Tired of using sprites directly ripped from games? Always wished you can make bead-sprites from high-rez pictures? Or just want to convert your favourite piece of art into a stylish 8-Bit graphic? Maybe I can help....
For the following, I'm going to use the program GIMP, a unix free-ware available via the integrated software-center. GIMP is a usefull tool for image processing and manipulation, compare-able with Photoshop...well not nearly as all-mighty as PS, but it has some tricks up his sleeves!
Let's get started!
I picked this nifty little critter to become my next bead-sprite project:
|he loves his dubstep!|
The resolution is 72dpi with a 495x511 pixel image sizes. As you can see, the picture is smooth. No individual pixel can be seen without a massive zoom.
At the beginning we need to re-asset the colour palette. Choose Image → Mode → indice.
Here we can assign the maximum number of colours used in the picure. Depending on the number of different beads at your disposale, you have to choose what is possible and what not. Here is an example: The old NES had a colour palette of 48 colours and 6 grays available. The SNES had a total of 32,768 possible colours! Ok, at first, this may sound massive, but in practice all sprites using a layered 256 colour mode. So, we are going to set the colourmax to 256. Confirm.
Next, is the overall sizes of the image. 495X511 can likely be considered as overkill. Keep in mind your average pegboard is around 30x30. So you need at least 9 boards to make a 90x90 sprite. If you have a lot of unused space in your image, do this neat little trick: Choose Image → fanatic cut. Now all unnecessary edges should be gone and the size reduced.
Let's say we have 9 boards. Go Image → scale → and type in your max pixel number, in this case 90. The picture is now ready to be pegged!
With great sprites, comes great confusion! (thanks oncle Ben...) What I mean is, it's easy to get lost within large sprites. So we can use some help to identify individual pixels. To accomplish this, we go Image → raster configuration and set the space to 1 pixel. To view the raster go View → show raster. That makes things a LOT easier!
So, I guess we are done now. All what’s left is to translate your image to your pegboard and show-off with your new fancy, custom beadsprite and to collect all the fame you deserve!!