8-Bit Portrait (Photoshop)

In this task we transformed portraits into an 8-bit style to look similar to retro games such as Super Mario Bros, Caste-Vania, Mortal Kombat, etc. The defintion of 8-bit graphics is a style that is limited to colours below 256, instead of being unlimited, and being constricted to a certain amount of pixels.

The first stage was simply taking photos of myself, making sure that my entire portrait was in the frame and ensuring the area around me was too busy as it would make future steps easier. I took a couple of photos so then I could make a choice as to what one would work well when it came to facial expressions.

Once I had a collection of images, I then chose one and opened it in Adobe Photoshop 2015, I decided to choose the photo where I was pulling a face so then i could see if it would look good or not. The next step after that was to crop the image using the Crop Tool, located on the tab on the left, and cut it so only my portrait was in the frame. After that I went to the window ImageAdjustmentsLevels, I used this instead of Brightness/ Contrast, because I could control the highlights of the image in more detail. Once altering the image colours, I then went to ImageMode> Indexed Colours and reduced down the colours to 15 from 256 and changed the dither to Diffusion. Following that I then went to ImageImage Size– I switched the measurements from centimeters to pixels and reduced it down to 75 in stead of 428, this drastically shrank the image once I clicked OK. I then went back to that tab and changed the measurements again but this time to percentage and increased it to 400%, giving the image the pixelated 8-bit style.

Once getting that  done, I then repeated the technique on my other images, but changing a few of the other settings so I can see what style works better. On the second image I had changed the dither to Noise rather than Diffusion and increase the colours to 30- using a different effect made the entire image seem more detailed whilst still having the retro style to it, additionally some of my facial features are easier to make out compared to my first image. For my last image I went back to diffusion as opposed to my second image, altered the colours to 10 and went up to 100 pixels in the resizing to see if that would work any better. Once looking at the third image I can tell that it’s not as good as the other two because my hair began to mix with the background and the blending became very distorted on my face and shirt.

As an addition I decided to transform my image into a gif by doing a few simple steps. What I first did was get the 8-bit portrait that I liked the most (which was my second one because it had a good balance between contrast, colour and pixels) and place it on to a background image, I decided to choose the ‘Fill In Practice’ scene that I had made previously, however I did pixelate it and bring down the hue so it was just black & white. I erased the background of my portrait so it was just my face, but I used a square eraser so then I could still get the edge of the pixels.

To start making a gif, I went to WindowTimeline and I got a tab appear on the bottom. I then selected Create Frame Animation and similar to my ‘Stop Animation’, I had to work frame by frame, instead of free flow animation like ‘Warburton Animation’. I struggled a bit at first as I had never animated on Adobe Photoshop 2015 but it was quite simple once I got the hang of it- all I had to do was move my portrait and click Duplicates Selected Frames on the bottom of the screen and repeated this step until I got a moving animation.I put on a 0.1 second delay as it seemed like an appropriate speed.

Overall I’m pleased with how my gif turned out pretty well as I had never used any of these technique before. I was pleased how I was able to maintain having detail in the foreground and background whilst still having a pixelated appearance. The shadows and lighting is clear to see in the background image as well as the different carts on the ride. Additionally I was able to make a forever looping gif, even though it does jump slightly when the portrait image enters on the right. I feel like this technique will come in handy if I was to make an 8-bit game in the future or just making a gif in general.



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