- Creating pixel art for game development requires specialized pixel painting software.
- Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for creating pixel art and is recommended by many graphic designers and illustrators.
- While Autodesk Maya is an excellent choice for game developers, CorelDRAW is also a good solution to consider.
- For more budget-friendly alternatives, consider Clip Studio Paint and Krita.
The resurgence of pixel art among popular artists have given this art concept a much-required boost.
Apart from digital artists, pixel art is still a popular choice amongst the game developers.
If you are a budding digital artist or game developer looking to create stunning pixel art pieces, a crucial tool you need is a painting program to compliment your painting and drawing skills.
That said, choosing a tool to get started with pixel painting can be challenge.
This is why we have put together the best pixel painting software to help you decide the best program that offers a perfect balance between features and price to get your pixel painting journey started.
What are the best pixel painting software?
When it comes to image manipulation, Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. From photo editing and compositing to digital painting, animation and graphic design,
Photoshop can do it all on your desktop and portable devices like iPad.
Latest Photoshop version comes with improved AI technology that helps you colourize a scene, zoom in on parts of an image, remove scratches from the object and even change expression, age or pose with little effort.
Apart from easy masking and portrait editing features, Photoshop offers thousands of brushes in different style and texture. You can also create custom brushes using the built-in tool kit.
Key features of Adobe Photoshop:
- Excellent set of image manipulation tools
- Adobe Sensei and improved AI
- Easy to use and lots of tutorials
- Cross-platform compatibility and cloud storage
Pixel art, manga, sketches, pretty much everything can be done with Photoshop and the right plugins installed!
Professional graphic design software for Windows, CorelDRAW is an excellent vector illustration, layout, and photo editing tool.
It features over 25+ new features and enhancements. With the subscription plan, you can collaborate with clients and colleagues to review work and submit feedback online.
The latest version of CorelDRAW features cutting edge typography enhancements to showcase text beautifully by formatting paragraphs and more.
From creating blueprints, maps & schematics, to creating signage and large-format print to apparel design, CorelDRAW comes with required tools to create artwork for a variety of industries.
Key features of CorelDRAW:
- Fun and easy to use for beginners and professionals
- Highly customizable interface
- A good collection of editing tools
- Both subscription and non-subscription plan
Pixel art is supposed to be fun and whimsical, so you need a tool that can make things easy for you when you design things.
Create expansive worlds, complex characters, and dazzling effects with Autodesk Maya.
If you are a game developer, it allows to you create realistic effects, bring believable characters to life with engaging and animation tools and shape 3D objects and scenes with intuitive modeling.
The new version of the Autodesk Maya sees a host of new features and improved performances and some most requested Remesh and Retopology tools.
Autodesk Maya comes with Arnold 6, allowing you to switch seamlessly between CPU and GPU rendering, manage complex characters, scenery and light challenges, and see high-quality previews.
Key features of Autodesk Maya:
- Improved artists friendly UI intuitive controls
- Switch between GPU and CPU rendering with Arnold 6
- New matrix-driven rigging tools
- Improved Remesh and Retopology tools
While many may not associate Autodesk’s Maya with pixel art, this graphics editor can easily do that as well.
If you are on a budget or just getting started with pixel painting and don’t want splurge on a painting program, Clip Studio Paint is an excellent choice. It offers plenty of vectors and brush tools to help you create a professional-looking drawing without breaking your bank.
If you have invested in a drawing tablet, you will feel home as Clip Studio Paint supports drawing tablets and can detect up to 8192 levels of pen pressure helping you feel every nuances of the design.
Clip Studio Paint also offers over 1000 new materials every month on its Assets section. You can also customize every aspect of your brushes for a limitless supply of tools.
Key features of Clip Studio Paint:
- Excellent value for money
- Powerful editing tools for the price
- Easy to use and intuitive controls
- Customizable brushes
Clip Studio Paint
Art is not something everyone can get into, but with Clip Studio Paint, creating art will no longer be so exclusive.
Krita is an open-source desktop painting application designed for illustrators, concept artists, illustrators, comic book creator and texture artists.
While it is an open-source program, you can support the developer by purchasing it from Microsoft Store.
Similar to Clip Studio Paint, Krita also features support for Wacom drawing tablet with accurate pen pressure. It also comes with some great brush engines for sketching and painting.
Additionally, Krita also offers features like stabilizers for freehand inking, assistants for constructing a complex scene, a distraction-free canvas-only mode for painting without distraction, clone layer, filter and transform masks non-destructive editing.
Key features of Krita:
- Excellent value
- Excellent brush engines and painting tools
- Distraction-free canvas-only mode
- Clean user interface
This open-source product is also available as a Windows 10 app with auto-update features.
With the increase in the users of pixel art as a method of creating digital art for game developments, stills and even animations, spotting the right tools for pixel painting can be difficult at times.
Explore the tools listed in this article to see what these programs can offer. Many of these tools also offer a free limited trial so that you can try them out before making a purchase.