In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a space scene in After Effects using Element 3D. I'll use a few free assets found online and some files in the project file you can download and follow along with this tutorial.
One of the free resources is the NASA Space Image Index where you'll find lot of space images that are available via creative commons. I'll be using a free Neon Flames Tool that enables the creation of nebula images to download and use in a project.
The Creation Process
Start by adding in a background image of a star field. You can use the images included with the project file or feel free to make your own using Trapcode Particular or Element 3D.
Set up the asteroids in Element 3D using the rock models that are included in the starter pack. These models are included with Element when you install the plug-in. They may be located in a folder named
Add in some galaxy space images from the NASA Space Image Index. Feel free to search their database for images that best fit your project.
Create some space nebulae using the Neon Flames Tool, a free tool that runs in the web browser. Download a PNG file of the images you create.
Since they have a solid black background, you can apply them in After Effects using a screen blending mode.
Set up some Parallel Lights in After Effects that can accent the edges of the asteroids. Set the light color to match the space nebulae in the scene, which will act as motivating light sources.
Explore the space scene using other After Effects plug-ins such as Trapcode Shine and Optical Flares. You can finish off the scene with some color correction and 2.35 aspect ratio bars for a more cinematic look.