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Pixel Art Stylization in After Effects

May 12, 2021 ·
Max Kravchenko
Max Kravchenko Motion Designer & Tutor

In this quick tip, you will make the Pixel art stylization effect. CC Block Load for pixelization. Venetian blinds for the vintage lines effect.
Glow to make some vintage light. Optics Compensation for the warp.

Pixel Effect in After Effects Guide

Pixel Effect in After Effects can be achieved through various techniques and plugins. While After Effects is primarily designed for working with vector and raster graphics, there are several methods to create a pixel art aesthetic within the software. Here are some approaches you can try:

  1. Scale and Pixelate: Start with your artwork or footage and apply the “Effect > Stylize > Mosaic” effect. Adjust the cell size to achieve the desired pixel size. This effect can give a basic pixelated look to your visuals.
  2. Manual Pixelation: Create a new solid layer and use the Pen tool to draw a grid of squares over the desired area. Adjust the shape layer’s stroke and fill settings to match the desired pixel size and color. This method requires manual placement of each pixel, providing precise control over the pixel art look.
  3. Plugins: There are several third-party plugins available that can assist in creating pixel art stylization. One popular plugin is “TVPixel” by Red Giant, which offers various pixel art effects and controls for color grading.
  4. Animation Techniques: To enhance the pixel art feel, you can introduce animation techniques commonly used in old-school pixel art games. This includes limited frame rates, sprite sheet animations, and pixel-perfect movement. Utilize the timeline and keyframes in After Effects to create pixel art animations with a retro vibe.
  5. Dithering: Dithering is a technique used in pixel art to simulate additional colors or shades by creating patterns with alternating pixels of different colors. You can manually apply dithering by hand or explore dithering plugins like “Giant Dither” or “Dot Pixels” for After Effects.

Remember that creating authentic pixel effect in After Effects may have limitations compared to specialized pixel art software. However, with a combination of techniques and plugins, you can achieve a convincing pixel art stylization for your projects. Experiment and explore different options to find the best approach that suits your needs.

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