August 21, 2017

Missing the Eclipse? Make Your Own with This After Effects Tutorial

Even an After Effects newbie can create a convincing timelapse eclipse with this tutorial.

If you are lucky enough to be in the path of today's rare solar eclipse, we've put together a guide for how to shoot it. But if you're far away, worry not: You can create your own stunning timelapse eclipse in After Effects with native plugins and effects, thanks to this new tutorial from Caleb Ward.

In the below step-by-step breakdown, Ward walks you through his process starting from the very beginning, which makes this exercise appropriate for even a novice After Effects user. The tutorial uses the most basic tools of the software, like masking and keyframes, but the end result is a sophisticated-looking eclipse. The best part is that you can create the entire effect without any third-party plugins.

Ward has also shared his project file for free, so you can try it yourself even more easily.

Have you tried creating an eclipse on your own? Or given Ward's tutorial a whirl? Show us the results in the comments!      

Your Comment

1 Comment

Moon and stars are stationary and the sun moves across the sky?

August 21, 2017 at 2:51PM


There's always someone who wants things to be scientifically correct. Often that's me... Most people don't care or notice these details... So here goes:
The sun is not smaller than the moon. At the time of the eclipse, it is about the same size (sometimes a fraction smaller, sometimes a fraction bigger) than the moon. Just watch a real eclipse movie and you'll see. When the moon moves in front of the sun, the moment the sun is completely hidden, you can see the spill of light (from the sun) around the moon. This is called the corona and is only visible at that moment.
If realism is not needed, this is an awesome effect though and a very good tutorial! I learned a lot. Tnx.

August 23, 2017 at 9:16AM, Edited August 23, 9:16AM