Looking for a couple of tutorials for scifi project

Hello everyone, have started playing in Blender 2.80 and am completely hooked. And quite the noobI have started a scifi project involving spaceships, aliens and planets/galaxies. I have found several tutorials on Youtube to assist me but what I haven’t find are good and well made tutorials which would cover the following subjects:

  • Spaceship afterburner type of effect;
  • Gunnery effects, like rail guns, plasma, laser;
  • Vortex opening in front of a spaceship so the ship can jump into light speed; (I have found some tuts but they resemble the Star Wars effect and are not what I am looking for)
  • Shields which would glow when struck by weapons.

I read that in order to ask for tutorials I need to PM an author directly, but since I don’t know the authors and I don’t want to spam everyone, I thought of asking here first.

Any suggestions or tutorials that I would have missed? Thanks very much.


The questions are a little bit specific. Might very well be that there aren’t any good tutorials covering them.

But you might have a good chance to get help here, if you first try to figure it out yourself, and when you get stuck open a thread (one each for a single problem) in the apropriate support subforum, saying something along the lines: This is what I got so far, that is what I want, how can I do it?

Hi and thanks for your reply. I have started a shield effect actually but am not satisfied with it. What you suggest makes sense and I will follow your suggestion. Thanks mate.

Really ambitions. Might look for a personal Blender trainer. It would be a much direct route to what you´re looking for to achieve.

I love SciFi and spaceship related modeling as well.

One pointer for planets and space effects would be Aidy and Gleb’s “Space VFX Elements” - just search for that over at GumRoad.com.
(How the heck to you get a web link off of GR’s product panels???)

Good luck with your project! Keep us posted if you can.


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Thanks Guys for your replies. WillBell, I checked the Space VFX Elements and have an inquiry to them about the contents of their tutorials to check if they could assist me with what I am looking for. Their FX package looks awesome so I may just get it regardless. Cheers


Glad to hear, and again good luck!

I’m not too sure of your deliverables, but if its video, I would most likely keep all the modeling and texturing in 3D, and do the starfields, shield and particle effects in post, in a compositor like HitFilm or BlackMagic Fusion, whether standalone, or within Resolve. (AfterFX w/Element 3D is nice too…)

That, in my opinion opens you up to more “2D” effect options like fire / smoke animations, GUI graphics / overlays, etc., all w/alpha channels. (Basically all the stuff you see over at FXHome.com)

If not there, and/or you need more interactivity, then def in Unreal 4 or Unity…


PS - And I highly recommend Ian Hubert’s “Lazy Tutorials” over at YouTube; not only are they a hoot, but they provide some hella nice Blender tips that, ahem, save a lot of time!


PPS - And since Flipped Normals have taken a liking to Blender v2.8 - they have a nice set of free tutorial offering on YT as well, and they recently released a paid tutorial for v2.8 beginners


Video is my final goal in all of this. Want to create a CGI video based on a novel I started to write. I did think of using 2D for the effects other than 3D and now you are giving me food for thought. Maybe those effects I am looking for are too ambitious for me in Blender as I am new to the 3D concept and am learning at my own pace at the moment. Since I am more of an Adobe AfterEffects kind of guy, I searched YT and found some potential tuts which I will need to study. For the modeling, well, I have zero creativity, so I buy my models and then I texture them, modify them as I want them. I use Lightworks as my video editing software. Thanks for your input mate… good thing I am retired as I will need the time!! Cheers

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Hey Danny, it’s not so much that they are ambitious in Blender, IMO, it’s the time involved.

Anything you do in Blender is going to require a render; if you want to make an animation change - re-render; change the text of a GUI graphic, or a change in how bright your shield lights up due to a laser hit - re-render!

It’s way easier to tweak a 2D effect in post in your compositor than it is in your DCC, or digital content creation app.

Even though at times I have a love / hate relationship with HitFilm, I’d def rather do my lasers and explosion effects using HF, than in Blender - I’m not even sure how I’d put together a scene with “laser beams” flashing around and hitting various moving targets in Blender?? :thinking:
(Transparent meshes w/alpha images and MOV files displaying stock flash images at contact points? Stretched out, emission lit cylinders for the laser beams?? - Again something way easier done in post!)

Now water sims, asteroid breakups, scene destruction w/buildings crumbling, perhaps tornado / hurricane effects, and in the odd case, hero objects exploding w/smoke & particle effects (Houdini Indie, or targeted Blender add-ons), I would consider doing within the DCC.

And even the buildings crumbling, or asteroid breakups can be isolated into their own scenes; video clips rendered, and swapped in at the right points in your movie editing timeline; want to add additional hero asteroid breakups or tweak the building crumble, just modify those isolated scenes and re-render just those portions…

Back in the day I was using AfterFX, (I refuse to even reinstall my AfterFX CS6 now, cause I know pretty soon it won’t be usable, and I’m not interested in $Adobe tool$ at this point in time!)

So for me today, it’s HitFilm and Davinci Resolve / Fusion. (There are rumors that Andrew Kramer may be porting over his AfterFX plugin Element 3D plugin to HitFilm and I CAN’T WAIT for that to happen!

This is why most compositor apps now allow you to load in 3D models, camera animations etc., from your DCC. HitFilm was just recently endowed with Foundry’s camera tracker tools which was a surprise, and a hella great addition!

So I’d say, even if just for ideas on what can be done, install the free version of HitFilm and follow, some of the laser, explosion, and other effect tutorials they have on YT.

At that point you’ll mostly be modeling / texturing your Hero objects / props, and doing your effects and perhaps even spaceship model anims in HF on the editor timeline - should be way easier (and faster) that way…

Whatever you do, just make sure you’re having fun - enjoy!


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I have made a video about the simplest way to do sci fi laser and engine effects in blender.

If I find the time I’ll work on some more space videos.
It’s 3 am tho so i gotta catch some Z’s.


Great stuff mate!!! Thanks very much I will certainly use this video!! Yeah!! Cheers mate


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Always glad to help. I think I need to polish it a lot before I’d feel comfortable making a tutorial, but I decided to start experimenting with the shield effect today.

I also accidentally did compression real bad, sorry.

I didnt have a ton of time to work on it before going to my real job, but the basic functionality is there. It didnt take very long to do, but I’ve really been struggling with synchronization issues between the viewport and renderer. I guess I just have to get in the habit of baking everything, or blender just wont render it properly.

Hi mate, the effect would be what I am looking for. Explosions at the impact points, the shield glowing when the impact occurs and particles spreading out in a circle at impact.

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Did you use dynamic paint for this effect?

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I did indeed. Did you guys know we can upload videos straight to BA? Thats really handy.

One issue is that I want a more gradual falloff, but I just cant seem to get blender to cooperate with that desire.

I’m pretty certain in star trek they would use a sphere with a radial gradient mapped to it, and then manually animate it to match phaser blasts. Which was super easy to replicate in 3ds max (cuz they probably used 3ds max) but im not sure if blender can animate UV’s as easily. I think the UV project modifier might be the best bet for that? If you are willing to manually animate its position, and the alpha of the shield and all that.


This one looks very good. I am almost done a 3DS Max version of glowing shield. If it can help you, I can export it to .fbx format and upload for you to study? I have 25 days left on my trial version and I must say that I like Blender much, much better. I find 3DS too complicated and not user friendly. Only reason I am using 3DS is because the tutorial I found uses it and After Effects.

This is what I was able to create using 3DS. I would like to create this in Blender obviously or something similar. I have exported the 3DS file in .fbx and .obj files but opening them in Blender doesn’t really assist me. Any help with this concept would greatly be appreciated. Cheers everyone.


Nice work, guys!


Made some progress. Got the shield effect to my liking in Blender now. Glowing when hit by a laser of missile. I also created a shockwave. The missile or laser dies on collision with the shield. Now am trying to figure out how I can have the shockwave appear at the exact same spot when and where the missile hits and dies automatically… if that is possible at all.

With regards to sheilds, what guidance/tutorials did you use to create them in Blender? Dynamic Paint? or somethign else?