Pixelart was always my passion. From the earliest childhood when I played Robbo on Atari PC. I want to play with it right in this blog. This article would tell a story about implementing a simple pixelart engine.


It is handy to write colors in the Hex format, and JavaScript already have syntax for it.

So red would look like 0xFF0000. I do not know why, but ImageData in canvas stores data bytes in opposite order: Blue-Green-Red-Alpha.


Now I can just #!pixelart at the beginning of the js code in my blog, and it would automatically instantiate the engine and execute the code!

I can specify width, height, and points per pixel for it.


I use canvas.context.imageData for fast access to the raw pixel data.

For optimization purpose I use a technic similar to Double Buffer and have two Uint32Array (current and last). When point function is called — it just modify the current Array.

When the time to draw comes each point from current is compared to the last and if it differs — real pixel draw is called.

Real put pixel

On the initialization of the canvas I define a function that takes x, y and color and put them to the It is not just a trivial assign because of the pixelPerPoint property.

When this was implemented image-rendering for canvas was not supported by major browsers

Generated function for engine initialized with pointsPerPixel = 3 and width = 96 should color 9 real pixels and looks like this:

_drawPoint = function(data, offset, c){ 
  data[offset+0] = data[offset+1] = data[offset+2] =
    data[offset+96] = data[offset+97] = data[offset+98] = 
      data[offset+192] = data[offset+193] = data[offset+194] = c;

All colors are converted in such a way that they can be placed directly as a Uint32 value.

In Uint8Array canvas data is placed as [blue, green, red, alpha], so for Uint32 I need to swap the Red and Blue values:

Used bit manipulations to convert the Hex color:

color = ( ( color & 0xff0000 ) >> 16 ) +
          ( color & 0x00ff00 ) +
        ( ( color & 0x0000ff ) << 16 )

Lets put some pixels!

// R, G, B in hex [0xff0000, 0x00ff00, 0x0000ff] .forEach(function(color, y){ // from 0 to canvas width for(var x = y; x < w; x += 2){ // put colored point point(x, y, color); } }); point(10, 10, 0xff00ff);

Useful notes

style variable is exported. style.background = '#FFFFFF'; would change canvas background to the white.

Updated to support calculations and named config:

#!pixelart(10*9, 11*9, 2, {update: false, source: false, float: 'right', canvasOnly: true})