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Pixel Art Scaling Algorithms (wikipedia.org)
208 points by gregschlom on Dec 23, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments

This is an interesting application of human thought, certainly, and aesthetically necessary for a lot of old games run on new emulators.

However, I often find art composed of unnecessarily-large pixels appealing: see, for instance, the favicon of bravemule.com, or the sprites from Spelunky.

Totally. The pixels were carefully composed that way on purpose. Don't mess with them.

I've always been a "pixel art" purist. It even bugs me when games try to use pixel art but get it subtly wrong. For instance, a game might use sprites that are scaled up at different scales at the same time and/or rotated in high resolution. This just ruins it for me.

Agreed. I think 'The Incident' [1] for iOS does it just perfectly. And it's a really fun game.

[1]: http://bigbucketsoftware.com/theincident/

Yes! They got it right! Amazing. Thanks for this, I can use it as an example next time I am discussing with game developers that don't understand what I am talking about.

I thought the same until I looked closely at the rotated objects as they landed. Not -quite- right.

Still. Lovely game and very charming and thoughtful artwork.

The artwork is nice, but the game is very hard to play (at least on an iPad...)

The problem is that, oftentimes, you have to mess quite a bit with the pixels to make them look the way the pixels looked on the original hardware: http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=1755886

I've loosened up on my pixel-tolerance. Remember that a lot of old hardware will support multiple resolutions and sprite scales simultaneously. So while sticking to a single scale for all manipulation has a certain aesthetic usage, it isn't the one true way. It's just "whatever the platform can do."

I often find that when I'm playing an old game in an emulator that supports these filters I don't use them...even if they look stunning with the filters on, they games look "wrong" somehow (perhaps they don't fit my grainy memory of them so they don't ping the nostalgia button the same way). Inevitably I feel like I'm playing a vector art/flash remake.

Agreed. http://www.dieselsweeties.com/ wouldn't be the same without an "8-bit feel".

I actually really enjoy playing old NES and SNES games in 2xSAL. It adds a Braid-like artsy aesthetic that I really like.

Pixel art is also my favorite art style. However I worry if it is good for use in casual games made for an audience which might have not been exposed to retro gaming? Or is it a part of our culture that everyone now understands?

I'm somewhat shocked to discover that other scaling algorithms exist. I always assumed that there were only nearest neighbor + a set of scaling algorithms that would introduce blur to images other than photography.

A good example of not thinking outside the box.

I've always liked these - the hq3x algorithm is stunning (scroll down on the linked page to see a good result).

I've tried[1] to use it to weasel-out from creating improved graphics for iPhone 4 display, but unfortunately it doesn't work well for graphics with anti-aliasing.

[1] https://github.com/pornel/rgba-hq2x

Has anyone considered generalizing these to voxels -- adding details to minecraft style spaces?

Does anyone know of any work being done to convert photographs/images/etc into pixel art?

Pixel Art Scaling Algorithms Comparison on a Sonic screenshot: http://plus.mobianlegends.com/emulators/Gens-gs-r7-win32-pkg...

When I was in high school I tried to write a star control clone and I had a devil of a time with rotating the ships.

The first method I used would write the rotated pixel array back to the array I hand coded with the rgb values for the ship. Error quickly crept in, and while you were rotating, the ship would gradually shrink to a single pixel. After that, I used 2 arrays and it looked ok and nobody complained, but I was never truly satisfied with the result. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one bothered by poor quality pixel rotations.

CSI taking the detailed photo of a killer off a reflection in a doorknob from grainy surveillance footage. What algorithm is that?

It's called Hollywood fiction, and there is a proprietary implementation in Movie OS (the one that beeps at every keystroke)

Ok, the infinite zoom is bullocks, but the keyboard thing might not be.

Mine does not beep though, but it makes click-a-di-clack with every keystroke, like in many movies (and keyboards back in the 80's).

It also has tactile feedback and n-rollover and was expensive as hell, but then again, I'm the kind of nut-case who learned Dvorak keyboard layout because I'm so damn lazy.

Granted, they don't do the later part in movies.

Is MovieOS like OSX? Does it come on proprietary hardware that includes a project in place of a screen, to beam the contents of the screen onto your face? Or do I have to rig up my own monitor/projector setup?

My iPad beeps with every keystroke and it seems to have a few other MovieOS features.

I'm really looking forward to the infinite zoom and one-click ticket change applications.

Super-resolution reconstruction: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=super-resolution+reconst...

Zoom. Enhance!


CSI has nothing on Blade Runner.

Though to Blade Runner's credit, it is the future. Maybe it was holographic film... :)

"Uncrop" isn't from Blade Runner, it's Red Dwarf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFkb0d1kbU Which was making fun of... well, all of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxq9yj2pVWk :-)

And everyone knows that Deckard was looking at a live feed from a video camera, not enhancing a still image.

The second movie ended a bit anticlimactic, although I was expecting to be rickrolled eventually.

Anyone know a way to use any of these on OS X? e.g. in Photoshop?

I googled but only found the .exe for hq3x

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