Adobe After Effects: How to Make Star Wars Force Lightning (for your non-journalistic projects)

Ok, so I’ll admit that this isn’t the most journalistic post I’ve ever had on the site. It’s probably the least journalistic actually. However, it’s summer. And class should be a little fun sometimes, right?

(Also, Star Wars might have a little to do with this, but who’s keeping track.)

One day you may want to use Force lightning for a PSA or some sort of commercial project. Maybe you just want to take a few days in class to let people explore After Effects and allow them to do something they don’t normally get to most days. I’ve always found something like this to be a good break in the routine and a good reset/recharge time for all.

There are lots of videos out there on how to do this. I just think this is a nice compact one that does a good job of explaining and showing how to do it without getting too far in the weeds.


(And please remember to avoid using this in an actual journalism-focused video. That would be a no-no.)

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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