How do they make the sprites in King of Fighters look so good?

I’m new to KoF but looking at these sprites, I can say they beat HD remix’s sprites out of the water. I’m not sure which KoF game it is but maybe you can tell from the sprites

like this


and oh god this

I refuse to believe that these were hand drawn sprites, did they use 3D renders and sprite it, or what?

Maybe because HDR sprites were never meant to have the same level of animation and smoothness as XII sprites since all they were meant to do was to bring the old ST sprites up to HD.

It is a simple matter of quality of concept, level of detail, and number of frames of animation per movement.

As i recall, the team working on this project did use 3D models for reference to speed up the process. That is just a time saving measure. You are incorrect in your assumption that hand drawn animation cannot look that good without some external computerized assistance. The only barrier to 2D animation quality is skill level and time (money).

^ thanks for answering. Its just that some parts of the sprites move as if they were 3D. Couldn’t begin to imagine how someone could sprite that frame by frame.

They have to be the nest sprites in any game I’ve seen by far.

Sure. Smoothness of movement is dependent on number of frames and ability of animator to properly utilize them. No limits to how good it can look.

psstt! Ash is a dude.

I already learned that well after it was too late, Tyler :stuck_out_tongue:

I remember sprites.

Old school KOF sprites were boss too. They were ahead of their time IMO.

Yeah like Tylerzd mentioned, I believe the characters were originally 3d models that were painted over. That could help add to the overall “solidness” of the characters and consistency of the lighting. Plus it’s alot easier to make changes to posing and timing in a 3d program, then do a paint over once it’s all been tested and finalized.

That’s the major benefit of pre-rendering them as models. Even thought they are drawn by hand, having the models as reference allows them to be aware of how the light sources would work on any given frame.

(This is the point where I try very hard to refrain from explaining why despite the obvious effort and skill involved, I think Garou, 3s and BB all look better in play due to the fact that the models being less detailed aren’t as “busy” in motion, and the fact that they don’t blend into the background as much. I’m not going to argue that they aren’t superior from a pure art perspective however, they really are the prettiest things ever.)

I agree, KoF12 sprites are absolutely beautiful…but when it comes to animation, simplicity and readability are just as important.

also remember that hd remix ended up being a quick fix, originally they were meant to be much more detailed.

if they had been designed with only 4 colours from the start hd remix might have been better.

Here is the website that talks about creating those sprites

The background clashing also had quite a bit to do with the colour choices they made in the backgrounds themselves. That France stage especially, saturation is way too high.

Yeah, XIII has basically fixed that with the changes to the backgrounds. The Elephant stage might be a bit iffy, but then so is T.Hawk’s HDR stage or the SFIV India stage.

KoF’s sprites were actually kind of “shit” for a decade there because they stuck to a early to mid-'90s Neo Geo resolution and amount of animation for ages. XI has some solidly designed and drawn stuff, but the number of frames still keeps things stiff and the general look is archaic.

What do you mean by “kind of”? There was no reason for that game to look that bad after 97.

SNK kinda doesn’t have much man power or money.

This was perfect! Thanks!

Not sure how those were done, but it’s totally possible, in fact people do it regularly, to make sprites, animations, art pieces, etc. by drawing each individual pixel in a program such as microsoft paint, because the artists pencil in the individual pixels. Some examples of pixel by pixel, pixel art lol:

Those were done pixel by pixel. If you view the original page where the first piece was posted the guy says it was done in msPaint. Check out You will be amazed.