What is Pixel art?

Game designVideo Games

Redacción Tokio | 13/02/2023

Pixel Art is a term to describe any artistic design based on pixels and created using digital means, typically simple image editing tools. This however doesn’t mean it is a simple technique, since the choice of color palette and the use of colors become very important to create what is intended.

Video game design is one of the widest fields within the digital entertainment sector, both because of the (almost infinite) possibilities it offers, and because of the styles that it can create.

One of these styles is 3D Pixel Art, such as Minecraft Pixel Art, a unique and peculiar style we explain below in detail and, including how to master it.


Digital art in video games

Some video games nowadays are so realistic that it seems that gamers are dealing with real people and impossible scenarios seem like real representations, creating an amazing immersive experience! Compared to this, imagine what it was like to play video games in the 90s and 2000s. This brings great memories for many, but we’re going to go more into detail to see what we mean. 

If you know about the video game industry well, you’ll know that there are very different game styles: realistic games present in almost all action and sports genres, cell shading adapted to new technologies, a trend of polygonal games and geometric shapes, and also video games based on Pixel Art and Pixel Art 3D.

Digital art is part of all of them and, because of the way they’re developed, they all use pixels. In essence, they all represent pixel-based digital art.

However, Pixel Art does not refer to all existing games, but to a very specific style of design, based on classic video game programming art. It is a pixel-by-pixel rasterization process that, by means of small colored mosaics, allows the creation of all the elements of a video game.

The 80s and 90s were the decades where Pixel Art really developed, so much so that today a retro trend has been recovering it in an amazing way.

In fact, Pixel Art has resurfaced and is now stronger than ever, paradoxically rivaling prevailing realism trends in the video game industry, with presentations that combine nostalgia, cheerfulness, bright colors and showiness based on pixels that are clearly identifiable.


Learn to design your own Pixel Art

When Pixel Art was just born, MS Paint became the reference program for this style of design.

Today there are many game design programs that provide help to create pixel art and 3D pixel art.

To learn to master this art, several factors must be taken into account:

First of all, your passion for video games and, more specifically, video game design. The most valued creations in the history of this sector are made by professionals who are passionate about what they do. Working on what you like is synonymous with quality and good work.

Second, you must get proper training. At Tokyo School you have several training courses available specifically aimed at improving your talent for video game design. With the right training, that gives you access to the best and most innovative resources as well as a team of professionals dedicated to your learning, you will be guaranteed to master Pixel Art and the rest of the styles.

Lastly, creativity. The video game designer can use programs with pre-established functions and design techniques that have already been invented but, in the end, the creation of each specific element will depend on the creative contribution that you can offer in each character, shape or even pixel.


Video game design and pixel art

In video game design courses, which you can have a look at in our Tokyo School training catalog, you will find there are multiple creation techniques. Surely, you know that the world-famous Minecraft is based on Pixel Art. Learning to develop video games can be essential for companies looking to hire qualified personnel.

All of them will help you develop incredible video games, but today we have talked about Pixel Art for an important reason and that is this technique’s promotional value.

Pixel Art is a style intrinsically linked to video game nostalgia for games made in the 80s and 90s. As much as the technique advances or the designs innovate, clearly pixelated digital drawings will always remind us of the past of video games.

Today this represents a rising value. The fever for retro video games continues expanding and seems that it is going to become a way of enjoying digital entertainment in an alternative way and even a way that is compatible with the rest of the existing styles.

In fact, Pixel Art’s retro style seduces both new generation and veteran players, thereby boosting the sector and making it necessary to hire more professionals. In other words, getting training in this type of design means more options to get a job in this field.

Tokyo School courses offer the chance to join an internship program so that you can both learn more about what you’ve learned and improve your CV by adding practical experience.

Pixel Art, along with the rest of the video game design styles, should be part of your portfolio in order to become the best possible professional in this pixel-based sector:

Get training with our Tokyo School course!

You may also be interested in...