Joe Clay | Apr 21, 2017
This tutorial expands upon Tutorial 65 to show a much faster way to map and render ASCII characters as well as any other characters or graphics you'd like to map. There's a little bit of setup involved if you want to make custom maps, but there would be anyway. Our project file already has a few included.
See UNVI art's tutorial for a nifty way to use Particle Playground to map characters to luma values.
Note: I ran across an issue when I was making the project file. I had some odd edges on some of my tests—due to the way Mosaic and shapes interact—so I made my gradient horizontal to test and fix this issue, and I realized that only some of the left edge pixels were being incorrectly mapped. Why the left edge? I don't know. But this can lead to small gaps or the map being off one gradient level.
On some things it's noticeable, but on most images it's fine. If you need it to be perfect, you'll have to set your project to 32 bits per channel. The Displacement Map effect must have some optimizations that mess this up in 8 or 16 bpc. This is a little bit slower, but it's surprisingly minimal. It's still workable, even on my laptop. That said, I didn't really notice it throughout most of my testing, so 8 bpc will probably work for the majority of things you'll try, especially if you want to go really glitchy with your look.
The project file is set up in 32 bpc but there's a test comp in there you can look at to see what happens when you switch to 8 bpc.
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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!