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Resizing Pixel Art : Smaller?

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 12:14 PM

I've had a few question on this (resizing pixel art to be smaller) on my most recent deviation and I've replied in kind to each person who has asked so far, but I thought I'd post my answer here as well for more to see.

Is it possible to shrink pixel images?

Shrinking pixels is ...well it's not really feasible x_x. It can be done, but not done very well.

When you're making pixels bigger what you're doing is essentially multiplying every pixel in to a group of 4 pixels to make a 'larger pixel' or square

So lets say the image you're resizing is just of a pixelled line that is 2px tall and 5px long. After resizing it to 200% it will be 4 px tall and 10 pixels wide. The dimensions are larger b/c each pixel the line was composed of has been duplicated to create 'squares' that are twice as big as the original individual pixels.

So you can create the illusion of 'larger' pixels, but they're really just more regular sized pixels grouped together to look like bigger ones.

When you try to shrink a pixelled image the program is having to rearrange the information it has on what pixels go where and what colours are where, etc. You can't literally cut the size of an actual pixel in half.

So it can be done, but the end result usually looks a bit wonky and requires tidying up by hand.

If you take a look here, you'll see what I mean ->
It's now missing some of the outline and is harder to discern the details.

Tutorial - Resizing Pixel Art by firstfear


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M0rning-Coffee Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I was wondering - do you know how to resize pixel in SAI? From 50x50 for example to 100x100, so it won't look blurred.
Mitsui-Li Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Heart Huggle! +fav 
Pockaru Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for this guide.
I had no idea on the resizing until now, and by the comments on the tutorial, you've helped others quite a bit. :)
NinRac Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are a few ways I have tried and it depends on the purpose for shrinking. One example, such as needing crisp edges for transparency, is usually just redoing it smaller. If you can have blurry edges and still not using the outer edges, I have tried using 50% opacity and placing the 2 different other shrinking styles on top of eachother. I think it is something you have to experiment with and adjust to for your purpose for each occasion.
firstfear Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
ahh but any type of blurryness or transparency (auto antialiasing created by the program) renders something no longer true pixel art :)
NinRac Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
True...then again, according to the concept of pixel art, one shouldn't theoretically be able to shrink beyond the scale of pixel art anyways =P
firstfear Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
hahaha yes technically pixels only get so small =p
NinRac Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah...and we have to wonder why they are trying to shrink the scale too ^^;
dororoandkururu Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
This happened all the time to me
Miilydork Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
The only way to really make a pixel-piece smaller is to... re-do it. :P I've had to before on semi-large pieces. I resize it, then re-pixel over-top in a new layer to fix it all. ^^;
tenko72 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
I see. That's good to know.
D-Kiddo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you sooo much for this c: really helped alot :happybounce:
Shattered-Earth Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012   Digital Artist
The only alternative to this is for me to set the resampling back to bicubic and sharpen up the edge of the pixel by hand.

It obviously loses it's "pixel art" quality though v_v
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January 9, 2012


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