8-bit and pixel art are very reminiscent of the old school computer times. In fact, I’m sure that when I started mentioning the terms 8-bit and pixel art, gaming consoles in the early ’80s are what first came to mind. Don’t you just miss playing old school Mario Kart and Pac-Man?
These days, 8-bit and pixel art are still very much alive, despite the reign of high definition graphics and artwork. Some artists still like to give their masterpieces the retro vibe, which is why they relive how graphics used to look like without its current advancements.
The concept of pixel art began in the ’70s. Remember Xerox PARC and the SuperPaint system? However, the term was first coined and published ten years later in 1982 by Adele Goldberg and Robert Flegal of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
Generally, there are two techniques in creating 8-bit and pixel art. These are dithering and anti-aliasing.
- Dithering – A dither in computer graphics is used to create the illusion of color depth to images with a limited color palette. It is used to achieve different shades and colors.
- Anti-aliasing – Anti-aliasing can be done to smooth curves and transitions. It is defined as the technique to minimize distortion artifacts (also known as aliasing) when saving a high resolution image to a lower resolution.
Pixel art is usually saved in either of the two file formats: GIF (graphics interchange format) or PNG (portable network graphics). Both file formats support up to 8 bits per pixel with a palette of 256 different colors. GIFs support animations while PNGs support transparent backgrounds.
Pixel art can be divided into two categories: isometric and non-isometric. Isometric pixel art are those that provide a three-dimensional view without using any kind of three-dimensional processing. It has two subcategories: planometric which shows a top-down look, and rpg perspective which shows a side-top view. Non-isometric pixel art, on the other hand, does not show a three-dimensional image but a flat view from either top, side, front, bottom, or perspective.
More than just for leisure or hobby art, 8-bit art still has its uses in modern technology. Back then, pixel art was used for console video games. Now, it is mostly used for advertising purposes. There are still some companies that use pixel graphics for company logos and icons. Another prominent use of pixel art these days is for favicons.
- Make8bitart – Create 8bit art in your browser.
- 8bit Avatar – Create a retro 8-bit avatar image from your images.
- Textcraft – 8-bit style text and logo generator.
- As3sfxr & Bfxr.net – Make sound effects for computer games.
- 8biticon – Pixel art icon constructor.
- Myfonts – 8bit and pixel fonts.
Here are 30 inspirational 8-bit and pixel artworks that will surely amaze you.