Please help me cre­ate a pix­e­lated ef­fect in my art

Dez Philips, Eng­land

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

An­swer

Mark replies

Pro­duc­ing a pix­e­lated yet high-res­o­lu­tion im­age is sim­ple in Pho­to­shop and it’s a great ef­fect, which you can’t achieve with built-in fil­ters. For cover art or a mar­ket­ing im­age I usu­ally have to push an orig­i­nal im­age or con­cept art fur­ther, which makes it more stylised.

For this im­age, of two fu­tur­is­tic po­lice droids, I want to gen­er­ate a retro, sci-fi vibe by par­tially pix­e­lat­ing the im­age. I copy the fi­nal il­lus­tra­tion into an­other file and re­size it to one-hun­dreth of its orig­i­nal di­men­sions. This re­sults in a lowres­o­lu­tion ver­sion of the same im­age – ex­actly what I’m af­ter.

Now I only have to pre­serve these pix­els. So I re­size the im­age again, and in the Im­age Size di­a­log change the Re­sam­ple Im­age op­tion to Near­est Neighbor (pre­serve hard edges). The re­sult is a pix­e­lated ver­sion of the orig­i­nal im­age, which I can copy back into the orig­i­nal file as a new layer.

I cre­ate an­other pix­e­lated ver­sion at a slightly bet­ter res­o­lu­tion and a pix­e­lated ef­fect layer by paint­ing some blue stripes. Then I add these to my orig­i­nal im­age and sharpen all of them with the Un­sharp Mask (Fil­ters> Sharpen>Un­sharp Mask) to gen­er­ate much harder edges and a more dig­i­tal look.

I mask out parts of my new ef­fect lay­ers, add the ex­tra graphic el­e­ments and carry out fi­nal colour and con­trast ad­just­ments.

Us­ing hand-painted ef­fects and sim­ple Pho­to­shop tech­niques to stylise il­lus­tra­tions is more ef­fec­tive than built-in fil­ters and photo-tex­tures. By chang­ing the type of re­sam­pling of the im­age be­fore re­siz­ing, you can quickly pro­duce ef­fec­tive re­sults.

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