Making magic happen with After Effects

Today I worked on making and animating some magic effects for Yoda. I got some footage of Yoda, and started to make a mandala effect (similar to the ones from Doctor Strange because I like the style) which I will eventually couple with a particle effect.

I made this magical effect by first typing some lines of random letters. I then duplicated and resized so that they would look a bit different (even though this didn’t really work out as I anticipated because they all look the same size). I then added in some solid lines, duplicated, and resized those too, and fitted them between the lines. Then, I precomposed them, and added them into a new composition so that I could make it separately from the footage.

I then added the effect ‘Polar Coordinates’ to this, which made it into a circle shape. I then moved onto making the middle thing. I made a new shape layer and made some shapes into a cool pattern. I then added a repeater to this, and played around with the settings to make it look vortex like in the centre.


I then animated the words to spin around, and brought this effect into the yoda footage. I then positioned it so that it would appear from his hand, and then added fractal noise and broken edges, and then a blue glow effect. After this, I made a new solid and drew some area around the mandala pattern. I then added a mask, feathered the edges and brought down the opacity to make it transparent. Then, for some added flair, I brought in a particle effect of some smoke, and set the mode to colour dodge.

Posted in: VFX

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