Adobe After Effects - Motorcycle Explosion Tutorial

Adding Smoke

Again I am going to use a smoke charge element from  Action Essentials 2 by videocopilot  but again you can find free option detonationfilms or footagecrate . Drag the smoke element into your composition and time it to start at the same time as the explosion.

If your smoke charge appears to be a bit too slow, you can speed it up by applying a time stretch effect. For this, right click the layer and select Time->Time Stretch. Since this is a pretty instant explosion, I like to speed up my smoke to around 30% of the original duration. Now, with the smoke that I am using, the smoke is all white and I want an angry black cloud.

We can fix this quite easily by applying a brightness & contrast effect to the layer and reducing both brightness and contrast to -100.

For further adjustments, you can also add a curves adjustment to the smoke charge and bump up the alpha channel to make the smoke a little more opaque and not so... dainty. We want angry smoke!

Here is the final angry black smoke cloud after all the colour and brightness adjustments applied:
If there are any artefacts around the corners of your black smoke you can remove them by applying a simple mask and feathering out the edges.
We now need to position this smoke element in our explosion. For this, turn the layer into a 3D layer and copy the position and orientation of one of the already placed explosion layers over to our smoke layer.

Scale the layer up and position it so it sits nicely just between the two explosion elements. You may have to tweak it a little bit so it sits into the scene just the way you want it to.

Here is the final motorcycle explosion with chunks, explosion, lighting, shrapnel, shrapnel shadows and smoke added. Lookin' pretty cool!

Remember, you can add as many elements into the scene as you need to make the explosion look exactly like you want. We covered all the techniques you need in this tutorial so far.

Finally, let's add some camera shake to finish off this effect!


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6 Years Ago
October 5, 2013 @ 11:24 pm
this is the most detailed aftereffects tutorial i hv ever seen. really good work mate.
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6 Years Ago
October 6, 2013 @ 10:18 am
Thanks man!
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6 Years Ago
March 12, 2014 @ 4:35 pm
This one is awesome tuts, I'm 3d old in AE and i started to watch your basic tuts in YT because its very instructional.
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5 Years Ago
January 3, 2015 @ 11:09 am
muchas gracias a todo lo que hacen
thank so much friend
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5 Years Ago
June 17, 2015 @ 4:56 am
hi there.......i have a question about removing objects of the scene........i have footage with person in it and there is also a rope around top of his the footage the person is being pulled by rope and i want to remove the rope so it seems that this person is being pulled by an invisible force.........could please tell me how can i do that???????(sorry for my bad english grammer)
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4 Years Ago
August 2, 2015 @ 10:42 am
Hi there, here is a video where I talk about how to remove an object from the scene:
You can use this technique to remove the rope
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2 Years Ago
September 10, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
hello, I need this effect . can you help me ?
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2 Years Ago
October 12, 2017 @ 7:46 am
While I don't do freelancing work, I am happy to try to answer any questions you may have about how to create this effect

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