Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.35.13 AM

So I’ve been working on a side project in the style of the old 16 bit SNES JRPGs, and I came across a pretty cool tool called Pixen. If you use a Mac for development like I do, Pixen is a pretty good alternative to Graphics Gale, and you can pick it up from the app store for just $10!

My opinion? A worthwhile purchase, you could do a lot worse for ten bucks. For pixel animations, the featureset is solid although I think the UI could improve in a few key ways (details below).


It’s your standard pixel editor with all the usual tools (draw, erase, fill, eyedropper, etc), hotkeys, multi-button editing and wacom support. The preview window can be toggled on and off, and there are various methods of choosing colors based on your preference.

The Features:

  • Preview mode to view your animations in real time
  • Onion skin! (toggled with Animation -> Show Previous Frame Overlay)
  • Color palettes are generated automatically, can be changed at any time and can also be imported/exported, which works super well for palette swapping with some limitations (see gripes)
  • Exports neatly to a sprite sheet (PNG), like so:
  • ChloeSprite


The Gripes: (more…)

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