Tuesday, May 15, 2012
ASEPRITE (Allegro Sprite Editor)
As a Linux user, I am always looking for new professional quality tools that are open source and, preferably, cross-platform. ASEPRITE (Allegro Sprite Editor), is now one of those tools. Mac users, you will not be disappointed either. This is saying a lot when shareware like Graphics Gale and costly Cosmigo Pro Motion are used from professional pixel artists only support Windows.
I would like to pick that I do not know anyone who buys shareware (Graphics Gale) anymore or let alone a whopping $78 (DRM limited use) / $1500 "unlimited number of users at a single customer site or location" for Pro Motion. If that is not a kick in the balls, Pro Motion also charges for upgrades at half price... First of all, who buys a tool for a dying art medium (despite how much I love drawing pixel art) these days at such a high rate or even be charged to upgrade to a new version?
I can't rip on Pro Motion enough for being a bastard of a lost business cause. At least with buying comercial software like Photoshop, you're buying a cutting edge tool for the digital art industry (though I'd berate its value as well with GIMP out and GIMP 3.0 coming) where you can earn that cash back through investing into career paths. Also, Photoshop at least has support for Mac. This tells me the developers had some sort of mindset that some of us are seeking professional work on different platforms.
While this may be old news to some of you, Allegro Sprite Editor is the perfect example that these type of commercial software should just go away. It has pretty much all the features Pro Motion and Graphics Gale do and is free / open source / cross-platform (as if this wasn't a plus enough for me). I'm more than happy to hit that donate button for an awesome under-appreciated piece of development software like ASEPRITE. Surprisingly, I almost feel as if I'm doing it out of spite (even though that's not my real intention) because of the backwards business model of Pro Motion.
I just tested out ASEPRITE 9.1 and I have to say I am really impressed. I have always drawn game/pixelated graphics in wonderful GIMP, but it really lacked in the animation department and was not really specialized for this type of art. I am not an expert in animation, but I have been putting off learning how to do this with pixel art for quite some time for this exact reason.
I recommend checking out Allegro Sprite Editor if you are a pixel artist, new to pixel art (free means no risky investment), or just curious about 2D game art. Especially when your development environment is anything but horrendous Windows, it can be annoying rebooting / switching between virtual machines (my laptop can only take so much). My fellow pixelated Mac and Linux users, your prayers have been finally answered.