Create an Adorable 8-bit Animal in Photoshop

Anum Khan
Anum Khan

It wasn’t long ago that 8-bit graphics were prominent in video games and other forms of digital media. 8-bit media ruled the digital landscape for multiple generations, and many who grew up on a steady diet of 8-bit graphics are now parents, business owners, and prospective customers. Effective designs are crafted to form a strong, instant emotional connection, so when you’re designing branding materials, advertisements, or other design work, it would be a shame to overlook a style that can have such powerful nostalgic appeal to so many.

So, today we are going to create a colorful 8-bit puffin to bring back some fond memories.


Blue Grunge Pattern

Let’s have a look at our final result: (Download the finished layered PSD file.)

Step 1

Open Photoshop and adjust some preference settings. So go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “General.” Now, change the “Image Interpolation” to “Nearest neighbor.”

Step 2

Create a new file with a 50px width and a 50px height.

Step 3

Now, zoom the canvas to 1400% using the navigator on the side. This way, you can easily see the pixel guide.

Step 4

Now, fill the background with some contrasting color so that you can easily work on your 8-bit creation.

Step 5

Now let’s start with our puffin, create a new layer and select the pencil with a 1 px size. With foreground color #ffffff, draw the white area for the face.

Step 6

Change the foreground color to #ebeaea and add some shading around the periphery.

Step 7

Now, let’s move on to the colorful beak. Create a new layer and change the foreground color to #ffefa4. Apply the color in the manner shown below.

Step 8

Now, use colors #dacd35, #70cbe8, #ffd700, #fa5900, and #e05000. Keep your pattern the same as the image below.

Step 9

Create a new layer, select color #000000 as your foreground color, and draw the black area of our puffin.

Step 10

Create the the puffin’s gray chest using colors #cdcdcd and #fdf1bf.

Step 11

Select colors #757575 and #ffffff to create the body and outline.

Step 12

Now, create the feet using colors #722c0c and #f47f3d. Our 8-bit puffin is ready.

Step 13

If you want to add some style to the puffin, we need to increase the size. To increase the image size without losing the desired pixelated effect, Go to “Image” > “Image Size” and change the width and height to 500px. Keep the settings the same as below.

Step 14

Now, let’s add some style. Select the background layer and fill it with color #79cdee.

Step 15

Click on “Layer style” and add the pattern from our resources to the background.

Step 16

Create a new layer and place it on top of the puffin layers and fill it with color #d4efff. Now, reduce the fill to 20%.

Step 17

Now, click on “Layer style” and add a pattern using the settings shown below.

Here’s the final result:

Our 8 Bit puffin is all done. I hope this tutorial brought back some fond nostalgic memories. I’ll be back with some more tutorials. Until then, take care!