One of the most popular visual effects to appear in many a sci-fi movie is the warp drive effect. For this experiment I decided to see if I could re-create this effect using Red Giant’s Trapcode Mir plugin for After Effects.
To give the geometry in Mir a unique look, I added in my own custom texture previously painted in Photoshop. I also used the same texture to drive the Amplitude Layer.
For the shader I used the Density shader with Ambient Occlusion and also switched on the Depth buffer. For extra depth and complexity I duplicated the layer but set the Shader Draw to Points rather than Fill. The lighting was provided by an Ambient and Point light.
To animate Mir, I keyframed the Z lift parameter (under Z Range) to give the effect of fast moving light. I also added the Camera Shake plugin from Red Giant’s UNIVERSE to add some extra movement and motion blur.
For the overall look I used Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite and also the Chromatic Glow effect from UNIVERSE.
The sound design was provided by Video Copilot’s MotionPulse.