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.
Fixed an issue with importing some GIFs.
Ratings and Reviews
Awesome but missing a few things
This is probably the most intuitive pixel art software on iOS. Totally fell in love with how powerful the tool is. Especially for a beginner I’m already loving it. I use Aseprite on PC as well and i have to say that Pixaki really keeps up. There are just a few things that are real essential that are missing. First would be a blur tool to get nicer textures and another is the magic wand tool which would make workflow on an iPad much easier. Definitely the best app on the market right now if you’re a veteran or a noob like myself. Keep it up!
I’m using this app to make sprite sheets and characters for a game I’m working on!
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. :)
Spoiled all other pixel art tools for me
I almost never write reviews, but I have to say: Pixaki is so, so great. I’ve been using it for several months for all of my pixel art, and it’s truly a delight. I’ve checked out a few other tools - aseprite, photoshop, etc. - and while they might have some useful features, nothing beats the simple, focused experience of creating pixel art with Apple Pencil and this app. I still have to use photoshop for splitting out and exporting layers, but that’s fine. Heartily recommend shelling out for this, even if you need to incorporate other tools into your workflow for game development or whateve else you do. It’s worth it.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.