In the last tutorial we took a look at creating planets and asteroids, today we’re going to play mother nature and create some galaxies to add to our creations! We’ll primarily use Trapcode Particular to create the elements and top it off with a nice lens flare. We’ll also take a look at some tricks to create a nice spiral twirl effect for your stars and solar systems.
Tips & Tricks
You’ll definitely want to enable depth of field and shading to simulate a more realistic lens and blend all the particles in better. Switch your project to 16bpc to get some nice glows and reduce banding as well. Try applying Trapcode Starglow to really emphasize the highlights.
Don’t be afraid to jack up the number of particles and random particle size. The goal is to make the whole scene seem very massive, endless, and diverse. Instead of using a 3 point gradient, try using a 5 point gradient to get more variations in color. You could even switch to “Random from Gradient” in Particular to get more variations.
You can easily animate the null object or camera to create smooth movements. With a bit of tinkering, you could also easily create black holes and vortexes with the same technique.
Lastly, if you want to make your galaxy nebula seem more realistic, try using Layer Maps for accurate colors and shading. Something like Trapcode Form would work very well too for these types of static elements with different maps. If you’re 3D savvy, try using TurbulenceFD or FumeFX to generate a more realistic atmosphere of space dust and fumes.
Remember, the key here is to experiment and play around until you get the form of the galaxies right. After that, it’s just a matter of good compositing and subtle details. I’d suggest looking at real images of galaxies and nebulas to help guide you. Most importantly, have fun and mess around! If you guys have any further questions or feedback, let me know in the comments below.