Thursday, 8 March 2012

Retina Display Ate my Brain - Trade Secrets of Game Graphics Part 1

Since the news is out that the new iPad is going to have the best display ever on any thing which ever existed, it might be a good time to talk a little about graphics. I'll do a 'then and now' post at a later date, but here's how I've been preparing my graphics for my next app.

I've been using the most advanced drawing tools known to mankind - pencil and paper! No really, I've leapfrogged the whole image resolution problem so that I always have access to a near-infinite resolution original, only limited by scanner technology. Future-proofed for a hidden reality.

The artwork is scanned at 600 dots per inch and colored in Photoshop. That gives me a pretty generous size for most purposes, even for print work.

Once the coloring is finished, I prepare 3 extra copies of the screens for the final app, as well as the non-compressed original.

The three extra copies are saved as jpegs, each half the size of the previous, the biggest being 2048x1536. That leaves me with one graphic for pretty much every type of display, including the new iPad Retina.

I tend to save the jpegs at a high quality setting, and use png's if I need transparency. I need the three resolutions for every image; sprites, backgrounds, buttons, whatever. My fonts are always scaleable.

Next Scheduled post is still Friday.

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