Another Gimp Script

I've been wanting to make a plastic print to cover my my son's MAME console for a while now (3 years already?). All I need to do is get some bitmaps, or even better some scalable vector images, from a couple of games, put them together and send it to the printer, right?
I knew I was in trouble, when after a few searches I got my own blog listed. Seems there aren't that many game fans making nice svg images of popular videos game characters. I did find, however, the which has the sprites from a lot of games, the problem is, they are all tiny.
For example, here's what Megaman looks like Megaman.

Zooming that up 8 times, for instance looks kinda crappy: Megaman

Using the cubic interpolation 8x does only a so-so job:
Megaman 8x - cubic

I tried various filters and effects and got the look I think I wanted which you can see here:
Megaman after
I wanted to fiddle with the steps so I put it all in a python plugin which you can find here (here's a direct link to the code which may have some useful routines in it).
I tried using Inkscape's "Trace Bitmap" routine (based on potrace) but had very little luck making anything that was looked acceptable and was better than simple scaling would do. The problem is there there is too much subtle shading in the original image.
The final effect has a hint of the pixels and seems to capture most of the intent of the artist who drew the character.


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