Artisans (formerly known as pixelists) are Habitica contributors who specialize in designing custom artwork for the site. They create images for pets, equipment, item drops, monsters, and any other art that the site may need.
Becoming an Artisan
If you would like to contribute to Habitica as an Artisan, you must follow the proper procedures. Make sure that you read ALL of the instructions on the relevant cards before proceeding.
Before your art can be used for the game, you must give legal permission to Habitica to use your art. Follow the instructions on the Permissions Trello card and send your permission. It is a good idea to do this before you finish your art, because then you will not have to wait for your contributor rewards. Note that there are special procedures for Artisans who are under 18 years of age.
Claiming Requested Art
The Pixel Art Trello keeps track of the various pieces that are currently needed for Habitica. Go through the cards to find an unclaimed piece that has been requested. If you find one that you would like to do, DO NOT immediately begin work on that piece. In the past, this hastiness has led to multiple individuals doing the same request, which is a sad waste of energy and great art. Instead, post a comment saying "can I do [ART PIECE]?" A moderator will approve or deny your request and edit the card's information accordingly, so that there aren't ten thousand wolves and ten thousand sad artists.
NOTE: YOU CAN HAVE ONLY TWO ACTIVE CLAIMS AT A TIME. Some exceptions may apply.
If the moderators haven't heard from you for a month, be warned that they may give your claimed piece to someone else. Before the piece is opened up again, there will be a call on Trello to find out if you are still working. It is a good idea to check in periodically to find out if you need to respond to one of these calls, especially if you've been absent from the community for a while. Also, if you're going to be really busy or go on vacation or something, just tell the moderators on the Trello! They'll understand.
Doing Unrequested Art
If you have an idea for a piece of art that has not been requested by the Habitica staff or moderators, please check the Trello before spending too much time and effort on it to make sure that the type of art you want to do is currently being accepted.
You can find lists of what pieces of art are needed on each Trello card for each pixel art category. If you would like to make a request or propose an idea for something that is not listed there, you may do so on the Awesome Ideas/General Discussion card. Please note that not all ideas will be accepted for a variety of reasons.
If your request or idea is approved by staff, you should then go to the Pixels in Progress guild and workshop the idea and drafts with the people there. They will gladly help you to develop your idea so that it can be used for Habitica.
Below are some rules and tips to help artists quickly produce materials.
Any piece submitted, whether draft or final, should be at 3x pixel zoom. The easiest way to do this is to create your pixel art with 1x1 pixel units, and scale it up 300% after completion.
The main stylistic guideline is that art should fit in visually with the other artwork (similar sizes, pixel RPG style) and have a slightly darker border. Items, avatars, pets, and mounts should not be "scaled up" into higher resolution. Showing avatars from the side or from behind is OK in most cases, but ideally the artist should check with admins to ensure this is allowed for the type of art they are doing.
When creating a canvas for pixel art at 1x1 zoom, use these dimensions. Unless otherwise noted, images submitted for evaluation or inclusion should be expanded to 3x3 zoom.
|Type||Dimensions at 1x1px||Notes|
|Backdrops||157x82||Should expand previous background unless directed otherwise.|
|Promotional Artwork||150x150||Artwork can be smaller, but should not exceed maximum size of 150x150 pixels.|
|Backgrounds||47x49||There should be a 1 pixel slightly transparent border.|
|Background Icons||34x34||The icon should be 30x30 pixels, centred in the middle of the canvas. Export to 2x scale, not 3x.|
|Equipment||38x30||When creating Armor, both Broad and Slim templates must be used.|
|Equipment (mer-tail template)||39x40||Special permission is required to use this template.|
|Items to Collect||16x17||If the whole canvas is not used, the item should be centred in the middle of the canvas.|
|Basic Badges||24x26||Must use the provided template and palette. Export to 2x scale, not 3x.|
|Quest Badges||34x34||Must use the provided template. Export to 2x scale, not 3x.|
|Magic Hatching Potion Bottles||34x34||Must use the provided template. Export to 2x scale, not 3x.|
|Pets||27x33||The pet itself should not exceed a height of 20px within this canvas.|
|Mounts||35x35||Each mount consists of two image files - a "head" (in front of avatar) and a "body" (behind avatar).|
|Mount Heads||27x33||The head should be centred in the middle of the canvas.|
|Scrolls||34x34||Export to 2x scale, not 3x.|
|Eggs||16x17||Must use the provided template.|
|Quest Bosses||73x73||Artwork can be smaller, but should not exceed maximum size of 73x73 pixels.|
|Collection Quest Artwork||73x73||Artwork can be smaller, but should not exceed maximum size of 73x73 pixels.|
Pets and Mounts
Pets have a maximum height of 20px, and should not extend into the colored area at the top of the template.
Mounts need to be submitted in two parts so that they may be layered with the character. One layer should contain the head and any relevant foreground parts, such as wings, and the other should contain the body. The following is an example with the base dragon mount's head and wing in one part and body in another:
Shaners made the following templates for pets and mounts that can serve as the bottom layer when working then hidden before export. The pet template also indicates the maximum height. You can work at this size and then export at 3x without any anti-aliasing or interpolation.
New items for characters (e.g. hair, accessories, armor, weapons) should fit within the same sized canvas as a character sprite (30x30px working canvas at 1px zoom). The image should have a transparent background with the item positioned within the canvas the way it should be placed on the character. The following image may be used as a guide for item alignment:
The character's final image is compiled by code that places the various item images on top of each other. The order in which the layers are placed would be a good thing to keep in mind for item compatibility.
The order of the layers from bottom to top:
- back accessory
- skin, shirt, and body outline
- head accessory
- flower, earrings, eyewear
Pets and Mounts
After your claim for a pet or mount has been confirmed, you can make the 'Base' color version, corresponding to a Base Hatching Potion. The colors in this version should reflect your idea of what a basic version of that creature would look like, but you should differentiate it from what the other color versions will look like. Once the base version has been approved on the Trello, you can begin to make recolored versions of your image for each of the other hatching potions. Recolors have some standard features that you should include, as described in the table below. Recolor palettes for Gimp were created by Leephon, and can be found here.
Below is a rough guide to hair colors with hex codes.
It is necessary to follow the proper submission procedures and guidelines for your work to be incorporated legally and effectively. Art cannot be incorporated unless all requirements are met.
When you are submitting pieces, make sure you:
- use the .png file format
- expand the piece to 3x3 pixel zoom
- give the piece a transparent background
If you do not do this, it can be difficult for others to assess your art, and your art cannot be implemented in Habitica.
Pixels in Progress Guild
- Main article: The Keep:Pixels in Progress
While you are working on new art, first place the image on an image hosting service, then post a link to the Pixels in Progress guild. The guild members will offer feedback to help make your art the best it can be, and enable you to redraft the work as needed. The guild is a friendly and supportive place, and users are asked to follow the list of etiquette rules posted there. All work should be checked out by users on the guild before it is submitted to the trello.
Pixel Art Trello Board
- Main article: Habitica Pixel Art Trello Board
When your art is finalized and ready to submit, place the image on an image hosting service, and then post that link to the Pixel Art Trello board as a comment on the appropriate card. The art will then be given final comments and submitted for integration into Habitica. Artisans must have a Trello account to post comments on the Trello boards.
In order for pixel art to be integrated into Habitica, the artisan must give Habitica legal permission to do so. If you have art that you would like to submit, please follow the directions on the Permissions Trello card. When Habitica has the art and your permission to use it in hand, a blacksmith will then insert the files to the appropriate place.
The Trello is strictly for final (or supposedly final) images. Please keep in mind that drafts posted to Trello should be run through a thorough round of critique in Pixels in Progress. Wait for several people to tell you a piece "looks done" or is "ready for Trello" before posting. If you feel you are done but the Guild members disagree, consider their feedback carefully, acknowledge it, and then you may re-post to Trello after waiting at least three days for any additional feedback to trickle in.
Committing Images to the GitHub Repository
The names of image files need to be consistent within each category, so examine existing image names in that directory as part of your process. The standard for file names is category-object-descriptor-index.png (using dashes or underscore). Object, descriptor, and index are optional depending on whether the category folder name would make the object name redundant or if there are no variations requiring a descriptor or index (i.e. no colors or multiples). For example, the third blonde beard option is named beard_blonde_3.png.
Keep in mind that all the art files should be zero indexed, but zero means none of that option, so don't use 0 as your file name index.
Integrate art into the GitHub repository
Usually when you have created an image, Habitica's admins will ensure that it is added to the GitHub repository, so there will be nothing that you need to do. However, if you ever do need assistance, you can ask a Blacksmith to help you by posting in the Aspiring Blacksmiths (Habitica Coders) guild.
Contributor Tier Process
You're in luck! Artisans do not need to do anything special, like complete a Contributor Tier request, in order to earn Contributor Tiers. Contributor Tiers will be granted by the admins as they review and accept Artisan submissions. Admins will track Artisan contributions for credit toward future Contributor Tiers.
Tips and Techniques
GIMP is a free, open source image manipulation program that some artisans use.
Aseprite is a program especially designed for pixel art. It is not free, but at the time of writing costs $15 USD.
Use an existing image
Warning: Please avoid using existing images, and be creative (or at least be 100% sure that the image can be modified and commercially reused, which is not the case in the following video!)
The "use an existing image" video above shows how to:
- Search a reusable image on Google.
- Scale an image.
- Add alpha layer to remove the background color.
- Change colors with posterize and contrast.
- Pixelize an image.
- Set half-transparent pixel to black.
- Draw a border around the image.
- Pandoro spec tutorial.
- The Pixel Art Tutorial - a non-Habitica-specific tutorial recommended by Shaners.
- Pixel Power - for learning how to sprite.
- Pixels in Progress Guild - for artisans to seek feedback on their work.
- The Big List of Pixel Art Tutorials - Collection of tutorials and other relevant pages.