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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.

History 

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.

Techniques 

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.

Saving

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.

Categories

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.

Uses

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.

Handy Resources

  • 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.

Pinwheel Galaxy by Sp8cebit

Pinwheel Galaxy by Sp8cebit

Tribute Pixel Art Poster by Matej Jan

Tribute Pixel Art Poster by Matej Jan

Reflected by James Svard

Reflected by James Svard

Colossal Katamari Pixel by Snake

Colossal Katamari Pixel by Snake

Pixel Art by Some Waneella

Some Waneella

some

some3

some2

some1

Pixel Travel by Alex Dal Gallo

Pixel Travel by Alex Dal Gallo

Japanese Pixel Art by 1041uuu

cafe

night

subway

boat

Poppy field by Tatyana Sherbul

Poppy field by Tatyana Sherbul

Pixel UFC Fighters by Pater Santha

Pixel UFC Fighters by Pater Santha

Trophy Factory by Virginia Deil

Trophy Factory by Virginia Deil

Underwater by Egor Kuznetsov

Underwater by Egor Kuznetsov

Walking Dead by Karina Dehtyar

Walking Dead by Karina Dehtyar

Maybe we should go back by Octavi Navarro

Maybe we should go back by Octavi Navarro

Pixel Art Fast And Furious by LoweakGraph

Pixel Art Fast And Furious by LoweakGraph

Theseus and the Minotaur by Ariel Belinco

Theseus and the Minotaur by Ariel Belinco

Titanfall by Dave Grey

Titanfall by Dave Grey

Apple in the game world by Vitor Tritto

Apple in the game world

Animated Pixel Art by Camilo Abelayras

Animated Pixel Art by Camilo Abelayras

The Tribe by Evgeniy Yudin

The Tribe by Evgeniy Yudin

Imperial News by Octavi Navarro

Imperial News by Octavi Navarro

Journey by Dave Grey

Journey by Dave Grey

Indie Game by Luis Zuno

Indie Game by Luis Zuno

Demon at the Gates by Vitor Tritto

Demon at the Gates by Vitor Tritto

Pixel Link by Phil Giarrusso

Pixel Link by Phil Giarrusso

Jeong-Seon by Jaebum Joo

Jeong-Seon by Jaebum Joo

Community by Karina Dehtyar

Community by Karina Dehtyar

Pixel Unicorn by Robert Farkas

Pixel Unicorn by Robert Farkas

The Fisherman’s Daughter by Octavi Navarro

The Fisherman's Daughter

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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