Well, I've been introduced to this fine piece of software a few days ago, and decided to try it out after having tried a paid version of Graphics Gale my friend let me use on his machine for a short while, and a trial of ProMotion. Unlike both of these costly pieces of software, Grafx2 is entirely free and open source. On top of that, it's chock full of features that neither of the other two software have, and it's very optimial for working efficiently with its handy keybindings.

This pixel pushing wonder sports all of the tools you would normally find in an image editing program meant for pixel art: multiple brush sizes, line/circle tools, rectangles, an a palette menu of sorts. What it has that makes it unique are advanced shape tools such as splines (essentially a curve tool, but it's a *lot* more precise than that lame one found in MS Paint, and easier to use overall); gradient spheres/rectangles; palette options such as "Spread" (takes two endpoint colors, and computes intermediary shades between them to add to the palette), "Histogram" (shows a histogram of all colors used and how many pixels they populate), "Zap Unused/Reduce" (removes unused colors from the palette and can lower the color count quickly), "Merge" (reduces a color by averaging two other colors together), along with many others; super handy key bindings (` for pipette, d for pen tool, u for undo and S-u for redo, etc.); wide brush shape variety and support for custom brushes (which can be save and edited for later use!); advanced options for pixel width, resolution, special brush/tool effects, etc.; Layers and layer tools; and many, many more features. It's also available for every major platform, and even some more obscure ones.

The learning curve for using this program is rather small considering the huge count of features included; I personally got very comfortable with using it (more comfortable than with MS Paint!) in a matter of two or three hours of using it. I've found I can pixel about 3x more efficiently on average in
rafx2 than in MS Paint, and at least 1.5x faster than in Graphics Gale. Most of the features are very straightforward and easy to figure out.

One thing the Cemetechnicians around here might enjoy the most, is that it's got a scripting system that uses Lua as the scripting language. Grafx2 allows scripts to have a large degree of control over the image and tools in the program, and to make it even easier, since Grafx2 is written using SDL, you can tap into SDL's easy-to-use, powerful routines. I for one have already started playing around with a script that would allow for 5+ curve splines.

Overall, whether you're a serious pixel artist or if you just play around with a few sprites here or there, I recommend you to check out Grafx2; you'll be very glad that you did.
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