Creating realistic Laser guns, Blasters, Sci-Fi weapons VFX – has got to be way up there on every VFX artist’s wish list.

There are a few different techniques for creating these kind of effects in After Effects and I’ve picked a couple of my favourites. Creating the actual weapon itself can be really easy or extremely detailed depending on the method you use, again I’ve put together a few resources to point you in the right direction. So lets jump in:

Create a NERF Gun and VFX in After Effects

Andrew Kramer at Video Copilot shows you how to create amazing looking Sci-Fi weapon effects using his new Shockwave and MotionPulse plugins in this video. He also shows you how to create a realistic looking NERF gun, using a toy gun and some black spray paint, so if your budget doesn’t stretch to a custom made prop, then this could be a good solution.

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Create Laser Gun FX Using Trapcode Particular and After Effects

The guys at Film Riot created an excellent tutorial on how to create laser gun fx using Trapcode Particular and elements from Video Copilot Action Essentials to create the actual laser/blast fx. Unlike the Video Copilot example they used an actual laser gun prop created by professional prop maker Bill Doran. Check out the tutorial below.

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How to Create A Realistic Laser Gun or Sci-Fi Weapon Prop

If you want to up the production values on your next VFX project you could always craft your own bespoke laser gun or blaster. Here are a few links that break down the process of creating realistic Sci-Fi weapon props:-

Creating Looper’s Blunderbuss

Prop master Rick Hilgner shows you how to create the Blunderbuss Sc-Fi weapon from the film Looper. It’s a fascinating insight into how a professional prop maker goes about their work.

Creating the M-6 Carnifex Pistol Prop from Mass Effect

Bill Doran was the creator of the laser gun used by the Film Riot tutorial mentioned above. Check out his process for creating the M-6 Carnifex Pistol prop from Mass Effect.

Creating Han Solo’s Blaster

If you want to try something a little less challenging than the previous two examples, then this might be a good project to start with. Ryan Haldy shows you how to create the iconic Han Solo blaster from the first Star Wars films. The result is impressive, but requires a few extra steps than just simply spraying a toy blaster replica. Check out the detailed steps here.
han solo blaster prop

Create Complex Sci-Fi Weapons in Element 3D and After Effects

If you’d rather create Sci-Fi weapons virtually rather than physically, then Josh Burns has an excellent tutorial on how to create 3D model Sci-Fi guns by just using Element 3D and After Effects. You can see my previous post on Element 3D modelling here or check out the tutorial below:

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