I am trying to figure out how to create the effect of going into warp from the Star Trek tv shows like The Next Generation and so forth - the one where the ship stretches forward, blurs a bit and then disappears in a flash of light. I've been trying to find out if some guide exists online on how to do it, but haven't been able to find anything useful, so I was curious if there's anybody more experienced with After Effects who could push me in the right direction.

I have a ship moving from the lower right corner of the screen to the upper left.

You can see an example of what I would like to accomplish on a video here: example. It is the white flash at the end of the video.

  • 1
    can you post a link for the non-Trekkies so we can see how the effect should look?
    – stib
    Aug 26, 2019 at 1:37
  • I have edited the question to include an example.
    – Ondrej
    Aug 27, 2019 at 5:54

3 Answers 3


All that looks like to me is a simple lense-flare that got its opacity and scaling keyframed. Startrek used very cheap methods for vfx due to the limited budget, so I believe that you can find assets such as these online quite easily.


I would simply add a small circular shape layer with feathered edges, possibly with the size and shape of the path animated. Then I would add a vertical directional blur with animation on the size of the blur, then duplicate of the layer with a horizontal only blur and more with angled blurs until you get the right "star" effect. Depending on the effect you want you might need each blur on a separate layer, or you can stack the effects on a single layer. You might need to precomp them all and add curves or levels to adjust the brightness and colour of the whole thing.

Or if you want a one-stop-shop Red Giant's StarGlow does this very well (it's a paid plugin).


I took a look at Red Giant's StarGlow, as suggested by stib and it does look good. However, after some consideration, I decided to avoid buying another plugin and went for the quick and dirty solution - I reused the effect from a video I found online and since it was on black background, I had no trouble compositing it into my scene without problems, simply using the Add blending mode.

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