Full Emote Guide
Updated: Jul 28, 2019
Twitch requires three file sizes for emotes: 28x28px, 56x56px, and 112x112px.
The info in here will be applicable to any program, but here are my deets:
Hardware: iPad Pro 12.9" for drawing, iMac for exporting (trust me, you'll want a keyboard for that part)
Software: Clip Studio Paint for both - Photoshop works just as well.
First is a question I get asked almost every stream: What size to draw emotes? This is up to you and what you prefer working with. For multiple reasons, I draw all my emotes on a 112x112px canvas. That way I don't get distracted by details that won't be seen at the standard emote size, the drawing process is quicker, and exporting is easy af. There's no extra cropping or reorganising required. It's absolutely possible to draw them larger, and I know emote artists who work up to 3000px. As long as you're following basic art fundamentals to focus on the clarity of the emote (negative space, contrast, colour and saturation), you should be able to scale anything down to look nice at the 112px size.
If you want to work at 112px but are worried people will want larger for merchandising etc, I've had to redraw only 5 emotes for merchandise, usually months after the initial commission. That's 5 emotes out of 776 in two years.
Now the big secret: Don't use Save As or you'll be endlessly frustrated with file sizes. In Photoshop, use File > Quick Export > Export as PNG. In Clip, use File > Export (Single Layer) > PNG.
If your program doesn't have any kind of Export option outside of typically Saving As, you can use Compresspng.com to optimise your file sizes for Twitch, but it does add an extra step to the whole process. The maximum size of a Twitch emote is 25kb, and I used to get hefty files before I discovered the export option.
In Photoshop, you'll need to resize your emotes to 112px, 56px and 28px before hitting the save option, by going to Image > Image size. In Clip Studio, you don't need to change the file at all, you can simply choose how large you want to export it in the export settings window.
You can see I've saved the Export PNG option to a keyboard shortcut! That makes the process way faster, so all I have to do is type the name of the emotes, and the rest of the process is either automated or sped up with shortcuts. I wish I had a smoother, easier way to do things in bulk, but this is the best I've figured out.
Lastly is the concern of file quality. In terms of the process, you're finished. This is the fastest way to get a high quality file with a small file size, and they'll look just great on Twitch. You might not believe me, but the files do turn out differently than you'd think. I used to always worry when I'd look at the files and the 28px looked janked up, but it's all lies:
I should add, DPI doesn't pay a huge part in emotes because they're so tiny. I draw at 300dpi because that's what Clip gives me by default, but it's highly unnecessary. You can draw emotes at the typical 72dpi and be just fine. We can't beat the fact that emotes are fucking tiny at 28px, sub & cheer badges even tinier so. If you focus on making a good piece of artwork at 112px, Twitch will handle the rest.
If I didn't make a lot of sense, or missed something crucial, let me know in a comment below or tweet me @bilvyy! If you have a specific problem with your files coming out all freaky and low res, send me a screenshot and I'll try to troubleshoot with you!