Energy Beams
Pull a random picture off the internet and fiddle around with 3D models in After Effects. I built a piston out of several different 3D models and used this group as a particle which was simply put in a ring array and rotated until it fit. The beam is another particle and just a cylinder with a glowing texture. I used glow and distance fog to achieve the look as well as some adjustments in color, sharpness and noise. 
For the glow on the fog I used an adjustment layer with some masks and a big turbulent noise effector.

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