Have fun Here are several tutorials that give After Effects users that chunky, retro, 8-bit, posterized look, with or without plug-ins. Plus some 8-bit inspiration.
The first tutorial from Charles Yeager caught my eye today and then I thought, well why not expand on the 8-bit theme and give you all something really good today! Combine several of the techniques explained here and have one amazing 8-bit Nintendo-style animation!
1. Quick Tip: Create an 8-bit Style in After Effects
This will get you started with the basics. AE Tuts+ and Charles Yeager bring you a two minute After Effects tutorial on creating the 8-bit look using Posterize, Mosaic, and Hue/Saturation. He shows how to save this as a preset to speed up your workflow.
2. Digieffects Damage | Artifact – 8 Bit Gaming Tutorial
This tutorial has disappeared from the interwebs but I’m leaving it in just in case it comes back. Apparently, something on the internet IS NOT there forever! 😉
Here’s an older tutorial by Brandon Smith and Digieffects, which he creates with Digieffects Damage. Create 8-bit style video with Damage’s Artifact plug-in in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro 6/7, and Final Cut Pro X. Download a free demo of Damage.
3. After Effects Tutorial: Retro 8-Bit Video Game Title Screen
This one comes from Thinkmojo and is a bit more involved than the previous two. He goes over how to create a reflection, how to use the loopOut() expression to cycle the animation, and also how to create that 8-bit look with Mosaic and Posterize in After Effects.
4. How to Animate Retro Pixel Art in After Effects, 8-bit Style
This one comes from Nick Morris at AE Tuts+. He explains the workflow for taking pixel art from ASEprite into Photoshop and then finally into an HD comp in After Effects.
5. Creating 8-Bit Animation
This is an interesting tutorial because the artist is singing while he works! He starts off by making a character with a unibrow in Photoshop and then takes it into After Effects to create the lipsync. He does this manually but I would suggest using a plug-in called MamoWorld Auto Lip-Sync, which allows you to create a mouth that automatically animates according to your voice recording.