How to Create Clouds in After Effects

Written by alan donahue
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How to Create Clouds in After Effects
Create clouds in Adobe After Effects. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Animated clouds can add depth and movement to animated projects in Adobe After Effects. Whether you are creating a full movie, want to add special effects or use clouds to form a logo, the "trapcode" effect can easily create this for you. Once the basic cloud is created, you can adjust it and form it to your animation needs. The cloud can be duplicated and used to make a sky full of floating clouds of varying shapes and sizes.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Create a new composition for the project with the "New comp" icon.

  2. 2

    Right-click in the "Comp window" and select "Layer," "New" and "Solid." Click on the "Make comp size" icon and press "OK."

  3. 3

    Click on "Effects," "Generate" and "Ramp." Drag and drop the "Ramp" effect onto the solid.

  4. 4

    Select the first colour and make it a dark blue. Select the second colour and make it a light blue. Now a basic sky is created for the background.

  5. 5

    Create a second new solid layer. Click on the "Make comp size" and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Type in "Particular" on the "Effects" window. Drag and drop the effect onto the second colour composition you created. The coloured comp will turn into a collection of white bubbles.

  7. 7

    Click on the "Emitter" menu in the "Effect controls" tab. Select the "Type" drop-down menu and click on "Box." Set the "Z" position to 650 and the "X" position to 270. Click on the "Direction" menu and select "Directional." Adjust the "Emitter" size to 750, 10 and 2,800.

  8. 8

    Expand the "Particle" menu. Click on the "Life" and set it to 30 per cent. Set the "Life random" to 50 per cent. Select "Smokelet" for the "Particle type." Set the "Feather" to 100 per cent, the "Size" to 115 per cent and the "Opacity" to 10 per cent. Adjust the two "Random" settings to 45 per cent and 15 per cent.

  9. 9

    Click on the "Physics" sub-menu and load the "Air" menu underneath it. Adjust the "Wind X" settings to 150. Adjust the "Spherical direction" to -147 and 246.

  10. 10

    Click on the "Render preview" icon to see the clouds float through the air. They will pass by the screen from the right to the left.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the "Camera tool" to showcase different cloud angles.

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