Working with Low Resolution Videos and Images

Hi Everyone!
Right now I’m working on a video for a led screen with 64px height and it seems my “normal” programs are not made for that - it’s more complicated than i hoped…

For video editing im using Davinci Resolve, there I can’t work in such a small resoution, luckily i can export it though. But I haven’t found a way to look at that lowres video upscaled in a hard/pixelate way. I tried all the swscale settings in VLC player, did some web searches but everything i find is about upscaling DVDs to 4k

Working with tiny images works quite well, but looking at them i had similar problems. Most of the time they get blurry when trying to see them bigger.

As there are quite a few people here working with low resolution graphics, for example the people making sprites for Coral Carrier Incarnadine, and generally there’s appreciation of a hard digital aesthetic I thought this is a relevant topic :slight_smile:

Are you using any special tools or do you know about settings/plugins for common programs to keep the pixels pixely?

If you use “nearest neighbor” resizing in after effects that should do the trick

A rough and ready way using command line ffmpeg would be to downscale the video to an intermediate file, then rescale that file back up using the neighbor scaling algorithm, e.g.:

# from a 1280 x 720 source, scaled down to 80 x 46 (has to be divisible by 2)
ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf scale=80:46 tiny.mp4
# scaled back up to 1280 x 720 but pixely
ffmpeg -i tiny.mp4 -vf scale=1280:720 -sws_flags neighbor pixelated-output.mp4

Edit: Whoops. Reading back you probably only need / want the second command to scale up.

Further edit: According to this VLC forum discussion, using the swscale option doesn’t seem to work anymore.

i design in illustrator with snap to pixel enabled

Your hint to the neighbor algorithm made me try out some VLC settings again because that setting is available there in the swscale filter too. Again it didn’t change anything.
Setting the VLC Video Output Module to Windows GDI video output did the trick though! I can see Pixels now :robot:
Your ffmpeg command might become handy too, thanks!

1 Like