advice or tutorial suggestions for sprites

I have spent a while now coding and dreaming up a game with wg, pec growth and lust mechanics but over the weekend I tried to make the sprites and realised I have a lot more work ahead of me in this department.

To cut down on sprites needed I was hoping to divide the sprite into arms, head, legs, groin, belly and pecs. Each piece would be animated independently so I only need to make 3 sprites for each section and not a sprite sheet for each combination of stats. I have found some templates but getting what I want from them was hard as my skills are mostly in tracing and editing photos.

TLDR: if you have any advice or existing tutorials that would be great. Also is tracing references viable for sprites?


I find it’s helpful when you’re making something that will mix and match various parts is to either establish static connection points or figure out what connection points need to move, and how that’s going to work in the code. For example, bigger pecs (specifically wider) might push out the arms a little bit so you can still see them at larger sizes. Honestly connection points and transition areas are the hardest part, since you essentially have to make something look like a smooth transition with all possible combinations.
Something to keep in mind (for static connection parts) is to keep all the sprites the same dimensions so that you can use the same origin point for each one, and to keep a bit of buffer space around the actual visible parts of the sprite so if you ever need to make tweaks you have room to do so. Can’t tell you how many times I had to adjust the canvas size for every part because I didn’t leave enough room.
As for tracing, that mostly depends on how big your sprites are. Subtle curves can get lost and quite a bit of abstraction needs to be done when you start getting to lower resolutions.