonic, Mario et all Pixel Art, do you?!

Yeah, I'd call that pixel art, myself.

Depends on how carried away you wanna get with your definition of 'art' though, really. Some people believe that art is something that's done only for the sake of itself. If 'art' is done as part of something else (a car, juice dispenser, electric ear cleaner, game sprite) then it's not 'art' per se.

I personally don't subscribe to this view, but it explains Jay's argument if it turns out he does.

My belief is that the term 'pixel art' is specifically meant to differentiate things from the sort of Photoshop-esque filter-driven automatic-gradient stuff that is otherwise commonplace. 'Pixel art' is the retrotastic chunky-arse steaming wad of love dished out to people who are nutbags enough to do it all by hand.

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Tue, 28 Jul 2009, 23:13
The way I see it, if the graphics were drawn at a pixel level, ie, most of the work was done by adding/changing individual pixels, then it is pixel art. If the image was created using a different method like a 3D render or some sort of vector image, then it is not. I love pixel art, especially that from before 3D became common, you can just tell that a lot of work and talent went into creating the images.

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Wed, 29 Jul 2009, 04:07
Wow.. Guess I must be off base on this one.
Maybe I'm too old-skool.

I say D's probably the point where I'd count it as "ART", because it's obvious it's been done for the point of Art, as opposed to just for the sake of a game looking good. (and/or bad, depending on your thoughts on how "good" Platdude looks in the first place!)

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Wed, 29 Jul 2009, 08:46
Let's just circle the whole damned board and call it 'art' .. it's all art. All these complex niches suck. It's like genres in music, all just some assholes perspective. While as you can say that it was drawn pixel by pixel, it's pixel art. Who cares if it's a sprite, does that somehow downgrade it in aesthetics?

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