When comparing GrafX2 vs Aseprite, the Slant community recommends Aseprite for most people. In the question“What are the best pixel art / sprite editors?” Aseprite is ranked 2nd while GrafX2 is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Aseprite is:
You can change the playback speed of the loop and the speed of each individual frame. There are three playback modes: forward, reverse, and ping-pong. Onion Skin mode is included to speed up the animation process and to allow for tagging the timeline to help keep animations organized. There is also a live preview so you can always see the end result. Onion Skin mode will overlay previous and next frames over the canvas so you can use them as references when drawing. For Onion Skin mode, you can adjust items like range, opacity, and tint, whether the onion frames are in front of or behind the canvas, etc. You can tag different parts of the timeline when, for example, you need different animations for the same character. You can then loop those tagged sections individually.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Scriptable using Lua
GrafX2 is scriptable using the Lua language, which can be used to automate tasks and add new functionality to it. The script library features advanced color reduction and enhancement tools, palette analysis, and much more.
Pro Supports many file formats
GrafX2 supports many file formats, including the popular gif and png, but also importing and exporting from deluxe paint, degas elite, and various other editors using custom formats.
Pro Palette color cycling
GraphX2 being based on older 256 bitmap software has inherited some tricks that modern pixel editors do not have . One of them being the ability to cycle color palette and produce animations and effects with it.
Pro Free, open source, and cross-platform
GrafX2 is totally free to use, copy, and modify. It's available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Haiku, AROS, MorphOS, SkyOS, Syllable, Mint, and a few more systems. Basically anything is supported by the SDL library.
Pro Very large number of tools and effects
Pro Supports tileset addition and extraction
Pro Has a great palette tool
You can create gradients from one color to another, work in either RGB or HSL color space, save and load palettes, sort and organize palettes, and even work on "color cycling" images.
Pro Supports animations
The program has a basic support for animation using frames in newer versions. Graphics can be cloned and copied between frames and changed slightly.
See here how to animate with GrapfX2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnq6zBZOqoM
Pro Has a customizable UI with themes support
Theme UI style can easily be changed from settings including buttons and colors.
Pro Drawing constraint mode for vintage 8bits machine
The program is able to enforce the pixel constraints of old machines (C64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Game Boy Color, etc.)
For example, in ZX Spectrum mode, only 2 different colors can be used in a 8x8 pixel block.
Pro Good selection of tools for animation
You can change the playback speed of the loop and the speed of each individual frame. There are three playback modes: forward, reverse, and ping-pong. Onion Skin mode is included to speed up the animation process and to allow for tagging the timeline to help keep animations organized. There is also a live preview so you can always see the end result.
Onion Skin mode will overlay previous and next frames over the canvas so you can use them as references when drawing. For Onion Skin mode, you can adjust items like range, opacity, and tint, whether the onion frames are in front of or behind the canvas, etc.
You can tag different parts of the timeline when, for example, you need different animations for the same character. You can then loop those tagged sections individually.
Pro Easy to use
Getting started with the program is straightforward. It's laid out intuitively: the main workspace in the middle, color selection on the left, tool section on the right, and animation timeline at the bottom.
All tools and the vast majority of functions have keyboard shortcuts, allowing for results to be obtained quickly.
Aseprite is a very focused program: it's not filled with icons, there's no excess functionality, and dialog boxes generally only have a couple of options so you're never overwhelmed and it's easier to learn.
Aseprite is available on OS X, Windows, and Linux with source code available on GitHub (shared source license).
Pro Awesome tools
Tools are good, easy to use.
Pro Responsive developer
Always in touch with the community and approachable via Twitter.
Pro Free and paid versions available
Aseprite is free if you compile it yourself. Its maintainers also offer a security-signed package with a technical support license for a one time fee of $14.99. It's also easy to use and presents really awesome tools.
Pro Very intuitive thus easy for complete beginners
The interface invites you to be creative, and since it's pixel art you are creating, this adds to the feeling of being in the right environment. Everything seems to have its natural place and thereby could make beginners feel right at home.
Pro Pixel perfect mode
It makes drawing lines and shapes less jaggy by default.
Pro Beautiful interface
Aseprite has a beautiful pixel-art interface that makes it a pleasure to use.
Con Dated look and feel
It looks like it was never supposed to be used in the modern world.
Con Lack of modern features
Some modern features that are necessary to do pixel art creation for game dev work are lacking.
Con Not FLOSS anymore
The license was changed to a shared license, that does not allow redistribution of the source code. While older versions should still be FLOSS, the newest versions are not.
Con No file saving on free version
The free version doesn't let you save your files.
Con No tilemap support yet
A tilemap editor is on the roadmap for version 1.6.
Con Pixel-styled interface can be jarring
Aseprite uses low-resolution window frames and fonts. Opinions vary on whether this sets the mood or gets in the way.
Con Text tool could be better
You can't change text and its font or size after you've inserted it. You have to re-insert text every time you wish to make an edit.