Great Looking Explosions In Adobe After Effects

Adding Camera Shake

The last thing to add to our effect is a little camera shake to give the explosion some more impact.

For this, pre-compose all your layers again so we have a single layer element we can deal with easily

To create the camera shake effect, we will shake the layer itself.

For this, add a slider Expression Control to your layer.

If you don't know what expression controls are, you can learn all about these helpful tools in my Adobe After Effects Expression Controls Tutorial

Next, go to the position property of the layer and Alt-Click on the stopwatch icon. This will enable expressions for this property.

In the expression editor type


and then select the pick whip icon and drag it onto the slider effect we added before. This will insert the value of the slider into the expression. Add a closing bracket, a semicolon and click outside of the expression editor. Your expression should now read

  wiggle(18, effect("Slider Control")("Slider"));

We have now linked the intensity of the wiggle effect to the value of the slider.

Next, animate the value of the slider from 0 to 50 within 2 frames when the explosion starts and then back down to 0 in about 15-20 frames.

This will cause the footage to shake intensely at the moment of explosion and then slowly subside.

VFX Tutorial Explosions 17 - Camera Shake Expression

The last thing to do is to enable motion blur on the layer and your composition and zoom in a little bit to get rid of any black borders around the layer

And with that, your explosion VFX is complete!


VFX Tutorial Explosions 18 - Final Explosion


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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
6 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
6 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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