Tutorial - Make a character's back sprite for the courtroom

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Tutorial - Make a character's back sprite for the courtroom 

Postby Jofe » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:15 am

Make a character's back sprite for the courtroom
This topic is a translation of a similar art guide from french section that I wrote two years ago. I didn't find an equivalent in the English section, but maybe I didn't see well. Don't hesitate to report errors.

Make sprites, everyone would like to do. For an AA game, however, there are complications for witnesses who must go to the witness stand. Yet, with this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create a back character from a face character. Yes it is possible. And besides doing well, it takes ten minutes (excluding the creation of the sprite face). Obviously, it will not make you a professional but it will be enough.

To do this, you need:

  • A computer. Otherwise it will be less simple.
  • Drawing software. No advanced features will be used, so any free software will do the trick.
    If you are not a regular, I will recommend Paint.NET. The more experienced can use what they want.
  • A sprite of face. For this guide, I took Inspector Chelmey from Professor Layton series because why not.

STEP 1: Sprites


The first step is very simple. What distinguishes a character seen from the front and a character seen from the back? Let's take an example: If you are in front of me, I will see your left hand on my right and your right hand on my left. If you turn 180 degrees, you're back to me, and I'll see your left hand on my left and your right hand on my right. All this makes sense, so the first step: invert the left and right of your sprite. On Paint.NET, in the Image tab, you will find the option "Flip image horizontally". Well, for our example, it will change nothing but the position of the feet but it may sometimes be decisive depending on the outfit, the colors and the haircut.

STEP 2: Visualize the back of the character

Your imagination will have to work a little: indeed, it is necessary to visualize what can look like the back of the character. A stage sometimes complex depending on the chosen character (female characters can be sometimes the most complicated, especially those with long hair). For Inspector Chelmey, it's quite simple: From behind, we will essentially see his jacket. Important, one must also think about the position of the hair, determine if they are above or below his jacket. Since the inspector has short hair, I think this hair is below. So we will mark all this by making black lines to determine after what we will recolorier.

Second very important point: remove from the front what will not be seen back. This usually includes folds of clothes. In our case, this also includes the pockets of the jacket.


STEP 3: Changes

Now that we have created the necessary limits, we will color the entire area between the two black lines that have been drawn, which correspond (in our example) to the collar of the jacket and the bottom of the jacket. This action will remove from the field of vision the shirt and tie of our character.


And there you have it, magic has operated. However, this example prevents me from illustrating a specific point that I will detail here. Indeed, with a properly sized character (as in an AA what), part of the face will still be visible. It will disappear this face with what is naturally opposite the face: the back of the hair (unless you cheat with a bald character). Alas I can not really give specific examples since this step will depend a lot on the cut of your character.

Our inspector Chelmey is now back, congratulations to all. But the result does not seem very ideal.

STEP 4: Finishing

Again, it depends on the character. In the case of our inspector, if you pay attention, it seems that he is back ... but not totally. Indeed, there are always small details to take into account. In our case, there are elbows, knees and shoes. The first two do not usually appear back (but it can depend on the position of the arms and legs of the character). As for the shoes, lengthen the length of the legs of the pants to give the illusion that they pass behind the shoe (this trick does not work if your character is wearing shorts, cropped pants or whatever-what leaves the back of legs visible), taking care to remove the reflections and features that disclose the original shape of the shoes.


This is obviously not professional work but it will probably help the less skilled among us. Remember that reducing the image will remove the few flaws that this method can leave in the case of more complex shapes (characters with flip flops, dress, mats for hair etc ...). Now, we resize the image.





  • Resize the sprite once it is finished, not before, like that, it erases imperfections (well, small, it does not work miracles either)
  • I have drawn black lines in my example, but obviously, the ideal is to use a color identical to the features of the original sprite,
    for it to be uniform.
  • If your sprites do not have lower body, you will have no choice but to model them yourself. Note that it does not have to be perfect as long as the result is credible once reduced. You can help yourself with official artworks, or even concepts-arts.

If there are other explanations to add, do not hesitate to ask.
Sprites, rearrangements, evidences and 3D stuff
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