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I am trying to make a pixelart comic.

The way I'm doing it is by drawing the pixel art on low resolution so I can place individual pixels and when I want to add the text I upscale the image 10 times and add the text.

The problem is that when I am trying to make corrections to the pixelart I have to downscale the image 10 times and when I do that all images get rasterized, forcing me to recreate them when I upscale the image again which is especially painful when I try to create or edit the speech bubbles.

Is there some way to prevent this from happening?

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Just to add to user287001's already excellent answer, you could take the Insckape route, but use it in conjunction with a linked raster file, and avoid the need to do any resampling. So all you basically need is the low resolution pixel image.

When placing a linked file in Inkscape, you can set the raster object rendering property to "optimizeSpeed", and then enlarge it in Inkscape, and then add any text.

Edits to the linked raster file will update in Inkscape automatically.

The example below shows a raster image being edited in GIMP (on the right). And the image placed as a linked raster image in Inkscape (on the left) together with some text I added. If you edit the raster Image in GIMP, overwrite the PNG, then it updates in Inkscape automatically when you go back to the application.

enter image description here

  • Fine example! Nice to learn this trick! – user287001 Nov 14 '17 at 15:44
  • Wow, this means I don't even have to resize the original image on gimp? I'll check this once I get home and accept the answer :) – Loupax Nov 14 '17 at 15:51
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    @Loupax - yes - no need to resize in GIMP! But it was not entirely my own idea. Some thanks must also go to user287001. I will be quite happy if you vote to accept his answer instead. – Billy Kerr Nov 14 '17 at 15:54
  • @Loupax this is not the first time when user Billy Kerr has brought in his underhood knowledge and extended my coarse answer to a professional level.receipe. You should select his answer to point it to others who have the same problem. His method simply is 200% more. – user287001 Nov 16 '17 at 21:41
  • This is getting a liiiiitle silly :P I was about to accept this answer in the first place so so be it – Loupax Nov 18 '17 at 9:03
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I suggest another workflow. Pixel art really is technically easiest to create in low resolution bitmap graphics program because you can draw, paint and set individual pixels as easily. But you add texts in much higher resolution to make them easily readable. Right? If yes, then you can add the texts as well in Inkscape, where all inserted objects are easily kept separate . The texts stay as easily editable vector shapes until you want to rasterize them.

In the following example a shape was drawn in GIMP onto a 60 pix high canvas. It was zoomed out during the work and when it was ready, a screenshot was copied and pasted to Inkscape, where the text was added.

enter image description here

A small error was noticed. The image in GIMP was edited and copied again to Inkscape.

  • Excellent answer! You could even use a linked raster image in Inkscape, set the raster object property to "omptiseSpeed", enlarge it in Inkscape, and add an add any text. Edits to the linked raster file will update in Inkscape automatically. See example: imgur.com/a/6K1dj – Billy Kerr Nov 14 '17 at 14:48
  • @BillyKerr if you write that method with a example as an answer, I will upvote it. It's a remarkable extension.. – user287001 Nov 14 '17 at 15:04
  • I added an answer! – Billy Kerr Nov 14 '17 at 15:36
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No way to prevent that. To sidestep the issue:

  1. Duplicate the image (Image>Duplicate)
  2. Do you thing on the pixel art
  3. Drag the fixed pixel art layer back to the initial image (drag from the Layers list of the source image (your duplicate) and drop it on the canvas of the target (your initial image). If you are using single-window mode, you may have to drag to the the image tab.
  4. Delete the original pixel art layer

If needed you can also arrange your layers in groups (you can drag groups of layers).

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