A bit of self-learning never did anybody any harm, although at times a busy working/family life can get in the way. Bizarrely, a global pandemic has made my self-learning of Adobe After Effects a little easier.

What a mental year this has been so far! As the first local lockdowns come into force because of the coronavirus pandemic, I have found myself having more spare time over the weekends combined with entertaining my children, who can’t see their friends or go to their clubs.

I decided to have some fun with the children and introduce them to the world of special effects. This will also provide me the opportunity to explore new elements and tasks within Adobe After Effects that I rarely have the experience of diving into. Here are the fruits of this experience…

Exploding Rocks

1: When out on one of our daily walks I decided to create an effect that would allow me to explore the world of 3d Motion Tracking using the ‘Track Camera’ feature, attaching effects to Null objects that track points within the environment.

Nerf Gun

2: Bringing a toy gun to life: Utilising the motion tracking feature again, but this time applying the motion track to a single track motion point within the video, in this case the muzzle of the nerf gun. Adding a muzzle flash and smoke to the tracking point, along with an ejected cartridge casing that follows the trajectory of a line path, with added motion blur and gravity.


3: Out on another of our daily walks I decided to capture some footage that would allow me to explore the ‘Advanced Lighting’ effect. To give the scene some added realism, I was require to explore the exposure setting, add subtle light reflection and sound wave camera shake.

Special effects projects

View some more effects I’ve created…

Like what you see