Join EJ Hassenfratz for an in-depth discussion in this video Create pixel art, part of Motion Graphics Weekly.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Motion Graphics Weekly, where you up your MoGraph knowledge one week at a time. I'm EJ Hassenfratz, let's get our learn on. The pixel art movement has been driven by the influx of nostalgic indie gamers creating amazing eight and 16 bit style games. In this week's tutorial, I'll show you how you can create your own pixel art using Cinema 4D, as well as how you can pixelate anything inside of After Effects using a free plugin I helped develop for After Effects.
So one way we can create pixel art in Cinema 4D is by utilizing the Picture Viewer to rescale our renders, and therefore pixelating them. So let me demonstrate what I mean. So my composition here is 800 by 600, and I have Lock Ratio checked on, so if adjust one value, it'll scale down in relation to that same ratio that it started with, that eight by six.
So let's go ahead and let's scale this down by a tenth. So we'll divide this by 10, and you'll see that we have now gone from 800 by 600 to 80 by 60, and let's just render out a single frame. Render, is to Picture Viewer, and you'll see that it's very, very small, but if I go ahead and rescale this to 10 times the size, because we divided it by a tenth, we'll multiply it by 10, and this will be a thousand percent, and this is basically what this would look like if we saved this out, rescaling by 10 times its original size.
But the one thing you notice is we have this pixelated, but our edges are super blurry. So let's go ahead and fix that. And it's a very easy fix. In your Anti-Aliasing, typically you have it set to Best, that's the way that you would render out something with full quality without any kind of aliasing. But we actually want aliasing, so we're going to turn this to None. And what that's going to do-- if I render this again, you're going to see, I have this at a thousand percent, you can see the difference between our anti-aliased and our aliased.
So now we have our sharp edges and sharp, chunky pixels. So how can we actually save this out? So this is what actually rendered out, right? What we want to do is actually save this at that giant scale of a thousand percent, or 10 times its size. We want this. So the great thing about the Picture Viewer is that we can actually re-save this in many ways by right-clicking on our Image file, and going to Save As. And we have a bunch of handy features in here, we can change the type of format, Still Image, or we can select Frames, but the one thing we want to worry about is this Rescale.
So what we can actually do is rescale this, so it was 80 by 60. We can rescale this up 10 times by rescaling this to 800 by 600, or our original composition size. So I'll just go ahead and click Okay, and we'll save this to the desktop. And if I navigate to my desktop here, you can see, boom, we have our image. It's 800 by 600 and it's heavily pixelated.
Now we can actually go back and say we want even bigger pixels. What we'd have to do is just make this even smaller. So maybe we'll divide this-- So we started out by 800 by 600. Let me divide this by 20 this time. So this will ensure some very big pixels. So now we got 40 by 30, and let's just render out a frame. And you can see that, if we scale this up to 2000, you can see how big our pixels are.
So, and it actually doesn't scale up that much in our picture viewer. So what we can do is Save As, and again, we're going to rescale this back up to that 800 by 600, and let's see what this'll look like. Let's open that again. So you can see how big those pixels are, in compared to the other one. So by adjusting how small you actually render out your image and how you scale it up can totally change the size of your pixels.
Now since I like you guys so much, I'm going to tell you about my free plugin for After Effects, called Pixelate It, that you can find on my website, idesign.com. Pixelate It pixelates layers in After Effects with a single click of a button, and it makes pixelating your art, your animation super easy. So let me just go ahead and demonstrate how easy it is. So here is my Cinema 4D file, it's my popsicle that I just showed you. Again, it's got a bunch of aliasing, so you see these sharp, chunky edges.
What I'm going to do is go ahead and hit the Pixelate It button. It's going to create an adjustment layer, and its going to give you all these controls that control the pixel size, so you can get super big pixels or tiny pixels. Whatever you want to do, it's just super easy by changing this setting. We can also change the level of colors here as well. So you can do 3-bit color space, 6-bit, 8, 16, so you can get whatever kind of video game system look that you're going for using this free Pixelate It plugin.
So there you go, two ways to create pixels art using Cinema 4D and using my free Pixelate It plugin for After Effects. Go forth and pixelate. Don't want to wait until next week to learn something new? No problem! Here are other ways to feed your creative brain to keep you busy in the meantime. You can check out my other courses in the library, visit my website, idesign.com for more tutorials, subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I post a new video, join my Facebook page for daily MoGraph inspiration, and keep up-to-date on all my latest MoGraph creations on Instagram.
Thanks for watching and I'll see you here again next week.
Skill Level Intermediate
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