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The Ultimate MS Paint Image
February 20, 2006 4:39 PM   Subscribe

While it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing image ever created using only MS Paint, the Ultimate MS Paint image does seem like it took the most effort. Background on how the image was created, and pro-active retort by the artist to several of the comments that will be made in this thread regardless.
posted by jonson (55 comments total)

 
de_dust!
posted by foot at 4:42 PM on February 20, 2006


Those of you saying that it was done in Photoshop becauseof the textfile that says photoshop in it are very clever.The thing is, if you save a bmp file in jpg format with MS Paint, you get horrible distortion in the image. I had to open the file with photoshop so I could save it as a high quality jpg.

BPrush will now let you save a file as a PNG, which would have been better for something like this, I imagine, then a JPG
posted by delmoi at 4:46 PM on February 20, 2006


Double, yes?
posted by thinman at 4:49 PM on February 20, 2006


Well, it may have taken a lot of time to do, but it's also very ugly.
posted by delmoi at 4:50 PM on February 20, 2006


thinman: it's not a double, the "most aesthetically pleasing" link is different from the actual subject of the post.
posted by delmoi at 4:51 PM on February 20, 2006


It's not a double - it's a copy of a previous post created in binary.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:53 PM on February 20, 2006


That is a very paranoid retort.
posted by interrobang at 4:55 PM on February 20, 2006


Right you are, delmoi. Apologies, jonson.
posted by thinman at 4:55 PM on February 20, 2006


For some reason the style of the "aesthetically pleasing image" reminds me of old Sierra game art.
posted by stopgap at 4:59 PM on February 20, 2006


interrobang - it's gotta suck to spend a hundred hours on something and post it online only to have a huge number of strangers on a multitude of boards start attacking your character ("he's lying!" "I'm sure he used photoshop & i can prove it!!!") or your lifestyle ("what a loser! who would waste their time on something so dumb!?!"). While I labeled the retort as pro-active, I only meant pro-active to metafilter. By the time he had written it, I'm sure the writer had already been the subject of a number of anonymous internet insults for daring to waste his time creating something on his own pc.
posted by jonson at 5:01 PM on February 20, 2006


Sure, jonson, but criticisms can be ignored; the retort comes of as "protesting too much" to me.
posted by interrobang at 5:06 PM on February 20, 2006


The image reminds me of the ANSI art that use to scroll by prior to the log-in prompt on old BBSs.
posted by crank at 5:08 PM on February 20, 2006


We need more pro-active retorts around here.
posted by MrZero at 5:08 PM on February 20, 2006


The Ultimate MS Paint: It Will Make You Cry

Sniff sniff.

Oh, that's just a cold coming on. Good thing it hasn't made me nauseous prone yet.
posted by HTuttle at 5:09 PM on February 20, 2006


Shlongy certainly wasn't well pleased.
posted by tellurian at 5:23 PM on February 20, 2006


It's a horrible picture. All the skill of pixel art is there, but none of the simple ideas - light, shade, contrast....style. This could have been awesome, it could have been totally realistic, or a crazy interpretation of the scene. The sky has taken a lot of effort, why not the same with the water? It looks like a desperately half-assed rendering of a lame subject in the first place. But despite all that, I'm still impressed.
posted by fire&wings at 5:31 PM on February 20, 2006


Rasterbation.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:39 PM on February 20, 2006


Why would someone take the time to bother to attack someone else for wasting their time on the internet? For what it's worth, wouldn't we all rather be banging some hot person while smoking a pound of marijuana and everything else, including playing photoshop detective or merely viewing an image on the internet long enough to make an opinion about it, is just biding our time while we'd rather do the former. That reminds me, I have things to do...
posted by my sock puppet account at 5:42 PM on February 20, 2006


this one is far superior.
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:42 PM on February 20, 2006


I wept. Hard.
posted by youarenothere at 5:43 PM on February 20, 2006


what, you mean the one I linked to in my post, kickstart70?
posted by jonson at 5:43 PM on February 20, 2006


That's weird...I had clicked on the first link (middle-clicked to a new tab) and got the second link up. It even showed as already visited. I went and Googled up the image we've both linked to now after being reminded of it.

No disrespect intended, jonson, I thought that you had not linked to that image.
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:48 PM on February 20, 2006


de_dust, indeed.

I thought it looked familiar.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:12 PM on February 20, 2006


Can we take up a collection to buy this person Photoshop?
posted by mathowie at 6:28 PM on February 20, 2006


"Needs more vagina." Indeed.

q:
posted by djeo at 6:37 PM on February 20, 2006


Art snobs suck. I admire the picture for what it is and commend the artist.
posted by shockingbluamp at 6:39 PM on February 20, 2006


effort != quality
posted by b1tr0t at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2006


Tsk. It's de_dust2, not de_dust.

n00bs.
posted by wolftrouble at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2006


As someone who has more than a decade experience in creating computer graphics tools I have 95% confidence that he used other tools that just MS Paint. The problem is the perfect gradients and some of the perfectly aligned curves/circles. Obviously some of it was done in MS Paint but probably only a minority. Ah well, it fun to play with reality on the internet... ;-)
posted by bhouston at 7:01 PM on February 20, 2006


The problem is the perfect gradients and some of the perfectly aligned curves/circles.

But the gradients aren't perfect. And where he does use gradients, they often only contain a few shades, at most a dozen. The smooth gradients are far from perfect. Zoom in and look at the purple sky gradients below the upside down panda bear, and below those clouds, for instance. Zoom in and you'll see that there aren't prefect - some horizontal lines have the colour slightly "wrong".

And the circles and curves aren't perfect. Look at the wheels on the truck. Look at the blue sky behind the cityscape. Look at the edge of the lava. I've created pixel graphics and sprite graphics - back on my Amstrad where I didn't have tools - and I got quite good at knowing where to put pixels to create a near-perfect circle. Oh, and look at the chequered floor - those perspective lines are drawn by hand, you can see the rough edges.

As someone who has more than a decade experience in creating computer graphics tools, you clearly lack experience in the ability of people to create highly detailed artwork without the use of cheats. Head down to an art gallery some time and look at some oil paintings - you might conclude they used photoshop there too.
posted by Jimbob at 7:24 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


"the most aesthetically pleasing image ever created using only MS Paint" wasn't: The creator says he "used mspaint to draw with alittle photophop bluring."
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:32 PM on February 20, 2006


(All this negativity is like taking Wagner's Ring Cycle and saying "Bullshit, you can't create that sort of music with pen and paper, he must have used ProTools". Note: I hate Wagner.)
posted by Jimbob at 7:37 PM on February 20, 2006


Feels kinda like how Buddhist monks paint mandalas with grains of different coloured sand.

(Used to do "VGA art")
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:57 PM on February 20, 2006


A bit of traffic on the water might have added some interest.
posted by longsleeves at 8:26 PM on February 20, 2006


Yes, but what does it mean?
posted by slatternus at 8:45 PM on February 20, 2006


BS. the quality is great in some places and crap in others. Compare the yellow hand connected to the ball and chain to the posteurized photorealistic deep sea fish. Or gandalf's face to the lava. Its not even that he obviously spent less time on it, its of lesser skill, even for a "rough". The gradients are clearly posteurized photoshop gradients.

the most telling i think is that he didn't bother to fix the texture map on the wall in the counterstrike screenshot. If i were drawing it from scratch, or even from a source i had next to me, id take a minute or two to see that the cracks lined up - i mean, as long as you're going to take hours to select the righ color for each pixel and dot it in.

also telling is the inside of the deep sea fish's mouth. Its off black with no discernable light source. A common artifact when posteurizing a low contrast photo.

maybe some of it was done in MS Paint. Maybe even most of it... but there is a lot here that doesn't smell right.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:01 PM on February 20, 2006


gandalf vs the original photo.
If you look at the comparison, most of the key features are perfectly aligned - not something you get with free handing it.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:08 PM on February 20, 2006


not something you get with free handing it.

Clearly, you can't draw. I did a pencil copy of a picture of Kurt Cobain when I was 14 that was a better immitation than these two pictures. (I haven't drawn a decent thing since, but I proved to myself that I could do it). I could look at that galdalf-comparison image and point out, as evidence that it isn't just posteurized:

1. The highlight on the nose moves
2. The wrinkles between the eyebrows are completely different
3. The highlight on the right cheek moves
4. Extra detail is drawn into the shadow of the hand that isn't there on the orignal.
5. Highlights appear on the lips that aren't there in the orignal
6. Wrinkles on the forehead are completely different.
7. Shadows in the middle of the left side of the nose are completely different.
8. Beard texture and shadows are completely different.
9. Eyes are a different shape. In particular, watch the left eye.
10. Cheeks are higher in the copy.

Or gandalf's face to the lava.

What makes you think the image all has to be drawn to the same level of detail?

also telling is the inside of the deep sea fish's mouth.

1. Look at the detail inside the mouth.
2. Maybe it's off-black because he liked it that way?
3. Maybe he didn't click black in the colour selection dialogue.

All your comments prove is that you spend way too much time playing with Photoshop effects, and not enough seeing what you can do playing with pixels.
posted by Jimbob at 9:35 PM on February 20, 2006


the most telling i think is that he didn't bother to fix the texture map on the wall in the counterstrike screenshot.

He was trying to represent a screenshot from a game. A game where the textures don't necessarily line up. Why would he fix them when the intention was for it to look like Counterstrike?
posted by Jimbob at 9:38 PM on February 20, 2006


jimbob - before photo shop, i was known to sit for hours doing pixel by pixel drawing. Im actually an MS Paint dork myself. I like to think that i can draw. I know a little about it.

also, i didn't say the gandalf's were a pixel for pixel match, just that its likely he sketched the major features with the original underneath, then filled in the details on his own.

"What makes you think the image all has to be drawn to the same level of detail? "
i didn't say that. But its reasonable to expect all the parts are executed with the same level of skill. Maybe some dont have the same amount of time invested, but the skill should be evident.

what do you make of the counter strike screen shot?
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:45 PM on February 20, 2006


You people never saw what sexually-frustrated 14-year-old boys could do [NSFW] with ACiDDraw back in the day, did you?
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:02 PM on February 20, 2006


I'm not sure either way, myself. I tend to believe the artist didn't use Photoshop. Where there are different levels of skill in evidence, I think the artist either got bored, or wasn't working from a model, or just ran into objects he wasn't as familiar with. People can draw quite differently if they're only working from memory or imagination.

Like, in the Counterstrike part: I think he wanted to keep the video game look, and he was moderately bored. So I buy the textures not joining up as an artistic decision. The distant walls on the right look more suspicious to me, actually. I think the tent and possibly the lower sky are add-ons from imagination.
posted by furiousthought at 10:44 PM on February 20, 2006


All this pixel art is making me nostalgically horny for the good old days of SNES and animated GIFs. Before all this Web 2.O and Mario 128 hullaballoo.
posted by slatternus at 11:19 PM on February 20, 2006


The fish, to me, is the most suspicious feature. Does anyone have Finding Nemo on DVD, so you can grab a screenshot of the frame he used for reference on the angler fish? From the way its body is elongated I would assume it's just starting to chase our heroes.
posted by rafter at 11:22 PM on February 20, 2006


Well, he did admit to having used tools to measure the original as a guide to making his copy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:24 PM on February 20, 2006


All this pixel art is making me nostalgically horny for the good old days of SNES and animated GIFs. Before all this Web 2.O and Mario 128 hullaballoo.

Before animated GIFs, there were ANSI art packs from ACiD.
posted by ori at 11:53 PM on February 20, 2006


Deluxe Paint, I could respect. This, I won't.
posted by unmake at 3:06 AM on February 21, 2006


Everything old is new again.
posted by sjvilla79 at 5:10 AM on February 21, 2006


A rather startling amount of homophobia in the comments, what?
posted by S.C. at 5:21 AM on February 21, 2006


Plutor's Wager: If you say it's fake and it's real, you plunge the artist into the depths of despair. He will commit suicide and his note will curse your name specifically. If you say it's real and it's fake, you're a stupid lemon eater.

I say it's real.
posted by Plutor at 6:19 AM on February 21, 2006


MS Paint, Photoshop, or a combination of both, I'm impressed regardless.
posted by geeky at 7:37 AM on February 21, 2006


It would help if people clicked on the links - half of you lot seem to be talking about the first image, the other half the second.

The (first) Venice image is impressive regardless of the tools used. The second one is painstaking and big but still generally a bit crude.
posted by ibanda at 8:35 AM on February 21, 2006


In the large image, he admits to "working from references"; that is, he probably did copy (pixel by pixel) that anglerfish from a screencap of Finding Nemo, whereas the undersea hand and lava look crude because he probably just freehanded it.
posted by jenovus at 11:46 AM on February 21, 2006


Wow - this is pretty impressive. And the de-dust reference is nice, it conjured up the image of a latter-day Jules Verne hero making it to the centre of the earth only to find the inhabitants carrying AWPs and speaking 733tspeak.
posted by greycap at 2:24 PM on February 21, 2006


Or even 133t - oops
posted by greycap at 2:24 PM on February 21, 2006


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