83 votes
Date Updated: 


This tool converts 2D sprites into 3D in seconds.

Inspired by the Pix3leD Project, a project based or rendering retro sprites in 3D (started by my good friend Matt Raithel) We would share links back and forth to cool websites devoted to cataloging old sprites, then it dawned on me: I had recently been working on some maxscripts revolving around reading bitmap data... so why not automate the whole process from the sprites we find instead of building out the 3D pixels on a grid one by one. 

PIXELED User Interface

Additional Info: 

Version 2.0 comes in two flavors (three if you want to get technical)

3ds Max Edition:

• 3ds Max 9 and up
Legacy Edition will run for 3ds Max 2009 and older (new features only compatible with 3ds Max 2010 and up)
• Download & unzip to MAXROOT\scripts\startup\ **MUST INSTALL HERE**
• In Max: Customize > Customize UI > Toolbars (under P I X E L E D category) > drag to a toolbar to create a button
• Load any GIF > Pick your alpha color/source > Pick bevel option > Press 'Generate'
• The result is a 3D representation of the sprite that you can light, render, tweak, and even animate (if you wish)

Standalone Edition:

• Download, extract & run the .EXE
• Load any GIF > Pick you alpha color/source > Pick bevel option
• Press Generate > Choose .OBJ to output (this also generates a .MTL)
• The result is a .OBJ that can be loaded in your preferred 3D software

** if you post any creations from this script online at a site like DeviantArt, feel free to link myself and Matt Raithel
New in version 2.0.1:  (affects 3ds Max & Standalone Editions)
• Fixed issue with 64bit / 32bit assemblies not working properly together (causing "system.badimageformatexeption")
• Fixed some text fields being unreabable with darker visual themes

Version Requirement: 
3ds Max 9 (or higher)
Other Software Required: 
DirectX, .Net Framework 2.0 (or higher)
pixeled_v2.0.1_max.zip155.79 KB
pixeled_v2.0.1_win32.zip156.3 KB


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alexnguyen's picture


excellent work

CrewmanInRed's picture

Neither plugin nor standalone working

Thought I'd post this since no one has responded in a while. I'm running max 2014 64bit on a windows 7 machine. I've checked .net installation version as well as directX version. Both are beyond required versions. Standalone will continually crash when export to .obj file. It will create the file and the .mtl file but they're empty, no data. If you find time to look into this I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

ninja edit: words

fajar's picture

With great power, comes great

With great power, comes great responsibility
- uncle ben

whats those word mean related to this script .....:XD cheers

BTW its great script

lantlant's picture

very good script. thank you

very good script. thank you :)

thedour's picture

I haven't tried importing to Maya

 I've not tried importing the .obj into maya.   Perhaps maya takes a specific .obj format (there are several different types actually).

I'll look into it if I can get ahold of a maya trial.

the3rdK's picture

Couldn't import in maya2011

I tried this nice script standalone edition.
And succeeded gif convert for obj.
But maya system will be freeze when imported obj.
Someone tell me why, please.

My system: Win7 64bit
Software: Maya2011&2010

thedour's picture

I thought about that

@ rs3d - I considered adding that at one time, but thought if people wanted to animate these in some way that it would be best to have them be separate object.  Additionally if someone wanted to changes colors/materials: they may not want to change all the blocks at the same time.  But maybe I can add that as an option. Smile

For now though, each color is given its own material, so you could "select by material" and merge them together very easily/quickly.

rs3d's picture

1 Color = 1 Mesh

Would be great if the pixels of the same color are fused to singular
object without any inner-mesh :-)

thedour's picture

Found the problem

The bug has been found; a fix will be coming later today!  is OUT: v2.0.1

Thanks Matyrix and Anubis!

Anubis's picture

RE: System Information

@thedour - I mailed to you but forgot about my sys info:
XP x64 SP2, DirectX 9.0c, most uptodate .Net Framework

my recent MAXScripts RSS (archive here)

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