How to Create Real Life Rifts from FORTNITE in After Effects

If you want to see the video that I am about to break down CLICK HERE!

This started off as a simple visual effects test but then I posted it to my Instagram and a lot of people started to give it attention (BTW, Follow me on INSTAGRAM @TheCinematicHitman for BTS on all of my projects and experiments). All I wanted to really do was integrate a CG car into a real life scene. I had been playing so much Fortnite this past weekend that for some odd reason, everything around me made me feel like I was in a battle royal.

I’ve created a Fortnite related post before (CLICK HERE) it was about how to create glowing Slurp Juice in After Effects. After the game’s update (Season 5) “portals” or “rifts” began to show up all across the map. This next part is for my non Fortniters:

Basically you walk up to this rift that’s just floating there on the ground. When you walk into it you teleport into the sky and you get spit out from a much larger rift as you get See the source imagesent freefalling.

I was playing Fortnite one day when I realized I could probably recreate that effect in After Effects, and I can probably get a car to go through it and spit it out in the sky. Now that I had an idea, it was time to shoot.


I took out my iPhone went outside and when I brought it back to be edited I could not camera track it for anything! There was so much motion blur and very little contrast with lots of noise. So I had to scrap the iPhone shot and use my DSLR. I cranked up the shutter and when I brought it into After Effects I separated the 30 second video clip into three sections. You guys might be able to see what I’m talking about (the video is in 3 parts).

After that it was all about designing the rift. I had a couple of images that would help me come up with how I wanted it to look. This entire effect can easily be done with no third party plug ins. But if you wanted to it would be possible.

Fortnite rift Video Game vs Real Life footage
Fortnite rift Video Game vs Real Life footage created in After Effects

BASE RIFT (0-00-02-17) 2

But for me, I just chose to create the base of my rift with “Advanced Lightning” and just toyed around with the settings. Once that was done I just wanted to get a little fancy so I threw in some particles simulations and a little bit of glows, once again no need for any third party plugins. I didn’t choose a good day to shoot these clips and so when I composited my rift against the sky it was nothing impressive. I did a quick Google search and decided I will just composite stars into the video too. It added a nice extra touch to the video.

Moving onto the second part of the video, this was the part that took the most work. I wanted to make sure that this part looked real enough so I wanted to make sure light was in all of the right places. The Most difficult part of compositing the small rift into the scene was determining where in 3d space did I want it. Just because It looked good to the eye didn’t mean that it was going to stick to the scene. So the following is a 3D motion tracking tip:

If you are going to make a camera track, create a null that will stick exactly to the place that you want it. Once you get those X, Y, and Z coordinates write those down on a piece 3D Trackof paper or something so that when you are done building your rift (object) it will be in the right place in 3D space.

Once that’s out of the way everything should be easy. The Rift was created with a simple Fractal Noise layer and glows were applied to it to help it look more “Sci-Fi”. Keeping with the theme of the rifts in the sky I added Lightning to the small rift also.

After that, really fast I animated a car moving from left to right in 3Ds Max. I didn’t add any materials to it because I didn’t want to add any lighting or textures to the car because it was only on the screen for a split second and the render times would skyrocket because my graphics card is acting up. So in AE I just added blur, some lights GIF-FOR-BLOG.gifand then masked out the front of the car so that it appears to be going through the portal.

The Third and Last part of the video was super easy. It was the same steps as the first part of the video. I had to design my Sky Rift, the only difference was that this time a car was falling from it. So again in 3Ds Max I animated the same car model flipping in 3D space and just composited that into AE.

Also even all of the lens flares used in this video was 100% no third party plug in.

But that’s how I created the rift effects in my short VFX Test. If you haven’t already subscribe to my blog and follow me on Instagram. I will no longer be doing movie reviews since you guys tend to respond more to my Filmmaking related posts! I might give away some free Fortnite rifts if I gain a lot of new subscribers to the blog so that you guys don’t have to do any of the work. I look forward to seeing you guys in the future!


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