February 18, 2014

Create an Element 3D Wormhole in Less Time It Takes to Watch an Episode of Dr. Who

wormholeGetting anything done in After Effects, Element 3D, or pretty much any other compositing program takes time -- sometimes loads of time. And chances are, if you're a beginner working on a visually complex-looking project, it's going to be difficult. Unless, of course, you're making a wormhole using this method from Tuts+. Adrian Jensen shares an excellent tutorial on how to create a "quick and dirty" wormhole (great choice of adjectives) using one of the primitives (in this case, a donut) found in Scene Setup. Seriously, for the seemingly complicated product, this is one of the quickest and easiest tutorials I've seen yet, so continue on to find out how to pull it off.

First things first. Here are a few final products made using the technique shown in the tutorial, including a generic fighter jet, the Enterprise, and of course, TARDIS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipLGvEWQEGE

Now, creating a wormhole, light tunnel, or any number of mystical portals poses several problems that need to be dealt with, probably the most glaring being producing the illusion of motion. Finding or creating a texture that appears "not of this world" or "cosmic" is easy enough to do in Photoshop, but creating a 3D space for a ship, rocket, or Dr. Who phone booth to careen through can be pretty laborious and time-consuming work. It can be done by keyframing, but that takes forever. That's why this technique is brilliant, because it's not only relatively simple, but it's fast and you don't need to track and map any movement with a bunch of keyframes.

As always, Tuts+ shared the source files, including the textures used in the video, to help you follow along. So, if you're a beginner and not really sure how to navigate, be sure to download it before you start. It'll save you some guess work and potential headaches down the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fy5NEUXU4w

Was this tutorial helpful? Is there anything they missed? Do you have any advice on making a "quick and dirty" wormhole? Let us know in the comments below.

Link: Create a Quick and Dirty Wormhole Using Element 3D -- Tuts+

Your Comment

16 Comments

Element is really powerful if you take the time to get the scene right. Created this for our Sci Fi project in about 2 hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZMNbG-XDfc

February 18, 2014 at 3:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Looks great, Luke!

February 18, 2014 at 4:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kasper

Very good stuff. Going slightly off topic, do you have a favourite VFX program among the big guns eg Lightwave, 4D etc ?

February 18, 2014 at 4:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

I haven't dabbled in VFX stuff for a couple of years but I have a base in C4D which makes Element so easy to use! It really doesn't take long to get fluent and then you can do some pretty impressive stuff all inside of AE! Underrated plug in (even though it's popular)

February 18, 2014 at 4:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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just took a closer look, and you're planet comp looks REALLY good Luke. Cant believe it only took you two hours. Did you base it off anything to start with it, like some of the space tutorials for Creative Dojo or did you start from scratch?

Im actually quite impressed with your Element comp. Wouldnt actually mind you going through it in more detail, if you wouldnt mind? The lighting for proper comps such as this is difficult to nail down, and you did a fantastic job of making a great space scene. THanks

Jason
@jbowdacious

February 19, 2014 at 1:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The full tutorial will be saved for The Beacon and the project file will go out exclusively to backers :)

February 19, 2014 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Awesome!! Really looking forward to the tutorial and looking at the project files. I like seeing project files but I'm really curious about your thoughts process behind the creation process. I'm here to learn the techniques and concepts about how you created it and how you got it looking so good, I'm hear to learn to fish cause that's an awesome space scene for 2 hours in element. Those that want push button Can go buy a stock project.

February 19, 2014 at 3:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jason

Agreed! That will be part of the tutorial for sure :)

February 19, 2014 at 3:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ah ha!!! I thought this shot was using Element 3d , but was gonna wait for the backer BTS

February 19, 2014 at 1:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Luke that is crazy impressive. May have to get my hands on Element.

February 19, 2014 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thanks for sharing Luke.

You can indeed get some very impressive results with element given some patience and post-processing. Here is a snipet from a short i've been working on the past few months using element, trapcode and a good helping of shaky cam to create a wormhole:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORLhQ9VyIpA

Also, if you use the name your own price plugin "Elementary" it can help a lot with animation and even casting shadows with Element:

http://aescripts.com/elementary/

February 18, 2014 at 4:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John Ford

With all respect to the tutorial and the work people put into it, yours looks better.

February 18, 2014 at 5:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Much obliged. Some good aerial compositing tips here as well:

http://www.videocopilot.net/flightschool/

February 18, 2014 at 5:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John Ford

This is a Doctor Who Intro I did in about 2 hours using this technique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX8HfwK2J64

February 19, 2014 at 8:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I can follow up until the point where you add a group null to the object, I don't seemed to have that option. I'm using Elements 1.5. Any help would be great thank you.

May 26, 2014 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pearce

Awesome tutorial, cant wait to get to work. However, I've always wondered how difficult it would be make the space a bit tighter. From what I've read traveling through a wormhole wouldn't be a magical experience where everything fit perfectly.
http://emailwire.com/release/125219-New-novel-Spidersilk-combines-techno...

August 28, 2014 at 1:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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