sprite movie: avoiding blurriness?

I'm trying to make a sprite movie using Hitfilm 4 Express and I'm having trouble trying to make it look good.

The sprite movie I'm trying to make is based on a SNES game, which had an pixel aspect ratio of 256x224 pixels, but there's no issue for me to "go up" to 320x180 pixels (and therefore multiply it to 1920x1080 pixels for example). I want to make the sprites look as clean as possible - I don't want any sort of blurriness to appear in the movie. I'm ok if the sprites look very blocky, as long as that blockyness looks clean. What's the best way to accomplish this?

Side question: is there a way to scale a sprite up without making it blurry? Right now, the only option I have is to resize the sprite externally using a program like Gimp with no interpolation. Is there an option for this in Hitfilm 4 Express? Not exactly a fan of the idea of creating "BIG" versions of each and every single spritesheet.


  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast
    edited June 2016

    The aspect ratio will be different whatever you do: 4:3 to 16:9 or you'll have a large border on the left and right sides.

    So, assuming you multiply it up by the smallest length, the depth, 1080/224=4.81 times multiplication on the size. To keep the numbers slightly cleaner, 4.8x224=1075.2 pixels high.

    If you only want to do whole numbers, 4x224=892 pixels high, but you'd have a pretty large border top and bottom as well.

    If you scale it up in Hitfilm, it will apply mipmapping and antialiasing, so it'll be softer than if you stretched it externally. If you want a really blocky look you'll have to do it all in GIMP. Or, there is probably some other program that could do it automatically or via a script.


  • That's a shame. I really didn't want to resort to resizing all of my sprites. A lot of extra work, but I guess I don't have a choice.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,244 Ambassador

    Well, whether you do it in Hitfilm or a photo editor you'll have to rescale at some point. Both GIMP and Photoshop have batch options, so you should just need to set up your scale parameters once, move your sprites to a folder, then batch the entire folder in one go as you eat a sandwich or something. 

    Not certain about GIMP, but in Photoshop you'll need to change the scale type from Bicubic to Nearest Neighbor, otherwise you'll still have mip mapping and Anti aliasing. 

    Another thing to try is scaling in Hitfilm and playing with effects like Witness Protection or Derez (or Mosaic). Those three effects make large blocks, and might unblur the Hitfilm scaling. 

    Honestly I think scaling in a photo editor will be faster. 

  • Witness Protection and Derez seem to just ruin the original pixels though, making it unrecognizable. Unless there'a magical setting in there that preserves the original pixels, that I'm simply not seeing, that's probably not a good option for my sprites.

    I didn't know about the batch options though, I will look into that. Not having to manually resize all my sprites would be a huge plus.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,244 Ambassador
    edited June 2016

    Assuming you're using (free)  GIMP, then check this out:


    If Photoshop:


    Wasn't certain about Witness Protection or DeRez, but figured it was worth the look-see

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    There are plugins for Paint.NET covering all the algorithms used in emulators like MAME for sprites


    The download link also has command line versions you could use with a bat script.


  • Tnx for the help guys, but I really don't want to learn a "new" language just to get the job done. Thank god I don't need to anyway, I found something much simpler:


    Did exactly what I needed and it was easy to install and set up.

  • Jay_Tholen
    Jay_Tholen Posts: 11 Enthusiast
    edited July 2016

    What you're looking for is a feature I requested a few years ago as I mostly work in pixel art, and as of last year the devs have added it to their to-add list, though I think it's too niche to really prioritize. Adobe After Effects has a toggle on video tracks that will switch between Nearest Neighbor and Bilinear Filtering. It's pricey, but it'll save you hours of resizing images, not to mention make editing faster since you're not working with enormous assets.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,244 Ambassador

    There's been some discussion on other threads on a slightly related subject. At the moment, Hitfilm's anti-aliasing is global, which has an effect on pre-rendered shots or stills brought back into Hitfilm. This has lead to requests to be able to disable AA on output. So, a "Nearest Neighbor" scaling option might be something that could be added in if/when this AA issue is addressed.