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I was trying to use Photoshop to draw sprites instead of pixeling them out, and ended up with this atrocity:

Would anyone ever use a sprite like this? Is this worth continuing with?
You're magical to me.
While there's certainly a reason people generally make sprites pixel-by-pixel rather than painting them, I don't think I'd call it an atrocity. Personally, although it looks a little fuzzy, I find it has its own charm, and would work in a game where all the sprites are drawn like that :D
Quite a few games have hand drawn >>backgronuds<<, this to me is just taking it a step further
Which is really cool
Guardian of the Description Thread
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of how fuzzy that sprite is. If you could clean it up, though, that would be awesome!
Okay, thanks guys! I'll give it a shot.
Yeah, I remember trying this a long time ago. Its really more hassle than its worth. Other than the fuzziness, you'll also probably encounter the other problem I had, which is that any and all drawing errors (mainly proportions) will be magnified upon shrinking. Since the pixels are a jumble of a million colors and opacity levels, you can't really make easy or convincing edits either, potentially forcing you to draw it all over again.

I've found it to be better to use a drawing as a base than a final. My current process is as such:

Of course, coloring (or at least shading in gray scale) before shrinking can help, but I personally found it to be more disorienting that way.
Ahh, awesome! What program do you generally use to make pixel sprites, by the way? I have SAI, which is really darn good for drawing, but probably not for pixel art?
I use GIMP (an open-source Photoshop-lite) for drawing, so I usually use it for spriting, too. If I'm just pixeling outright with no base, or making animations, I use Graphics Gale (free version), which is a lot more streamlined for that kind of thing. As for SAI, I've never heard of it.

You might want to also look into a technique known as a "pixel over". It's basically this, but with other people's pictures - most commonly Pokémon official art.

Also, if you intend to color or shade before shrinking, you could try messing around with image's Color Index (maximum possible colors) to maybe tidy things up a bit. I personally haven't had much luck with it, but I figured I'd mention it anyways.
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