Make Pixel Art
Find out how computers display images and create your own paper pixels.
Then try some more complicated pictures.
Finally, think about using different colours in your design. Remember that each square can only be one colour.
How easy is it to create the pixel design that you want using a grid?
Did you find straight lines or curves easier to make?
Do you think it would be easier or more difficult if you had a bigger grid?
Computer screens are made up of a grid of tiny squares called pixels (picture elements). All the images you see on screen are made up of these tiny squares. Computer screens have different numbers of pixels depending on their size. This can be worked out by looking at your screen resolution. A mobile phone may have a resolution of 360 x 640. This is 230,400 pixels on screen. A laptop may have a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is 2,073,600 pixels on the screen. The more pixels you have, the better quality your picture is.
Computers represent everything using numbers. They use coordinates to represent pixels. When computers read the coordinates of pixels, they start in the top, left hand corner. When you read the coordinates of a map, you start in the bottom, left hand corner.
Start off with one of your simpler designs, the one with the fewest coloured squares. Label your x and y axis with number 0 to 9, as shown in the photograph.
Find the pixel nearest to the top, left hand corner. The photograph shows the first pixel that the computer will read.
Go along the x axis until you find the number column that your pixel is in. In the photograph you can see from the blue arrow that this is 2.
Now go down the y axis until you find the row your pixel is in. You can see from the green arrow that this is 2 also.
We record these coordinates like this: (2,2).
The computer reads the coordinates in horizontal lines, from left to right, top to bottom. The next pixel that the computer will read in this design is marked on the photograph. Read the blue arrow to find the x axis coordinate and the green arrow to find the y axis coordinate. This pixel will be recorded as (3,2).
Continue across the entire first row of pixels. The computer would read the coordinates in the photograph as:
(2,2) (3,2) (4,7) (5,2) (6,2) (7,2)
The computer reads the coordinates in horizontal lines, from left to right, top to bottom. The next pixel it will read is (2,3).
In this design, there is a gap of no pixels to read, so we skip straight to the next pixel on that row. In this design, that coordinate is (7,3). S0, the second row of the design would have the coordinates:
Continue recording the coordinates of your design in horizontal lines, moving from left to right, top to bottom. The final pixel the computer will read in our design is circled in the photograph. The coordinates for our entire design would be:
(2,2) (3,2) (4,2) (5,2) (6,2) (7,2)
(2,7) (3,7) (4,7) (5,7) (6,7) (7,7)
Can you record the coordinates of one of your pixel pictures? Remember to use a new line for each horizontal row of coordinates.
Make yourself a grid with the x and y axis labelled.
Plot these coordinates, remembering to plot the x then the y axis. The first one is done for you.
(2,1) (4,1) (5,1)
(2,2) (3,2) (6,2)
(1,5) (3,5) (5,5) (6,5) (8,5)
(1,6) (3,6) (5,6) (6,6) (8,6)
(1,7) (5,7) 6.7) (8,7)
(1,8) (2,8) (3,8) (4,8) (5,8) (6,8) (7,8) (8,8)
You can tell the computer to make the pixels a colour by adding an instruction to the code.
In the photograph, the circled pixels would be
(3,1t) where t is turquoise
(7,3p) where p is purple
(1,5g) where g is green
(5,8b) where b is blue
(2,9bk) where bk is black