Graham Quince tutorial to make an alien planet

Making an alien planet using Video Copilot Orb

In this video, I show my preferred way of creating a texture for a new world. Rather than get stuck trying to force Fractal Noise to create randomness, I simply take a photo of a paving slab and once cropped show how to use masks and the Colorama effect to quickly make a cool, natural looking surface. Then using Turbulent Displace, I create oceans which are pretty random but still under my control.

Once it’s applied to Video Copilot’s free Orb plugin, I then use the same texture to make a normal map and specular map. I cover illumination options too and then add clouds and an atmosphere.

Some contents or functionalities here are not available due to your cookie preferences!

This happens because the functionality/content marked as “Google Youtube” uses cookies that you choosed to keep disabled. In order to view this content or use this functionality, please enable cookies: click here to open your cookie preferences.

In this video, I’m making a M-Class world, but the techniques I cover could be applied to any type of rocky planet. Along the way, I drop loads of useful shortcuts and tips for using After Effects. Hopefully you’ll be inspired by how easy it is to make a complex looking, realistic planet.

How I made the rivers can be found on my YouTube community post:

I used the Advanced Lightning effect to create rivers on my texture maps. The effect is really useful for creating branching streams and forks. Then I just copied over the layer to the specular and normal maps.

Related COW Tutorials

After Effects cameras and Unreal Engine
Welcome to my series on learning Unreal Engine for video production, especially …
Replacing Surfaces Like a Pro with Mocha AE Planar Tracking
Welcome to our comprehensive tutorial on planar tracking and object replacement in …


Enjoying this tutorial? Sign up for the Creative COW Newsletter!

Sign up for the Creative COW newsletter and get weekly updates on industry news, forum highlights, jobs, inspirational tutorials, tips, burning questions, and more! Receive bulletins from the largest, longest-running community dedicated to supporting professionals working in film, video, and audio.

Enter your email address, a first and last name, and let us know what you’d like to see more of in the message!

[contact-form-block name_label=”Name” email_label=”E-mail” message_label=”Message” header=”false” header_image_id=”null” header_image_size=”50″ header_image_align=”left” header_title=”Get in Touch” header_text=”Leave your message and we’ll get back to you shortly.” button_text=”Send” button_color=”#3d84f6″ button_text_color=”white” align=”undefined” theme=”default” message_rows=”5″][/contact-form-block]


We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy