How to Make 3D Particles in After Effects

Written by mac pogue
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How to Make 3D Particles in After Effects
Particle generators give you the ability to create systems of interactive points. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Creating particles with After Effects is simple with the included CC Particle World filter plugin. After Effects has turned a previously computation-intensive task into something a few simple clicks away. Getting acquainted with Particle World opens many possibilities for the aspiring video effects creator. All that's required of the user in this tutorial is basic knowledge of the layer system and how to apply effects.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Create a new composition in After Effects by clicking on the "New Composition" button in the lower right-hand corner of the file folder window in the program. Set it to whatever resolution and frame rate you choose.

  2. 2

    Create a new solid layer by going to the "Layer" menu and selecting "New Layer." Select "Solid" in the dialogue box and name the layer "Particle World."

  3. 3

    Select the layer and go to the "Filter" panel and find "CC Particle World." This applies CC Particle World to your solid layer.

  4. 4

    Examine the default preset for CC Particle World. Try rendering a preview -- press "Shift" and "Enter" -- to see how the particles interact. Experiment with all of the presets now that you have created your particle effect to explore the full possibilities of the plugin.

Tips and warnings

  • Explore the presets for CC Particle World to quickly see some of the settings combinations for the plugin. Go to the plugin dialogue box and click on the box next to the word "Animation Presets" to open the factory presets menu.

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