Doctor Who REGENERATION EFFECT tutorial | After Effects, no plugins



Here’s another fun trick video effect – how to do the ‘Doctor Who’ regeneration effect! Our fan-made version was made in Adobe After Effects using no plugins.

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In the long-running British science fiction TV series Doctor Who, regeneration is a power used by the Time Lords, including main character the The Doctor, to change appearance and personality, and is a brilliantly convenient excuse to recast the actor in the role whenever the show needs to. If only James Bond could do the same!

The style of effect has changed many times during the 50+ years of the BBC series (in the black and white 60s days it was often just a dodgy cross-fade to the next actor) so it is a little different every time. We based ours on the ‘modern’ era of Doctor Who which started in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston and made the effect much more dramatic. Specifically we were going for a combination of Tenth Doctor David Tennant transforming into Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith (“I don’t want to go!”), and Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi transforming into Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker (“Oh, brilliant!”)

While most of the DIY Hollywood effects we try are done in a single take, we decided to shoot this one as a series of shots, almost like a short film, because that is how it is normally done in the show. So we shot this in our home studio with a green screen, and we recreated the ‘TARDIS’ using the technique seen in our previous after effects tutorial video ‘How to add yourself into movies’, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK0ysV2Bfv4

For the transformation itself we shot both actors in the same position trying to replicate the same angle of head tilt, and blended them together using some distortion from the mesh warp tool, and covered the join with a particle effect done using Particle World and some smoke and lens flare elements. This effect also uses a similar technique to our ‘Mission Impossible Mask Effect’ which you can learn about here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZiyclnQZ74&t=204s

For other shots to set up the transformation we used techniques such as fractal noise, turbulent displace to create a kind of ‘heat wave’ effect, and CC light rays.

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See our other tutorial videos here:
Mission Impossible mask effect tutorial: https://youtu.be/AYHgvc7NF-A
Superhero landing effect tutorial: https://youtu.be/aKyXZDDuA7I
Missing face skull effect tutorial: https://youtu.be/MdWXWdBUJRc
Window smash one-take effect tutorial: https://youtu.be/L30fDSDTBeQ
Train jump effect tutorial: https://youtu.be/ozWp6R-hiu4
My FAST Premiere workflow tutorial: https://youtu.be/qVHF0tBRuWQ
How to make a great movie mashup tutorial: https://youtu.be/7Yj7P3Hh3Zg
Clone effect with DIY motion control tutorial: https://youtu.be/xyeNzU3Smoc
Fake a couple sunset shot when raining tutorial: https://youtu.be/rFbPUe2Y4jg
How to erase a wedding photographer tutorial: https://youtu.be/vW1Vx5DLkXg
Add yourself to historical footage tutorial: https://youtu.be/fB0aWwmQ1VM
How to film real explosions using miniatures tutorial: https://youtu.be/dt150wkDJX8
Drone to Gimbal window transition tutorial: https://youtu.be/RzELe8clhlI
Build custom zoom transitions tutorial: https://youtu.be/frU0CNDmW5o
Original Mission Impossible mask effect tutorial (2015): https://youtu.be/MEvljH1MZDA
How to create DIGITAL MATTE PAINTINGS in your films: https://youtu.be/3Tu5njzwW4k
How to add yourself to movies (actor replacement like once upon a time in Hollywood): https://youtu.be/HK0ysV2Bfv4

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Duration: 00:12:13

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