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Creation Effects: Flocks

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Creation Effects: Flocks

Animate custom flocks of birds in After Effects with "Flocks"

Flocks lets users easily create realistic, 3D flocks of birds in Adobe After Effects. Animate birds individually, or combine them in unlimited numbers to form a 3D flock that automatically moves with realistic flocking behavior – you just tell them where to fly!

Choose from 12 species with pre-set flight behavior. The flight behavior and appearance of the flock is completely customizable using convenient controls. Whether your footage needs a single vulture in the background, or a murmuration with thousands of starlings – Flocks is the tool to get it done. Even After Effects novices can create high-quality, 3D bird animations for their videos!

Choose from 12 bird species with pre-programmed flight and flocking behavior.

creation effects flocks flight behavior

Flocks Features:

  • 12 Species – Includes 12 high-resolution 3D models: A bat, crow, bald eagle, Canadian goose, owl, macaw, pelican, pigeon, seagull, sparrow, starling, and vulture.
  • Pre-set Flight Behavior – Each species has pre-programmed flight behavior to mimic that particular species. Simply tell them where to fly!
  • Controlled Flight Path – Control where the flock flies in three dimensions simply by adding two or more position keyframes. Their custom random behavior adds realistic variation to their flight path.
  • Completely Customizable – Using convenient controls, you can customize the birds’ physical appearance, the wing flapping, and the flock’s flight behavior. Adjust how “synchronized” the flock is, and the amount of random behavior in individual birds.
  • Flocks Of Any Size – Animate a single bird, or add hundreds more, simply by duplicating birds.
  • Starling Murmurations – Create mesmerizing murmurations with tens of thousands of starlings, flying in sync with each other.
  • Works With 3D Lights & Cameras – The birds are created with 3D layers, allowing them to work with light and camera layers. Adjust the lighting to match the light angle and color of your background footage. Cast realistic shadows from the birds to help sell the effect. Adjust the camera position and angle to match your background footage for realistic compositing.
  • Add Your Own Species – Create new birds or other flying creatures by swapping out the images. (You will need a profile image, a bottom-view image, and a wing image, all with transparent backgrounds.)
  • Demo Animations Included – A separate project file for the Flocks demo video is included! If you are creating an animation similar to any in the demo video, this project will save you time.

creation effects flocks ui

Tell your bird (or flock of birds) where to fly in three dimensions with as few as two Position keyframes, then composite the flock with your footage.

creation effects big flock of birds


Need to Know:

This template is compatible with Adobe After Effects version CS5 and all later versions. Works on both PCs and Macs. No plugins required. Last Update: 01/28/2021.

The project file for the demo video is included, and is compatible with CC 2019 and up.​

​The birds in this template are composed of multiple 2D images arranged in three dimensions, which gives them the appearance of having mass, but they are not true 3D models.

​All birds have a wing span of 1600 pixels at 100% scale.

​This effect is not ideal for creating birds that are landing or taking off, since it can not create birds that are standing (with folded wings).

​All comps are HD, 1920×1080. You can change the comp size to 4K or any other resolution and the effect will work the same.

​Detailed instructions are found throughout the template, as well as in the video tutorial.

​Music and background footage in the main demo video are not included.

​This template has been “universalized”, so it will work in After Effects running in any language.

The Flocks template is not a plugin, so there is nothing to install. Rather, it’s an Adobe After Effects project file, commonly known as a “template” because most of the work is already done and the user needs only to make their own customizations. This template is compatible with version CS5 as well as all later versions of After Effects.

​All bird images in this template have been released to the public domain (Creative Commons CC0 license). All images were taken from, or Wikimedia Commons.

This template is compatible with Adobe After Effects version CS5 and all later versions. Works on both PCs and Macs.

The project file for the demo video is included, and is compatible with CC 2019 and up.​

creation effects flocks tutorial

Creation Effects: Flocks Tutorial #gettingstarted

Learn how to use the Creation Effects: Flocks template to create realistic, 3D flocks of birds in Adobe After Effects, including large flock murmuration.


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