Game Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional and independent game developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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
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
up vote 26 down vote accepted

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

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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.