Dominic Szablewski, @phoboslab
— Wednesday, December 29th 2010

hqx Scaling in JavaScript

I recently came across the hqx Scaling Algorithm for upscaling pixel art images. hqx was originally developed for the ZSNES emulator to scale up each frame in realtime and is thus written in fast (read: ugly) C code.

I took the challenge to implement hqx in JavaScript for Biolab Disaster and I think the result looks great. The algorithm does an extremely nice job with "organic" structures such as all the rock tiles, but tends to make low contrast zones quite blurry.

hqx Test Page

hqx comes in three flavours: hq2x, hq3x and hq4x. All of these are implemented in the JavaScript version and you can directly test them with Biolab Disaster hqx (the links below the game).

The source for the JavaScript implementation of hqx is available on Github under the GNU LGPL.

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