I used to think that certain programs aren't that important when it comes to pixel art and creating pixel art. And that you can create pixel art in any decent program quite easily. Over the years I have used quite a lot of programs or at least tried them and I always found myself opening up MS Paint rather than any other program.
I didn't make any pixel art for some time and now I wanted to try it again. Of course I opened up MS Paint and as soon as I tried to make something, I realized how important programs really are. Over the last 5-6 years I almost always used MS Paint and I got so used to it, I loved it. Now however I don't like it. See, the problem is...
Last time I created some pixel art I still had my old laptop and therefor I also had an older version of MS Paint. Now however, with Windows 7 they had updated MS Paint as well. Nothing really special really, they changed the overall look and tool locations. But unfortunately they also added and removed some of the tools, or improved them.
For example, they changed the line tool. Before it was really easy to use this tool to make some fast pixel art lines, now however it is much harder. Instead of making a simple line, it also adds some anchor points, or however you want to call them, to both sides of the line, making it almost impossible to go from one line to another. They also changed pen tool and color layout. It is also much harder to zoom in and out now without using my keyboard.
Before I just didn't notice how important these things actually are but as soon as they changed things I realized. Of course, it isn't impossible to use MS Paint now, it is somewhat the same and if you love to use only pen tool then these things won't really matter. However me and my broken mouse, we do care. As said before, it is still possible to use this program well but for me it would just take twice as long as before.
So I decided that it is time to change my pixel art habits, find another program, and so I did. I checked out many different programs and also read what other pixel artists use. I knew already years ago that MS Paint isn't the best program for pixel art but I was just so used to it.
Finally I found my new program and it seems to be awesome. It even has a awesome line tool with better features than old MS Paint had! This new program that I use is call GraphicsGale
. I had heard about this programs so many times but I just didn't care before. Right now it seems cool.
So if you are looking for a good pixel art software then GraphicsGale seems to be nice. It also has a free version.