2D 101/Basics

Bunny here again. I’ve noticed many people exclaiming that they want to make a 2D design, but are scared or feel like they just don’t know how to start. I’m here to tell you that’s OK. I was very nervous at first. Made 100’s of designs that just didn’t look the way I thought they should. I wish I had screenshot ability then to show you. You would giggle right along with me. I didn’t think at that time to make more realistic looking items. So the majority of them more resembled old school 8 bit games and graphics, which still look cool. So let’s get down to the basics.


My suggestion is start very small, very basic, with simple items (like a few $25 small hedges). The first thing I made was my name “Bunny“. Letters are basic, so they are a good start. Pick any name you’d like. A small name just to get an idea of spacing and look. Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake. Mistakes are helpful. I learned more from doing it wrong.

Make a name:

Let’s try Ann. Now the green ground of the game has a great built in grid system. This will help you keep items aligned with each other. You can even use a couple spare fences to create a line across the bottom if you’d like. Yes, this seems like grade school, but it’s nice to start at the beginning. Start with the A. Place just enough small hedges to the peak to leave room a few blocks down to cross it and enough spacing to bottom. You will notice in the first picture, due to the natural 45 degree angle in the game, the A looks a little odd. You will run into this from time to time. No worries. A simple fix is move in the bottom few to a more straight up and down instead of angle. It still looks like an A.

Next the Ns. Now this is where you can decide upper or lower case. Either will work. For this, I will use lower case. Again starting at bottom. For a curve look, place one hedge slighty out of place, then continue up a row, over a few, slightly out again, then down. Repeat for second N. You can flip the hedges one way or another to make the connection between hedges change/look different. Do whatever you like.

Now you have made a simple name. Practice a few more if you’d like. You can try any name you’d like. Or try the alphabet. Get the feel for what it takes to make each letter into a design you like.

Make a Shape:

Now for a basic design with shape. Let’s try a smiley face. Again using the small hedge. Start with the face. To make it look in proportion, I like to use similar numbers. Like 6 up, 6 up diagonally, 6 across, 6 diagonally down…etc.

You will notice that objects at one diagonal do not look the same at another. Don’t worry about it for now. Just get the feel for making a shape. Again using the built in grid in the game to help. Now for the eyes. If you have any garbage propane tanks, they work great. If not, use small hedges. I will show both. Find the center using the grid and place a start to an eye. Make a small oval shape. Next the nose. Now mouth.

There you have a simple face. Add to it or change it any way that suits you.

Just For Fun:

Let’s try one more basic design. This goes back to the old 8 bit games. Space invaders. For this I will be using the square & rectangular hedges. Just for reference, I like to use a picture of an item to have something I can visually compare to. We will follow the same basic principles of the shape. Start with a main focal area, in this case the “eyes”, then add the “nose”, then “mouth”, then “arms and hands”, and finish it off with the “ears”.

This is a finished Space Invader I did a while ago. I used a boardwalk bench to make it appear shots were being fired and small hedges. You can see the difference between using the square shape hedge vs the small hedge. The image is similar, but also has a different look to it.

I hope this helped you in some way. Please feel free to pick my brain on any other items, questions you have. I am happy to help. 🙂



3 responses to “2D 101/Basics

  1. I know this is 3 years late but I want you to know that your art inspires me! I love all your designs and post! I would love for you to reply to this so I know you are there! Thx so much! 🙂

  2. Awww thanks D. 🙂 I’m glad I was able to inspire you. Your invader looks great. Once you get the basics…possibilities are endless (and addictive) 😛

  3. Hey Lite-Brite, my rw job is approaching overload this week. Your 2D 101/Basics post was just the medicine I needed today. Took a quick break; bought some land in my town to use as a canvas and tried your Space Invaders example… so much fun!


    Thanks for the lesson & looking forward the next one,
    your humble TSTO 2D padawan – DrewDabble 🙂

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