[Computer] CSE Pixel Art Competition

Update 6/15/2021: See submissions and winners here!

What [Question mark]

A Pixel Art competition. 16x16 and 32x32 categories. Static or animations.

Who [Question mark]

Anyone connected in any way to CSE@UCSD!
CSE students? Yes! (You only took one CSE class? You are eligible!)
CSE staff? Yes!
CSE faculty? Yes!
CSE Alumni? Yes!
Friends of CSE? Yes!

When [Question mark]

Spring quarter 2021!
Deadline for submissions will be end of week 9 (May 30), winners will be announced at the end of week 10.
Winner categories have not yet been fully finalized but will include many creative categories like "Best CSE spirit ", "Best use of colors", "Most artistic", "Best use of animation."

Why [Question mark]

Pixel art is fun! It brings out your artistic side, and everyone can do it! You can do pixel art without any programming knowledge. And if you want to write code to generate your pixel art, you only need knowledge equivalent to the first 6 weeks of CSE 8A, and we will provide you with a simple library to do it in Python (more details below).

We will also create a web page with all (anonymized) submissions who are willing to be public. This will be a record of our collective Pixel Art endeavors.

And best of all, a sampling of the submissions will be displayed in the department on some Divoom devices:

[Wonder Woman] Pixel Art? Who me? Yes you!

To make pixel art, you broadly have two choices: (1) use a Pixel Art Editor (2) write code to generate/edit your pixel art. But there are many options too, including combining a Pixel Art editor with writing code in creative ways. There is no right or wrong way to create pixel art. Let the sky be the limit, and use your imagiation!

[Mouse] Pixel Art Software

There are a variety of places to start, including:

[Scroll] Writing Code

So you want to write code to create pixel art? We've got you covered! We made the CSE Pixel Art Python library.

Click here for instructions on how to get started with the CSE Pixel Art Library

You only need about 6 weeks of CSE 8A to understand how to use the library. The CSE Pixel Art Python library can be used almost identically to the recent CSE 8A Image manmipulation libraries, so you CSE 8A folks, we hope you will feel right at home!

The library comes with four coding examples to get you started. Here are the four images generated by these examples (including a laser-eyes cat!).


Formats and rules, oh my!

There are two categories of Pixel Art you can submit: 16x16 (meaning 16 pixels high by 16 pixels wide), and 32x32. Each person can submit at most one in each size. We recommend you submit PNG or GIF files.

For a given size, we require you submit two versions of the file: one of the actual size, and one scaled up by (for example for 16x16, it would be one file at 16x16 and one at 160x160).

Animations? Yes, for sure! Animations must be in animated GIF format. There is a limit of 60 frames on the GIF animations (this is the limit on the Divoom devices we will use to display the art in the building)

Click here for detailed submission instructions