How to Export Pixel Art from Piskel

Whenever you finish creating your own pixel art inside of Piskel, eventually you'll want to export it out so you can share it or even use it in a video game. However when exporting your pixel images from Piskel, there are several options to choose from depending on the project type. In this tutorial we will show you how to export your pixel art from Piskel so that you can use your pixel art in a variety of scenarios.
How to Export Pixel Art From Piskel

If you've drawn pixel art in Piskel you're probably wondering how you can use your artwork outside of Piskel. You might have made a pixel art graphic and now you're asking, how do I export my pixel art image from Piskel? Fortunately, Piskel works great when exporting pixel art images so that they come out perfect depending on the project type. We’ll go over the steps you need to complete on how to export your pixel art.

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How to Export a Pixel Art Image

First let’s open up Piskel. In this tutorial we use the free, web-based version, but if you prefer to use the desktop version feel free to do so, they are exactly the same.

For this tutorial we will use the pixel art dog we used in one of our previous tutorials, How to Make Pixel Art in Piskel. Like we mentioned before, the steps in this tutorial will work with any pixel art graphic that you have, so if you have your own pixel art image you can follow along without any problems.

As we mentioned before we opened our pixel art dog from before. Go ahead and do the same or open your pixel art file in Piskel. When you do look to the right side of the window. There is an icon that looks like a photo of a mountain with a sun. When you roll over it, it should say Export. Go ahead and click that.

Now once you pressed the button, a new menu window will slide out titled "Export". This window is your one stop place in Piskel for exporting your pixel art. All options and file types for export can be found here. First we will cover the universal export options and then we will dive into what file types you can export your pixel art as.

Scale & Resolution

The first section we will explore is the located at the top of the Export window. The first option has the word Scale with a slider next to it. This is the scale in which your image will be exported. By default an image is exported at a scale 1.0x. This means that the size of grid you used to make your pixel art is the same size the image will be exported as. So for the image of our pixel dog we used a grid size of 32x32 so our resolution will be 32x32 when we export it out. Now for modern day devices this is extremely small. The average iPhone resolution is 750x1334. So to export our image larger without distorting it, all we need to do is slide the scale to the right. As you do the Resolution underneath it will increase to let you know just how big your image is. Adjust it to whatever size you need for your project. Generally speaking games use the 1.0x scale but marketing materials like screenshots for the App Store tend to use a larger scale such 16.0x. Try different sizes to get a feel for it.

After you select a scale & resolution, you'll now need to select a file format option. We will cover what file export options are available to you next.

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Export GIF

The first option you have is a GIF. GIF files are well know for their built in ability to create simple animations. These are usually very popular on websites. Because of this the first option is have your GIF file repeat infinitely. Note that this option is only useful if you actually made an animation in Piskel. If not it will just display your static pixel art. Once you're ready just click the Download button. Or you can also Upload it to a web server.

Export PNG

The second option is the PNG option. This is by far the most common format for video game development because it helps maintain the pixel sharpness when you import it into a game engine. Because of this there are several options you can choose from. 

The first is the Spritesheet file export. This will generate a single image with all your pixel art frames. This is a well know format in game engines such as Unity and Game Maker Studio.

The second and third option is the Spritesheet data-ur export and PixiJS Movie export option. These are advanced formats that require a program to read out your sprite data. Most artists won't need to use these. 

The fourth option is Selected frame export. This is the simplest way to export a frame of your pixel art. It  gets the current frame of your pixel art image and exports it into a single PNG file.

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Export ZIP

The third option is the Zip option. This exports every single frame of your current pixel art image and automatically places them in a Zip folder. This makes it easy to email or message a group of separated frames with ease. Since it does all the frames at the same time, you can provide a Prefix for the files so you can distinguish them. You can also additional split your pixel art by layers before it is zipped. To use this option press Download ZIP.

Export Others

This menu tab is for new export options that become available in updates. As of right now there is only the Export as C File option. This is a C file used by developers.

Wrap Up

Because Piskel is a dedicated pixel art editor, more and more export options are becoming available to artists and developers. Learning how to export pixel art in Piskel is a great skill to have especially when working on projects like video games and digital art projects. Thank you for reading.


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