pixel color values to ascii char's

I know its been done before (in many languages) but I'm making my own image to ascii (or unicode) app.

Ideally, I would like to do this in VB, but so far I'm hitting some walls as far as converting the pixel value, which seemed more straightforward in the c++ examples i've found.

I can open the file as a bitmap, get the height, width, and then getPixel which gives me the color for that particular pixel. Obviously I can't do this 1:1, so I need an average color value per given area.

My hope is that I can go through the image and map the values to an array. Then i could go through the array by section, and ...

well, thats where I guess i run into some problems!

How can I display the ascii (or unicode) values? maybe have another array that would be filled with the corresponding values, then print that to a textbox?

please, any help/ suggestions are GREATLY appreciated!

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