NEW TUTORIAL: Lightning Explosion Part-02

In part 02 of this electrifying series we will create a human explosion using clever compositing techniques and blood elements from Action Essentials 2.

Watch Tutorial

Be sure to watch behind the scenes in our latest blog show.

You can also follow us on Twitter for updates and info @videocopilot

7 years ago
I'm Sorry Shape Layers! I love you!
I must confess… I was never a big fan of shape layers…  we just didn’t get along.  I was used to using masks but suddenly (around AE CS3) the same mask tool began creating Red vector shapes. At first, they seemed cool enough but after accidentally adding shape layers to my comps, instead of masks, I lashed […]
Visualization Experiment and new Renders
Just playing around with a new After Effects experiment without using any 3rd Party plug-ins! I need to refine some parts of the effect but I really want to make a tutorial for it ASAP! Here are some other projects you may have missed! Using Element 3D bump mapping to create some Gold coins and […]
New Tutorial: Realistic Rain Drop FX!
In this tutorial we’ll use After Effects to create a realistic water effect without any 3rd party plug-ins! Great for adding atmosphere to a rainy scene or title. This effect is fully customization and can be used to create many cool FX! In this tutorial: Create a dripping water displacement map Simulate realistic camera DOF […]
Destruction Experiment!
What is this thing! I’ve basically combined a bunch of stuff into one experiment! I might have been inspired by the amazing planet explosions from The Force Awakens but wanted to see if I could get a cool version inside Element 3D. Few Notes on this experiment; I added smoke elements, shockwaves using CC Sphere, and even […]

4 years ago
I loved this tutorial. You rock Andrew! I made my own version and put it on youtube and a co-worker thought it was real
7 years ago
Thank you for the brilliant toot!

I was out for a walk today and something very similar happened to me dooood!

Happy 4th of July you AE Genius!!!
7 years ago
Completely unreal action, a lighting would never do such thing in a human body....if it was a bomb i would agree that the scene was awasome !!
But in some movies and actons think more in real-world physics !!!
luis carlos
7 years ago
hello andrew me llamo luis soy solo quiero acerte una pregunta soy fiel fantico tuyo desd que vi todo lo que haces quisiera saber si tu estudias para esto o solamente lo haces porque te gusta porque no creo que en una escuela te haigan enseñado todo esto jeje saludos desd panama..
7 years ago
Poor old Sam! First hit by lightning, then exploded his guts out...I wonder what's next? Abducted by aliens and torture him in a white chamber or maybe a head decapitation as a result of a heroic orc battle? The tuts are great (as always)!
7 years ago
I just wanted to leave a general comment, just to say thanks. You're really great. And you're really really good. I'm learning a lot from you and really enjoying the ride. Thanks!!
7 years ago
Here my sample!
7 years ago
it reminds me a lot at the splashes from the movie District 9. You've done it well.
7 years ago
Cool :)
7 years ago
It’s the videos like this that re-motivate me to get out there and get filming again.
7 years ago
Wow, this tutorial was really awesome, I hope next tutorials are as good as this one.
7 years ago
Hi Andrew and hi y'all! :D

I'm from Hong Kong. Yeayeayea... I'm a Chinese... so what? I know English and I learnt sooo many things from Andrew =D Which means Andrew isn't only teaching the American, also the other nationalities, all over the world! =DD

great tutorial and thanks for it <3

This is my version of the Lightning Strike+Explosion, please enjoy =]
7 years ago
Hey man when will the next dvd of these free tutorials be released..
7 years ago
my mouth still stands open....

Andrew everytime i think you can't go higher.... you do.
This is another perfect example how awesome your tutorials are, keep it up, you rule !
7 years ago
the leg are look like zomBie!!

that good for Halloween
7 years ago
These are great tutorials, but I feel you leave out a lot of information from the tutorial compared to the original video.

For example: You did not go over how to make the individual splashes of water on the ground, the lens blur effect of water droplets streaming down the camera or the blood shooting at the camera.

Just a suggestion so you can try to fit in everything next time.
Anthony Villanueva
7 years ago
7 years ago
thanks man this complite tut video
thanks agine withe out sound tody see it withe sound effects
7 years ago
Kumar, U r a blessings to this generation, Thanks you for everything! The Lightning Explosion is jst Awesome! ur the best man!
7 years ago
Andrew pleace make a tutorial using this idea, tank you!!!!!

sorry for mstake I can"t write in english
7 years ago
Something similar to Dr.Manhattan, in the film Watchmen ^_^
Josh Scott
7 years ago
It's the videos like this that re-motivate me to get out there and get filming again.
Awesome stuff.
Action Essentials 2 is amazing!
7 years ago
When I grow up, I wanna be like Andrew Kramer
charlie brown the 3rd
7 years ago
you make me sick kramer, you have to much talent for one man, how about you share some of that talent with the rest of us huh ...... oh hang about you are. Well i guess ill be off to strike my loving but very annoyed girlfreind with lightning and blow her to pieces.

p.s my girlfriend asks if you could please do some more pleasant tutorials as she is sick of being killed off in our otherwise pleasant home videos.
Anjil Rana
7 years ago
Wow, U r Terrific man.............

Thanx for the tutorial

Best Regards
A. Rana
Olympia Logger
7 years ago
Wow Simon Box,

What a swell clip.
It's like TWO things in ONE!

It's a short movie AND a profoundly acute symptom.
7 years ago
Although i really like Sam, He has been disintegrated, he needed to be struck by lightning. Sorry Sam. Love the tut, and was wondering if morphing can be acheived in ae cs4? keep it up Andrew.
7 years ago
Hey Andrew I just saw the quick matte plugin, when are you going to release that?
@RA Elliot

Can't wait for the Bar Graph Tutorial. .

hahaha. .
Charlie Brown
7 years ago
I just scrolled down some comments and i am getting pissed!!!...about RA Elliot!!!....Andrew?.....ANDREW!!! was hoping?.. I KNOW WHAT MAKES YOU HOPE?...1st place winner is AMERICANS!!!(about visiting Your page) take the hope and throw it away...YOU don't need it!!!....believe in IT!!!...cause it's happening and YOU have no clue!!!
7 years ago
Great tutorial, Mr. Kramer! This is exactly what I need for a shot I'm planning in a sequel to a short film I worked on last year.

I'll be sure to post the sequel to the Videocopilot forum once it's complete this December. It will definitely involve the techniques from this tutorial, and other elements from Action Essentials 2. Thanks for being awesome.

-Simon Box

The original movie can be found here:
7 years ago
you make it look so easy. respect.
7 years ago
I loved the tutorial and thought it was very fun. You have pretty much already covered the main ideas in this tutorial that you did in other tutorials such as the "Assisted Suicide" tutorial and the 2 sky replacment tutorials but it was still a very fun and entertaining tutorial. I mean who does not like to blow stuff (Sam) up. After part one of the tutorial I finished it up on my own doing the exact things you did. I want to incorporate this into a short film just because it is so entartaining. Keep up the good work and keep those fun tutorials coming. Thanks so much.
7 years ago
Not a comment on the tutorial, but those anamorphic lens flare presets in optical flares look amazing! Please tell me you are going to include those presets in the package.

Another suggestion, Andrew, would be to set up a Optical Flare Library on your site, and let users submit custom created flares to that library. That way, we could all share presets, and have a wealth of flares to use. Just an idea.
7 years ago
How did you make the blood on the camera lens?
7 years ago
once again amazing... ofcourse i could do better (well i did the eye thing but you couldn't see it) :):)
7 years ago
RA Elliott, yes. Only the bar graph tutorial to go
7 years ago
Anyone else notice we're drawing near to the 100th tutorial?
mike l
7 years ago
i loved the tutorial! everyone loves blood splattering!
i was a little suprised to see the edges never ended up getting refined in the key..
there was still a white halo around everything.
7 years ago
No one every makes a negative comment. I'll be a trend breaker - ha.

I honestly wasn't tutorial excited this time (sorry). I have no idea if I'll ever need to explode a human body. I mean it's really cool but it seems like mostly something teenagers would enjoy to show off.

I could use 3D graphs all day (wink wink) though. I do not like the Red Giant plugin and there is a void of 3D graph knowledge out there. I'd actually pay cash money to see that tutorial when it's done.

Still it's amazing how much I use minor elements of the tutorials all the time - like the boomerang fix from the fly-by titles. The tutorials here do have a lot more than just overall face value.
7 years ago
I love the tutorials. Sadly most people don't take them and apply them to their own projects, rather just repeat exactly what you showed them how to do. I can bearly stand to go on youtube after you release a tutorial, because people upload the exact same thing (at least 10 per tut).

My point here is that the comments on making it better, are most likely coming from the ones that don't even try to use this information to create their own perfected projects.

no need to make a tutorial showing a new concept to become a work of art. At least a few of us know why you did what you did.
thank you Andrew
7 years ago
So... Was that a typo in the description or is it a hint of things to come for poor Sam? Using 'composting' techniques sounds rather nasty. :) Love the tutorial and it came out the day that my AE2 arrived.
7 years ago
Hay Andrew any idea when the quick matte plugin is coming out? Also im working on the h'ween candy thing to.
7 years ago
Very nice Andrew!
Some Guy
7 years ago
Wow! The sky animation tip is amazing.
7 years ago
Mr. you use Facebook or Twitter? Philly wants to be apart of the visual effects movement.
7 years ago
Andrew, nice work!

that's tutorials for add in the amateurs movie's are really nice!

i hope you make more!

like i jumper effects, energy effects, everyone love it!

but, you are the best anyway!

congratulations for you are!
keep walking!
7 years ago
yep you gat me on this one staff is tight
7 years ago
Poor Sam Loya!
Young was a good...!
God's blessings to...!
Siddharth Sinha
7 years ago
Its cool...very intrestin....
7 years ago
Great Tutorial!

the blood on the floor looks great! you did forget to talk about the blood on the lens though, did you use AE2 for that or did you just blur out some "fake" blood?
Mr. Holland
7 years ago
Very nice tutorial, I love the skyline of new york that you put in the back, nice idea!
7 years ago
thank you andy ^_^
regards from baghdad
7 years ago
Great tutorial Andrew! I am waiting for the next tutorial !
7 years ago
thanks for you tutorials,
interesting and useful...
but your tutorials not opening in my country " iran "
whats the problem?!
7 years ago
Thanks for this great tutorial..
On a constructive comment,i think the clouds could be animated using a technique Aharon Rabinowitz posted a while ago...

...or you could just use great footage like VC real clouds ;-)

I used many techniques from this tutorial for a project i'm wworking with my students (i'm a teacher) in which a car crash is simulatesd from inside the car, on a rainy day...

Thanks again!
7 years ago
"In part 02 of this electrifying series we will create a human explosion using clever COMPOSTING techniques"

Didn't see them explained in the tutorial, am I right? xD
7 years ago
michael bay lens flare

hahahahahahahahahahahhahah . its so true its so true.
Casey Millwood
7 years ago
Just when I thought I was happy with previous work I have done, you go and show this tutorial. Awesome as always. thanks heaps.

Casey, Sydney - Australia
7 years ago
An awesome tutorial as always!:)
I noticed in the original composite some lightning flashes in the sky. How can you achieve that effect?
7 years ago
Very nice tutorial!
I like this kind of tuts, tuts with "real" footage.
7 years ago
I watched the first part of the lightning tutorial yesterday and the second part today. For me, you tutorials are the best way to learn After Effects. Earlier I tried to read a couple of AE books but that didn't work for me. After finding your site I learned more by watching just one of your tutorials than I learned from those two books combined. I just wish I had found your site earlier. Excellent work!
7 years ago
Wow Cool tutorial, Action Essential 2 it's a great
Product, Check my Action Essential vid
7 years ago
just awesome! just awesome!
Love it..
i just bought AE2.. it's really rocking
7 years ago
Hi dear Andrew ,I can't see your tutorials recently?!! I try Mozilla Firefox ,IE 7 and opera but none of them play your video :( do you know why ?plzzzzz help me
7 years ago
I really enjoy with your tutorials, thanks Andrew,
thanks for my CG GOD
7 years ago
Yeah, great. So i will start my day with listening your voice and learn from the master :-)
7 years ago
Nice tutorial Andrew but as i told u before,this is more like a color correcting tutorial for me!!

The problem is that ur stock footage is view dependent,it doesnt really work with motion tracking. what i prefer to do is simply make my exlosion passes in 3ds max with fumefx and THEN follow you up with your tutorials.
Great job man
by the way have u ever used Magic Bullet from Red giant?
7 years ago
Hey Andrew great tutorial!

The 3D light casting tutorial would be great on the ground to :D
7 years ago
Wow, quick up for the second part. Thanks, Andrew. Another great one, as always... as RA Elliott said, lots of possibilities here. In addition to reactive light, I'd probably also add a little movement to the clouds. The devil is in the details!
@RA Elliot/Sir Andrew Kramer
I just wanted to add. .

maybe we could put a crater effect. .
so that it would be much more realistic. .

i don't really know. .
hahaha. .
coz i never seen a lightning hit the road
in front of me. . haha. .
7 years ago

Next blog show --> small update about the new ae CS5 if possible....

7 years ago
Luvin it..... Killing sam is always fun....:) :-)
7 years ago
Thanks Andrew for the part two of the halloween tutorial waiting for other VFX tutorials
7 years ago
@ Sullivan

Andrew does say what 3rd party tools are required in each of his tutorials if any. And this is an After Effects site so pretty much everything requires After effects.
7 years ago
@Sullivan, the 3rd party tools are listed on the tutorial landing page. There is also an icon to indicate what software is used such as AE. We don't have a difficulty because that is an arbitrary reference that is debatable. We do recommend people watch our basic training to help understand the features of After Effects.
7 years ago
Hay i saw the quick matte plugin in the end. Whens that comeing out?
7 years ago
hey andrew i just had a suggestion on a couple things you could do to help people navigate your tutorials better. 1: post what programs are required, 2: the level of difficulty, and 3: the third party plugins/stock elements required.

just a suggestion. =)
7 years ago
Good Idea RA Elliott, I was hoping people would catch that!
Ljubomir Sinozic
7 years ago
Thank you for part 2 tutorial love it looks amazing as alweys
7 years ago
Very cool Andrew. Just a suggestion: if you REALLY want to get detailed with it, throw in some 3d light casting (tut no. 93) on the ground from the bolt. Or add a floor plane and have the rain bounce around or something. Endless possibilities, really...
Olympia Logger
7 years ago
Superb... as usual.

I have a PRACTICAL working question.

How do you budget you time and organize your day?
You can do all this and run your business at the same time.
I usually work 6 days a week, can hardly find 5 seconds to myself in the day to fart and IF I'm lucky can get around to getting into your tutorials every other weekend or so.

Do you do this all in one setting or rotate it into other daily tasking ???

Or what...?
7 years ago
Thanks,I can't wait to see it.
sasha strelnikoff
7 years ago
super i love`d it
7 years ago
wow,very cool,I really love it