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