Tutorial author Ran Ben Avraham shows how to create an atom simulation in After Effects – well, more like a scene showing how to put together atom like structures in Ae, as nothing actually is simulated.
In this tutorial we’ll create an atom simulation using Particular, CC Sphere, a few layers along with some tricks and smoke screens
The interesting part is when Ran Ben covers how the particle animation is put together using Trapcode Particular for the particle work, along side CC Sphere. It always amazes me how much simpler this type of work would be if Ae had a unified 3D environment and API for it where plugins would be able to respect and talk to each other better.
Be that as it may, this is a pretty good and practical look at how to use 3D elements along side 2D elements and have the 2D elements behave somewhat like 3D using some governing expressions. Check out the tutorial for Creating an Atom simulation in After Effects here.