Create a Spiderman Inspired Laser Canon

Because it's awesome, that's why...

There is a lot of really awesome VFX work in Spiderman: Homecoming, but one thing that particularly stood out from the trailer is the crazy laser pulse canon from the heist scene. The thing that really blows me away is how organic the particle work looks. Like any good VFX shot I really wanted to know how to create such an effect. However, needless to say there wasn't a tutorial online about how to do it... so I put one together!

Laser Canon After Effects

In this After Effects tutorial I'll show you how to create the canon using only the built-in tools in After Effects. Now this tutorial may seem complicated, but once you create the initial laser layer (good band name) you will be able to very quickly put the entire composition together. The thing that really helps sell the effect is the adjustment layer that modifies the background to create heat waves.

I hope you like the tutorial and as always if you have any questions about the tutorial please feel free to reach out. 

VFX work is so dang fun. Enjoy!

Create a Saturn Space Scene in After Effects

Create, animate, and stylize a Saturn space scene in this After Effects tutorial. 

In this After Effects tutorial we’re going to be creating a cool saturn space scene. This tutorial will show you everything you need to know to create the 3D rings, planet, and stars in the background. There are a lot of really cool techniques used in this After Effects project, but my favorite is how we can use the Polar Coordinates effect to create the rings in like 5 seconds. 


Another really cool effect that I utilized in this tutorial is using a fractal noise overlay to simulate the dust of the stars in the background. I find that using the fractal noise effect for background elements really helps make the overall scene look organic. 

To create the Saturn effect you will need a copy of Adobe After Effects CS6 or higher. Which shouldn’t be a problem for most After Effects users. The tutorial also uses actual texture mattes from NASA so the rings will look pretty darn close to the real thing. 

Download the Free Saturn Project File for After Effects

Like always, I’ve included the free project file and assets to follow along with this tutorial. To find these assets simply fill out the form below. When you do you’ll be signed up as a citizen of VFX City and receive the latest project files and tutorials right to your mailbox. 

Create a Galaxy in After Effects

Create a stunning spiral galaxy in this After Effects tutorials. 

It blows my mind that we have the ability to create amazing things at our fingertips. Virtually everything you see in the world (and beyond) can be simulated using the various tools and plugins included in After Effects. This tutorial is no exception. 

Galaxy in After Effects Tutorial

In this After Effects tutorial I'm going to show you how to create this awesome spiral galaxy effect. The tutorial focuses mainly on using the turbulent noise effect combined with the twist effect to create the galaxy. Along the way you'll hear me tell some pretty lame jokes, but hopefully you'll learn something new. Cheers!

The thing that really makes the effect is the gradient colors and the dust elements. It's these small details that really push the galaxy effect over-the-top. 

You could definitely take this effect to the next level by customizing the arms. I even thought it might be fun to create a two-armed galaxy instead of the clustered spiral galaxy like we created in this tutorial. If you make something cool share it with me and I'll share it out on our social channels. 

Download the Project File

Want to download the free Galaxy project file for After Effects? Just fill out the form below. 

Create a Nebula in After Effects

In this After Effects tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a Nebula using only the built-in tools and effects available to us in After Effects. 

This technique centers around two main effects: Turbulent Noise and the Bezier Warp Effect. Both of these effects have a wide range of potential creative possibilities. I especially like how the turbulent noise effect has the ability to random seed an create an infinite number of potential nebula looks. 

I found that one of the best ways to make your nebula look more engaging is to use basic color theory to match the colors together. In our example below we use 'cooler' colors and thus make the scene a little more mellow. 

So grab some popcorn, sharpen your Wacom pen, and get ready to listen half an hour of After Effects awesomeness. 

Also, you can download the project file be filling out the form below. 

Create a Pokéball in After Effects

In this fun After Effects tutorial I'll show you how to create a 3D pokéball-style effect. This tutorial focuses on how to simulate a 2D hand-drawn look in After Effects, similar to a the sketch and toon technique in Cinema 4D. 

I think it's really cool that you can create such a convincing animé looking using the available tools in After Effects. Hopefully this tutorial will inspire you to create an anime-inspired video on your own.

If you want to download the free project file you will find it below the video. The project file in the download also includes an example of how to attach the rotation settings of the pokéball to a 3D null object. It's a fun expression that was a little outside the scope of this tutorial.