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I see lots of games with smooth edges characters and high res images, however when I try to reduce images to say 64x64 for my character I just get a pixelated mess. even if I start with a 64x64 canvas I get pixelated edges.

Should I be scaling with OpenGL? or is there some technique perhaps with photoshop or pixen that I am unaware of?

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can you provide an visual example ? –  tigrou May 3 '13 at 21:57
    
Related: Scaling down pixel art and vector art. –  Anko May 3 '13 at 22:03
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From your description, it would seem that the scaling algorithm you're using does nearest-pixel interpolation rather than the smoother Lanczos interpolation. Is that question about scaling down vector art helpful? –  Anko May 3 '13 at 22:06
    
Yes that vector scaling answer is useful. Thanks for that. –  Rhys May 3 '13 at 22:14
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1 Answer 1

up vote 24 down vote accepted
+500

Sounds like the scaling algorithm you're using isn't interpolating pixels.

Pictures are best explained with pictures:

scaling an image with different interpolations

It's the Major, first in full, then scaled down with Lanczos (left) and nearest-pixel (a.k.a. no interpolation) (right) to two sizes.

The same comparison, in 3x magnified:

detail view

Make sure the scaling you're using is resampling sensibly. For example, ImageMagick has a -filter Lanczos option.

It doesn't even need to be fancy Lanczos, in case your tools can't do it; cubic (leftmost) looks the same to me:

cubic on the left

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+1 for using the major (and answering the question). :) –  Richard Marskell - Drackir May 4 '13 at 6:06
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Thanks for taking the time to answer and show examples images. Much appreciated. –  Rhys May 8 '13 at 19:31
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