Introduction: Cool Monochrome Sprites

About: Just a College student from Eastern Kentucky with an engineering and technology interest. Occasionally i document projects and post them here.

Want to see your favorite Video game character made with just one color? A modern twist on a timeless classic? Then this guide will help you make cool monochrome characters of video game sprites!

Step 1: Materials

  • Image or sprite to work with (Either original or a dump, try to avoid scaled up things as the "pixels" are usually rectangles instead of squares)
  • A computer(mouse is recommended)
  • A layered photo editor (I used this free web based one: Pixlr )
  • Some eyes to help you trace a line
  • A bit of imagination

Step 2: Choose a Game/Sprite

To start of you need to know what game franchise/character you want to monochrome, for this tutorial I will be doing Mega Man from the SNES games in mid-run. Simply Google the character and find a sprite sheet that has the pose you need, credit when necessary.

Step 3: Design

Here is the procedure, it is also in the image above for reference

  1. Open your sprite and enlarge its size by a whole number, I did all you see here at 4x, more just means more work/detail.
  2. Add 2 pixels to the bottom and right sides of the image (in Pixlr use the canvas size from the edit menu).
  3. Create a new layer below the sprite and fill it with a dark color such as black for a backdrop.
  4. Create a new layer above the sprite, this is where you will do your work.
  5. Choose a color that is not present in your sprite and is easy to see on your backdrop, a neon green is usually safe.
  6. Using a hard tip pen tool with size set to one pixel (pencil is usually this), trace the outside of your sprite, remember to be outside the pixels on the right and bottom, and inside on the left and top, otherwise your character/object will be askew.
  7. You should now have the basics of the character outlined, I recommend making another layer before moving on.
  8. In the same/new layer begin placing single pixels to achieve shading, color, and contrast, this may take a bit of getting used too and takes a ton of clicking so a mouse is recommended.
  9. Add details to your hearts content, erasing some of the outline from earlier, adding subtle curves, etc.
  10. When detail is finished, if you were working in a new layer, merge it with your outline from step 6.
  11. (optional) edit hue/contrast of the image to achieve a new color.
  12. Finished! save and enjoy!

Step 4: Have Fun!

I started with Mario and took about an hour to make this version. I wouldn't recommend starting with Pokemon as they take 6 hours or more easy, start small/old like the Galaga Ship only took half an hour. Happy painting!

P.S. the image on the first screen is an android wallpaper.