Critique my pixel art

Hello there,

I’m currently working on a FE8 hack based on Ogre Battle lore so I’m dipping my toes into creating Pixel Portraits. I started out by creating a potrait of Canopus, one of the main heroes of the Ogre Battle series. I started by using Dieck’s face and body as a base and splicing Wade’s hair and bandana on top of it. Then I altered Wade’s bandana into the metal headband that the Hawkmen wear. Then I removed Dieck’s scars and armor and gave him a set of wings. I think it turned out better than I expected, but there are a couple of issues I have with this portrait. I’m not sure the visor looks as good as it could or gives a good enough impression of being reflective metal. Shading is always tricky in pixel art, not sure I’ve mastered that skill yet. Oh and drawing wings on humanoid characters was a lot more difficult than I expected. I’m also not sure if the portrait is going to look good in game with the wings cut off like that, but I refuse to add anatomically inadequate wings to my fictitious characters. I’ll have to figure out a better position for the wings if that becomes an issue.

In any case, feel free to comment, give feedback, praise or trash my portrait. Right now I plan to make about 20 characters in my hack so any advice on how to make portrait creation a more efficient process is welcome.





I’ve played Ogre Battle: MotBQ so this is pretty cool.

Maybe it’s just me but if I didn’t know those were supposed to be wings, it would be difficult for me to tell. The shading makes them look like they’re rigid and made of a hard material. As if he had Gundam wings rather than feathery wings. Or as if it’s made of rock but has cracks in it. I hope that makes sense.

Otherwise, mostly looks good. I’d wipe that smile off his face (the shading on the corners of his mouth make him look like he’s smiling) to match the Ogre Battle portrait where it looks like he means serious business.

Skin color is also darker on OB Canopus but not sure if you care to match it.

Note that I’m more of a novice pixel artist than you so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Just thought I’d throw in my 1 cent because I saw no other responses yet.


Nah, your observations are spot on. Yeah, wings are hard to draw. I’ll probably redo them at some point, once I get better at this. The feathers don’t look right though. They look more like scales. I can start with fixing that. And making them look like they have more volume.

I was also basing my wings on this drawing, but those things are massive! They’ll never fit in a portrait. I’ll have to figure out a way to reduce them.


I took a break from Canopus to try something simpler. I made a Roshafallian Monk based on FE7’s hooded morph guy. Now the hack has a information giver and a Zodiac Stone dispenser. The lighting is very different, the original uses very bright lights that wash out the orange of the robes whereas I went with something that seemed more suited for GBA FE.


I’ll continue using this thread for my other portraits.


If you want your hack development to be more efficient, why not just use the Ogre Battle portrait sprites directly instead of re-drawing them? You could also re-design the interface to match an Ogre Battle game too. If color count is a problem, there are ways to automatically redraw the sprites with a 16 color palette.

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I thought about that, and it seemed like it could maybe work. I have a set of portraits from the SNES game and they are all 60x60. If I could rip a couple of extra portraits from the SNES game that I’m missing, I would do it. The only issue is that I don’t want to mix GBA style portraits and Ogre Battle style portraits since the styles clash a bit IMO. I like the idea of ripping the interface from the SNES too and the fonts. Any ideas on how to accomplish that? My hacking knowledge is limited, so I would just screengrab it from the emulator. That would be particularly slow for something like fonts. Also the assets in the SNES game are encoded, so I can’t just go to the Hex values in the rom and grab the raw data.

Edit: I found this utility that might help with decompressing graphical assets and I tried it but it was a pretty obtuse and poorly documented tool. If anyone has used it or a similar tool successfully for ripping assets from an SNES game, let me know.

I think this ( should have just about everything you need. If not, the emulator Mesen-S ( - Utilities - Mesen-S) has a handy feature that shows you stuff that’s been loaded as graphics and should let you export it as an image file. Bear in mind that the game may not load all useful graphics in at once, and you may have to manually arrange tiles to get the image to line up.

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Well, dang, that is a resource. It also has the animation frames for all of the characters. That’s good, I can save a lot of time by focusing on converting those into FEBuilder friendly assets.

I did end up making mugs using the Ogre Battle portraits and they turned out OK. I was able to line up the eyes and mouth to the GBA standard after adding a few pixels to his torso at the bottom of the portrait. So I got him to blink and move his mouth.

The biggest issue is the amount of colors these portraits have. I’m trying to use Usenti to prune similar colors from the palette, but I’m having trouble with that. I don’t know how to manually do that, other than using Requantize to automatically fix the colors. The results with Requantize are less than ideal because it doesn’t let me pick which colors to merge and which ones to keep. If anyone has an idea of how to manually fix colors for a mug, let me know.

This is what I have so far:

What it looks like in game:

I imagine the green area is displaying because requantize messed up the colors, but I could be wrong there.

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Yeah, I don’t know how FEGBABuilder handles the alpha color for portraits, but for reducing the color count, the best thing I’ve found that can do it is the program Gimp ( There’s a color map feature thingy in there that’ll let you set the amount of colors in the palette or remap the image using a custom palette. Gimp saves a lot of metadata about the image by default, so it’d probably be best to save the .png file again using a different editor.

Strange that SNES sprites would be going over the color limit. Don’t FEGBA sprites use 16 color palettes?

Yeah IDK if it was the way these portraits were ripped or OB has some trickery going on but the portraits def use more than 16 colors. The SNES is supposed to be 16bit, just like the GBA right? Heck, they don’t even use 32 colors either. OB is a very colorful game though, much more than GBA FE games, so that doesn’t surprise me. The portraits often use very dramatic lighting, such as the monk and that requires using more colors.

Edit: SNES games seem to be a lot more colorful than GBA games in general. Must be something with the architecture that allows them to use larger color palettes.

Usenti lets you look at the palette in a grid screen and edit from it. You can weed out stray colors pretty easily that way.

Personally i just paint bucket the sprite with a single color to make the extras stick out, then undo and fix them.

Yeah, I have the palette and I can edit the colors fine. The part that I’m unsure about is how to delete or merge colors. I have a bunch of black variations I want to replace with 0,0,0, (2,1,1), (5,4,2), etc… but I don’t see an option to merge them together. I changed the colors to 0,0,0 and saved and reloaded and now I have a bunch of copies of 0,0,0 in the palette. I feel like I’m missing something obvious here.

Open and save it in mspaint then go back to usenti. I’m not sure why but sometimes that fixes the palette.

Also the background color displaying is because it’s not in the correct palette index. You can set it manually in FEBuilder. The background color might have merged with a different color after requant

FE x Ogre Battle? i guess it could be a pretty cool concept if done right.

by the way, if you need assets such as portraits, beside spritersresource you could also check the game’s wikis, as they might have more secondary characters listed there.
March of the Black Queen is easily one of the best rpgs for SNES, as it was way ahead of its time when it was released back in the days.

kinda strange that the portraits have more than 16 colors though, being from a SNES game.
not sure what style you want to use in terms of visuals, but the original portraits should be quite easy to edit and customize.
with softwares such as Adobe Photoshop it probably wouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to insert them into a hackbox and make a mini mug, if you plan to keep the original artstyle of Akihiko Yoshida.

Yeah I have some good ideas on how to port OB mechanics to FE style gameplay. Ideally it plays like Tactics Ogre but I want to bring back old school OB mechanics like Reputation and Alignment. Alignment will work differently though, it won’t be as big of a grind as it was before or block promotion. It will be relatively static per character but can be changed through special events and items. Maybe killing unarmed units will still lower ALI. Not 100% decided on that.

Using Yoshida’s portraits would be ideal, I do like that artstyle a lot. But there is more asset support for the FE GBA style of portraits. If I want to create an OC for the hack, it will be easier to make one with the GBA portraits. There are pros and cons to both.

I don’t know about 2 minutes, but it certainly will be easier to create mugs once I figure out the issues with the colorization. As far as the portraits having more than 16 colors, I think the SNES has special architecture to support color palettes larger than 16 bit, but don’t quote me on that. The OB rips I’ve downloaded from spritersresource have 64 colors.

i see. well, you could still lower the amount of colors on the SNES sprites, but then you’ll have to sacrifice visual quality and fidelity with their original counterparts.
that might not be the best solution in terms of graphics, but in the end it all boils down to how you want to implement it.

on the other hand, if you plan to work with GBA assets, there’s an ocean of mugs to splice from, unless you want to commission some artist or do stuff entirely from scratch.

at this point, you should consider if you want to keep everything in line with GBA standards, or eventually switch to other engines such as Lex Talions or Tactile that allow for different customization options with less restrictions on colors.
either way, looks like an interesting project~

I was able to edit Canopus’ color palette down to 16 colors without losing too much fidelity. Because of all the earlier edits and erasing, the color palette had ballooned to 200 colors, so I basically grouped similar colors together and manually switched them to be identical. Once the palette is edited to only contain 16 unique colors, requantize deletes all of the redundant copies and gives you a nicely slimmed down image.

Color fixed Canopus:


BTW, does anyone know why the portrait is getting cut off when displayed in the stats screen?


I’ve seen this issue in a different hack as well (in ZeN’s FE6 in FE8 remake hack Geese’s portrait has this issue).

Please take a look at this thread: Why is this character portrait getting cut off? - #7 by LordGlenn and what @Merpin said. That might be the problem and solution.

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Yup that looks like it, thanks!