Space ship explodes on 2nd keframe in an Adobe VFX tutorial by Graham Quince

Photon Torpedoes Which Explode on Impact

In this video, I start by showing how to use Shape layers to recreate the iconic look of the Star Trek’s photon torpedo. But that proves a bit too simple, so I go on to show how to use Essential Graphics and Time Remapping to create in one precomp all the elements required to “fire” a missile and have it explode when it reaches its target.

The time remapping expression works by looping the first 5 seconds of the precomp until the comp’s time catches up to a second position keyframe, at which point… boom! While not collision detection, having the impact animation go off at the second keyframe makes it feel like it is colliding.

This video showcases all the elements needed, from adding stock footage, and using the dropdown expression control to switch between looks to adding sound effects.

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