The VFX Flight Plan

Well as you know at Video Copilot we are fascinated with Airplane Emergencies… so after seeing so many movies with cool plane destruction I decided to try and make something similar. Not quite a tutorial but here is what I did!

I used an Airplane model from the elusive and upcoming Aircraft Model pack, (Coming this Summer!) then I created the destruction inside 3Ds max with Rayfire, Vray and Particle Flow, much like the process in the Explosive Training tutorials. The one thing that is important for shooting airplanes is to back the camera up and zoom in so it looks large and powerful! I added some Action Essentials 2 and used a Z-depth pass to composite the fire behind the wing. Here are a few screenshots of the money shot!

Elisha Trice
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:17 am
Wow! You're truly inspiring.
    June 21st, 2013 @ 3:26 am
    Andrew Kramer

    I love kind of this action. You are supper

    Wow wow wow
    June 27th, 2013 @ 11:15 am
    This is great! can't wait for the full tutorial. If you land this plan you are the Man!
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:18 am
Always spectacular work.
Alexander Botteram
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:19 am
Still amazing to see how you have single handedly evolved AE in something so much more versatile. Come to think of it, it's redicilous 3D rendering was never introduced into compositing programs in the first place.
    June 20th, 2013 @ 10:25 am
    This wasn't done in Element though.
    June 20th, 2013 @ 10:36 am
    Correct, this image was done with 3D max, although the Emergency Landing Airplane was done with Element 3D.
    June 20th, 2013 @ 10:49 am
    o.O cool graphicks O.o
    June 20th, 2013 @ 11:03 am
    Actually, realtime OpenGL 3D object rendering has been available inside of Flame since the 90ies and has been greatly enhanced in recent releases. Other compositing programs like Nuke also have a fairly capable 3D system (some of it developed by Digital Domain for Camera Projection on "I Robot" I think, back when it was still an inhouse tool, but it might have been earlier). Others have since followed. I agree however that Element 3D is one of the best implementations of a 3D system for MoGraph and basic effects work to date.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:20 am
Way to Go Kramer Airlines :D
    June 23rd, 2013 @ 3:13 am
    Never chose Kramerican Airlines lol
Josh Ortolaza
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:21 am
This looks simply amazing, Mr. Kramer. Unfortunately, I learn better with video tutorials, as I am sure many who follow do as well. A video tutorial for this would be awesome. Great job.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:21 am
PLEASE make this a full tutorial!!! Including the particle flow stuff!!!
    Roman K Rai
    June 27th, 2013 @ 9:15 am
    yeah! it would be great..Rayfire with the particle flow
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:21 am
Kramerican, HILAR! Fantastic stuff, Andrew!
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:22 am
Amazing! I'm really looking forward to the model pack. How much it will cost?
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:24 am
Wonderful work! :D

and the tutorial, you'll make?
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:25 am
I like it. Now it is time to try for myself!
    June 20th, 2013 @ 10:30 am
    Great work Kramer, great work, you are simply wonderful
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:26 am
pls make a video tutorial andrew !
    Bakhtiar93tiar Studio
    June 22nd, 2013 @ 8:41 pm
    please andrew make this tutorial
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:27 am
Your Airlines are really unfortunate!! Two flights two accidents :(
    Steve Thompson
    June 20th, 2013 @ 11:20 am
    You beat me to it. Andrew is great at Video Effects but I think the FAA might just have to ground Kramerican Airlines.
    June 20th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
    I'm dumping all my Kramer Airlines stock! LOL
    June 21st, 2013 @ 11:28 am
    Blue Horseshoe Loves Anacott Steel!
    June 21st, 2013 @ 11:53 am
    Kramer, where the heck are you? I am losing MILLIONS! You got me into this airline and you sure as heck better get me out or the only job you'll ever have on the Street is SWEEPING IT! You hear me, Kramer? LOL
    June 21st, 2013 @ 12:05 pm
    I'm gonna make you rich, Bud Fox.
    June 21st, 2013 @ 12:07 pm
    I'm Gonna make you rich, Budd Fox :P
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:27 am
Simply Fantastic.... wonderful work...
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:29 am
Love the graffiti! ha
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:31 am
Aircraft Pack!!!
Can't wait to get my hands on that!!
How many models and how much is it gonna cost us, Andrew ?
    anton nartea
    June 21st, 2013 @ 8:39 pm
    Have you tried "" yet? It's fantastic!
Fabiano Peres
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:36 am
I'd love to see the video.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:36 am
So Good ...
Always Good
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:38 am
Looks like a second angle from the other one you did. Very cool. Maybe another short is on its way?
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:40 am
Oh Andrew Kramer sir, can you please make this as a tutorial please. I've always wanted to try out a 3D play crash.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:41 am
Good old P Flow! I need to really start messing around with Rayfire, looks so much better than those free scripts out there to break apart meshes.

Wondering how long so for this did you spend tweaking the CC, thats always my downfall, spending so much time tinkering and tweaking. Obviously in your tutorials you usually have already gone through the process a few times so you have an idea but just wondering, first crack at a scene like this, how long did you spend, didnt seem like it was anything to over the top but just wondering.

Cant wait for new packs, as well as the future city challenge!
mr steele
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:08 am
Pretty neat, but I'd like to see some new tutorials on particles like Trapcode form and particular. What are the chances of that. There are a few on youtube but they are nowhere near Andrew Kramer style! I mean I need corny jokes and high quality sound while I learn!
Ryan S.
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:22 am
Wow, that looks amazing! I'd love to see a tutorial on how to composite the 2d action essentials elements (especially the explosion) realistically into a 3d scene, as I always have a lot of trouble with that.
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:30 am
'Get off my plane!'
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:32 am
Very cool and very interesting. I'd like to be so bold as to ask how do you use element to create such large landscapes as shown in your demo reels as jets fly over and such? I have tried numerous things but am still stumped; it looks as if you've done it here as well with the motion blur. May not be the place to request this but since you posted....
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:42 am
i love ittttt so much
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:50 am
It is really beautiful. So, make a tutorial exectly for this stuff while releasing the vehicle pack, plaease. :D

And i did something with Metropolitan 3D but I know guys this is not looking good but i tried... :D
    June 20th, 2013 @ 12:38 pm
    Looks great!
    June 21st, 2013 @ 6:16 am
    Looks good to me. Camera shake at end seems odd - like maybe the buildings in the foreground are moving too much. And I wonder why more buildings didn't fall, but the overall look of the scene is well done. Good job!
dave dietz
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:51 am
wow - nice! Hope they were able to land safely and get all the passengers out alive.
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:52 am
Hey andrew, any plans on making/including a full phsyics engine to work with Element 3d?
June 20th, 2013 @ 12:07 pm
ANDREWWWWWW!!!just fab work....plzz come to india sumtime...
June 20th, 2013 @ 12:17 pm
There's no need for a tutorial guys, it's the same techniques used in "train explosion" tutorial. Just watch that.
June 20th, 2013 @ 12:38 pm
wowsa...lookin pretty good there capn kramer....looking forward to getting my hands on that model
June 20th, 2013 @ 1:03 pm
Please make tutorial from it ... :)
June 20th, 2013 @ 1:14 pm
Full tutorial pleeeeeease :)))
June 20th, 2013 @ 1:31 pm
Co-pilot must have been drunk to let that happen....:)
Aykut Bozkurt
June 20th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm
Great graphical exercise Andrew.Everything looks fine and detailed + especially Kramerican Airlines :) But 1 thing to know,that glass you shared is better than yours :D Tnx for that,a total tutorial from zero to end should come in handy for real.Keep on the good job!!!
June 20th, 2013 @ 1:01 pm
amazing work , Now the summer!!!, when the date in the summer???
June 20th, 2013 @ 2:02 pm
hello I'm french. sorry for my talk english.Compte you make a tutorial of this project. This is purely amazing. Good luck.
June 20th, 2013 @ 3:00 pm
That title and that image are pretty apt for the VFX industry itself.
rodrigo lagos
June 20th, 2013 @ 3:24 pm
amazing ;the tutorial please,thank you very much mr andrew..
Bishoy Nader
June 20th, 2013 @ 3:42 pm
this is Cool Andrew i am waiting the new aircraft Model Back
and if u can make a tutorial in this project , thank u , u bring us the Happiness
June 20th, 2013 @ 4:02 pm
When will the aircraft pack come out?
Nazmul Talukdar
June 20th, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
Hey Andrew
really cool work with the color correction and also the entire work.
Just one thing I want to know that did u add smoke & fire using "create 3D null"?
June 20th, 2013 @ 5:39 pm
Mr.Andrew Kramer please i need more tutorials about 3d max.. like car accidents,how to create forest location with green screen action...thank u
June 20th, 2013 @ 5:55 pm
These airline tutorials prove one thing: Never fly KRamerican Airlines. Explosion prone.*

*Feel free to fly if you're Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford or Wesley Snipes
June 20th, 2013 @ 7:11 pm
Looks cool, but since the fuel is stored in the wing there should be some liquid coming out before catching fire.
June 20th, 2013 @ 7:30 pm
Really hope I can have tutorial
June 20th, 2013 @ 8:19 pm
It always amazes me how 8 out of 10 comments on VC posts are completely non-related.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:00 pm
woooow, absolutely amazing,.
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:45 pm
As always, you're a fantastic inspiration, and a special quote for your own personal airplanes company : KRamerican...just excellent ;-)
June 20th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm
You have a fear of flying, don't you Mr. Andrew?

...thank god for us ;-)
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:02 pm
Oh . Thats a really nice trick of zooming .I Am really impressed . Hats off GURU
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:03 pm
Maybe a C4D tutorial since its integrated into AE CC now? Please! Ha ha.
A Sandy
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:11 pm
Superman is never around when you need him...
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:25 pm
Did you do this for the movie "White House Down"? I saw a commercial recently with an identical shot :O
June 20th, 2013 @ 11:38 pm
mmm, i can see you'r working on 2013 :)
Pretty fast, isn't it?
Very beautiful, on Vray i guess?
lunga shezi
June 21st, 2013 @ 12:23 am
Reminds me Air Force One from the WHITE HOUSE DOWN Trailer.
Haider sheikh
June 21st, 2013 @ 12:58 am
Thankyou Andrew For Advance Airplane Tutorial best guid for ever
June 21st, 2013 @ 1:09 am
Looks great! But the right engine sort of kills the effect: the fan is static (not motion blurred) and there's no explosion in the reflection on the plane!
    June 21st, 2013 @ 1:11 am
    Well I meant other right engine ;-) ... the one on the right of the picture.
Eric Terence
June 21st, 2013 @ 1:25 am
Awesome to see VideoCopilot really take it to the next level. Especially with 3D becoming more and more integrated in AE.
Keep up the good work!
June 21st, 2013 @ 3:11 am
Where do you get that kind of backgrounds (under the plane?), that are allowed to use?

Can you make more tutorials where you combine 3DS MAX, element 3d and after effects together?

And will all video copilot plugins be compatible with After Effects CC??

keep up the good work! :)
    Shafa’ Rizky F
    June 21st, 2013 @ 8:19 am
    yeah, maybe it useful for some people, but not for all vcp fans, they use many kind of 3D software,if Andrew do that, i very jealous, im c4d user :D
June 21st, 2013 @ 3:12 am
Nice, I always comment my ideas here! And here's another one.
How about an obj sequence pack with destruction and rayfire stuff if you know what I mean, like some animated stuff so we can use in Element 3D specially the people who can't make their own animation inside the 3D programs?
June 21st, 2013 @ 3:41 am
Hi Andrew That was Fantabulous job and Inspiring too. Why You always like to
do Destruction using 3ds Max?
reza irani
June 21st, 2013 @ 4:05 am
Looks great!but andrew ,have you seen the "white house down"third trailer? there is a sequence like this shot that you create. there was used the fumeFX plug-in i guess and i think that was much more realistic with that and Particles move was much more unison with the wind. if you start a new project with sam and make Another great shot,it Would be cool. Make a tutorial And prove the power of "element" again....!!!
June 21st, 2013 @ 5:42 am
just amazing.......
looking for the Aircraft Model pack
June 21st, 2013 @ 5:56 am
Element 3D works perfect in After Effects CC
the Perfect Model Packs
no problem
June 21st, 2013 @ 7:03 am
Element 3D is the greatest plugin for AE !! I just finished a hypothetical advertising for the new iphone 6, modeled in 3dsmax, animated and rendered in 3D Element
June 21st, 2013 @ 8:03 am
CREATIVCE CLOUD! What do you think? I think it sucks!
Shafa’ Rizky F
June 21st, 2013 @ 8:16 am
Did you add 'Kr' in paint? -_-
let me think, you are paint lover, so you must be meme lover :D
just kidding ;)
    June 22nd, 2013 @ 7:21 am
    Hahahaha... I saw that too! :D (Y)
Jeremiah Lofthus
June 21st, 2013 @ 8:41 am
Hey Andrew,
Did you export the animation as an obj sequence for Element 3d or did you render different passes and composite them together in AE?
June 21st, 2013 @ 9:25 am
    June 21st, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
    Hey where did you find the ironman 3 bluray disk :o is it on sale or something :o i never heard about it
    June 21st, 2013 @ 3:46 pm
    And yes its kinda simillar but not fully simillar . You can check out those engine detail compare to andrew's engline.
June 21st, 2013 @ 11:36 am
@Andrew K - do you think you could pull off this same scene using Cinema 4D? If so, what do you think the differences in challenge would be?

- Austin
    June 21st, 2013 @ 12:52 pm
    Andrews look better.... But ILM doesn't have the resources that VCP has...
    June 21st, 2013 @ 12:53 pm
    replied to wrong person...meant for impaczus
June 21st, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
Some VFX Breakdown :)

June 21st, 2013 @ 12:36 pm
nice work how about an inner red glow on the right engine turbine
June 21st, 2013 @ 12:54 pm
THAT PLANE IS SO NICE AN SHINY!!! I want to blow one up too! I mean, in artificial 3d airspace only..! very cool shards!
June 21st, 2013 @ 12:58 pm
kramericannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn be blessed.
June 21st, 2013 @ 1:09 pm
I'd love to see a tuto like this lord Kramer.
June 21st, 2013 @ 2:38 pm
hey ANDREW,when i start a project like this one,i dont know where to start..i have the model but then i keep watch this picture and think of all the hard things,like omg this light this reflections this background hdri this amazing explosion how it looks like particles and so on,can you help me?? just tell me how to start a project steps...thanks and sorry for my english
June 21st, 2013 @ 2:35 pm
Please make a tutorial! :)
June 21st, 2013 @ 3:49 pm
the smoke looks like fume fx do you used the titans grafics card
June 21st, 2013 @ 9:09 pm
Tutorial! Tutorial! We want Tutorial!
June 21st, 2013 @ 9:38 pm
andrew you should make it look 3d element explosion fx smoke rendered to have the Explosion in 3D and to use the Eplosion in 3d element
June 21st, 2013 @ 9:42 pm
make a tutorial on the plane and the update of elemnt 3d v2 and how to use the shadows in 3d element
June 21st, 2013 @ 11:00 pm
Soooo, I googled element 3d v2 and to my surprise I see a image of metropolitan with really nice shadows! And the image says: Element 3Dv2 shadow tech preview!
Sooooooo Andrew........more previews? ;-)
June 21st, 2013 @ 11:43 pm
Wow, this is gonna be awesome . i am really exciting to now what happened in 3ds max . please provide a tutorial for that ,
June 21st, 2013 @ 11:16 pm
Wow, awesome stuff Andrew,... Video tutorial, please,please,please.. Amazing work as always
James Twyman
June 22nd, 2013 @ 12:18 am
Making things look big and imposing is something I've been struggling with. In element 3D and other 3D programs how do you take a model and give it the feeling of real. Size and weight?
June 22nd, 2013 @ 2:05 am
Kramerican. I wouldn't fly that company))

Great post!
Surendra Sahi
June 22nd, 2013 @ 4:45 am
Fantastic work AK!! Please try to make a tutorial for your buddies. :-)
June 22nd, 2013 @ 5:27 am
VFX Breakdooooooown by NativeVFX :D

June 22nd, 2013 @ 8:09 am
Great stuff as usual. When is this airplane pack coming out?
June 22nd, 2013 @ 8:21 am
My Plane animation is more safety :),

THY Sunset Flight !!
June 22nd, 2013 @ 8:33 am
TUTORIAL please :p i really want to make explosion stuff like that, please make the tut, i wanna try :( hehe, thanks!!
June 22nd, 2013 @ 8:52 am
Andrew, a question. Since AE CC will integrate Cinema 4D Lite, will you might use C4d in future more regular than 3D Studio Max?
June 23rd, 2013 @ 3:59 am
Adnrew, why do not you write a small Blog-post about your future releases? About your new plug-in(s), about new model packs, about Element 3D v2.0 at last. Very interesting to know the exact dates... I open your website every 3 hours, because I want to see a new Blog-posts all the time.
June 23rd, 2013 @ 3:50 pm
Great stuff as usual. When is this airplane pack coming out?
June 23rd, 2013 @ 5:25 pm
I am never riding on one of your airlines again.
June 24th, 2013 @ 8:07 am
A little scene that shows you how matte painting works :)

    June 25th, 2013 @ 6:17 am
    How often are you going to post the same video xD

    Towards the end its very obvious that the mountains are just images instead of true 3D.
June 24th, 2013 @ 11:37 am
andrewww you rock man , but your Kramerican Airlines sucks lol're great !!!!
June 24th, 2013 @ 7:18 pm
I think after this ADOBE CLOUD stuff, it would be great if Videocopilot release their own VFX EDITOR!
June 25th, 2013 @ 9:12 am
I just saw this in a trailer for white house down(I think that's what it was) very cool.
Andrew how often do you work on vfx for films?
Josh Ortolaza
June 25th, 2013 @ 10:33 am
Hey Andrew, have you considered doing a tutorial series on destruction? maybe like a building collapse, or even various effects from the new Man of Steel movie??? :-) great work.
June 25th, 2013 @ 1:09 pm
Hey Andrew! I`m i big fan!
Here is the thing, i am wondering, like the pictures or the shots are easy to composite footage and elements but in a fully 3dimensional scene how can you composite all these elements (fire,smoke,debris,etc)
and still animate the objects?
I of course have seen the tutorial "mid air emergency" but that wasnt fully 3dimensional...
What would the workflow be like if we had to composite all the elements in the exterior of the plane while we would be using the 3d model of the aircraft (using Element 3d)
It seems really difficult to me!

I hope that my english is not too bad...
June 25th, 2013 @ 2:39 pm
Enough is ENOUGH ! I have had it with these monkey fighting splines on this Monday to Friday plane !
June 25th, 2013 @ 8:49 pm
I gotta say, I'm really losing confidence in Kramer Airlines...

Great work though! :)
June 26th, 2013 @ 5:55 am
Man, give us videos. Still images r obvius.
Daniel D
June 26th, 2013 @ 8:11 am
Hey Andrew, is this plain used in the new movie white house down?
June 26th, 2013 @ 3:22 pm
Can anyone suggest a program cheaper than 3DSmax that can do the same stuff in the tutorial? Do they sell older versions of 3DSmax? Thank for the help!
June 27th, 2013 @ 9:42 pm
Check This out Created In E3D + C4D - CGI Design
June 28th, 2013 @ 7:52 am
It´s amazing how ADOBE is the best and the worst at same time!

Their software are the best, but their executives are very incompetent.

No wonder that Andrew Kramer (VIDEOCOPILOT) alone has 127k followers on facebook and only has 88k ADOBE.
Imagine if Andrew decides to launch a software like After Effects...

In a nutshell, I couldn't never buy CS6 Master Colleciton, only After Effects, with CC now I can, finally, OWN ... I mean ... (RENT) the entire collection!

When I first heard about it I was happy, cause I do not like to use pirated products, people must receive for their work as well as I hope to get at mine, so I think "I will sign in"

But when I read what the CC was about the idea of paying forever really scary me a lot.

So, if I stop paying after 4 years I come up with nothing??? It feels like "You dont own nothing"(Socialism?) Or like a relationship "After all these years, your son of...:)"

What is the difficulty for "Adobe executives", change the CC to something like -

"After 3 years in the cloud, the software becomes yours without the need to continue" in the cloud ".

Boy, I tell you, that the majority who always use pirated products would "get" into the cloud.

It would be fairer leasing, as it would give a chance to everyone to buy it.

But the developers at Adobe seems to be much more competent than their executives...

Hey Andrew Kramer, how about VIDEOCOPILOT EFFECTS, cos you guys understand about costumers!

Luciano Daluz
Milagro Prod - Brasil.
June 28th, 2013 @ 12:06 pm
Just bought the metropolitan pack with the 25% off... get it while you can people!
June 28th, 2013 @ 1:59 pm
any new news about element 3d v2 ?
June 28th, 2013 @ 3:23 pm
Here is my exclusive project !!!!! A remake of the Knife Teaser with Projectfiles to download !!! Dont forget to subscribe :)

June 29th, 2013 @ 12:39 pm
this is my random model collection v2

check my other models also
June 30th, 2013 @ 10:17 am
Marc Kamil
June 30th, 2013 @ 4:45 pm
looks like one of the shots in the trailer for Whitehouse Down.
July 3rd, 2013 @ 6:39 am
Can someone tell me where can I find some fireball tutorials ??thanks!!
July 3rd, 2013 @ 11:16 pm
Way 2 go Mr. Kraimer. Nice Z-Dept.
I'm flying Kraimer Airlines with no crashed experience. Awesome plug ins.
July 15th, 2013 @ 10:37 am
When is the Aircraft model pack coming out this Summer?
August 6th, 2013 @ 3:47 am
Good Job Andrew!!! I seen it If you didn't do this then you did a darn good job replicating.
August 7th, 2013 @ 3:03 pm
the grafics in 3d ,it realy looks like it is outlining a real plane looks cool,great work
August 7th, 2013 @ 3:06 pm
the speed of the plane blends with the explosion.the parts from the explosion dosent have much sharpness .I like it....:)(:
August 7th, 2013 @ 3:08 pm
I love kind of this action. You are supper truly
August 11th, 2013 @ 3:27 pm
Whay dont you make a short action movie.I think thet it would be perfect.Yust go on.Wher can i buy a us truck that you use when yo made it explode?
September 5th, 2013 @ 11:59 pm
You make it look so simple...
November 4th, 2013 @ 4:15 am
it would be great if there is reflactions in element 3d
September 7th, 2014 @ 8:13 pm
Please make a full tutorial :)!!
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