Introducing: THE SKEEVATRON!


Attention Pixel Artists!

Have you ever found yourself agonizing over what paint mix combination to use for your pixel art?
Have you ever been frustrated that you couldn’t quite match the color you need?
Have you ever run out of paint buckets for a particular color then forgot what paint mix you needed?
Have you ever just simply run out of paint buckets due to poor planning?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what paint recipe to use for each and every pixel of your art?
How about a complete list of all the colors you need, their recipes, and exactly how many paint buckets you need?
Wouldn’t it be great to put a grid over your picture so that you can clearly see and count every pixel?

…and finally…

Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if you could take any photograph consisting of over 16 million colors and reduce those colors down to the 148 possible Blockheads paint colors?!?

No way… you mean… Nah… you’re kidding us, Skeeve… this isn’t possible - is it?

Yep. It is, peeps! And we’ve done it!

First, I must give Thanks to some awesome Beta testing and idea bouncing with @Ge0rgie, @Thuthu, @asyc & @Caronhere and many thanks to ThuThu for coming up with the name The “Skeevatron” :smiley:

All of the above mentioned things are now possible in one neat little Excel File using a Visual Basic Macro written by - you guess it - me, Skeeve. And heretofore known as The Skeevatron. Let me show you how it works with a real example.

Example 1
First, let’s take a photo off the web called “Tie Fighter Sunset”.

It looks like a fairly simple pixel art, but in reality it is a 940 x 640 pixel image! We need to reduce this bad boy down to below 255 x 255 or at least break it up into parts before running it through the Skeevatron. (The Skeevatron only functions at images this size or lower. If popular demand dictates larger images, I will upgrade the macro).

Ok, here she is reduced to a much smaller size: 60 x 40 pixels. And as you can see, there isn’t much that has changed except size. (You should zoom in if you can to compare) By the way, reduction was done using the ordinary MSPaint program that comes with windows. Even without this, there are many ways to do it and free software readily available.

Ok, now there are many different shades of colors in this photo which most likely exceed the 148 Blockheads colors. We want to take this picture and run it through the Skeevatron so that the image is converted to display only the 148 Blockheads colors. But, that’s not quite enough. We also want to know what recipes go along with each color, such as “Indian Yellow + Indian Yellow + Marble White”. We also want a report generated telling us how many squares of each color we are going to paint, and how many paint buckets are needed for each.
So… what are you waiting for?! LET’S DO THIS!!!

Ok, admittedly, I enlarged this so you could see it easier, but the original image was really only 60 x 40.
At first glance it really doesn’t look any different from the pre-converted image. But comparing pixel by pixel you will see subtle changes, and I can assure you that each pixel you see now, is one of the 148 Blockheads colors!

But you want to know what recipe goes with those colors, don’t you? I know you do…so…

And here you are!! Now, just a little explanation is needed as to what the letters mean:

  • R = Ochre Red
  • Y = Indian Yellow
  • G = Emerald Green
  • C = Copper Blue
  • B = Ultramarine Blue
  • P = Tyrian Purple
  • W = Marble White
  • K = Charcoal Black
  • N = None (Used for Single Color and Double Color paint mixes)

But… but… Skeeve… what if I want to just see the grid around the pixels and not the recipes?
No problem - simply use the Excel tool to do that after erasing the recipes! (Actually, I find it best to copy and paste to a separate worksheet). In any event, what you’re looking for is this:

Practical Usage
So, using my own program and this same example above, this is what I did in an actual Blockheads world:

And zoomed…

In case you want to know where this is: It’s on a world called “Neva Land” about 65TC right of Spawn.

And lastly, the report:

Pretty self-explanatory I hope.

So, what do I want from you?
Absolutely nothing! It’s free. I’m thrilled to share this with you all if it is of any use.
The problem is that I cannot attach an Excel file on this forum. So there are 2 ways I could get this file to you:

  1. PM me with your email and I will email you the Excel file for you to play with and enjoy.
  2. If there is someone, like oh… I dunno… @RedEagle who has a website that maybe they can host the file on, I could upload it to there for all to share in.

And finally - if this little program is useful, feel free to suggest improvements and upgrades and such just like you’ve all done with @Bibliophiles amazing message bot for which I am not even worthy to even compare my piddling program with!

This has been a Skeeve Enterprises Production.

Pixel Art by Skeeve
Request Pixel Art! (from alli)
Painting colors
Farewell for I-Love-Creation
Cloud World: 'Pixmilla' by milla - pixel art world

This is great! Although I do suck at pixel art, and don’t play to be doing it any time soon, this will indeed be very helpful.

About uploading Excel…
Erm, how about Dropbox?


Dropbox - yeah I’ve heard of that never used it though. I’ll look into it.
I’ll post a link on the original post (OP) if I come up with something.

Edit: Dang, Dropbox is a blocked site at work. I could try from home later.


Nice Work @Skeeve!

I lift my hat off to you! :smiley:


How is this different than the regular colors? I can’t tell the difference.:confused:


THE SKEEVATRON!!! I love it!! This is what u call innovation :+1::+1::+1::+1:


The example I used was a rather poor one, but if you look very closely at each picture side by side you will see multiple varying shades of color in the original picture and only a few shades of color in the converted picture. The Skeevatron will take any photo and convert it to the color palette that matches the 148 color palette of the Blockhead world. This should, in theory, enable an artist to reconstruct a reasonably accurate image in Blockheads using paint colors for any image out there. I emphasize in theory. It’s not going to always be practical due to size considerations or the difficulties of even painting in 148 colors.


I can put this on BHFans if you like :slight_smile: AMAZING tool!!

Would you mind if I stole your code and made it a web tool (if I get the time)?


Yeah, it does make a difference! Does it just find the best possible color, or does it work some other way?


That would be even better! Please do, but also, share with me the code because I’d like to learn how to do that as well.

It works like this:
It finds the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values of each pixel in the photograph, then compares that with all 148 RGB values of the Blockheads colors and finds the closest match. Once it does it then assigns that match as the new pixel color.


Absolutely! It will likely be a simple port to PHP, not much changing.


Question: does the original picture have to be all blocky like yours? Or can it be a regular picture that it “pixelates” into blocks?


Technically, all pictures are pixelated and blocky once you zoom in on them. But, to answer your question, any photo will work it just has to be no greater than 255 pixels in either length or height.

Of course you could always take a large 1000 x 1000 photo and just break it up into 16 250 x 250 sized parts, but in reality you wouldn’t typically work on a project this large.

Edit: Just so you know, a 1000 x 1000 pixel photo is 1 million pixels. Reconstructing such a monstronsity in the game would very nearly take up an entire 1/16x world and would reach from lava nearly to space! Such a project would be even more impressive than SGE’s 16x worldwide railroad which is “only” 262,000 rails.


What a fantastic program. The Skeevatron is an amazing resource and Skeeve is a genius! Was so honored to be part of the beta-testing, guinea pig team. :grinning:

Also, if anyone tries the Skeevatron using Excel 2011 for Mac, would you mind PMing me? I’d love to know how it’s working for you.


“Guinea Pig Team” :lol: :joy: :lol:
Saying that makes me picture 4 guinea pigs in Rugby shirts😂

I wonder if the Guinea Pig Team looks something like this:

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Yes! Thank you so much @Skeeve!
I’ve started to do pixel art, and it seems it’s hard to find some colors. I’ll PM u in a bit.
This will be so helpful.


Oh the thousand times I could have used this!!! I’ve painstakingly done all mine by hand or by coloring individual cells in Excel, or by editing and altering the results of pixel converter programs online. All three took days to complete before I could even start color matching, which was a nightmare. This is true genius. Thank you so very much for this.


Omg, Skeeve. That looks exactly like us. :joy:


LOL Thuthu - let me guess, you’re the one holding the ball carrying the team with you! :lol:

Just for kicks, I took that Guinea Pig Team picture and ran it through the Skeevatron!
Now if only there were someone crazy enough to try and turn this into a 50,000 pixel Blockheads Build :smiley:

And here’s the corresponding color report that goes with it:


Lol love it!
When I read about the skeeveotron my jaw literally dropped!