How to Make an 8-Bit Character

Written by arnold carreiro
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How to Make an 8-Bit Character
Kirby made his debut in the 8-bit era. (David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

8-bit games such as "Donkey Kong," "Balloon Fight" and "Mario Bros." have inspired creative 8-bit themed artwork in the decades since the Nintendo Entertainment System video game platform was released. With the aid of a PC and Microsoft Paint, nostalgic artists can recreate their favourite NES characters, items and scenes or build their own unique art. The 8-bit style was inspired by the graphical limitations of the early Nintendo console's blocky and pixelated visuals. Anything can be built in this retro style and its graphic effectiveness is only limited by the artist's imagination.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Open a new Paint program file on your computer.

  2. 2

    Use the Magnifying Glass tool to zoom in to the maximum level.

  3. 3

    Select the pencil tool and the colour black from the colour panels listed. Draw your character's outline pixel by pixel. Don't forget to use the black lines to detail lines on the character's body that will be filled with colour, such as arms or legs.

  4. 4

    Choose your character's colours and fill in the 8-bit character using the paint bucket tool to cover large areas with colour. Use the pencil tool to fill in coloured details of your 8-bit art.

Tips and warnings

  • For practice, copy and paste a character image from a classic NES title to recolor and edit to make your own 8-bit art using this method.
  • Try creating simple characters when you first start experimenting with 8-bit art techniques before you attempt more complicated subjects.

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