This is more about creating and organizing 2D graphics rather than using them in Java specifically.
Working on my game has been a slow process but at least I have a background in Java. What I have no experience with is creating graphics. My graphics at the moment are very, very simple - which is fine with me for now. What isn’t fine is my work flow.
If I am just playing around, trying to get some ideas I tend to work in either LibreOffice Impress or MS PowerPoint and to a lesser extent MS Paint. This tends to leave me with lots of sprites spread around within a file. Some of these are dead ends that I don’t want to get rid of, while others are what I would currently like to use.
If I want to put one of them in a game, I will then either save a copy and crop out everything else (if it is MS Paint) or take a screen capture (if it is a slide deck). Either way it is saved as a PNG. I then pull the image into GIMP and remove the background color so it is appropriately transparent and save it as a different file. This is then loaded into the game and used.
This stinks for at least a couple of reasons:
- I am using too many tools; for instance I am just using GIMP to make the background transparent.
- Everything is too manual.
- It’s a mess…I have old versions and dead ends mixed in with current ideas and it is hard to organize.
- Although I am just using simple solid colors now, I am eventually going to want to add little things like some blurring or glowing (like a radar screen). This work flow isn’t compatible with that.
I have a tiny bit of of familiarity with InkScape and I have heard of Paint.NET but that is about it. I am willing to take some time to learn the proper tools but I fear that something like Photoship/GIMP is a bit too far beyond me.
So does anyone have any recommendations of better tools or workflow or organizational tips for simple 2D graphics/art? How do you do it?