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Quick & Easy Pixelation Effect

Usually, designers try to reduce pixelation in their images, and keep designs crisp and clean. The Pixelated look can actually add a flare of personality to a design however. In this tutorial, I’ll show you a quick and easy way to pixelate your graphics.


I recently had someone express interest in creating Pixelated images.  If you’re not familiar with the term, Pixelation is the result of stretching raster graphics or bitmaps.  When stretching image data beyond it’s maximum size, the individual pixels which make up an image can be easily seen as they are also increased in size.

Example of Pixelation:

Example of Pixelation

Typically, Pixelation is a bad thing to have in practice.  Designers and Photographers usually want ther images crisp and smooth as shown in the upper left frame.

However, Pixelation can also be used as a technique which enhances compositions, and has become a style of it’s own.

How To Pixelate a Graphic

There are a few ways to go about pixelating images.  The easiest way is probably by putting the Mosaic Filter to good use (especially when you want to work with individual layers).

Open up a graphic you’d like to work with:

An ordinary Graphic with no Pixelation

Select the layer you’d like to Pixelate.  Apply the Mosaic Filter onto this layer (Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic).   A Mosaic Settings Box will pop up.  Move the slider to adjust the size of the pixels.

Pixelated Graphic

That’s really all it takes to pixelate a graphic in Adobe Photoshop!

Pixelated Art


  1. Add point Subtract point
    Career Outlook (0 Points) August 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Its a very useful tutorial, specially for beginners like me.

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  2. Add point Subtract point
    jarq (0 Points) May 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Really nice tut. Very simple. Thanks

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    jaka zulham (0 Points) May 4, 2010 at 12:39 am

    with that’s effeck we can make a background right??

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    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (0 Points) February 3, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Great post . Thanks155

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    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุดเดือนนี้ (0 Points) February 2, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Great post . Thanks148

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    เพลงสากลใหม่ (0 Points) February 1, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Great post . Thanks143

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    huwaw69 (0 Points) May 3, 2009 at 4:57 am

    its just one step tutorial, and the result is very good! but where do you use pixelated graphics?

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    Sword~ (0 Points) June 25, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    1step = 1awsome tutorial thank’s alot :)

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    jason (0 Points) June 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    you might get a sharper pixelation that resembles old 8-bit video games by scaling down your image, zooming in and taking a big screencap. the mosaic effect gives those fuzzy edges that i hate. alternatively you could just go the pixel art route and do it square by square.

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    Htoo Tay Zar (0 Points) June 14, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Wow, Really Great Effect!! thanks a lot

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    Steven (0 Points) May 16, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    hahaha wow… man i thought it would be much harder to pixelate than just click Filter-Pixelate-Mosaic. tyvm. i probably wouldve done something of my own to pixelate -_-

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    Chris Henn (0 Points) February 23, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Wow, I’ve read a couple of your tutorials and they’re a great help. I never knew that you could do so much in photoshop.

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    Great tutorial, pixelation is also good if you want to censor something. =P

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    James Peotto (0 Points) February 22, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks David, I don’t know if this was directed towards me, but i did express intrest. This is really what I was looking for and I have been experimenting with it. Thanks alot for the tut one more time.

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