Big Pixels


He’ll probably take a while to load.

Here we have a Spectrum-inspired pixel portrait of André the Giant, who is something of a regular on this blog. Inspiration came from two places: A generous helping of Skittles, and watching a review of the Spectrum’s typically awful adaptation of The Krypton Factor. Standard, I’m sure you’ll agree. I saw the portraits of the contestants in all their pixel glory and thought it’d be fun to try a similar thing with André.

Nostalgia Nerd is heartily recommended.

As it was, I ended up working on this for almost four hours, until after 4 o’clock this morning. I’m not going to complain. Motivation is not my strong point, so if the time flies by like that – which it most definitely did – then it can’t be that bad. It was really enjoyable, actually, and quite a happy result, similar to my stippling experiments from a few years ago. You can tell I started in the eye/nose T-zone and worked outwards, because it gets tidier the further we go from there. Some of the positioning and gradients could be better, particularly around the jawline, but I’ll take this as an impulse punt. Skittles or not, I will look into doing more of this.

At one point I just casually duplicated the marks layer and nudged it slightly, and was intrigued by the effect. Here are some alternates, positioned to the right, beneath, and another with a drop shadow effect; of course with nearest neighbour interpolation the aesthetic is locked to sharp pixels, so, even if less effective, they keep an authentic look.

I’ve probably shared this before, but it never gets old: here’s a clip of André at WrestleMania IV, mocking Hulk Hogan and showing Bob Uecker who’s boss.

  1. A superb big pixel dedication to André. 7′ 4″ is an incredible height, matched by a pretty incredible career.
    More please (and Skittles energy bonus!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, TVTA! I’ll definitely try some more faces in this style, and any excuse for more Skittles 😉 Yeah, André was awesome; he’s probably my favourite wrestler of all. Such presence! If you haven’t seen it, I’d definitely recommend the documentary on his life from last year, it’s brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If I ever need to pose a pixel question I know the first person I’ll be asking. Nice work and good job on burning the midnight oil.

    I haven’t touched anything digital for years and years now. OK, 22 days. But it feels like years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha, thanks Steve. An honour coming from someone with a published Spectrum game to his name.

      Liked by 1 person

      • With that wrestling mission you’ve coloured more dot matrices than me I’d imagine 🤖

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is awesome!! Love the style… definitely takes me back in time. Yay for Skittles! 😍Love how this turned out. And that clip… those hands… they’re HUGE! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Charlie! Yay for Skittles indeed, now you too have an excuse if you’re ever short on energy or motivation. 😉 André was on another level. I remember the documentary saying his hands were roughly the same size as those of a lowland gorilla.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow… those are gigantic hands! lol Let’s just say I’ve never been compared to a gorilla. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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