PixelMe: Photo to Pixelart

Being old school, I was pleased to see pixelart gaining a bit of popularity in the design world. I’m even more pleased to see that producing them has been greatly simplified too, with neat tools like PixelMe.

Upload a photograph to PixelMe, and it will try to turn it into pixelart, at different resolutions too! I say “try,” because some images really aren’t suited for turning into pixelart. But find the right source image, and PixelMe will do some impressive things with it.

It assumes you want a face, so it automatically searches your source image for a face, then zooms, crops, and frames it when it finds one. So you don’t even have to do any pre-cropping. Here’s a sample I created as a test.

This is the original image, courtesy of Joel Mott at Unsplash.

I just uploadeded it for PixelMe to work on as-is. Notice how her face only takes up a small percent of the whole image. Notice also that the background, although fairly clean (desirable), isn’t totally clear. Not a problem at all for PixelMe. It found and framed her face, and produced the images below.

Each is for a different pixel resolution. These images are actually 256×256 pixels, and are shrunk a bit here to fit the page; click on each to see what the actual image files look like.

You can’t miss that they look wonky, and progressively so. That’s because they’re supposed to be actually viewed at much smaller dimensions (32×32, 48×48, etc.). Resize and shrink these accordingly, using something like ILoveIMG, and you’ll see how that wonky visual pixelization magic comes into play. Here you go, at their actual intended sizes:

32x32

32x32

48x48

48x48

64x64

64x64

128x128

128x128

Neat huh? One tip: PixelMe works a heck of a lot better when the source image you upload isn’t too small.

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