Rocket propulsion has always been as fascinating to watch as it is fun to create. With NASA stepping up its rocket (and video) technologies of late, here are a few fiery tutorials and rocket GIFs to fan your creative VFX flames.

Cover image via

NASA recently released test footage of a new rocket booster that they are developing called the Orbital ATK QM-2. To drum up hype for their waning space program, I assume, NASA posted footage of the booster on YouTube.

Besides the rocket itself, the footage is notable as it also details a first look at a new high-speed, high dynamic range camera — the High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) – that records multiple exposures at once to blend together a full-range image into video. The footage is epic, to say the least.


HiDyRS-X Before and After via NASA

While we often see rockets and explosion VFX in popular blockbuster movies and TV, it’s rare that we get a glimpse at the real thing. VFX teams work diligently to study the physics behind explosions and rocket propulsion to accurately reflect them in film, but they are known to add their own embellishments. If you’re looking to create your own, here are a few tutorials to check out.

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In honor of NASA’s momentous achievement, here are 12 of the most awesome and inspiring real-life rocket clips on the Internet. (Click on the titles to go watch the whole videos!) Enjoy and go create!

Iron Man

NASA’s new High Dynamic Range Camera Records Rocket Test