Do you have a scene that needs some rain? Let’s learn how to create a realistic rain effects in After Effects.

For the most part, I’m all about being practical. I like to have as many in-camera effects as possible. In fact, one of the effects that is really nice to capture naturally is rain (and the effects of rain on the environment) for cutaways and b-roll. But in order to capture this footage, you’ll sometimes need to wait around for actual rain. Or maybe you could wait for some cloud cover and then use a rain machine or even water hoses.

What if none of this is available to you and you need to get your project turned around as quickly as possible? Well, you’ve got options, one of which is using After Effects and a few plugins. Let’s look at a few more options that are available to you, all of which are fairly simple to understand and pull off.

After Effects and Boris FX

With this tutorial, Mary Poplin of Imagineer Systems teaches us how to create a rain effect with a combination of Boris Continuum Complete, mocha, and After Effects. Mary takes a pre-recorded shot of a man running and then adds realistic rain to the shot through masking and tracking. You can use this same process and take it a step further by spraying your character with a small spray bottle. By adding this wet look to the character’s skin and clothing, it will help to sell the effect.

After Effects and Photoshop

Here’s another tutorial for creating a really nice rain effect in After Effects, except  instead of using Boris FX, Mustapha FERSAOUI is using Photoshop to establish his scene. Essentially, he takes a 2D scene and gives it dimensional depth through the addition of realistic rain.

There are a few other ways to incorporate rain in your footage. For instance, if you’ve never seen this video tutorial from Video Copilot on how to create a lightning strike, well, you should. Andrew Kramer shows us a really great way to use rain in a shot where it doesn’t have to be the focal point, but just an added element for the scene. Hopefully these tutorials will help you if you’re in a pinch and need to create some rain in your next project.

Want more content on generating effects in After Effects? Check out a few of these following articles:

What are your thoughts on creating digital rain? Were these tutorials helpful?  Let us know in the comments below.