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Video Tutorial: Creating a Lava Lamp Effect

Mikey Borup

Create a groovy lava lamp animation in After Effects.

In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial, you’ll discover how to create a lava lamp effect in Adobe After Effects. The tutorial covers intermediate level techniques including:

  • Using fast blur and levels to create a “morphing” effect
  • Understanding the motion sketch tool
  • Simulating metal using the “light sweep” effect.
Prefer reading to watching? Check out the full step-by-step tutorial below.

Can you think of any other situation in which using the fast blur and levels slider can be helpful? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

Lava Lamp Animation in After Effects

1 Create a new composition.
2 Create a lava lamp outline on one shape layer. Add a light sweep effect and adjust to add shimmer to the base.
3 3. Create a new white solid and a black circle shape layer.
4 Use the motion sketch tool to apply a custom tracked “wave” effect to the black circle.
5 Repeat 4 times and precompose.
6 Add a fast blur and levels effect. Condense the level sliders to make the layers morph.
7 Create a mask around the lava layer.
8 Animate the offset from 100 to – 100 over the course of 10 seconds.