Picture of How to Pixellate Images - Easily
This quick one is a technique for using pixel censorship to preserve anonymity, dignity etc on digital images.
You only need a simple image editor such as MS Paint, I use MS Paint.

For an alternative, see this Instructable
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Step 1: The shrink

Picture of The shrink
Open the image with Paint which is usually in Programs > Accessories > on the Windows Start menu.

Use the rectangular Select tool to select the area you wish to pixellate.

Look to the lower right of the Paint window, the dimensions of the area will be shown as you drag the mouse. Select an area that is a whole multiple of 10 (see step 3 for more on this).

From this point onwards don't touch the image or the right hand toolbar with your cursor - only use the menus.

From the Image menu, choose Stretch/Skew... (CTRL-W)

Reduce the size of the area both horizontally and vertically. Here I am making the area 10 x smaller by selecting 10%.
In doing this shrink there will be 100 times fewer pixels in the selection.

Step 2: The stretch

Picture of The stretch
From the Image menu, choose Stretch/Skew... (CTRL-W) again.

Paint can't stretch selections more than 500% (5 x) so to increase the selection back to it's original size I need to stretch by 500%, then repeat the stretch at 200%.

If the finished result isn't what you wanted, note what isn't right about it, hit CTRL-Z or From the Edit menu choose Undo and start again.
gmjhowe6 years ago
Nice, and simple. Personally, if i want to hide something, i go with drawing a black or white circle clean over the top. No reconstruction program is getting past that!!
lemonie (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
The old fashioned 'letterbox' has a certain style to it I admit. But no reconstruction program can get back all the 5K pixels worth of data from these 64 - too much data has been lost. I should have referenced Kiteman's Unique Pixellation Indication Device, I'll go and do that now. L
gmjhowe lemonie6 years ago
I was thinking more like this...
lemonie (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
Looks like something out of Who?


But you've used something more advanced than Paint for that.
Hmm, there was an old Star Trek episode where an alien with powers did that to a young woman (how she could breath until they got him to fix her, days later, I don't know....
Charlie X I think you'll find. Personally I try and avoid photos of my fisog appearing on a family site for fear of frightening easily offended people!!!
Ugh, Charlie X. I hated that episode, and still do. Freaked me out the first time I saw it (still does). Of course, it was the second episode of Star Trek I had ever seen (I quickly learned that star trek got much, much worse in some other episodes....)
gmjhowe lemonie6 years ago
I used photoshop (as that is what i had open at work) But the same idea can be carried out on paint using the ellipse tool. Indeed it looks just like out of who! (i am a big fan)
Kiteman lemonie6 years ago
I forgot to say, thanks for the credit.
lemonie (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
Well, that's where I got the idea from, all that time ago... L
mrmath lemonie6 years ago
I got my avatar from that instructable!
Downe19862 years ago
That's exactly what i was looking for, i have some photos where some people just need to be pixelated!!
monsterlego2 years ago
Takes a few times to do it with a high resolution pic
lemonie (author)  monsterlego2 years ago
I don't know who that is!
Indiana Jones?

There is a free viewer called Irfanview that has quite a few special effects including pixalization. Its just select & click to do this. I use it all the time & it can do some amazing things. Cheers!
emdarcher2 years ago
time to make some pixelated versions of my photos to put in my personal texture pack for minecraft. :)
homestuck4 years ago
Who are the three guys?
lemonie (author)  homestuck4 years ago
I do not know, just random guys...
I know at least half of these people though.

This is excellent!  5 stars!  Usually I have to use paint.NET everytime, but this is wonderful!  Thanks!
This is a good idea!

,,I post a picture of my self but pixalate my face (standing next to a water rocket). The big question is should I reveal my age!!
lemonie (author)  oscarthompson5 years ago
Age doesn't really matter, do it anyway.

Thanks! This is very helpful.
DJ Radio6 years ago
Good one, I will definitely use this. 5*, and faved!
Goodhart6 years ago
Nice, that was easy...even I could do it right the first time around :-)
lemonie (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
Well it might come in useful somewhere, It was something I'd meant to do a long time ago. Incidentally, with the exception the Swedish rap-artist called Marcus (left), I've no idea who those guys are/were. L
Yes, I have already tried it once and it turned out perfect :-) Thanks again. It was very timely ;-)
mrmath6 years ago
Do you guys remember the case of the really nasty guy that pixellated his face with a swirl pattern, and passed around really bad pictures of himself? The undid the swirl and caught him. I wonder if people who can unswirl a swirl to get a face can unpixellate a picture like this.
Kiteman mrmath6 years ago
In the swirl, the pixels have been moved, but they were all there - it just took some math to shuffle them back, like a huge version of those sliding-tile puzzles.

Lemonie's process deletes 90% of the information required to reconstruct the face, instead of just rearranging it.
Kiteman Kiteman6 years ago
Backtrack a moment there - Lemonie's method removes 99% of the data, not 90%.
That one was different. The "Swirl guy"-photo was merely distorted, making it easy to reverse the process since most, if not all, of the information was kept in the image. Pixelization however incorporates removal of information from the image which cannot be recovered later on.