Creating Fireworks with After Effects & Trapcode Particular

User avatarApril 2, 2014 by Surfaced Studio

In this tutorial I will show you how to create cool looking fireworks effects using Adobe After Effects and the Trapcode Particular particle system plugin! Here are some celebratory fireworks I created and composited into a city scene:

After Effects and Particular Fireworks 01 - Final Effect

Trapcode Particular

Trapcode Particular is a particle system plugin for Adobe After Effects. I actually prefer it over the inbuilt CC Particle World effect. You can
get Trapcode Particular from the Red Giant website. The reason I prefer Particular over CC Particle World is that it simply has more functionality like air resistance physics and an auxiliary system that allows you to spawn secondary particles from the primary ones.

And of course you can use it to create a myriad of cool looking fireworks effects. Here are a few examples of different fireworks created with Trapcode Particular:

After Effects and Particular Fireworks 02 - Different Fireworks

Getting Started

Go into After Effects and create a new composition for your fireworks. Then add a new solid into your composition. Call it 'Particle Explosion' and make sure it matches the dimensions of your comp. The colour is irrelevant as we will apply the Particular effect to the layer anyways.

After Effects and Particular Fireworks 03 - Particle Solid

Now search for and apply the Trapcode Particular effect to this solid. Particular has a large number of settings to control the behaviour and the appearance of your particles.

After Effects and Particular Fireworks 04 - Trapcode Particular Effect

If you scrub through your composition without making any changes you will see plain white particles being spawned continuously from the centre of your Particle Explosion layer. This is the default behaviour for the Particular effect.

After Effects and Particular Fireworks 05 - Particular Default Effect

Let's get started shaping this particle effect to look like a realistic fireworks explosion!

User avatar
Brooks Leibee
3 Years Ago
May 29, 2015 @ 10:12 pm

FANTASTIC TUTORIAL

Going to be using this and your 3D camera tracking tutorial for a senior-themed school video! Going to make it look spectacular!

Thank you, Tobias.

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Brooks Leibee
3 Years Ago
August 1, 2015 @ 17:40 am

No worries, glad to hear you enjoyed it!

User avatar
Mike
3 Years Ago
August 24, 2015 @ 13:25 am

This isn't working for me. The particles aren't fading out or scaling down, they're just disappearing. I'm using Trapcode Particular 2.2.3 and AE CC 2015. Assuming I'm doing everything right, is there some sort of version conflict?

User avatar
3 Years Ago
November 19, 2015 @ 1:40 pm

Not that I know of. Start out with the most basic particles and see if you can get them to fade out

User avatar
Ian
1 Year Ago
February 25, 2018 @ 6:42 pm

many thanks Tobias. With my first use of Trapcode & my first attempt at doing fireworks - your tut nails down those key particular parameters.

User avatar
11 Months Ago
May 17, 2018 @ 19:59 am

:) That's great to hear, thank you for the awesome feedback! I gotta make more Particular tutorials...

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I am passionate about providing high quality VFX & Film Making Edutainment online. Check out my training courses on Udemy
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