Such a question, need to make pixel art 2D 64x64 from 3D models/photoenter image description here as a need to process pictures so they were as similar to the drawings. With a thick black outline, saw that it is necessary to make a vector image with flat colors, but still looks too blurry =(

  • 2
    Pixel art is normally drawn pixel by pixel from scratch. It's not an effect you can apply to any image. Your question is a bit unclear as it stands. Do you have any examples of the images you want to make into pixel art? And can you show the results you get which you don't like?
    – Wolff
    Feb 11, 2022 at 18:15
  • 1
    As recently as a week ago I would have said "pixel art must be drawn from the start as pixel art, good results need artist's insight, Photoshop nor other image editors do not make it" There has recently appeared advanced into pixel art converters - something much more clever than adding some edges, reducing resolution and the number of used colors. Check for ex this: pixel-me.tokyo/en Here's a screenshot of what it can do: i.sstatic.net/0soAI.png
    – user82991
    Feb 11, 2022 at 18:35
  • @Wolff i.pinimg.com/originals/f4/76/21/… Like this art(flat colors) but i need it to be as close to pixel art, I want to make a game, but the art is not to draw and through 3D models cartoon convert images into pixel art Feb 11, 2022 at 18:40
  • @user287001 I need something like that.) But with better functionality and free of charge is desirable xD Feb 11, 2022 at 18:47
  • If you want product recommendations, you should ask on softwarerecs.stackexchange.com not here.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 11, 2022 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


The example you linked to one of the comments is far away from a photo. It looks a well crafted vector drawing with well separated details. Assuming you accept a more reasonable size than 64 x 64 it can be pixelized easily and without losing everything:

enter image description here

It got in Photoshop

  1. Image > Image size > Resample to 120 x 160 pixels with Bicubic resampling

  2. Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen edges

  3. Image > Mode > Indexed color > 16 colors, use adaptive palette and primary colors

Step 3 is shown in the previous image.

The number of colors is set to 16 because old computers and games didn't have more at a time - having limited palette became characteristic to pixel art. You can leave out the whole step 3 if it can have all RGB colors.

The lips are no more red due the small color palette. To add red and at the same time to keep the color palette limited return the image mode to RGB and tweak one or a few pixels manually. In the next image the lips are selected with non-antialiased zero feathering polygonal lasso and Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, hue shift towards red (no saturation nor brightness adjustment) is applied:

enter image description here

Now the lips catch more attention, you may want to take the pencil tool and remove also some dark spots:

enter image description here

This leads easily to an endless loop. It's difficult to stop, but one must stop if he's going to get the job done in a reasonable time. In addition the image was already optimized with a math criteria and changing something breaks that balance, so it's not at all clear that my edits made it look better when seen by someone else. A real artist would be needed to make proper tweaks. If you are one, then there's no problem.

It's useless to add a couple of new reds for the lips to the indexing palette and to try to convert the original downscaled RGB version to indexed mode with the augmented palette. The new reds will appear everywhere and lose totally their impact.

As said, the example does not resemble a photo. The photos are generally much more complex and the separation between different features is often subtle. The method above is useless for photos. But converting a photo to pixel art can still succeed in Photoshop, GIMP etc... if a human separates different parts and converts them one by one. An example:

enter image description here

This old-timer is pixelized to 16 colors. Low contrast in the face and the limited palette renders his face to ugly mess. Doubling the amount of colors doesn't help because the whole image is full of subtle color differences. There's no easy way to budget more colors for the face, which is the most important part in many cases.

In the next version the head is converted separately and pasted back:

enter image description here

It also needed some minor tweaks with the 1 px pencil to remove a couple of bad spots. Separating the parts, deleting all non-essential ones, pixelizing and recombining is very time consuming when compared to more intelligent conversion methods. For a good non-messy result one must separate all wanted items and delete the background. Separating only the head made it recognizable, but everything else is still far too busy.

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