old game dragon

I want to improve the resolution on this dragon, it's from an old game, so of course its highly pixelated, how can this be made smoother, more modern?

  • So if you don't need to actually make the image any bigger, you could try to add anti-aliasing to the edge, which would slightly improve it, but not by much: Example. I did that by: 1. Cutting the background off the image. 2. Duplicating the cut-out image layer and adding very tiny amount of blur. 3. Duplicated the blurry layer many times, until I was satisfied with the edge. – Joonas Sep 13 '17 at 9:10
  • I clicked this question as useful, even if some users might not like it. It is a typical question which new users will encounter when they get into graphics. And a lot can be learnt, if the veterans come up with workable answers. I often wish for some magic bitmap booster... – Martin Zaske Sep 13 '17 at 12:35
  • The question here is: Do you know what you want to achieve? Pixelart is a very sophisticated game of optical illusion where the artist has moved the pixels around until it works. It is not given that it is even possible to get a useful result. In my opinion it is a dead end, BUT there are some scaling methods which actually give tolerable results: imagemagick.org/discourse-server/viewtopic.php?t=23046#p96498. (but the coolest looking scaling methods are not really accessible I'm afraid). – Wolff Sep 13 '17 at 16:04

Use SmillaEnlarger, which you can find here:


Of course you should not do this. You should not even want to do this. But I hate it myself when people try to tell me what to want.

=== an aside === The best way is to paste this bitmap into Inkscape and take some time (yes) and trace it and make a new vector graphic. That way you can even add some minor changes and have your own colours and possibly avoid copyright issues (I am not an expert on how much you would need to change to make it your own.).

Then export from Inkscape as a PNG and you have a phantastic new, crisp bitmap in any resolution you need. === back to my main answer ===

We have used SmillaEnlarger when we absolutely had to. Not ideal, but the best tool we have found and used so far, for boosting old bitmaps for quick jobs. It takes time to learn about Smilla and its settings-options. So if this is just about this one illustration, your time might be better spent by tracing the dragon. hth

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