So for the past few years, I’ve been addicted to making space-like environments for my animations. Troublesome as it was, I created nearly everything in After Effects, primarily with Trapcode Particular and Trapcode Form. I’ve always wondered how I could achieve a realistic nebula/vortex effect using only After Effects. There are plenty of awesome space-like animations created in After Effects, but they’re mostly created with the help of images or OBJ files such as Form Galaxy II and Nebula in After Effects.
I recently received a request on building a space environment using After Effects so I thought this would be a great time to explore the possibilities. Since I never really was used to using images for environments, I thought I’d take my shot at it this time. The scene above was created in After Effects using a series of 3D image layers, 3D particles with Particular, volumetric smoke using Particular, and a myriad of distortion to sell the effect. Before I leap over to create this using only After Effects, I wanted to cover some of the basic techniques used in this video.
All in all, I believe using images to set the environment gives some pleasing and very realistic results. (Probably because the images themselves are real). Although they do have a few limitations, it should work for a lot of situations with basic camera moves. I’ll be going over all of this in my upcoming tutorial, so stay tuned! Any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!