Doctor Who Time Vortex – After Effects Tutorial

Need a time vortex for your Doctor Who fan series? In this After Effects tutorial, we cover some simple methods for creating your own using Redgiant’s Trapcode Particular. Example of what the finished product looks like:

The TARDIS featured at the very beginning of the video is made by ManservantPablo. Be sure to check out his exceptional work! Link to the original resource:

UPDATE 26/10/2013 ————————————————————————

Sorry for not being able to address the camera expression issues sooner. Essentially, the problem was with the code provided in the video description. The code featured in the video itself was correct, but when adding it on Youtube for some reason it added a dash. I am really confused as to why this happened, but it explains why 50% of the people got errors while for the rest there were no problems; people getting errors were copy/pasting the code. As I mention in this very video, please check for syntax errors. Even I didn’t catch it until now. They are tricky buggers.

Downloadable template:

*You can use this under the condition that you modify the files. I’m asking you this because too many people copy tutorials word for word or make slight tweaks like subtle color changes and then upload them – Just ask Andrew Kramer if you want to know what I mean. That’s why the template gives you the bare minimum. I want you to experiment and go crazy!


This is an updated tutorial based on Thomas James Thornton’s work. Be sure to watch his original video, as I’m basically taking what he’s done and making it pretty and more compact:

The reason why this video was made was because the original was in a very low quality and there were several sound issues. For the most part, you can make due with one of the two to decode what to do, but those moments without sound or any clear visuals are frustrating. Furthermore, people didn’t have many alternatives to turn to, and TJT’s been too busy lately to release a new version. Hopefully he’ll forgive me.

——————————::Frequently Asked Questions::——————————

If you have any questions, write them in the comments and I’ll answer them here.


Q: The camera expressions aren’t working. I keep getting errors. What should I do?

A: Check to make sure that what you’ve written is correct. Syntax is incredibly important. If one of the expressions works and the other doesn’t this is a definitive sign that something was entered incorrectly as both expressions are the same with different values.

Point of Interest:
temp = thisComp.layer(“Null 1”).transform.position.valueAtTime(time-1.5); [temp[0],temp[1],-1750]

If the above script doesn’t work, try adding a space before the “-1750” value. This worked for user Kieran Counsell:
temp = thisComp.layer(“Null 1”).transform.position.valueAtTime(time-1.5); [temp[0],temp[1], -1750]

temp = thisComp.layer(“Null 1”).transform.position.valueAtTime(time-2); [temp[0],temp[1],-2500]

Q: I entered the expressions correctly but I’m still getting errors.

A: Make sure your objects are labelled correctly. If your null is named “Null 2”, then obviously there will be an error because the program is looking for “Null 1”. I encountered this problem during the tutorial as I was testing the steps before recording. It can happen. Cut once, measure twice.

Duration: 00:11:57

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