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How to Make an Isometric Pixel Art Character

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Isometric pixel art characters are great for creating a 3D effect on a 2D platform. They are often used in video game design, graphic design, and illustrations. Although creating an isometric pixel art character may seem intimidating, you can master the art of creating vivid characters with this guide. 

This guide is for creating simple characters. If you want advanced pixel characters, we recommend hiring a pixel artist who can collaborate with you to make high-resolution pixel art. Let’s get started!

Start With the Face

Start with the face of your character. Design it according to how you want it to look and make sure that the details are crisp and clear. It’ll be easier to use two pixels to draw the eyes first, and then build up the rest of the image from there in the following way:

  • Add a new layer and draw a short horizontal line around three pixels below the eyes. This will be the mouth. 
  • You can use straight lines in the same fashion to form the jawline and hairline.
  • Next, move to the other eye and add a sideburn after leaving a pixel blank. Add more pixels above the sideburn so it reaches the hairline. 
  • Add another blank pixel for where the ear should go and then a line that marks the edge of the head. 

Finish by connecting the vertical and horizontal lines in a rounded shape to form the head.

Move to the Torso

Extend a long straight line from the left side of the chin. This line will form your character’s chest. 

Next, draw a line from below their ear that goes diagonally towards the right shoulder, and join it with a long vertical line extending downwards. Draw a parallel vertical line to create the hand. 

Finally, complete the torso by joining the chest’s vertical line and the hand with a diagonal line.

Give Your Character Legs

Draw three vertical lines that start from the bottom of your character’s torso–one for each leg and one in the middle that will separate the legs. If you’re creating a character that does not have two legs, adjust this step to accommodate your character design.

At the end of these vertical lines, draw two parallel lines to create the feet. You can also add some details to the feet by adding a line that follows the curve of the foot.

To give your character an isometric effect, you need to place one foot lower than the other. This will help create a more dynamic pose and enhance the overall aesthetic of your work.  

Bring Your Character to Life by Adding Color

Now that your character’s shape is complete, it’s time to add color. Create a new layer and use the bucket tool to fill in the shape. Consider how you want your character to look; adding colors and shading make it look three-dimensional and realistic. This will enhance the overall visual effect.

Add Light Effects for a More Dynamic 3D Look 

Adding light effects to your character is a great way to make it look more dynamic and isometric. You can do this using a little darker or lighter shades of the colors you used to fill in the shape. For example, if your character is wearing a red shirt and light blue shoes, use a darker shade of red for the shadows on the shirt and a lighter shade of blue for the highlights on the shoes. By placing these darker shades near the outline of the arms and legs, your character develops physical depth.

Consider Help from Guru’s Exports

Once you have completed these steps, your isometric pixel art character should be ready! Remember to keep practicing and experimenting with different colors, styles, and poses to create unique characters that you can proudly show off. You can always zoom in on the pixels and experiment with shading to enhance the three-dimensional effect.

If you start a complicated character that’s easy to envision but hard to draw, don’t give up. Seek help from the best pixel artists on Guru, where you’ll find qualified, experienced professionals who can assist with your digital art projects. Happy drawing!

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