Great Looking Explosions In Adobe After Effects

In my latest video, I am going to show you how to blow stuff up with VFX explosions!

Learn how to make your explosions stand out with just a few extra elements like flying debris, shockwaves and camera shake

Base Explosion Footage

To create a convincing explosion you will first need to record your base footage. Simply record your clip as normal and at the time of explosion, have your actors either jump away as best as they can or simply stand still. We will cover them up anyway

Next, film some footage of your actors actively jumping away from the explosion. Try to get them to start the jump with the same position, direction and posture they had in your base footage as we will stitch those clips together. Feel free to take a run up to the jump, that's the part we'll cut away

Place the jump footage on top of your base footage and align the jump so it cuts in at the correct time when the explosion hits and it looks like your actor is being flung away from a standing position by the power of the explosion!

VFX Tutorial Explosions 01 - Jump Footage On Base Footage

If you see any twitching during the transition, you can apply masks around your actors and feather them out a bit to make the cut less obvious. I've cut out the bottom left of my jump footage so there is no twitching in the foliage of the trees.

VFX Tutorial Explosions 02 - Masked Out Jump

One thing to make your explosion look more realistic is to create a few elements that will be flung out away from the centre of the detonation. Let's look at how we can do that!


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7 Years Ago
June 8, 2013 @ 3:46 am
You, my man from down under, are second only to Andrew Kramer! Keep up the good work.
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7 Years Ago
June 8, 2013 @ 9:35 am
Thank you very much I feel very honoured! I'm a huge fan of Andrew Kramer and the great work they are doing at
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Manjeet joshi
7 Years Ago
August 9, 2013 @ 10:06 pm
nice tut ...keep it up ur good i m daily member of ur site after videocopilet
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Surfaced Studio@ Manjeet joshi
7 Years Ago
August 11, 2013 @ 0:50 am
Thanks man! That means a lot, I have a lot of respect for videocopilot
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you thank
5 Years Ago
December 29, 2014 @ 6:48 pm
thank you very much for the video that you had been posted... It helps a lot... =D
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Surfaced Studio@ you thank
5 Years Ago
December 31, 2014 @ 10:48 pm
Thank you very much! Glad to hear you found the tutorial helpful!

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