Learn the basics of pixel art - Clear grid
A second explanation can be advanced concerning the incredible ugliness of this example… the grid is far too obvious
Many games show this grid which constantly shouts to the players: "You are not in the real world, you are in the middle of the tiles of a video game!" Even though it is true that the grid is present, we want to give the illusion that it does not exist… Visually clearing the grid is actually one of the greatest accomplishments you can achieve as a pixel artist.
These games do a very good job of breaking the grid. Try to imagine it mentally, to see where the tiles start and end… Not easy is it? Of course, some places are simple, like the brown roof in the first image, the carpet in the second or the railings in the last… but still!
Let's go back to our patch of grass. Sometimes a tile that looks perfect can render very poorly when repeated on the grid.
In the first picture on the left, do you see what I meant? The tile of the third method, with randomly sprayed pixels, does not break the grid at all. You can see very easily where the boxes start and end… To help you spot what is wrong, I have circled the area that appears to be the worst. A large dark spot repeats and reveals the grid, giving an artificial appearance. By modifying a few pixels, I obtained the image of the center, less worse but bringing a new problem: a kind of horizontal line which repeats. It is not a real line, but rather the alignment of enough pixels of the same color so that our eye automatically imagines a line… It is disturbing for the gaze!
This brings us to the last example. By adding darker pixels to the line and smoothing out the distribution of hues, I was able to achieve a much more compelling grass texture. Unless you are lucky or have a lot of time to spare, you will never be able to actually clear the grid. The art lies in the ability to strike a balance between the randomness of the grass and the absence of a revealing pattern. In the third image, there are still subtle light lines revealing the grid, which we could try to correct with darker pixels, but the reality is that the result is already very good, and much more pleasant to watch!
Often developers just say to themselves "I have random green dots in my tile, so it's grass and I can put it anywhere on my map, let's move on to the next tile now!" »But it doesn't work visually… To know if a tile is good, you have to check what it will look like on a map. There are tools on a lot of software that reproduce a texture over a large area, otherwise you can just create a basic map in your game to test your new tiles.
You can refer to some Pixel art samples here: https://pixelartgratuit.fr/
Unfortunately, there is no better technique than testing your tile and improving it until you get the results right!
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