Pixel art from voxels

It seems as if the graphics consist entirely of flat sprites, but in fact the models in the game are completely 3D. The developers of the nineties tried to make their graphics as realistic and modern as possible.

But the developers from the Robotality studio are not going to go that far, it is enough for them that the voxel on the screen matches the pixel size on the monitor. The resulting graphics look like very pleasing pixel art, but the engine has all the 3D information it needs.

There is nothing innovative in the pixel art approach to displaying voxels. This technology was first used in the game FEZ. The authors called the cubes that made up the game trixels (3D pixels). A trixel is a cube with sides of 16 voxels.

At any given time, the player sees FEZ from only one angle, and therefore it seems to him that he sees the world in 2D. This is why FEZ looks like pixel art, but the world can still rotate.

Pure voxels

So we’ve come full circle. Now let’s leave the world of pixel art behind and get back to voxels in true 3D space (using cubes without textures).

Voxatron by Lexallofle is a virtual console powered by a state-of-the-art voxel engine.

What is a pixel?

A pixel is the smallest particle of the LCD monitor screen, despite its miniature size, the pixel has the property of color reproduction and color reproduction, which allows you to get a high-quality color image on the monitor screen.

The monitor screen consists of a huge number of pixels, which, if damaged, become broken and impair the comfort of using the device. In fact, absolutely every monitor model initially has dead pixels, but they, as a rule, do not affect the comfort of using the device.

The Nokia Test monitor program is used to check the screen for dead pixels. During testing with this program, the device is run through the colors, so during testing, defects in the form of dead pixels can be seen.

Buying a monitor with such defects is not recommended. During the purchase of a new monitor, defects may not be found, but the first dead pixel often appears after some time of operation.

Pixel production technologies

Depending on the type of screen matrix, the pixel production technology differs. The pixel consists of many LEDs, the number of which varies greatly depending on what resolution and screen size the monitor has.

The pixel uses LEDs of different colors, while the white balance is necessarily observed. Modern monitors are equipped with SMD blocks, which are produced in a fully automatic mode, thanks to which it is possible to avoid low-quality products, often obtained by manual assembly.

Due to the modular assembly, the screens of modern monitors can be of various sizes, while the image quality is achieved as high as possible. The pixel consists of RGB LEDs: red, green and blue. The quality of the image on the monitor depends on how many pixels are in one particular size.

When buying an LCD monitor, special attention should be paid to the presence of defective pixels. If one or more of these defects are found on the screen of a used monitor, then the first step is to determine what types of defects belong to, if these are black dots, then they will remain forever and can affect the comfort of using the monitor. If these are points of the first and third types, then after a little effort in most cases it is possible to eliminate them.

Why old video games were pixelated

Pixel art in older video games – where the display resolution is quite low – was largely the result of low-resolution televisions and the high cost of memory chips and digital logic at the time these games were made relative to today.

While it was possible to create HD resolution digital still images by the late 1970s, the technology to animate them in real time came much later. Such technology was too expensive to be incorporated into a mainstream entertainment product that consumers could afford until the mid-2000s.

Game designers went the extra mile with the limited technology available at the time, using pixel art to illustrate their games for consoles such as the Atari 2600, NES, Sega Genesis and many more.

Even game artists have had to deal with images with relatively low resolution and low color compared to today. “Having to work with these giant solid bricks and being limited to only 16 awful colors that were pre-selected for us was a huge hurdle,” says Mark Ferrari, who has drawn EGA graphics for Lucasfilm games on the IBM PC such as Zak McKracken, Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island.

But the artists accepted the limitations and still created classics. Let’s take a closer look at what technical capabilities led to these limitations and why the game’s pixelated graphics have become less desirable over time.