As with any economy, some traders will try to manipulate and inflate the market by putting furni up for sale for very high prices, and then buying that furni from themselves. This pushes the average price up on the Marketplace, and as a result makes it more likely people will pay higher prices for that particular furni.
We want to share a simple, but effective little tip with you all. Clicking on the Item Information button next to an item for sale in the Marketplace brings up a line graph, which shows the average price of that particular furni for the past 30 days.
In the picture to the immediate left, you can see a furni which has had a steady average price range for the past 30 days. However, you can also see that some Habbos have bought the Castle Wall for 10 credits very recently; perhaps on the day this particular screenshot was taken. This is an example of a normal, non-manipulated price range.
In the image to the far left, there is a large spike right in the middle of the line graph. This could be due to a number of reasons (it could have been someone trying to manipulate the average price) but this picture perfectly illustrates how the average price of furni can change quickly, so always make sure to do your due diligence!
Now we’ve told you how price fixing works, we trust that a) you’ll be more vigilant about it, but b) that you won’t try and fix prices on the Habbo Marketplace yourself!
Thanks to Habbos: UnderCover. / Badge / RadMatter / Audemars / B / DJ_Shadow / Celerys
We received such a great response to our last blog that we decided to do another one! Without further ado here are Elementary_Kage, Cromsnosehair and MrCroissant!
Q: HELLO! How are you all today?
MrCroissant: “Never better!”
Elementary_Kage: “YEP. Just fine thanks.”
Q: Can you tell us a bit about some of the ideas that the design team had for Habboween 2015, before apocalypse was chosen?
Cromsnosehair: “We had fun throwing around post-apocalyptic ideas, trying to come up with an original spin on the theme whilst avoiding the obvious clichés (sorry, no zombies this time!)”
Elementary_Kage: “I’ve always really liked the concept of things like the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ and the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’, so all the designs geared towards those themes were really interesting for me. I did a couple of horse sketches (see image, right) trying to make them look as creepy and gross as possible, which was really fun. I love the final designs for the four horsemen though.
The brainstorming sessions were very interesting and a lot of fun. We went more in-depth with the research than we have before, to figure out exactly how we can try to implement new features and merge them effectively with our designs. Habbos were very helpful in answering questions we had about their favourite things and stuff they would like to see which helped us a lot with this process.”
Q: Could you tell us a bit about the floor pieces you made for the Habbocalypse?
MrCroissant: “I wanted the users to be able to make a really urban scene, so the addition of the double yellow lines and centre markings will help make the floor pieces reusable for builders. The Cyberpunk line had a similar look however they looked more futuristic than present day.”
Q: What was your favourite furni to make and why?
Cromsnosehair: “I think I’m most pleased with the building pieces that I made for this campaign. They had to connect and tile with each other, they presented a technical challenge. I always enjoy seeing what builders create with these type of furni and how they combine them with other furni from older campaigns.”
Elementary_Kage: “Although I didn’t work on the Habboween furni, there’s still a lot of pieces I’m very fond of. I particularly like the masks for both the light and dark sides; I would definitely wear them myself!”
Q:What furni do you think Habbos are going to be most excited for?
Elementary_Kage: “I think the Habbos will really like the clothes for this campaign. Not just the masks, but also the robes and armour suits. I can imagine a lot of fun events and roleplaying happening with those, which is always fun to see.“
Below, you can see the original (and slightly censored) mockup all the designers worked together to create!
Remember to give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #Habbocalypse and tell us what you think about this blog post!
Thanks for tuning in.
– Habbo Staff
As many of you probably know all too well, Habboween is very nearly here. This year, something big, bad and positively apocalyptic is coming to Habbo… That’s right; its the HABBOCALYPSE!
We stole some time from a few of our lovely designers to talk about the furni they’ve been working on, what they’re proud of, the design process and what they’re most excited about for this Habboween. So, without further ado, please welcome Kukuyit, MrCroissant and Sparkaro!
Q: So, firstly, How are you guys:
Sparkaro: “Really good.”
Kukuyit: “Meow! Just kidding – good, thanks.”
MrCroissant: “Fine, thanks!”
Q: Can one of you tell us a bit about some of the ideas that the design team had for the Habboween 2015, before Apocalypse was chosen?
Sparkaro: “I initially liked the idea of a nuclear apocalypse, like where cities have been abandoned or destroyed as a result of nuclear war with the ever-present threat of radiation and mutant creatures (like three eyed ducks).
Then there were a few ideas that focused on the theme of darkness, such as shadows, ghosts and demons. For me that sounded really interesting and seemed like an opportunity to get uber creative with our designs. I enjoyed thinking about how we’d characterise the evil presence, whilst incorporating traditional apocalyptic themes. For example, I loved the idea of including the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and putting a twist on that somehow.”
Q: What was your favourite furni to make and why?
Sparkaro: “I loved working on the Evil Raider (a friend of Demonic Frank) with his fiery green afro hairdo. I had fun working on the animations for it, like his pet duck that occasionally pops out from the afro and who has styled himself in a similar fashion to his owner, hehe.”
Kukuyit: “I really enjoyed working on the Corrupted Kitty the most – no Halloween is complete without a classic black cat. It’s one of the more time-consuming furni to make since it has so many layers of animation. But it was totally worth it in the end!”
MrCroissant: “Without a doubt, I’m most proud of the Four Horsemen LTDs I made. It was so much fun creating the animations and giving each of them a different personality, whilst maintaining a cohesive look. Also, working on the character-based stuff is my favourite part of the job, and is what I tend to focus on in my personal art projects too.”
Q: What furni do you think Habbos are going to be most excited for?
MrCroissant: “Well, really, I hope the Habbos enjoy the entire furni line! It has come together really nicely. However, there is a certain ‘secret’ furni that I think Habbos who love “something completely different” will enjoy the most!
Kukuyit: “I think Habbos are going to love the furni that can only be acquired in a special way. You definitely need to use a different kind of perspective…That’s all I’m saying about it!”
Q: Can you give us any hints about the ‘game-changing’ feature everyone’s been talking about?
Sparkaro: “Well, I’m super hyped because it will add a whole new element to Habbo that’s different from anything we’ve ever had before. So, I hope that Habbos have a tonne of fun with it! I can’t reveal anything specific yet…but I’ve been designing stuff for the new feature and it’s been really, really exciting to be part of the whole production process!”
MrCroissant: “I totally am; it’s exciting because it adds a lot to the game. Habbos will also be able to get a great feeling of progression and discovery at the same time with this new ‘game-changer’. I can really see this changing things (for the better) in the future!”
Kukuyit: “I’m really excited about the new feature too! It required a mega amount of work from everyone in the company; design, marketing, development, engagement and other support to get it finished for Habboween. We’re anxious to see what Habbos make of it, particularly the creative ones!
SO. LOTS to look forward to!
Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #Habbocalypse and tell us what you think about this blog post!
One of the oldest and most popular games in Habbo Hotel is the awesome, mighty Fridge Game! How does it work, we hear you say! Well, it goes a little something like this:
The host lets a number of people into the a queue area of the Fridge Game rom. Then, they are let into a playing area where they then sit down on one of the seats. THEN, one by one, each Habbo takes turns to go a fridge and takes a random hand item from it.
Depending on which item the Habbo gets from the fridge, something happens to them. Exactly what happens to them depends on the host’s rules, but here’s a list of a commonly used rules for you anyway:
- Carrot: Player loses and is asked to leave. If the player doesn’t leave, kick them!
- Can of drink: Player is safe and moves to the next round.
- Ice cream: Player is allowed to pick another player to kick from the game, regardless of what they got from the fridge last time. Obviously, the ice cream is a favourite.
Remember, the above may change depending on who is hosting each Fridge Game, so make sure all the Habbos that are playing in your game knows your rules!
Every Habbo takes it in turns to go the Pura Refrigerator and take out a random item, and they are kicked until there is just one Habbo left. This Habbo is the winner and depending on how generous you’re feeling, you could give them a prize!
IMPORTANT NOTE: you are NOT allowed to charge Habbos to participate in your Fridge Game – if you do, it could get you tradelocked. You have been warned!
Building the Fridge Game room
Like the Telephrase game, the room can be laid out how you want it to be. Just make sure you have at least three, but preferably four defined areas:
- Queue area – YELLOW.
- Playing area – the grassy bit with the seats ;)
- Fridge area – RED.
- VIP area – GREEN (optional).
As you can see from the screenshot, you need enough space for the following:
- Around 10 chairs (you can choose how many Habbos play in your Fridge Game – but remember that too many of them will make it much harder to host!)
- A Pura Refrigerator. You can rent these for 90 duckets.
- A queue area separated by dividers with access points shut off by gates.
- And, if you want one, a VIP area for you and your Habbo friends!
How to host the Fridge Game
OK! Now we’ll go into how you actually HOST the Fridge Game. In most cases, the Fridge Game is hosted without the use of Wired furni, which means that you need to pay extra close attention to how many people are in your room, which seat they are sitting in, whose turn it is etc.
- To start with, make sure you are in either the playing area, but in the VIP area (GREEN) if you’ve got one. Also, make sure the gate is closed.
- Once Habbos start to come in and queue, they will enter where the red rectangle is, waiting for the game to start.
- Once you want to start letting them in to sit down, you can open the gate in the YELLOW queue area. Once you have filled up all the seats or enough to have a decent game, you need to close the gate in the YELLOW queue area to stop more Habbos coming in.
- To start the game, all Habbos must be sitting in their seats. Once they are, you must tell each player to go up to the RED fridge area and double click on the fridge to take an item out. Watch closely each time to make sure that they don’t take two items instead of one!
- Depending on what they get, you are responsible for taking action against them. So, if they get a carrot, you need to kick them from the room. If they get a can of drink, they need to go back to the same seat they were in before and you can carry on with the round. If they get an ice cream, you need to ask them who they want to kick from the game!
- Repeat this process until you just have a winner!
In the past, a LOT of Habbos have asked us how to create videos of the Habbo client – mainly because they want to show their friends, customers and audiences how good they are at building, using Wired furni or hosting games (among a LOT of other things, of course!)
Depending on whether you are using a Mac or a PC, you’ll need to look at a different part of this blog (this is because different software and procedures are required).
For Habbos that use Mac
If you have a Mac, LUCKY YOU! This means you don’t need to download any extra software to actually record your screen. You’re winning.
First, open up Quicktime Player (you can usually find it in the Mac’s Launchpad in the ‘Other’ box). Once you have it open, you need to create a ‘New Screen Recording’. You can do this by right clicking on the Quicktime Player icon on the bottom toolbar and then selecting it from there.
Once you have clicked on ‘New Screen Recording’, a little Quicktime Player box will appear on your screen; to start recording you just have to click on the red ‘record’ button.
You’ll then be presented with the option to record the entire screen by clicking the screen, or recording just a part of the screen. To record just a part of the screen, drag the mouse pointer over the area you want to record and let go to record.
Once you’ve finished, go to the Quicktime Player icon on the bottom toolbar and right-click and select ‘Stop Screen Recording’.
Once you’ve stopped the recording, you need to save it. Go to the top toolbar; click on ‘File’, then ‘Save’.
For Habbos that use PC
OK – so the process to record screens if you are a PC user is still simple so don’t panic, but PCs don’t (generally) have a built in tool for this purpose. So, you’re going to have to download a bit of software called VLC Media Player. While this is a very well known program and the above link goes to a Google-verified website, PLEASE get permission from the person whose computer you are using BEFORE downloading and installing it!
Once you have downloaded it, open up a new VLC Media Player Session and click ‘Media’ and ‘Convert / Save’ (strange option to begin a new recording, but believe us – this is correct!)
After you’ve clicked, a new window will appear called ‘Open Media’. You need to go to the ‘Capture Device’ tab on the far right, and from the pull down menu to the right of ‘Capture mode’, you need to select ‘Desktop’.
TIP: before recording your Desktop, make sure there is absolutely NOTHING confidential in view there. So be careful to close any programs or browser windows with anything personal in them.
In the same ‘Open Media’ window, there is an option to change the frame rate. To create a smooth-running and decent quality video, we’d advise you switch it up to around 30.00 f/s. Once you’ve done this, click the ‘Convert / Save’ button at the bottom of the ‘Open Media’ screen.
Now the ‘Convert’ window will appear. Check that the ‘Destination’ is where you want to it be saved, and if you want to change the resolution click on the little tool icon next to the ‘Profile’ drop-down menu.
Then, hit the ‘Start’ button! And YOU’RE DONE!
Habbo’s economy functions much like any other real-world economy – the trick is to buy low, and sell high. So, for example, if you bought a furni (or ten of the same furni) for ten credits each, and then a year later the price of that particular furni had increased to fifteen credits, for each one that you sold, you’d make five credits. Sounds REALLY simple, right?
It definitely sounds simple, but the real trick is to know WHEN to buy and WHEN to sell – and to know this you need to know how much furni is at any point in time. As well as knowing the right prices, you also need to know how to make the absolute most out of the Marketplace.
See the graph below and to the right – it shows the fluctuation of the price of (an unspecified) furni. You can see that the furni starts off high, but starts to fall in value. Once it’s fallen to a specific point, we’ve indicated WHEN you should buy a particular item by highlighting the area in red. The perfect time to buy is when the item is at its lowest value. To know when exactly an item is at its lowest value is something you will have to practice.
In every situation, you’ll have to work hard to KNOW when an item is about to go up in price. It will nearly always be due to an item becoming harder to find (suddenly or gradually) – perhaps one rich Habbo has bought a large chunk of the total number of that particular furni and is hoarding them, or perhaps someone is using them in a building project. You have to keep your ear to the ground to know!
Then, once the item has risen enough, you want to sell it while it’s high! So, simple enough when you know WHEN to sell, right?
Using the Marketplace efficiently
For the bare fundamental basics of how to use the Habbo Hotel Marketplace, see here.
It’s really important that you familiarise yourself with these basics, as it’s definitely the most useful tool for Habbo traders. Selling your goods on the Marketplace (often known simply as ‘MP’ by Habbos) is a quick and easy way to get rid of furni for standard prices.
Because of this, it’s a really brilliant way to take advantage of what are considered ‘lazy’ traders. A lot of Habbos sell large amounts of furni, often in bulk, for prices much lower than normal. It’s considered wise to check the Marketplace regularly for deals like these, as there’s often a LOT of money to be made! But, like any good deal on Habbo, you’ll need to have a good idea of what the real average price for furni is.
In some situations, if you have a medium to high value item, and you want to sell it quickly and easily without the bother of Auction Rooms, it’s better to use the Marketplace. Habbos who really, REALLY want certain furni are sometimes more likely to pay over the average price if it means they can get it right there and then. This is particularly true of the richer Habbos.
Thanks to Habbos: UnderCover. / Badge / RadMatta / Audemars / B / DJ_Shadow / Celerys
Bubbling in beta for many months and the time has finally arrived… the shiny new Habbo Web is ready for the catwalk!
As well as the ability to easily view your profile, badges, and friends, our highly talented developers and designers have worked through all our ideas and feedback to produce a whole range of new and exciting tools.
- Modern look-and-feel
- Smooth Web-to-Client transition
- News & updates accessible before login
- Access to private messages and minimails offline
- Optimised for mobile and tablet viewing
…PLUS tons more exciting features coming soon!
Try it out!
Go take a look at all the shiny new things:
- Shop HC, BC, rares, bundles and credits in the entirely redesigned HabboMall section (used to be Credits)
- Explore all of Stories on the web, now called Creations
- See if you have any new private messages on the Messaging page
- Check out ideas on how to play, or brush up on your Habbo Way, in the brand new Playing Habbo section
You can find out more about all the exciting new features and what else you can expect in the FAQ below.
More stuff to come!
Some pages that required more intensive development are still ‘works in progress’. We hope to have them ready to go in a few weeks, but in the mean time you will be redirected to the old web for certain pages. Don’t worry – all your activities are still safe, including credit purchase transactions!
This project has been in the pipeline for a while so we are thrilled to finally let you get your hands on it! This is a very proud moment for all of us – in Finland, Madrid and London – as we can show you the first glimpses of the jam-packed future of Habbo.
Q: Why a new Habbo Web?
A: After almost five years since the last refresh, we felt now was the perfect opportunity for a responsive web makeover! This exciting new web comes with a modern look-and-feel, plus a ton of awesome new features and tools for you to express and share your creativity.
Q: What to expect from the new Habbo Web?
You can expect a whole list of fierce and fabulous new features such as:
- Modern look-and-feel
- Awesome tools to help you express + share your creativity inside and outside of Habbo!
- Optimised viewing for mobile and tablet
- Smooth Web-to-Hotel transition
- Make selfies, selfies and more selfies!
- News & updates accessible before login
- Private messages and minimails accessible offline
…PLUS tons more exciting features coming soon!
Q: Why doesn’t the client open in a popup window, like it used to?
A: We wanted to improve the transition from web to Hotel and make it a more seamless. If you prefer the old way, you can simply right-click the ‘Go to Hotel’ link in the right hand of the page and select “Open in new window”.
Q: Why do some pages, like news, take me to the old web?
A: Some pages that required more intensive development are still ‘works in progress’. We hope to have them ready to go in a few weeks, but in the mean time all your activities are still safe!
Q: What happens with the stuff I bought to customize my homepage in the current Habbo Web?
A: We have taken your requests into account and are looking into how we can offer the best possible solution. Until then, you can see your homepage here: ex.habbo.com
Q: Where’s my group home page?
A: We’ll add group home pages to the new web later. Until then, your group page is available on the old website – just change www to ex in the URL (so it starts with ex.habbo.com).
Q: Where can I select another avatar, manage my friends or change my email / security questions / profile visibility settings?
A: You can change your password on the new web, but to access any other settings, you need to log in at ex.habbo.com. Whatever changes you make in the settings there will be reflected in the new habbo.com as well. We’re working hard to make all the settings available in the new web.
Q: What happened to Stories?
A: All the old Stories content is now on the web: selfie editor, competitions, pixel art upload, all your previous art etc. Just click Community and you’ll see a page called Creations.
Q: Where can I view my profile?
A: You can view all your badges, rooms, groups, friends, and creations by clicking your avatar name in the top right and choosing View my public profile.
Have you logged into Habbo today and noticed that when you zoom things are a little… different? No don’t worry, nothing is wrong with your room or monitor, we just made a little tinker here and a small tuck there. Oh. And we might given a standing ovation coupled with a fond farewell as some long time members of the Habbo graphic family bowed and gracefully walked off stage. Before you start hyperventilating (we have paper bags standing by just in case though) lets talk about what we did and why it’s a good thing for everyone.
Did you know how Habbo previously zoomed the room view? Maybe you did, but for those that didn’t, it worked like this: Items (such as furni) would be hand drawn at two different scales and the game would flip between those pre-drawn scales when the zoom button was pressed. Kind of like quickly swapping a camera between two independent and fully decorated dioramas. The result was something that looked like zooming even if it was more of an illusion. Which means zooming has been… a lie… in a way. Earlier this year we introduced a new zooming method as part our Habbo iOS app that works pretty differently than the desktop zoom (aka lie). Alright the pinching action is obviously different but we’re talking about what’s controlling the visual scale of our graphics on-screen. Instead of toggling between two sets of pre-made images the iOS app is using only one image (the close-up version) and is scaling it to other sizes with some beautifully written code. Magic code; It’s like fairy dust. The scaling code lets iOS Habbo zoom in uncomfortably close and equally far away while keeping the experience pretty seamless and pixelicious (by the way, we’re calling the developer that dreamed up this magic code “sparkles” from now on). Starting today Habbo on the desktop will utilize the same code based scaling that’s found in our iOS app. The classic magnifying glass button will still toggle the room view but instead of having double of everything we’re scaling all items on the fly, from the large assets, with that lovely lovely magic code. That means we’re no longer using the pre-drawn small scale graphics. They’ve been ushered into a well deserved retirement. We all know those little graphics held a special place in your hearts (we’ll actually miss them too), and you’re more than welcome to take a little “alone time” while you get accustomed to the new look of zooming, but think of all the stuff we can do now that they’re gone! What? Too soon? Ok, think about it this way and you’ll see why it’s an exciting move.
Our production team is pretty small (even I can count the members on just over one hand and I’m horrible at counting). When they work they’re given a set amount of time to complete each of their items or they get sent to the “room of shame™”. Redrawing graphics can take a lot of time to get them to the point of being polished enough for use in game. You might think I’m pulling the wool over your eyes but about thirty percent of our time (or more for complex stuff) is devoted to redrawing. THIRTY PERCENT! That’s crazy and all that time adds up when we’re making a campaigns worth of materials. By removing the need to draw everything twice our production team just gained some valuable time to spend on other projects. Think of it. Clothing can be updated more regularly. New pets will be birthed into existence more often. Builders club can have more exclusives to build with. Not to mention, your rooms will even load a bit faster since we’re only using one graphic.
Some might feel like we’ve cut out a big piece of Habbo history with this update but at its core is the aim to better focus our efforts so we can ultimately make the kinds of things you all are asking for. A pretty good trade off in my mind and we hope you also see the benefits.
Oh, by the way. I should point out that the scaling code takes your monitors pixel density into account. So if you have one of those high pixel density monitors (retina macs for example) you’re in for a treat! I’ll leave that to you to figure out though!
For those of you that have logged in today, you will have received an EXCLUSIVE memorial furni (Seen above). We hope you like this little, tiny, mini memento!
It’s here!! *drum roll* & *crashing gong sound*
The New Habbo Web Beta has been unleashed on the general public in .COM. This is a very proud moment for our community as we get to be the first to catch a glimpse into the future of Habbo.
New ways to view your profile, badges, friends and creations are only the beginning. Our development and design teams have been really inspired by your past feedback and are asking for more! Read the FAQ’s below and check out the new web at:
Q: Why a New Web?
A: Whether you’re on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer, Habbo’s new scalable and cool looking web will streamline the experience for everyone, giving your rooms and creations lots more visibility through sharing!
Q: What is Beta?
A: Beta means that what you see now is a work in progress. We’re working round the clock to fine tune the tools and features that will be added as we go along. We’re looking forward to receiving feedback from you to ensure the most awesomely Habbtastic experience.
Q: What to expect from the future Web?
A: Fierce and fabulous stuff such as:
-Exciting feeds about your friend’s activities and community updates.
-Ability to share your creations outside Habbo.
-Customizing your profile page to make it ever so “you”.
-Managing your friends and groups.
-Access to credit pages.
-Fun tools to help you get creative and boost your notoriety.
Q: What can I do on the New Web?
A: We’ll be continuously making changes and improvements to the Web but you can already start trying out cool stuff such as:
-Browse the news promos (some articles will still open in the old web).
-Profile pages (currently display basic info, lots more coming).
-Like your friends creations.
-See notifications about who liked your creations.
-Move to and from Hotel easily.
This means you can take part in competitions, check out other Habbo’s profiles and find out who’s been checking yours!
Remember though, this is only the start. A lot of what the future holds depends on you, so get involved!
Q: How do I get involved?
A: By joining our upcoming Habbo Web Beta polls and feedback activities. Stay tuned!
It’s that time again! No, it’s not time to change your Habbo babies diapers. Sheesh. It’s time for another Summer School Q+A Session with notMiceElf. We’re still glowing (aha, glow… get it… yeah, you do) from the last Q+A so this one had better draw a smile on our face… and as always, you can submit a question of your own when the question submitting articles appear. So get those questions ready!
How do you make a good GIF? (question posted by shiony)
This question looked so simple at first glance and then I started thinking about how to answer it and spiraled into animation and my brain pretty much flew out of control. So thanks for giving me a minor headache before my morning coffee could kick in, shiony! The idea of animation is a bit too meaty for this blog post so I’ll focus more on setting up an animation and then go over a decent way of saving gif files.
First off. Animation as a process is going to be dependent on the program that you’re using. Some programs don’t support creating animation so if you’re aim is to animate make sure the program you’re using has support for it! If you’re just looking to save out a static (non animated) GIF you can skip all the way to the end. I’ll be using Photoshop but the process is going to be mostly the same from program to program. I would suggest finding a tutorial that breaks down the specifics for the program you’re actually using though. General info only gets you so far :p Ok, on we go…
Animation is all fake. Yep. It’s an Illusion whoooo *waves hands around*. I’m sure you’ve been told this a thousand and one times already, but, animation is a sequence of static images with slightly different content. Each one of those static images is called a frame. When viewed in quick succession we interpret the changes from frame to frame as motion. The amount of frames we see in a second is called the frames per second (technical, I know) or fps (you gamer types are saying, “hey, that’s the acronym for first person shooter!”, but animators had it first, so there) but you can sort of forget this concept because with gifs the fps is more about setting a delay per frame vs a standard x frames per second.
First thing we need to do is make a new file. The size doesn’t really matter (stop laughing) as long as it fits what you’re animating, but smaller is generally better for pixel animations. The resolution of your image, on the other hand, is something you’ll have to pay attention to. Pixel art should be made using a resolution 72 pixels per inch. Don’t even question it or seek an explanation for why it has to be that number. It’s law. Obey.
The next thing we need is an animation timeline. In Photoshop the timeline can be found under the “Window” menu and then “Timeline”. In older versions of Photoshop it’s listed as “Animation” instead of “Timeline”.
Once the Timeline is opened choose to make your animation frame based. The frame method is pretty common for other pixel animation programs and is easier to understand for beginners than the newer tween type timelines. Plus, frame based animation is classic.
In order to make an animation you’ll first need to draw (or have previously created) some animation frames so that you can string them together. Every frame of your animation should be a new layer in your layer palette. Whether it’s pixel art or hand drawn the concepts are the same. You’re aiming to draw images so that when linked together their motion has a good flow and reads clearly. This explanation is so rudimentary that it’s actually making me cry a little so if you’re at all interested in real animation you should find a good book (or, yah know, youtube it) on the subject. There’s a set of 12 principles that Disney Animators have based their work on for ages. Well worth a look.
As a little tip, there’s a simple way to test the movement between frames using a technique called “onion skinning” which lets you see several frames at once. Photoshop doesn’t support this outright either. Joy. In order to get something similar to the onion skin on Photoshop you’ll have to turn down the opacity of the layers under your current drawing so you can see them as you drawn new frames. In traditional animation animators used a light box to see through their drawings… and this is just an emulation of that technique.
Alright, when you have your drawings ready take a look at your animation timeline. Clicking the “new frame” icon at the bottom of the animation timeline will make frames for your animation and you’ll need one frame for each of your art layers. With one of the animation frames selected go to the layers palette and hide all the layers but the ones you want visible for that frame. In my example you can see that I’ve got a grey background layer and an art layer visible in the first frame. Hiding layers can be done by clicking small eye icon on the left of the thumbnail. Do that same process for every frame in your animation. Nothing like good old repetition to get the blood flowing…right?
Modifying the “delay” for an animation frame will change how long, in milliseconds, the frame is shown for before going to the next frame. You’ll need to find a delay per frame that looks smooth with your animation. Animations that are too slow will appear less seamless and show individual frames more while those that are too fast don’t have enough emphasis and could suffer from frame skipping. Browsers will often forgo frame delays under a certain speed too… so it’s a good idea to check your animation on a few different browsers to see that it’s working the way you want it to.
The loop feature will let your animation loop infinitely or by a set amount. Most gifs you’ll see around the internet are infinitely looping. And that covers the animation portion. Phew. Are you still breathing? *poke poke*
Saving Your File:
Something to remember about the GIF format is that it’s only an 8bit format so it has a max of 256 colors. Pixels either have color or are fully transparent (this counts as a color :p). GIF’s don’t have the capacity for semi transparent pixels like a 24bit image does. If you’ve ever tried to save GIF with more colors than the maximum allowed (like a photo) you’ll see a color reduction as the colors get compressed to fit into the 8bit palette. You’ll need to be considerate of that max color count when you’re making images (this is where dithering and restricted palette pixel art excels!). Don’t fret though because 256 colors is still pretty high.
In Photoshop you’re going to use the “Save for Web” option from the “File” menu and then select the GIF format. The type of palette mode (Selective, Perceptual, Adaptive, Restrictive)… really doesn’t matter. Very simply, the palette mode gives preference to certain types of colors over others when reducing the colors to fit into the restricted 8bit palette. You can test them out and see which you like (we tend to use Selective for any gifs we make). Any kind of automatic dither options should be avoided for pixel art and aren’t all that good anyway. If you’ve payed attention to your color count while you were drawing you’ll never need this option anyway. Same can be said for the transparency dither. Ew. There should be bumper stickers with the phrase “Just say no to transparency dither” inscribed on them.
If you’re using a program that forces a gif to save using the windows palette or something other than the four listed above… drop kick that program into the trash bin and get another one. Programs that do this often auto-dither to try to approximate the look of the original palette. You’ll get images that have really oddly color pixels in them when saving this way. It looks horrible. Really horrible. As in, my eyes are bleeding horrible.
For the color amount, if you didn’t use all 256 colors you’ll only see the amount that you did use up, so don’t freak if you see a lower amount. The matte option is a color that is added to semi-transparent pixels so that they become fully opaque and is mostly used to match those semi transparent colors to the color of a web page. For example, if I have a shadow that is a transparent black, a white matte color will make that color a light grey in my final image. If you choose no matte color the pixels below certain transparency will be removed while those above will be fully opaque. Realistically though, if you’re making straight pixel art you should never have semi-transparent pixels.
Any option for web snapping means the colors in your palette will be shifted to match the standard web colors from like 1985 (which are pretty ugly). You can avoid this option like the plague. Please.
And, that’s it! Not too bad right? If you’re on another program other than Photoshop you’ll probably have a “Save As” option and a gif file format. A lot of the features like palette type, colors amount, and dithering are pretty common across many programs so it should still be relevant. Certainly any pixel specific program will have these options for your GIF needs! Best of luck GIF-ing around the internet!