Recently I was on Twitter when I came across this tweet from 8BitPorn:
— 8 Bit Porn (@8BitPorn) January 10, 2016
I was so haunted by this image that I decided to look into creating my own 8-bit works of art. Then I thought of using some of my existing photos and converting them into pixelated masterpieces, but a search for any software that does this came up dry. I did come across this site that does the conversion work for you at the expense of its address stamped on your converted image.
Only from additional research did I finally begin to understand the steps involved with converting my photos to 8-bit, and it’s done with free software that’s probably already installed on your computer. The method I’m about to describe may not be the way to do the conversion, but it’s worked for me.
The first step is to reduce the image to 256 colors since GIMP doesn’t have this capability. Most image viewers should be able to do this, and I only mention the FastStone Image Viewer because I already have it installed. Afterwards save the image.
Next, load the image in GIMP and select Scale Image from the Image menu. Make a note of what’s filled in the fields for the image’s width and height as you’ll need to enter those numbers later.
Enter 100 for the image’s new width. The height value will be entered automatically. Most importantly, make sure None is selected for the Interpolation option and then click Scale to shrink the image.
Now repeat the Scale Image operation to resize the image back to its original size. Enter the original values for the width and height, make sure None is selected for the interpolation and click Scale to complete the operation.