If you’ve ever been interested in filmmaking and ever been on YouTube, then you’ve probably come across one or two videos from the guys at Film Riot. Simply put, they know their stuff. And if you’ve followed their channel over the years, you’ll doubly know that they’ve really upped their game in the world of visual effects.

So it’s of no great surprise that the Film Riot guys have come up with some really cool breakdowns into how to create your very own VFX inspired by the looks of the new Disney+ Star Wars show Obi-Wan Kenobi. But what makes this approach so interesting is how you can do it with affordable software or equipment. No VFX house needed!

Let’s take a look into this expletive-filled tutorial to uncover some helpful tips for working with some super accessible filmmaking tools.

Obi-Wan Kenobi VFX in After Effects

So for this breakdown the guys get started in Adobe After Effects. If you aren’t an AE-super user, these techniques aren’t actually too crazy, so you should be able to follow along even if you’re newer to the program.

To start, you’re looking at basically just some simple masking, keyframing, and coloring to get the base layer for your sci-fi composition setup. In the video, Ryan Connolly goes pretty quick with his steps and explanations (as he usually does). But you can always slow things down or click through step by step.


Create and Add Your Structures

As far as informative YouTube watching goes, I really like this technique for creating and adding new structures to their base composition layer. By using stock images and footage, the building Connolly creates is really as simple as dragging, dropping and keyframing. With a few snips and overlaps, he creates depth in the building without complex modeling. 

You can of course try to find the exact same stock images for your structures, or you can try to find something new to help you design and build whatever buildings you might want to create. All told, this is all super helpful basic information for working with any VFX in After Effects—so be sure to really track your steps so you can use them again for other projects in the future.


Select and Animate Your Models

Using models found on TurboSquid, Connolly makes his selection and begins the process of putting their spaceship into the scene. Again, Connolly moves quite fast here, so be sure to slow things down as he goes over how to add your scene render as well as tweaking the reflectivity and gloss materials.

Ultimately, though, the VFX shot comes together once Connolly starts adding in the lights, motion blur, and color effects to really make the spaceship look cinematic and behave believably. The Red Giant Optical Glow is a nice touch too, as it really gives the final composition that extra shine that you’d expect to see in something as high concept as a Star Wars project.

The rule of thumb here seems to be that VFX is a series of simple layers that build upon each other to create the desired effect. Like a cake or lasagna. 

What do you think of this composition, though? Does it look like something that might give your projects that extra VFX shine? Share your results and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Film Riot