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What is a Pixel Program?

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  • Written By: S. Gonzales
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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A pixel program is a type of software that allows users to create digital art on the pixel level. Any software that can create, edit and manipulate pixel art can be considered a pixel program. This can include programs that are specifically suited to creating pixel art, such as raster graphics software, or more sophisticated graphic image editing software, such as Adobe® Photoshop®. It should be noted, however, that the latter incorporates technologies that can undermine true pixel manipulation such as blurring, alpha-blending and automatic anti-aliasing.

A pixel program works with specific pixels in an image, so its focus on individual elements differs from most graphics software. If a pixel program were to be compared to another art form, one could find significant parallels between it and beadwork. Users of a pixel program manipulate specific pixels, just as crafters work with individual beads in creating a finished piece of work.

Pixel images can be considered either isometric or non-isometric. Isometeric images are those images that are created in near-isometric dimetric projection. They provide a three-dimensional perspective using angles and pixel ratios. Non-isometric pixel art includes images that cannot be described as isometric. They typically can be found depicting an image from the top, front, bottom or side.

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Pixel art can be found in older computer, video and cell phone games. Although the rise of three dimensional (3D) images has decreased the popularity of pixel programs, a market for pixel images still remains. Professionals and amateurs alike find use for pixel programs and will continue to do so for as long as low-resolution applications continue to call for them. For example, low-end cell phones require pixel art graphics to function because of their memory and space constraints.

Hobbyists also can find use for pixel programs. Those who simply wish to build upon their understanding of graphic design can become acquainted with pixel programs. Individuals also can use pixel programs to create retro representations of modern graphics. Graphic designers might choose to create operating system icons or favicons using a pixel program. This practice can come in handy for those who wish to personalize their desktop icons or put an extra touch on their personal website.

Whatever the application, a good pixel program can help a user create interesting and viable pixel art. The resulting pixel images can be used both for decoration and function. In many ways, pixel art images are limited only by the imagination of their creators.

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