Makin’ a Comet

In this tutorial I use Video Copilot Orb, CC Particle World, Turbulent Displace, Vector Blur and CC Radial Blur to create a 3D comet.

My use of Turbulent Displace is probably a little controversial, in that I use it to distort Orb’s perfect sphere. Obviously if you have Video Copilot’s Element 3D you’d use that instead, but if you don’t have any extra money then I think this is a more practical option than making a rock in Cinema4D Lite.

I also take a look at creating a 2D version you would see in the sky.

This wasn’t intentional timing, but it so happens that I’ve released this tutorial in time for Greenland movie (2020] starring Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin, here your chance fly alongside a comet, like Comet Clark. I know… pretty shameless… but it’s way to help promote my tutorial . 😉

I also need to thank Comet Neowise for making comets news-worthy in July 2020. Great timing!

Links ‘n stuff

Project File:

By building this entirely in Adobe After Effects, I was also able to make a 360 version just for fun. If you have any VR set up that can play YouTube 360 videos, then you can check it out here:
VR / 360 / Google Cardboard:

If you haven’t already, you will want to take a look at installing Video Copilot’s free Orb plugin:

Andrew Kramer’s Seamless Sphere project (if you can’t use the VR Fractal Noise effect) :

Expressions Used:

I have a tutorial which covers how to link CC Particle World to a 3D Null Object:

Position X:

x=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[0]-thisComp.width/2; 

Position Y:

y=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[1]-thisComp.height/2; 

Position Z:

z=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[2];

And here’s another expression for how to link a 2D effect to a 3D position:

thisComp.layer("Light 1").toComp([0,0,0]); 

Other videos mentioned:

Makin’ Mercury with CC Sphere: Makin’ Uranus with CC Particle World rings:

Makin’ a Starfield (2D, 360 and 3D):

Published by ShiveringCactus

Tutorials and videos, mainly After Effects, but with some 3D and puppetry stuff too.

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