Graham Quince's Makin Space Tutorial Atmospheric Re-Entry Meteors

Makin’ a meteor / atmospheric re-entry in After Effects

In this tutorial, I use Adobe After Effects’ included effects and two free plugins from Video Copilot to recreate the look of flaming plasma as a spacecraft enters Earth’s atmosphere.

CC Particle World is used to make the flames, sparks and smoke. I use VC Orb to create the rock falling to the planet and VC Saber as a way of creating a firey surround to the plummeting asteroid.

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In the tutorial, I also show a 3D Space Shuttle – I struggled to find a free 3D model of this spacecraft that could be used in either VC Element or Cinema4D Lite, so I imported one into C4D Lite and edited it to make it work. I have included this model in the download links too. I used C4D Lite to prepare the shuttle for VC Element and applied textures in that program. I haven’t included the VC textures I applied as they are not royalty-free for distribution, but everything is labelled in the model.

Original Model (with textures) can be downloaded from

Expression used:X = thisComp.layer(“Meteor NULL”).transform.position[0]+effect(“3D Point Control”)(“3D Point”)[0];Y = thisComp.layer(“Meteor NULL”).transform.position[1]+effect(“3D Point Control”)(“3D Point”)[1];Z = thisComp.layer(“Meteor NULL”).transform.position[2]+effect(“3D Point Control”)(“3D Point”)[2];[X,Y,Z];

Other Tutorials mentioned


Project DownloadSpace Shuttle Orbiter

Video Copilot plugins


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