Assignment 7: Elemental Sprite

Assignment 7 was to produce a pixel art-style sprite for an elemental enemy.

An elemental is a being made of a specific element (fire, ice, electric etc.) given life, typically through supernatural means. They are a staple of games with fantasy settings such as Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft.


Before deciding on what element to choose, I created a mind map to determine what forms are appropriate to which element. Elementals in popular media are typically humanoid, animalistic or spirit-like so I chose those three as focus areas. I also decided to choose the four basic elements, fire, water, earth and air, to keep planning simple whilst still having some variety.

Earth Elemental Mind Map
Elemental mind map used for planning purposes.

My initial idea was to create a fire elemental as a simple flame with eyes, but ultimately I decided to go with earth instead as a geometric form is easier to make into a sprite.


The next step was to draw out the elemental. Using Photoshop, I started by sketching out a base form composed of cubes, followed by a more detailed base for refinement. This acts a base guideline for the rest of the drawing. I then began work on the line art, filling out the details as I went.

To add colour, I used a layer beneath the line art, and filled the area within the lines with solid grey. A second layer was used for the moss, and for the texture I used a spraypaint brush preset in Photoshop and lowered the spacing to give it a stamp-like function for more precise colouring. For tone, I added a few more layers with lower opacity beneath the line art but above the colour. These layers were given lower opacity, so that using a regular brush in black will produce a shadow effect.

The concept image of the earth elemental.


Once the concept art was done I used the online service Piskel to create the sprite. It uses a similar layer system to Photoshop.

Earth Elemental Sprite
The final sprite image.



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