There’s something special about pixel art. It brings you back to the era of retro arcade games, and we’ve seen a recent push for it in design trends. Here, we discuss pixel art stitch designs and what you’ll probably want to know about them.
Pixel art is a fabulous new design for both aspiring machine embroiderers and experienced ones. It takes the retro 8-bit and 16-bit video game styles and turns them into fabric patches. Pixel art stitch designs offer a unique aesthetic and have become more popular as an embroidery technique.
The texture of pixel art embroidery is what makes it so special. Each rectangle stands out against the rest, creating a beautiful mosaic pattern that plays with the light. It’s the same thing that made those old-school video game characters so simple yet captivating.
Before launching your pixel art embroidery project, you’ll want to have all the proper equipment. For hardware, we recommend some of the following items:
As far as software, you’ll need some of these:
Pixel art designs are a relatively new approach to machine embroidery. At first, it might seem daunting to make your own. However, you can have a lot of fun and see beautiful results with the proper equipment and know-how.
Each process of making pixel art embroidery will look different depending on your software. In general, you can expect to follow the steps below.
The first step to creating pixel art embroidery is preparing the artwork. You’ll want to locate a free-to-use pixelated image online and download it as a PNG or JPEG. Alternatively, you can hand-draw your own and photograph or scan it. Next, send the art to a digitizing service, making sure to specify the output format your embroidery machine requires and the final size you desire.
Preparing the art involves ensuring the right size and shape of each pixel. Pixels may differ slightly, and you’ll need to recreate them manually, so they get stitched correctly. If you use 16-bit-style art, it’ll take more time to complete than 8-bit-style artwork.
You don’t want the pixels to be too small, causing a lack of texture. It would be best if you also didn’t create pixel art stitches too big because they’ll leave the squares looking gawky and loose. Each pixel should overlap adjacent pixels to ensure there aren’t any gaps in the finished product.
After selecting your art and uploading it to an embroidery digitizing service, here is what will happen next. They will remove the image’s background color and make it transparent. They will likely also zoom in and locate stray pixels, removing them as needed.
When submitting files, you may choose to specify the artwork’s colors to match your available thread. Using software like Photoshop or Paint, use the eyedropper tool to select the color you want to replace. Googling “image color picker” will also turn up useful free tools to achieve this goal. Next, look up a color chart for your type of thread to see which color in your image you want to replace with which color thread.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to work with each pixel to make it the correct size and shape. Standard pixels should be slightly rectangular (for example, 2.1 millimeters by 2.8 millimeters). Again, you should add compensation so that the pixels overlap.
Each pixel should have stitch angles running perpendicular to its four adjacent pixels. In other words, rotate the squares or rectangles 90 degrees to maintain the cross-stitch pattern. Not only will this make the embroidery hold together better, but it’ll also help the sewing machine travel easily from one pixel to the next.
Continue to replace colors, adjust pixel sizes, and work on the overall shape of the pixel art. Remember to offset each pixel’s stitch pattern with those above, below, and beside it. This will give your design that beautiful texture and classic checkerboard look.
Do you want your own unique pixel art stitch design? At Affordable Digitizing, we provide only the highest quality vectorizing and digitizing services to meet your unique needs and preferences. Check out our process and call us today at +1 239-910-8021