• Compatibility After Effects
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: Superluminal

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Quick Overview

Introducing Volume Rendering! Create beautiful and captivating smoke effects from any particle system setup. Stardust is a modular 3D particle system for After Effects. It has an easy to use node-based user interface and ships with a ton of presets to create stunning effects quickly and easily. Stardust available for MacOS and Windows.

Stardust version 1.6 is available now. It is another Free update to all current customers.

Introducing a new and exciting feature - Volume Rendering: Create beautiful and captivating smoke effects from any particle system setup. Import VDB files from other 3D packages for stunning simulations to control and render with AE’s camera inside your composition for easy and seamless integration with your compositing workflow.

Stardust is an innovative Adobe After Effects plug-in for the creation of stunning particle and object-based motion graphics and effects. Its groundbreaking interface allows for combining 3D models, particles, effects, and more, all existing and interacting in one shared space, enabling unparalleled integration between powerful tools delivering creative expression never before possible in After Effects. Make your vision come to life using 3D physics, Replica animation engine, 3D Model Library, and hundreds of other features. Easily create complex effects using any of the hundreds of shipped presets, or build setups ground up using the modular workflow.


Foremost, Stardust will be able to use 3D models as particle instances, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities ... Most importantly, everything is in one shared space. This makes Stardust the ultimate tool for After Effects where 3D and 2D particles can work within the same space...
- Stardust review on
Volume Render


Create beautiful and captivating smoke effects from any particle system setup. Import VDB files from other 3D packages for stunning simulations to control and render with AE’s camera inside your composition for easy and seamless integration with your compositing workflow.


Integrating the world renowned openVDB technology seamlessly into Stardust, Volume objects can easily be created. Convert entire particle systems and models to volumes, and manipulate the result with various tools such as booleans, filters, noise and more.


3D volumetric lighting for atmospheric effects, vast rendering speed improvements for basic particle types, expanded render capabilities, compositing helpers such as Shadow Catcher materials and Shadow output, animation tools improvements, workflow helpers such as OBJ file importer and a host of other additions to the toolset.


Particles and Models can interact, collide and affect each other while being affected by forces, allowing for the creation of stunning animation with ease.

Render 3D Models

Take your particles to a whole new dimension. Render 3D models from OBJ Files, Primitives and Extruded shapes as particles, add some Image Based Lighting, Ambient Occlusion and you got super awesomeness.


Modular 3D particle system for After Effects.
Node based interface to easily build complex systems in a single 3D space.
Add or replace smart presets in one click.
Replica, a unique tool to replicate particles in many exciting ways.
Countless particle effects for both 3D and 2D looks.

Emitters, Particles, Replica, Forces, Auxiliary Emitters, 3D Models, Text & Mask and Maps with Physics Simulation.
Space deformers, Sphere, Box, 3d Models, Bend, Twist, Maps, Black Hole.
Splines, animatable as paths and emitters.
Containers to enclose and/or emit particles in a sphere, box or 3D model.


One Tool, in a single 3D space, all on one layer with endless possibilities. It is a full featured particle system with forces, fields, motion blur, DOF and much more.


A breakthrough, easy-to-use, node based interface. Start with a preset or create your own nodes. Many emitters, particles and forces can be added, and have them all work in a single 3D space on one layer. This makes it super easy to create simple or complex particle systems to achieve new and exciting results.


Rethink what a particle system can do! Create beautiful motion graphics by replicating particles in many ways. With Replica you can create unique  designs: organic, techy, the options are limitless.

Space Deformers

Spheres, boxes, 3d models, displacement maps and more can be used to push, pull, enclose, color and move particles around. Blackhole nodes can be used to attract particles over time.

Smart Presets

The easy-to-use smart preset browser allows you to load an entire setup, node or single parameter with a single click. There are loads of stunning presets to choose from. Presets can now be searched using any keyword or phrase as well as browsed. You can also replace your existing node tree with a preset in one click.

3D Models

Particles can be emitted along a 3D model’s vertices or from its volume.


With Stardust's unique and easy-to-use modular workflow grids can be used as a starting point for endless options and dazzling results.


Defined using After Effect's lights, create 3D lines or particle emitting 3D paths to create looks not easily achieved otherwise.

Text & Mask

Particles can be emitted from live text and masks, either from their volume or edges. Paths can then be trimmed, offset and controlled in many ways to create never seen before effects.

All in One Tool

Because of Stardust's ground-breaking node system, you don't need to use a second layer to achieve complex effects. You can add as many nodes and parameters as you need to a single instance on one layer.

Single 3D space

There are countless benefits to having everything in a single 3D space. Focus on creating!


(many more included, click on thumbnail to preview)


(many more tutorials are found under the VIDEOS tab)

System Requirements

After Effects CC2015 and later , GPU with OpenGL 3.3 and later is required to render 3D models. 1 GB of RAM, 100 MB of hard drive space. Minimum screen resolution 1920 x1200.



After Effects 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3