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Pixelated Image Abstraction
Timothy Gerstner, Doug DeCarlo, Marc Alexa, Adam Finkelstein, Yotam Gingold, Andrew Nealen
In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR), Annecy, France, June 2012.
This paper has been expanded into a journal publication adding artistic controls.
See Tim’s web page for his thesis, source code, and executable.

Paper: PDF (9M) | PDF (1M)

Abstract:

We present an automatic method that can be used to abstract high resolution images into very low resolution outputs with reduced color palettes in the style of pixel art. Our method simultaneously solves for a mapping of features and a reduced palette needed to construct the output image. The results are an approximation to the results generated by pixel artists. We compare our method against the results of a naive process common to image manipulation programs, as well as the hand-crafted work of pixel artists. Through a formal user study and interviews with expert pixel artists we show that our results offer an improvement over the naive methods.

A portrait of Obama and the automatically generated pixel art.

BibTeX:

@inproceedings{Gerstner:2012:PIA,
  author    = {Timothy Gerstner and Doug DeCarlo and Marc Alexa
               and Adam Finkelstein and Yotam Gingold and Andrew Nealen},
  title     = {Pixelated Image Abstraction},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Symposium on
               Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR)},
  year      = {2012},
  month     = jun
}