Convert Vector Graphics into Pixel Art

The newest version of Inkscape has recently been released and has added a neat feature. This new filter can take a vector and turn it into some retro looking pixel art. Let’s learn how to turn vectors into pixel art!

Step 1

First, we need a rather simple graphic for this to work. I’m going to use the new Import Clip Art feature to look for something isometric.

import clip art

Step 2

When I imported this truck, it was all conveniently grouped. Unfortunately, this pixel art filter requires that everything be separated/ungrouped (I just kept hitting Control+Shift+G). Then, select everything and select Filters > Pixel tools > Pixellize.

isometric truck ungroup

Step 3

You’ll notice that all of the edges of everything are slightly jagged or aliased. The interesting thing about this filter is that the “pixellize” effect doesn’t stay relative to the object – it changes when you zoom.

pixellize filter inkscape

Step 4

For example, I zoomed out here to compare the original clip art to the pixellize effect, but because I zoomed out, the truck on the right has even more pixelation than before.

vector vs pixellize filter inkscape

Step 5

I suppose the trick to getting the amount of pixelization you desire is this: export small for more pixelization, export large for less. Below, the truck on the left is the true size of my final result, and the truck on the right is also my final result, but zoomed in a bunch on an image viewer.

pixelized vector truck

Step 6

If you’re interested, we also have a completely related article that accomplishes the exact opposite of this tutorial, convert pixel art into vector graphics.

pixel art vs vector

Simple Enough!

The new Pixellize filter in Inkscape seems to be an interesting one, but knowing how to use it effectively gave us a neat, retro pixel art look that came straight from some vector clip art. Obviously, large amounts of tinkering will yield different results for you, but it also sounds like a ton of fun. Thanks for reading!