Micro-Heroes Wiki

This is a basic run through of basic skills in MS paint. Exact details of each micro you make is up to you the artist. This does not go into doing things from scratch, such as cartoon characters. That involves using basic shapes and matching detail. You can learn that from a basic drawing book you can get at any library.erter

Basic Micro Making in MSPaint[]

Step 1[]

First of course, you need t


o open up MS paint.

Step 2[]

Open up your Attributes

set the pixel dimensions of your work area

Now you want to set your work area. This way you can have a selection of templates and comparison micros all in one area.

Step 3[]

set your background color using the right button on your mouse and then fill the background using bucket and the right button.

select the square select button and highlight the transparent background

Now you want to set the background color and set your background to transparent. MS paint can't create files with transparencies, but at least it will let you use them while working on images.

Step 4[]


Template with different background.

Background fixed.

Now you just start pasting all your materials into your work area. This is when you bring in all your templates and comparison micros. You might even want yo bring smaller reference pics in as well, but it's best to have your refs running in a separate program so you can verify details while in zoom.

Sometimes a template will have a different background color than the one you are using. Use the bucket and the right button to make the background color the same as yours.

Step 5[]

Select Zoom and choose 8x zoom

Zoom is where you will do most of your work with micro heroes. 8x zoom will usually be your level of choice. There is, however, a little known trick in paint. By clicking on the white line below the 8x choice, you can zoom in 10x. It's not much, but it can help sometimes.

Step 6[]

Now we'll do a basic hero's mask.


Basically you use the eye dropper to get a darker shade and use bucket to remove the eye brows. Thin you draw the mask lines in. After that you ad the shading. Most times you will use three levels, but with intersections where clothing covers skin, you'll want to use four levels of shade to show the detail. If you have clothes crossing clothes and skin you might want to use a fifth layer at the intersecting corner do designate the difference.


Once your shading is done, you can get to the pallet change. The best thing to do is use the eraser tool with the right button. This will let you set a foreground color and a background color. Once these are set you can use the eraser to replace one color at a time using the right mouse button.


These are all the skills you need since advanced skills are just variations of these. Most of the other basic tools of MS Paint are self explanatory so we really don't need to go over them. Most of the best artists still use MS Paint.

Template Usage in MSPaint[]

Open Paint window

Step 1[]

As with all things, there is no right or wrong way to make a Micro. This tutorial will be aimed primarily at new creators, but it will also serve to prove that you don’t need to have Photoshop or one of the other more fancy art programs to make good work.

As with the other tutorials. This should be adaptable to other Art Programs, but due to my personal preference, All of the steps shown throughout will be done using MSPaint.

So where do we start.

FIRST – We need to decide what we’re going to do and then open the file.

select your background color

And Fill

Step 2[]

The very next thing I advise to do is right click on the color you wish to use as a background (The reason for this will become obvious later) and then use the fill tool to color the entire background in that color.

Select your area

Select the copy function

Step 3[]

With that done. You’re next step is to collect the Body template you wish to use for your character. For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using the Standard Emissary Template which most people start with.

Using the Cut tool, Select the area you wish to transfer.

Then using the Right click button select Copy and the area you selected is now stored on your clipboard.

Select paste in your open Paint window

Don't forget to fill the whitespace too

And then you can paste it back into the window where you selected your background color using the same method.

Now we have our body template in our picture, repeat the 3rd step to make the background area around your micro the same as your previous background.

Our Templates collected

Don't forget to change the opacity setting

Step 4[]

Now we have our Micro Template ready. Repeat Steps 4 – 7 until you have collected all of the pieces you wish to use. (Sometimes you won’t have a clear image and you’ll need to experiment, but for the purposes of this Tutorial I shall be using set pieces).

Much better :D

almost there

So now we have everything we need to start building our micro. The next thing we have to do is ensure we have transparency working. (MSPaint doesn’t allow you to save transparent, but it does provide a function to make use of it while you’re working). If it is set incorrectly you’ll have this happen to your work.

But set correctly like so Image Will create a Transparency effect which will allow you to slide your template clothing over the Micro base without the covering effect.

Following that same Technique for the other pieces you will have managed to create an almost complete micro.

selecting paint areas

And your second color

Step 5[]

Now obviously, this doesn’t look like a very nice micro. The real Micro look comes during the recoloring. Now I know a lot (Even myself a long time ago) will select their colors and then use the fill tool to change colors pixel by pixel. That’s time consuming, and the effort usually scares people away. If you prefer you can transfer the picture into one of the more advanced programs and use their recolor methods. But you don’t have to. Paint actually has a secret method of allowing Bulk recoloring itself.

For this, Left click your mouse on the color you want to change and repeat the Right click method to select the color you want to make it.

Adding color

Ta Da

Now we’re ready to go.. Select your Eraser tool. And HOLDING DOWN the right mouse button, pull the eraser over the areas you wish to change the colors of.

And then, as quick as that you’ve changed the color. Just repeat that process for every color you wish to change on the whole micro and you’ll end up with a passable micro.

And in true Blue Peter fashion “Here’s one I prepared earlier”.

final shading


Step 6[]

This is kind of a repeat of the first subject on the page, but I'll just reiterate it here for further reference.

Now there’s only one more thing we need to do to this micro in order to turn it from a collection of templates into a complete micro, and that is shadow. All solid 3-dimensional objects create shadow, and you have to accommodate them on the micro to get the completed effect.

As you can see, I’ve completed half of the shading on both the large and Micro versions so that you can see the technique and the difference it can make to the overall look of your micro.

Then you can add whatever final accessories you wish, and Voila.. You’ve completed a Micro.