Getting 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.
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.
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.