How do I easily convert a fuzzy pixel art image back into pixels?

I want to convert a fuzzy pixel art image into a crisp actually-pixel-art pixel art image.

An example of this is taking a still from say a youtube clip of a pixel-art animation, and recreating the image, given there are no known raw images available of the original artwork.

Disregarding any copyright issues (this is for personal use only), what’s the easiest way to convert this fuzzy pixel art back into something that could resemble the source image?

I’ve attempted a manual conversion, but I’m having issues with trying to workout what scale I’m working in, and the original colour of each pixel.

e.g., given this:


how can I programatically convert it back to this:

enter image description here


Per Philip’s request, I’ll turn this into an answer:

The only real solution is to pick the pencil tool and get to redrawing/touching-up by hand. Alas, there’s no magic filter for this. JPG/MPG is lossy compression. By definition you’ve lost image data that you’re not going to get back.

Others have suggested some automated ways that could help, for sure, but they are hardly programmatic. Whether it’s the pencil tool or playing with curves, or posterizing, it’s all going to need to be done by hand to ensure it’s doing what you want it to do.

That said, if this is an animation, and you get get one frame looking fairly well in PhotoShop, then record the actions in PhotoShop and then you could batch process the rest of the frames.

I still think you’ll have to go in frame-by-frame though to get it the way you want.

Source : Link , Question Author : glasnt , Answer Author : DA01

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