I needed a spiral galaxy that could interact with some other effects, so I thought I would try VideoCopilot's new plug-in, Element 3D.
I created a shape layer, drew a "star" shape, used the "twist" effect and to create the spiral shape. Precomposed that, and went into Element 3d and made that the "replicator shape" for a low-poly sphere particle. I settled on about 5,500 particles for the number of stars in the spiral, but I may do more. I had to reduce the size of the sphere particles in the scene setup in order to make them small enough (about 1% of size).
I used a sphere shape with sphere elements to create the starfield background.
I then added some additional colored fog and a VC Optical Flare, some camera movement and there you go.
I did this in less than 2 hours and it rendered very quickly... It looks a lot better in the original file, but even at lower resolution it shows that this tool is amazing!!!
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