AsciiMator is a small program for MacOS, that allows you to create monochrome ASCII art from either still images or videos.
AsciiMator supports most image and video formats and have a range of ascii palettes to chose from. As output you can choose between plain text and PNG for still images and MP4 for videos. Before converting you can preview the result and tweak your setting accordingly.
Download for MacOS at App Store
Besides from generating full ascii representations of your visual input, AsciiMator offers a range of pro options to output single character ascii (with or without dithering), outline tracing and an experimental pipe-character based outlining. It is also possible to define your own custom range of characters including Extended ASCII and UFT8 characters.
Example of the 1st minute of Big Buck Bunny in ASCII (use full screen to see a proper version)
Help and Frequently asked questions:
Q: How do I load an image or video?
A: You can load a image or video by using "Open file" in the "File"-menu or press the corresponding ⌘+O
Q: How do I export the result as an image?
A: Use the "Save as image..." in the "File"-menu
Q: I want use UTF8 symbols and Extended ASCII characters, how do I do that
A: The text field for "Single character" accepts all ASCII (including Extended ASCII) and UTF8 symbols using the unicode format uXXXX (e.g. u00AE becomes ®). It is also possible to enter UTF8 symbols using the MacOS builtin character either from the menu "Edit" or by pressing the corresponding hotkey (usually ctrl+cmd+space)
Q: Why can't I use emojis
A: Because emojis aren't UTF8 or ASCII. And then it would be Emoji Art - maybe in a future update
Q: I have converted an image to ASCII and saved it as a TXT file. Why does it look so weird when I open it in TextEdit or Word? The preview looks fine
A: In order for ASCII Art to present itself you need to set the font to a monospaced font (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monospaced_typefaces). Line spacing is also worth tweaking a bit
Q: Why is there no support for HTML output?
A: Then it would have been HTML Art. If you want to use your ASCII image on a web page you can enclose them in a <code>-tag or a <pre>-tag in order to preserve the linebreaks. Just make to style when appropriately with a monospaced font and a decent line spacing.
Q: It takes for ever to convert a video. How do I speed up the process?
A: The conversion process need to extract each frame, convert it to ASCII and build a new video from the frames. As ASCII videos are more of a gimmick than have any actual use, you can try to reduce the frame rate (fps) or experiment with the resolution (columns). Also Pipelining, Outline and Single char conversion takes more time than using a character set. But if you insist on converting the entire Star Wars - A New Hope, it is going to take a while (or visit http://www.asciimation.co.nz)
Q: Pipelining doesn't work
A: That's a matter of perspective. It is an experimental feature that works best with simple shapes - or a lot of imagination. Try to increase the columns
Q: I have another question
A: Don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Who is the lady on the icon? And what character set is used
A: That would be Venus from Nascita di Venere of Botticelli and in this version she is made from the "Simple" set.