Which pixel graphics program supports the creation of seamless tiles? I have a feature in mind that clones / mirrors a rectangular area (adjacent to the 4 respectively 8 directions) in real-time while painting.

Any recommendations need to run on Windows or Android, or be a web application.

  • 1
    I'm unsure what you mean by "adjacent to the 4 respectively 8 directions". Can I please ask for clarification? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 3:02
  • This was my bad-english explaination about placing multiple instances of the same tile around the edited one, to see whether it fits. PyxelEdit calls this feature "Tile references with transformations (Draw in one tile and they all update instantly. Tile instances can be rotated and flipped, still referencing the same tile data.)" Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 9:11

4 Answers 4


Pickle is a sprite editing application targeting pixel artists creating video games.

  • It supports mirrored drawing, rotate/flip and live preview of your tiles in arbitrary configurations.
  • Previous versions were free but at 2.0, it is now paid software (currently US$25).
  • It is built using Adobe Air and has downloads available for Windows and Mac.

Pickle UI

Pyxel Edit is a sprite editing application targeting the game development community.

  • It supports live previewing with tile instances in arbitrary configurations, these instances can be flipped or rotated if desired.
  • An older version is available for free, with the current version being paid software (currently US$9+).
  • It is also built using Adobe Air, with downloads available for Windows and Mac.

Pyxel Edit UI

My personal experiences are that the Pickle interface is streamlined and easier to quickly come to grips with. However it lacks some handy features that Pyxel Edit supports including layers, import/export pallet images, and auto-generated gradients. I have no experience using either application for animation, something they both have a lot of features devoted to.

  • Thank you for suggesting these two promising-looking tools. Would you like to share some personal experiences? Are there certain tasks for which you favor one over the other? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:31

Krita is an open source image editing program that provides a nice free alternative to the accepted answer. Its 'wrap-around mode' makes editing repeated tiles very easy:

Krita screenshot

Unfortunately it seems there are no mirroring/rotate preview options with wrap-around mode.

(I know this answer is three years late, but hopefully this helps people like myself searching for this question.)


I'd use paint.net (but what else would I use?), with the seamless texture maker plugin

Turn your epic badgers

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With the use of the plugin (You'll find it under effect's/distort. I've run it more than once to simulate tiling)

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into an epic badger ARMY!

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The TileSetPainter is a lightweight app made with Adobe Air. It takes in a sprite sheet/tile set and exports arrays of the level maps you draw that are ready to be used in code. You can also read the arrays back into the TileSetPainter. It can also export your finished maps as jpg images. It is similar to Pickle but with less features and it is only US$5.

The tbgs.js HTML5 game library associated with the TileSetPainter is free.

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