Fractal noise is one of the most versatile effects and the possibilities of creating various textures with it are practically endless. It is great for generating clouds, water, marble, fabric, woodgrain and much more. A while back I created a galaxy scene in Photoshop, using a combination of layers and various fractal noise settings. I also added some color gradients and played around with the layers’ blending modes (like color dodge and screen) and voila! I had my own outer space to get lost in.
However, I knew that eventually I’d want to create the same effect in After Effects. Why not? It’s the same design principle and given that they are both Adobe programs I felt that I wouldn’t get ‘lost in software translation’. I think I was watching Star Trek XI when I finally had the urge to sit down and started building my film galaxy in After Effects. I did run into some minor problems (like when i wanted static noise for star dust but the noise effect in AE was moving like TV noise) but I got everything under control at the end. Click on the image below to see the result.