How to Create Spaceships in After Effects

Written by breann kanobi
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How to Create Spaceships in After Effects
Space ships appear often in children's toys. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Drawings of space ships symbolise the adventure of exploring uncharted terrain. Space ships often represent a child's imagination, man's achievement of reaching the moon or the unique world of science fiction. The drawing and animation program Adobe After Effects offers a variety of tools that allow you to create a drawing or animation of a space ship. If you wish to animate your drawing, keep all of the space ship details on a single layer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open After Effects and press the "Create New" button.

  2. 2

    Navigate to the "Layers" panel and click on the "Create New." Type the name "Spaceship."

  3. 3

    Click on the "Set Foreground Color" button, located within the "Paint" panel. Click on the desired spaceship colour. Often, a spaceship consists of a light or pastel colour such as grey, blue or purple.

  4. 4

    Draw the outline of the spaceship. Click on the "Brush" tool. Draw a long, thin oval. At the bottom edge of the oval, draw a rectangle with rounded edges. On the right side of the space ship, near the bottom, draw a fin. Draw a symmetrical fin on the left side.

  5. 5

    Fill the outline. Click on the "Bucket" tool and left-click inside the outline.

  6. 6

    Click on the "Set Foreground Color" button. Click on a darker version of the current colour. Draw two ovals in the centre of the spaceship. These ovals move from the tip of the spaceship to the end and are spaced evenly. On the inside of each oval, draw a second oval. The second oval creates a thin outline and resembles the shape of a window panel.

  7. 7

    Colour the windows. Click on the "Bucket" tool and left-click inside the outline. Click on the "Color Select Tool" and click on a bright blue, white or yellow colour. Left-click within the window to add the colour to the space ship.

  8. 8

    Draw flames on the space ship, if desired. Click on the "Brush" tool and select an orange colour. Place your cursor along the bottom-right corner of the space ship. Left-click and draw a wavy line that extends towards the bottom of the page. Draw a sharp point and curve the line towards the bottom of the space ship. Fill the fire with orange.

  9. 9

    Add lighting effects, if desired. Click on the "Layer" menu and scroll to "New" then "Light". Double-click on the layer, within the "Timeline" panel. This opens the "Light Settings" window. Click on the "Light Type" option and scroll to "Parallel," "Spot," "Point" or "Ambient." Parallel consists of directional light. Spot consists of cone-shaped light, Point creates a light bulb effect and Ambient brightens the scene without adding shadows.

  10. 10

    Adjust the light settings. Move the "Intensity" slider towards a positive value to increase the light. Move it towards a negative value to remove light from the picture. Adjust the colour using the "Color" setting.

  11. 11

    Press the keys "Ctrl" and "S" to save the image.

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