Volumetric Lights

Volumetric Lights

Posted on 06. Apr, 2007 by in After Effects

Learn how to create volumetric lights without using external plugins. Enhance the “look and feel” of your projects by lightening them a bit.

Volumetric lights are very simple way to add mood to your Tea Cups With Lids Amber Rings Wholesale Tea Trays Toddler Sleeping Bags projects. Light going through the clouds, through the window, through the water surface, or whatever really. It makes a whole difference.

After watching this tutorial you will know how to create simple volumetric lights without using any 3rd-party plugins. Just match your volume lights with your footage, apply some blending modes, maybe even colorize the lights a little bit, and you’ll achieve next level of quality. You must try this one out.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS2)

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26 Responses to “Volumetric Lights”

  1. Sander Joon

    08. Apr, 2007


    Very useful tutorial for making underwater scenes.


  2. Andrew

    10. Apr, 2007

    Cool Vid,
    Andrew Kramer

  3. Serge Hamad

    17. Apr, 2007

    Yeah, very cool vid

  4. Bill Oneal

    17. Apr, 2007

    Yeah, you right Serge,it`s cool

  5. Dave

    17. May, 2007

    I’m using AE 5.5 Pro Bundle and do not have CC Fast Radial Blur effect. Is there a way to do this without that effect?

  6. Maltaannon

    01. Jun, 2007

    yes. you may try using traditional radial blur effect, and probably some blending modes

  7. antek cryst

    02. Aug, 2007

    W końcu ktoś w polszy robi tutki do AE.

  8. george

    14. Aug, 2007

    Very nice! And hey! When Andrew Kramer said for some tutorial and some work that is cool – it’s something! Keep on with your nice work!
    I have proposal for every one visitor of this site, and for the owner of course. Lets talk about hardware needed for work with graphic. I’m working on TV for 12 years and didn’t yet found ‘the right one’ configuration. Every time there is ‘something that could be better’ and/or is not working the best way with some other thing in that box called PC. Interested?

  9. ftown

    21. Aug, 2007

    it would be cool if you could put a fractal effect on the light beams themselves, and then animate those fractals. It would add another layer of complexity and really see the shot. maybe project them by using a gobo on front of another light? great vid by the way, thanks for sharing the info.

  10. Craig T

    13. Sep, 2007

    Great tutorial, I have used this at work many times since I first visited your website. I look forward to seeing more froom you. I’ll be back for more!

    Regards, Craig

  11. Tobias

    22. Oct, 2007

    Realy neat effect!

  12. Vinh

    15. Feb, 2008

    It looks like background video on Window Vista…really cool !

  13. Richard

    28. Apr, 2008


  14. Shavkat

    25. Jul, 2008

    Prety nice Tut Well Done
    I’m from Uzbekistan

  15. Hafeez

    01. Aug, 2008

    Hi, Lovely tip and a great effect. I was wondering if the time emitting can fall on some Text or another layer and act like a light effect. Possible?

  16. imon

    19. Aug, 2008

    Hi, thanks for the very useful tutorial. I’m having some trouble trying to modify the angle of the rays. I want them to be more vertical as if the light source was higher up, but somehow I just can’t make it work. Any ideas?

  17. Maltaannon

    19. Aug, 2008

    yes. if you’re using CC Radial Fast Blur than you need to make your comp bigger, because the source point can’t read pixels if it’s outside the comp. As an alternative solution you can use Trapcode Shine instead.

  18. sliman (arab)

    16. Nov, 2009

    very good

    thank you maltaannon

  19. sliman

    16. Nov, 2009

    i have cs3 ?

    Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects (((CS2))) !!!

  20. Rob

    02. Dec, 2009

    Hey, great tutorial!

    I was wondering.. when you say in this tutorial you cant use the background as its a volume light.. Im just trying to apply this over a painted background. How would i go about this.

    Sorry im just trying to get used to this stuff

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      02. Dec, 2009

      You just need to close the Light itself in it’s own comp. In this tutorial I’d grab the first two layers and precompose them. Then I could turn the BG on.

  21. ranz

    09. Feb, 2010

    i wanna marry u..u r awesome after effect teacher..

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      09. Feb, 2010

      I hope you’re a hot chick with green eyes. :)

  22. valga tamizhan

    09. Feb, 2010

    unngal ‘tutorial’ migavum nalla irukirathu..nandri..vanakkam

    ninggal enna pada eyakunar ah????

  23. Chris Vinson

    21. Aug, 2010

    Really nice, and easy too. Thanks so much for sharing.

  24. nol7

    07. Nov, 2010

    Indeed it’s nice, however it’s not realisatic at all, underwater wolumetric lights are parallel, how would you do to correct that in AE ?