Pixaki is a powerful pixel art creation studio for iPad. It features many of the same features found in desktop apps — such as custom canvas sizes, layers, animation, precise color selection, and customizable palettes — but with a gorgeous multi-touch interface that is just right for iPad.
Whether you’re creating 8-bit game characters or vast isometric cityscapes, Pixaki has the tools you’ll need in an app you’ll love.
// WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
“For our money, Pixaki is the only app worth considering for iPad-related pixel art.” — TechRadar
“It’s a great way to kick back on the couch and create the 8-bit scene of your dreams.” — The Verge
// FOR THE FUTURE OF PIXEL ART.
Pixel art is so much more than just retro. We believe that the best pixel art ever is still being made. By you. That’s why there’s nothing retro about Pixaki. The app is built to take full advantage of the latest features of iOS, and designed for a fantastic experience on iPad and iPad Pro.
// PIXEL OVER YOUR SKETCHES.
Pixaki’s reference layers allow you to import any image from your photo library at full resolution, resize and reposition it on the canvas, then draw pixels over the top. You can even have multiple reference layers at once, and adjust the opacity so that you can draw underneath the image if you prefer.
Pixel art was made to move, and with Pixaki it’s a joy to bring your creations to life. With advanced features such as per-frame duration and color-shifted onion skinning, nothing can stop you.
Supports up to 50 layers per frame. Adjust the opacity of each to easily create lighting and translucency effects. Reordering layers is as simple as drag and drop.
// FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE PALETTES.
Pixaki comes with some great palettes pre-installed, but also allows you to create and save your own. Once you’ve saved a palette, you can import it into any document that you’re working on. You can also import palettes you’ve created in other software or downloaded in .aco, .pal, and .gpl formats.
// SHAPES AND LINES.
The line tool makes it easy to create perfectly straight lines, which can optionally be locked to angles used in isometric art. The rectangle and ellipse tools help in creating basic shapes, which can be automatically filled with color, and the aspect ratio can be locked to create squares and circles.
// POWERFUL COLOR REPLACEMENT.
It might look like an old bucket, but this is actually a supercharged color replacement tool. You can use it like a standard bucket tool, or replace all instances of a particular color with another. This can be configured to affect just the layer you’re working on, all layers of the current frame, or all layers on all frames. Turning on erase mode to removes all pixels of a given color. It’s a great way to work with limited color palettes.
Cut, copy, paste, move, flip, and rotate anything that you draw with a simple, intuitive interface. Touch and hold the paste icon to quickly tile an area with an image from the clipboard.
// IMPORT AND EXPORT.
Pixaki makes it easy to work with other desktop and mobile apps, as well as output for game engines and social media sharing.
• Photoshop files: Import and export layered PSDs. Export an animation, and the layers for each frame are put into groups.
• Animated GIFs: Import and export animated GIFs. Export supports magnification, perfect for crisp images online.
• Sprite sheets: Perfect for use in your game, with a configurable number of columns. Also supports magnification.
• ZIP archives: Save a PNG of each frame packaged into a ZIP file. Great for game engines and video production.
• PNGs: Export supports nearest-neighbor upscaling for crisp social media sharing.
• Other images: Any image format supported by iOS can be imported into Pixaki — things like TIFFs and even JPEGs (yuck).
• Palettes: Supports Adobe Photoshop’s .aco files, GIMP’s .gpl files, and the JASC .pal format.
Adds support for the new iPad Pros and the double tap gesture on the new Apple Pencil. Also contains several bug fixes.
Ratings and Reviews
Missing essential features
Using the eye dropper to choose a color only seems to use the selected layer. Since my layer has nothing in it, it only selects white or grey. I have a photo in a reference layer but if I select it so I can pick colors from it, a green orientation/transformation bar covers the bar at the bottom that has the color picker. EDIT: apparently the picker samples all layers except reference layers. It’d be great if it didn’t treat reference layers differently.
You can’t nudge a pixel or selection by one or more pixels, which makes moving objects difficult.
Drawing a shape beyond the bounds of the viewport doesn’t move the canvas, which is a real shame because zooming in for accuracy is pretty much necessary. This means you have to complete the shape in stages if it’s taller or wider than the current viewport allows.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to quickly select an entire shape/a layer’s contents, so if you accidentally made a gigantic rectangle too wide by one or more pixels, you’re stuck having to draw a selection around the area you want.
Pixaki is hands down the best pixel art app out there, but the bar is low and it has a ways to go to be incredible. I look forward to future updates. :)
Ok so In the latest update the devs asked for us to submit a review so I thought, these guys actually deserve one.
This app is perfect, work amazingly well with an Apple Pencil and an iPad Pro. I have created a number of sprites and animations for small game projects I am working on and they are perfect. This is very user friendly, the app is a delight to use. With the newest addition of eye dropper allowing reference material colour to be taken, it’s one of the only things it needs.
All I would like is drag and drop to folders images for folders and the app would be straight up perfect, it’s great but it if you want to make pixel art.
Hands down best in its category, but could use improvement
Well worth it’s money.
The app is very easy to use, and quite robust. The only issue is there’s just many simple quality of life improvements that could be made. Things such as better cropping, nudging, layer grouping, save all layers individually option, and trimming for example. Nothing deal breaking though.
Currently to my knowledge there’s and issue with naming files beginning with a period (.), but after running into that issue myself have had the developer take care of the issue, and been assured he’s patching out the cause of the problem.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.