I am sure you can imagine what I have in mind (if you can't, few links are at the bottom of the post) Trailers usually have some sort of message at the end (release date, name of the game/movie, etc). Some have this running stormy clouds, very dark and subtle, sometimes with occasional flash.

I am wondering how to simulate this in After Effects. I have not yet tried this since I really can't figure out where to begin, I am thinking maybe use some Photoshop generated clouds, layer stuff and sprinkle it with dash of AFX magic, but I don't really think this would by satisfactory. Should I maybe use some particle generator? I am pretty new to particles and aside from the regular rain or sparks I have very little experience in this field.

Or is there some other way? Any insight from someone more experienced in this particular field would be great help!

I really don't want to use stock footage.

Few examples of what I have in mind

1 Answer 1


After Effects has its own fractal cloud generator, many times more useful than Photoshop's (it's controllable, for one thing, and it can be animated). Similarly, the coloring is more effectively done in Ae than in Photoshop.

CC Particle World, which is built in, has more than enough power for what you need, but you do have to get in there and learn this stuff. Ae is an order of magnitude more complex than Ps, and it has its own internal "language" that, while it's similar to Ps is sufficiently different that you need to start at the beginning and learn the program from the bottom up.

For an excellent set of introductory tutorials to Ae (and you'll find lightning, clouds, rain, sparks, and all manner of other techniques), the best resource I can suggest is Andrew Devis excellent "AE Basics" series. There are about 50 videos, online starting here on YouTube. They are originally from CreativeCow.com, a superb resource for learning all the major video applications.

  • Thank you so much! I have some experience with AFX but as you said, it is very complex and I still find things I had no idea were there (like fractal cloud generator). I've learned a lot from VideoCopilot.net (another Andrew in fact) and I will sure explore AE Basics :-)
    – Delltar
    Dec 16, 2014 at 22:40

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