Get creative with the help of these three video game tutorials blog banner

Get Creative With These 3 Video Game Tutorials

Get Creative With These 3 Video Game Tutorials

These video game tutorials can inspire your next VFX shot. 


In the modern world, there are more places for inspiration than ever before! From traditional art forms to the millions of pixels our eyes consume every day, there are new worlds to discover at every corner. One area of storytelling that has grown considerably in the new millennium is video games. 

Video games are nearly limitless in their creativity and have brought exciting new ways to engage audiences around the world. Some games are fun and simple, while others focus on deep narratives with cinema level fidelity. For the latter, VFX offers an opportunity to adapt and become inspired by the action behind your controller or keyboard. 

These clips and tutorials are sure to get the brain juices flowing on your next big shot. 

1. Mario Skate

First up is none other than our friends over at Corridor Digital. As a shining example of the way video games inspire creative storytelling, Corridor has been creating video game-focused content since the beginning.

Mario Skate ups the ante with a high octane and VFX-heavy short that brings the classic title to life. At its core? Tracking, tracking, and more tracking. In the making of, Wren walks us through some tips and tricks he used to get a clean track and smash the world of Mario Kart right into their backyard. 

Wren brought the immersion a step forward by rebuilding the geometry of the scene and projecting the environment from the camera as textures. This allowed all of the CG elements of the scene, including the shell and bullet bill, to take on realistic lighting and reflections from the environment. 

2. Create 8-Bit Pixel Art in After Effects

One of the great things about this 8-bit pixel art tutorial in After Effects is the sheer number of possibilities for the technique. The film Pixels took on a visually mashed up style and is undeniably fun, and taking certain parts of a world and "8-bit-ifying" them is a great place to start for a short film idea. 

Consider the different options you can use to try this effect on as well. All stock footage is up for grabs, for example, as you can breathe new life into an explosion asset as shown in the tutorial or any other asset readily available. Some of our free spell assets could be a perfect color for your next video game inspired effect. 

From here, you can start building your own asset collection off of stock footage you own. Creating variants, color options, different levels of pixelation, etc. Build a whole suite of video game effects to use and go to town on a short scene. When following the inspiration from games rather than film, you can get as imaginative and unrealistic as possible. It’s all about creativity in the end. 

3. Mortal Kombat Goro Effect

Sometimes you gotta have a little fun and just get weird with your VFX. This tutorial and effect is exactly that as the thumbnail states: put arms everywhere. A lot of the time when world-building, we focus on the environment, the street signs, 
the buildings, among other things, while overlooking other key components such as the characters within the world. 

Do your characters have two arms? Or do they have four? This is a crucial part of understanding your world! In seriousness, this tutorial covers some interesting techniques and displays how you can take a low fidelity approach to some pretty challenging effects and get 90% of the way there (plenty for a pleasure project). 

As with all tutorials, consider the extra options here, too. Multiple arms can quickly become multiple legs, hands, even heads with a bit of creativity and clever compositing. It will be a challenge to get perfection in this out of After Effects alone, but good enough goes a long way when you’re trying out new tricks. 

Finally, try combining all of the above. The great thing about video games is the limitless styles and directions to go off across a wide range of realism. We’re excited to see your pixelated Mario Kart-inspired effects featuring four-armed characters! 

First time here? ActionVFX creates the best pre-keyed stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. 

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