You don’t have to be an expert at using software in order to create great pixel art. All you really need is a good pixel art generator. Pixel art generator tools come in multiple varieties, some of which allow you to convert existing images into pixel art while others make it easy to create pixel art from scratch. With so many of these tools available online it can be difficult to choose the best one for your specific needs but don’t worry because we’re here to help. How so? Well, by taking a look at the best pixel art generators currently available on the market and listing their pros and cons.

But before we jump into the main topic of this article we want to take a minute to show you how to enlarge pixel art images. This will come in handy later. For that purpose, we’re going to use a near tool called Vance AI Image Enlarger.

Also, we all know a useful way to save the image with smaller size is to save it in JPEG format. But, it's not a perfect way to save images losslessly for it will result in JPEG artifact. So here, we'd like to recommend you a powerful tool to help you remove JPEG artifacts with Vance AI JPEG Artifact Remover.

How to Enlarge Pixel Art in Vance AI Image Enlarger

1. Visit Vance AI’s official website and navigate to the dropdown menu in the top bar to find the AI Image Enlarger tool. Click the Upload Image button to begin.

pixel art generator from photo

2. Upload an image by clicking anywhere in the center area or by using the drag-and-drop method. Select the amount of enlargement as well as the amount of noise suppression and blur removal.

pixel art generator online

3. Click the Start to Process button and wait until it is complete. Finally, go to the Processed tab to download your new enlarged image.

Also read: How to Depixelate Image with AI in 3 Steps.

Best 10 Pixel Art Generators 2021

Contrary to image upscaler tools like Vance AI Image Enlarger, some tools are specifically used to generate pixel art. Below is the review of the 10 best pixel art generators in 2021. 

1. PixelMe

AI pixel art generator
 
PixelMe is an AI pixel art maker that can convert pretty much any image you throw at it. Although it does tend to work better with portrait images that only feature a single person or character. There are a couple of neat features you can play around with, such as changing the image’s color and saturation, pixel size or background. You can also create patterns using the resulting image, however, I’m not sure if you can find a use for that feature. Still, PixelMe is definitely a cool tool and worth checking out.

Pros:

  • Automatically converts any image into pixel art
  • Lets you change the size of the pixels
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work great with landscape images
  • Pattern feature not very useful
  • Not free to use for commercial purposes

Also read: Top 10 Best Pixel Art Game Characters Enlarged by AI.

2. PixilArt

AI pixel art generator

This is a very neat pixel art generator for those who enjoy drawing. At first glance, PixilArt works similar to many other drawing tools but it doesn’t take long to realize that anything you draw here will look like pixel art. You do need to have at least a bit of talent in order to create a good-looking drawing with this tool but it’s still going to be easier than trying to do it without any help. In addition to standard features like changing brush sizes or picking colors, PixilArt also lets you work with layers and even basic animations.

Pros:

  • Professional tool with lots of features
  • Lets you create wonderful works of art
  • Supports GIFs

Cons:

  • Not for complete beginners
  • Requires some practice
  • Only supports .png and .gif formats

3. PixelArt Maker

Another tool that lets you create pixel art with ease, PixelArt Maker is sort of a combination of the first two tools mentioned earlier. On one hand, you can upload any image on the site and it will automatically convert it into pixel art. At the same time, you can also use it a blank canvas for creating pixel art from scratch. It’s hard to tell if this pixel art generator uses AI to convert images because there’s virtually no information on the website regarding how it works. The results are generally pretty impressive, though.

AI pixel art generator

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop images to convert to pixel art
  • Create your own pixel art from scratch
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t play well with large images
  • It’s missing a number of important features
  • No tutorials or any other useful information

4. Minecraft Image Converter

Minecraft didn’t invent pixel art but there’s no doubt that the well-known video game helped popularize it. Creating art inside Minecraft is a rewarding but difficult process that generally takes a very long time. That is, unless you’re using this tool. Minecraft Image Converter is a pixel art generator that lets you covert images with ease. More importantly, the converted images can then be imported directly into Minecraft. That feature is useful only to those who play the game but the converter itself can come in handy even if you don’t.

pixel art generator from photo

Pros:

  • Convert images into pixel art with just one click
  • Includes transparency, luminance, and other effects
  • Lets you import images directly into Minecraft

Cons:

  • Images limited to 256 px in height
  • Can only save as .png
  • Limited usability for users who don’t play Minecraft

5. Piskel

Piskel is an online open-source pixel art generator designed for creating sprites. Sprites are primarily used in video game development but can have a variety of other purposes as well. The tool strikes a good balance between simple and complex, giving you plenty of useful options without feeling too overwhelming. That said, you’ll probably need a bit of practice before you are able to create great looking sprites with Piskel as there are no tutorials on the main website. Piskel will no longer allow users to create accounts starting with August 1st but the editor itself isn’t going away anytime soon.

Pixel art maker

Pros:

  • One of the best tools for creating sprites
  • Lots of useful features
  • Supports animations

Cons:

  • A bit difficult to learn
  • Doesn’t play well with large images
  • Ability to save online will be removed soon

6. Pixelator

Pixelator is another great tool that lets you convert existing images into pixel art, however, this one isn’t available online. The fact that you have to download it can be seen as a disadvantage, but luckily the software takes less than 100 MB of space. The tool comes with a fair number of options so you may need to experiment a bit before you can find the perfect level of pixelation for your project. Otherwise, with this pixel art generator you can easily take things too far and transform the original image into a random mass of pixels that barely resembles anything.

AI pixel art maker

Pros:

  • Turns any image into pixel art
  • Lots of sliders and filters to play around with
  • Great for creating pixel art in bulk

Cons:

  • Requires a fair amount of experimentation
  • Software needs to be downloaded locally
  • Free version only for personal use

7. Dinopixel

Dinopixel is a pretty interesting website where you can learn to create your own pixel art drawings with relative ease. There are a bunch of different models found on the site that you can use to get the ball rolling if you’re lacking artistic inspiration. If you’re not, you can simply grab the pencil tool and start drawing away. Anything you draw will automatically be converted into pixel art. You also have the option to change colors, modify the dimensions of the grid and a couple of other features, but nothing too crazy. Overall, Dinopixel is a very simple tool.

pixel art software

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Comes with a variety of models
  • You can edit pixel art created by other users.

Cons:

  • Could use a few more editing tools
  • Maximum grid size is only 1280 x 1280 px
  • Can only save pixel art as .dino format

8. Pixel It

This next pixel art maker is a simple converter built using Javascript. Its open-source nature means that you can modify a lot of the tool’s parameters by changing certain pieces of code. However, Pixel It does work well even without any modifications. In addition to converting images into pixel art, the tool also lets you use various block sizes and color pallets to edit them. There aren’t a whole lot of other options here but some users might actually enjoy this level of simplicity.

create pixel art

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Lets you change block size
  • Lets you change color palette

Cons:

  • Possibly too simplistic for some
  • Resulting art can look a bit too abstract
  • Could use a few more editing tools

9. Aseprite

Aseprite is a piece of software that allows you to create some truly amazing sprites complete with beautiful animations. The software is perfect for indie video games and various art projects, or just for learning how 2D animation works. Of course, the downside is that Aseprite is pretty complicated and takes a while to wrap your head around. The effort is well worth it, though, because this is easily one of the best pixel art generators around.

pixel art generator

Pros:

  • Amazing quality
  • Perfect for video game design
  • Available on Steam

Cons:

  • Requires download
  • Requires purchase
  • Trial version doesn’t let you save projects

10. Adobe Photoshop

Naturally, we couldn’t have a list about pixel art software without mentioning Adobe Photoshop. The software is among the best for any type of editing, including but noy limited to pixel art. A huge advantage of Photoshop over most of the other tools covered in this article is that it can pixelate only certain parts of an image. There’s also a blur tool that works similarly along with an entire truckload of other features that we simply don’t have time to mention in this article.

pixel art generator from photo

Pros:

  • One of the best editing tools around
  • Can pixelate specific parts of an image
  • Countless other amazing features

Cons:

  • Difficult to master
  • Expensive
  • Requires download

FAQs

What is Pixel Art?

Just as its name indicates, pixel art is a type of digital art where the editing takes place at the pixel level. The art style was inspired by retro video games made popular in the 80s and 90s where it was used extensively.

How to Create Pixel Art Online?

Creating pixel art online requires the use of specialized tools like the ones mentioned earlier in this article. Many of these tools simply give you the opportunity to create drawings at a pixel level but some let you convert existing images into pixel art instead.

How to Create Pixel Art in Photoshop?

The first step is to convert your photo or parts of it into a smart object using a filter. Next, you can go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Mosaic to start the conversion. Feel free to experiment with some of the other filters as well. Finally, you can select the level of pixilation from the preview window by simply using the built-in slider.

Final Thoughts

Pixel art generators can be found everywhere these days and it’s easy to see why. This type of art style is currently undergoing a renaissance thanks to the renewed prevalence of retro video games. Many people who grew up with these types of games are now working in graphics design and development so it makes sense that they’re trying to bring back pixel art. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a designer or artist yourself in order to experiment with this art style because you can just use the tools mentioned in this article. Most of them are free so there’s no real reason not to check them out. Or, if you want to make your photo clear to see and improve its quality, you may explore more AI picture enhancer tools in Vance AI.