Photoshop is a huge, multipurpose program. Because of this, some of the features that can be very helpful for pixel art are somewhat hidden, and not well known. I will try to highlight some of these features in a series of blog posts.
Pixel art requires working on your piece at lots of different sizes. Now there is always the navigator, but it offers a very limited, and non-pixel-perfect view, so you find yourself zooming in and out a lot. This has been known to cause zoom fatigue, a very serious condition that affects 1 in 3 pixel artists. But hark, for I have the cure.
Creating Multiple Views in Photoshop
Start by opening any document.
From the Window menu, hover over the first option, Arrange ►. At the very bottom, select New window for Document.psd.
You’ll notice that you now have two tabs with the same document. When you make changes to one, it’ll happen to the other.
In Photoshop CS4 and higher, your documents are displayed in tabs above your workspace. To detach them from the tab bar, drag the tab down until it pops out. It will then be in it’s own window, that you can drag around and resize.
You can change the zoom level in each window individually, which is what enables us to use it as a preview. You can leave this one at 100%, while you zoom into and move around the first one.
And that’s it, use this to create a layout custom to your workflow. Having two monitors is really great for this, as you can have the zoomed out window on your second screen, and work nice and close on your first screen.