After Effects Tutorial

Create Terrain in After Effects + Andrew Kramer at NAB 2018

Terrain can be created in After Effects without a 3D program and it’s not necessarily difficult but it can be involved. Here are a couple of tutorials that explain how to do it without third-party plug-ins and then a few third-party plug-ins that will help you get the job done quickly and easily. Plus, a bonus video from Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot from the Adobe booth at NAB 2018.

Make a 3D terrain with default After Effects plugins

Joe Clay from Workbench talks about how to create some 3D terrain in After Effects without 3rd party plugins. He’s using Wave World, which I can honestly say I haven’t used in years. A year or two ago at NAB, Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot presented on the Adobe stage and showed some seriously cool an interesting effects he had created with some long lost plugins that have been sitting in your plug-ins folder for years untouched. That video is below. Joe is also doing his part to revive some of these older, but not unloved, tools.

Download the Project files

3D topographic maps in After Effects

Mike Borup explains how to make topographical terrain in After Effects with tools like turbulent noise, posterize, and Layer Controls. It’s pretty involved and you will learn a lot, even if you’re a long-time After Effects user.

Andrew Kramer at NAB 2018

All I needed to do was Google it. The second half of Andrew’s presentation deconstructs a rusty logo in After Effects, using displacement maps, curves, fractal noise, transfer modes, and so on. I think it may have been the 2017 presentation that I was thinking of but this one fits my point just as well.

More ways to create Terrain in After Effects

Getting back to terrain, if this isn’t quite what you’re looking for and you don’t use a 3D program to make your own, I might suggest Trapcode MIR.

AE: Low Poly Mountain Landscapes With Trapcode MIR

VinhSon from Creative Dojo shows you how to use Trapcode MIR for some low poly mountain terrain.


Another option is GeoLayers, where you can animate and browse maps in After Effect, and you can use Trapcode MIR with it too (or Rowbyte Plexus for some cool techy looks).

GEOlayers tutorial – 04 Trapcode MIR

Here’s a bit more about using GEOlayers and Trapcode Mir together to create terrain or landscapes.

Create a Tunnel with Trapcode Mir – Here’s another old school tutorial you may enjoy for Trapcode Mir. Aharon Rabinowitz from Red Giant explains how to shut the mesh to create a seamless wormhole in Trapcode Mir. Use it on your next time travel journey!

After Effects

Andrew Kramer: After Effects CC: Designing Futuristic Titles for FOX’s “Almost Human” | Adobe Creative Cloud

Designing Futuristic Titles for FOX’s “Almost Human” with Andrew Kramer

Andrew Kramer from talks about how he used Adobe After Effects to create some of the futuristic titles for the TV show “Almost Human” as well as title sequences for few other shows and movies.

Learn more about Adobe After Effects and Creative Cloud at

Related News

After Effects

Update: Video Copilot Updates FX Console to V1.0.3

Video Copilot FX Console is a fun little plug-in for After Effects and it’s free! Download the update today.

FX Console V1 Features:

  • Access FX & Presets quickly
  • Create FX Shortcuts
  • Create FX Overrides
  • Export Snapshot with PNG
  • Automatic Snapshot Tool & Gallery
  • + MORE!

Fixes and Enhancements for V1.0.3:

  • Added option to save images as JPG from menu & Gallery
  • Preferences files are now saved in a user path instead of a common path, meaning different preferences for different users.
  • Fixed user presets path for AE 2017 and 2018.
  • Fixed issues of preset and effects not being applied if a floating panel had the focus.
  • Fixed screenshot image resolution not being correct in OSX.
  • Fixed crash when rending via command line.
  • Fixed color profile issue when taking a screenshot (mismatch colors).

Learn more      Download FX Console 1.0.3 (Under Adobe After Effects Plug-ins

After Effects Tutorial

After Effects Tutorials for Harry Potter Effects

I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter so I love sharing stuff like this. The Harry Potter series may be for kids but the visual effects are whimsical and creative for adults as well, and especially inspirational if you work in this industry. Since it’s almost Halloween, and if you want to create some fun magical effects for the occasion, here are a couple of tutorials to get you started.

By the way, the new version of Adobe After Effects CC 2018 was released yesterday as was the entire Adobe Creative Cloud. Talk about magical!

Tom Riddle’s Diary Fade Out Effect in Adobe After Effects Tutorial (Harry Potter)

Ignace Aleya shows you how to make your ink disappear. It’s simple!


This tutorial is in Italian but you can set the subtitles to English, or just follow along visually. It’s pretty clear, even if you don’t understand Italian. Plus, Italian is so nice to listen to!

Harry Potter style Invisibility Cloak Effects in Adobe After Effects

Abdul VFX shows you how to use green screen fabric to make parts of an actor disappear.

Spell Book? Create a 3D Book in After Effects Tutorial

While this quick tutorial from Workbench is not necessarily for a spell book, it shows how to make a 3D book, and you can style it any way you like! They have project files here and a Patreon page if you’d like to support Workbench.

Want to make a fancier spell book?

If you’re a 3ds Max user, check out
Tutorial: 3ds Max: Harry Potter Spellbook Breakdown

More Tutorials and Resources

Freebie: Top 10 Most Iconic Movie FontsNewBlueFX is offering free downloads of the most icon film fonts ever created; from the whimsy of Harry Potter, the boldness of Jaws or the retro look of Back to the Future.

Freebie: Free Magical Smoke Elements from Video Copilot – If this doesn’t add magic to your scene, I don’t know what will!