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How To Create Spooky Alien and UFO VFX

How To Create Spooky Alien and UFO VFX

Learn how to create extraterrestrial VFX and take your sci-fi scenes to the next level.

Looking for some out-of-this-world VFX ideas for a spooky sci-fi project? You've come to the right place!

Today, we're going to take a look at how you can create not just one, but several extraterrestrial-themed scenes that can really impress your audience.

How to Create an Alien Abduction Tractor Beam

This first trick is simple, but can be incredibly effective, especially when paired with several camera angles to heighten the tension of the scene. In fact, it's always a good idea to shoot multiple takes at different angles in any VFX project to cut between shots and/or maximize your options in post. 
Essentially, the talent pretends to be lifted off the ground as a large practical light shines on them. You can then roto the talent out (or shoot the talent with a portable green screen), and place them on a clean background plate you shot previously, and simply animate their body drifting upwards. 

Subtlety is the key to making this look believable, so be sure to think about how to best convey the movement.

There are a couple of ways you could further enhance a scene like this. First, you could use a fan or leaf blower to add a dramatic wind effect onto your talent. This would work best if you were using the portable green screen option on set to key the talent due to the complexity of the hair movement.

Next, you could consider using a drone armed with a Lume Cube. This method could provide an array of eerie shots from the UFO's vantage point, lighting up the night wherever you fly.
In addition to the looming POV shots you could create, you can also use the Lume Cube as your practical spotlight. 

If you've got a drone that can fly pre-recorded flight paths (or a drone operator), you could orchestrate a flight from off in the distance that eventually hones in on your talent's location. Keeping the drone out of frame, and augmenting the light from the Lume Cube with VFX in post could yield a truly cinematic result on a minimal budget!

Last of all, you could add elements from one of our Atmospheric Fog Collections, along with our brand-new CreatorVault Icon: Anamorphic Lens Flares Collection to quickly and easily create blockbuster-worthy VFX! Seriously, these lens flares...
Be sure to check out all of our exciting new CreatorVault collections!

How to Composite a UFO

Compositing a UFO into your VFX shot can actually be a pretty simple process. You could animate a 3D model, but you can also simply use a 2D UFO asset and achieve stellar results.
The tutorial above shows how to implement this simple 2D method, along with a great technique for adding depth to your UFO element with a little duplicating and masking.

The nice thing about this method is you don't have to worry about 3D modeling if it's not your strong suit, and you can easily create your own UFO inside of Photoshop for further animation and stylizing in After Effects.
If you want to push your UFO visual effects even further, our Jet Flame Collection is perfect for creating sci-fi propulsion effects as your craft soars across the sky. Plus, you can tweak the colors to create an even more alien look.

How to Build a Giant Alien Creature

Giant aliens make everything better, right? Whether you're creating a monstrosity the size of a human or a skyscraper, you can follow along with the superb tutorial below to design your own version of an interdimensional creature!
This tutorial covers a lot of ground quickly, but you'll learn everything from how to replace a sky with ominous clouds and dynamic lighting to accentuate your creature, as well as how to use Trapcode plugins to essentially build and animate a shadowy monster from scratch, perfect for an alien invasion!

Regardless of your project's budget, if you have a camera and compositing software, you can create terrifying UFO and alien VFX!

From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,400 VFX stock footage elements right here.

We've also launched our new initiative: CreatorVault creates the best curated collections of video editing assets for video creators. Quickly find the perfect lens flares, animated mattes, transitions, glitches, and more. Shop CreatorVault now.

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