I have gotten a lot faster with practice, but the XP spriting has been done throughout last year. I just never posted it in many places.
I use Photoshop 7.0 (a very old version back from when I was in school. Does that date me, or what?). I do all my work on separate layers (base layer, overlapping items, more overlapping items, etc), then merge them all together. The tools I use are the pencil tool, paint bucket fill and magic wand - all of which have anti-aliasing off. When layering pieces, I put the opacity of the shadow to 50% wherever 2 objects overlap. It's a quick & easy way to do object shadows. I also did some icon resizing, which was very useful in learning how to sprite minuscule objects. Both of those increase the color count, but preserve pixel shading.
As for pixel shading itself, it's mostly about layering palette colors and dithering to soften the lines. It helps to work out in high zoom (my Photoshop goes up to 1600%, and I often work on that level) and zoom out periodically to check progress. My biggest hang-up when I was starting out was getting used to the contrast. Pixel art has much higher contrast than traditional art (which has many transitional values vs no values in pixel). So, I did quite a bit of work with the RTP palette (including heavy editing), even when it wasn't always my aesthetic.
I hope that answered your questions :3
Thank you. Even though I'm working with a different style at the moment, I still keep these around. You never know when a side project will pop into your head and good ol' RTP will be just the thing for graphics.
Thanks! I really appreciate your kind words. Which name do you use on the other forums? I'm so unoriginal, I just use the same name everywhere XD
And thanks for mentioning my project. I'm working hard on some new content that should be out sometime next week (fingers crossed!).
This post has been edited by Lunarea: Mar 21 2012, 07:36 AM