Making the switch

inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
edited July 2014 in Artwork
I've been using GraphicsGale for close to, if not over, 10 years, both professionally and privately. So it's a tool I'm very comfortable with. I'd taken note of Pyxel Edit before, but I didn't feel it was solid enough for me to want to switch. I checked in again and stuff has changed quite a bit since then. So I grabbed the freely available version and started poking at it. That combined with watching videos of people using it and seeing some of the paid-only features, and the improved UI, made me make up my mind. I'll be switching over soon.

Here's a little test piece I did, trying out the tiling features.

Edit: Update:


  • DanikDanik Posts: 899
    Thanks! I'm glad to hear it can compare to GraphicsGale. It is indeed a lot more solid now, and should keep getting more so in the future.

    Nice mockup btw!
  • inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
    Thank you.

    GraphicsGale, while still really good, is very outdated UI-wise, and strangely the new version being worked on is actually a big step down from the original in that respect. They went from the outdated, but working, floating toolbars, to a set up with docked toolbars. But it's very non-flexible.

    I don't know exactly how Pyxel's animation features will stand up to GraphicsGale until I try them. What I can say is that while the animation feature using the tiles did throw me off when I saw it first, being able to have several animations simultaneously in one document is a big pro for Pyxel that GraphicsGale doesn't have.
  • DanikDanik Posts: 899
    I see. Please let me know what you think about the animation when you try it. It's not super convenient yet, for example inserting a frame mid-animation requires you to move all the later frames, but these things should be improved soon.
  • inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
    edited July 2014
    I got my full version just today and have been checking it out. I had sort of a mental checklist of things I wanted to see and hoped to see. Pretty much all of it is there, and I'm very pleased so far. The thing I was wondering most about, and was glad to see I was right, was the Frame Edit window. In every video I've seen so far where they talk about the animation features, they always animate on the canvas and I thought "Wouldn't it be much more convenient to be able to draw directly onto the Frame Edit window?", and lo and behold, you can!

    I made a little sketchy animation test, just to try out Pyxel's
    animation features. It shouldn't by any means be considered a finished

    And a timelapse, just because why not:

    The things I was wanted/hoped to see was:

    Additive Selection - check (dunno exactly what it's called, but simply you make another selection with shift pressed and it adds to the selected area)
    Frame Edit window allows input - check
    Onion Skin - check
    Layer opacity settings - check

    When I did a test export, just to see how it was, I really liked the various options available, and especially the option to export at a larger scale. Very good

    Now, poking around I noticed a few things that bothered me a bit and would probably be a good idea to fix or implement. You're likely aware of some, if not most, of these, but I figured I'd list them anyway.

    No workspace settings
    - The workspace reverts every time you start the program (Edit: Apparently I was wrong here, because it doesn't now. It didn't before though. Maybe it's a thing between the air and portable version), which currently is good because: You can't reattach a detached tool window.

    No shortcut settings - I imagine this is planned for later, so it's not a big issue.Or I just missed it completely.

    Selection borders are not visible in Frame Edit window - this is a bigger issue, because when animating, I'd resize the Frame Edit window to take up most of the screen. Making selections in it is possible, but you can't see the borders.

    Frame Edit and Playback window zoom changes when you alter the size of them.

    Playback window has no frame controls
    . It effectively works as a preview for me when animating I find. Being able to pause and go to a specific frame would be nice.

    As for how it actually felt doing some animating in it. I like it. Like you say, moving frames around for inserting a frame mid-animation is a little fiddly, but it's not all that bothersome. Contrasting to how animating works in GraphicsGale it's actually much smoother. In GG you add frames to the frame window and moving them around is a bit of a hassle because a) the UI is sluggish in that regard, and b) the frames thumbnails often make it hard to judge exactly if you got it right or not. The tile system for frames in Pyxel is requires a bit of reworking your thinking, but it doesn't take much to do so and I find it smoother.

    Let's compare and contrast a bit.

    Here is how GG looks to me when working in it:

    It's tried and true, but it's not flawless (nothing is). For one, there is a lot of wasted space in GG's UI. Its palette window is largely useless aside from the color sliders and I've never figured out a use for the loupe window (which for some reason didn't get captured in the screenshot...)

    And here is how it looks in Pyxel.

    Even though the Pyxel UI takes up more space on the screen, it feels like it's utilizing the space much better. It's worth to note, however, that if would likely feel a bit more cramped on a lower resolution, like 800x600. Not that I think many use that resolution anymore. So it's effectively a non-issue. I'm going to take the program with me on my laptop, which max resolution is 1366x768, and see how it feels on there.
  • DanikDanik Posts: 899
    edited July 2014
    Good to hear it was a positive experience, thanks for sharing it in such detail. And thanks for the timelapse, interesting to see your process. :)

    Yes, the workspace should be restored to some degree, but you can attach panels again with the expand button (they are not really detached but rather duplicated). There are some issues in the current release where the restoration fails sometimes though.

    Yup, customizable shortcuts are planned. It's already possible to edit the application config file manually (pyxelconfig.json) to change them, but this is not that convenient and is undone when installing a newer version.

    I'm aware that selections are not visible in the frame edit view. I will fix this although it will require a bit of work so it will probably happen in the version after the coming one.

    I will fix the frame edit zoom changing when you resize it, and I'll also add frame controls to the playback panel. Good idea!
  • inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
    Cool. :)

    Here's a more finished version of the base sprite I used for the animation test.
  • DanikDanik Posts: 899
    Nice work!
  • tinygmstinygms Posts: 7
    edited July 2014
    Wow... very nice sprite art! :D
    A bit Jealous lol
    Edit: didn't save my top line -.-
  • inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
    edited August 2014
    Some new stuff.

    My logo, remade Game Boy style:

    Some spritework, mostly work in progress stuff:


  • DanikDanik Posts: 899
    Nice, I really like the flow in the last animation.
  • nice work and good animation :D
  • inkBotinkBot Posts: 53
    Haven't been pixelling for a while. Decided to give zelda-esque perspective a spin. Not even close to polished, but I think I'm zeroing in on something I like (left to right).

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