This is an exciting time to be alive. Technological innovations are nearly outpacing our imagination in terms of what is possible and what is science fiction.

Nowhere is this more true than in pop culture — specifically at the box office — where the most fantastical elements of superhero and big-budget franchise films like Star Wars, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy are finding new ways to explore how future technologies will shock, awe, and benefit us.

If you’re looking to capture imaginations, check out these surprisingly simple and effective tutorials to create your own science fiction-like HUDs and other tech visuals in After Effects.

The Iron Man HUD

Few superhero films have enjoyed the across-the-board success of Jon Favreau’s 2008 Iron Man. The film was largely responsible for igniting Marvel’s run of Avengers films with their trademark flair for flashy visual effects and everyone’s favorite helmet HUD displays — which you can create on your own with the tutorial above!

Futuristic HUD eye effect

In this tutorial by DigitalAE, we learn how to create a futuristic electronic eye HUD in After Effects. The sci-fi look is actually quite simple (more laborious on the composition mapping than anything) and can be the perfect way to turn your best friend into a human-looking android on your next project.

Star Wars-inspired holograms

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed that Star Wars is back — big time. One of the favorite sci-fi staples of the franchise is the interactive holograms used for everything from delivering dire messages to showing detailed Deathstar plans. Follow this tutorial from to learn how to create a custom hologram of your own.

Particle Earth HUD

If you’re looking to seriously up your After Effects game, check out a tutorial like the one above on how to use the Stardust plugin to harness the awesome power of particle control. This plugin allows you to create much finer, pinpoint particle effects that lend themselves well to high-end HUD effects.

Spider-Man-inspired HUD

Perhaps an unlikely newcomer to the HUD universe is the recent reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, wherein Spider-Man gets a Iron Man-funded kick to his costume. In this tutorial by RocketStock, you not only get an in-depth tutorial to harness the HUD powers on your own, you also get 12 FREE HUD elements and project assets to create your own unique effects.

Top image by mikser45