After a long build-up on social media, Video Copilot finally made their big announcement: “Orb,” a planet-generating plug-in for After Effects.

Andrew Kramer and all of the VFX wizards down at Video Copilot have been cooking up something special. What started as a tutorial for the CC Sphere effect in After Effects has now transformed into its very own separate plug-in for creating detailed spheres. Take a look at the trailer:

This plug-in has some amazing features that are going to help you generate your own planets. Here’s what we know about it so far:

  • Physically Based Shader  — This means that the light will react as it would with actual physics. The light, shade, and shadow are based on reflections, rather than ray-tracing.
  • Atmosphere Design — You can manipulate the atmosphere and add clouds, storms, etc.
  • Advanced Bump Maps — Gives you the ability to add texture to your sphere.
  • GPU Accelerated — The plug-in uses the Graphics Processing Unit to render its effects, which can be very useful if you have a powerful graphics card.
  • 100% FREE!

Just check out some of the cool work they’ve done so far with this plug in:

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Ice Orb! #newthing

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Three Orbs. #videocopilot #orbPlugin #space

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We’re not quite sure about the finer details of the plug-in just yet, but with a release set for next week (Sept. 17th), we’ll be sure to be among the first to check it out.

(While you’re here, grab some free Nebula effects to really round out your universe.)

Royalty free music used in Nebula trailer comes from Premiumbeat.

So keep an eye out for a release announcement from Video Copilot.

Cover image via Video Copilot.