We are always being asked to create some unique imagery for articles, blog posts, and advertisements—and a lot of times we try to tell a story with the image. This example uses the Shatter effect for a sports blog post. This basketball is from Adobe Stock. Thanks to the Stock Team for giving us written permission to include a watermarked version of this photo in the exercise files for you to use in this course.
- [Narrator] Now for this first graphic, we're gonna create an editorial graphic. And we're always being asked at our company to create unique imagery for articles and blog posts and advertisements, and a lot of times, we try to tell a story with the image. And in this example, we'll use the shatter effect for a sports blog post. So inside of After Effects to begin, let's start with a new blank project. So from After Effects, you can go File, New, choose New Project, you'll see Untitled Project up here in the title bar. Now let's go to the exercise files and inside of the Chapter one folder, inside of the folder 01 editorial graphic, let's come in here and grab the Basketball PNG and the sports record JPEG file.
And let's click and drag and drop those right into the project panel inside of After Effects. And so, now with our artwork imported and showing in the project panel, let's come up to the Composition menu, let's come down and choose New Composition. And in here, we can set the pixel dimensions of our composition. So this is going to be for a website, for a blog post. We're gonna use a 16:9 aspect ratio. So for the width, we're gonna come in here and set this to 1280. I'm going to unlock the aspect ratio and let's come down to the height and set this to 720 pixels.
You can leave the frame rate at whatever it's set to. For the pixel aspect ratio, let's make sure we're using Square Pixels. And then we'll come down and click OK. And now we can see our black rectangle which is the background of the composition in the composition panel. So I'll come in here and just change my zoom level up to Fit. Then I'll come over to the project panel. Let's start by grabbing the school_record.jpeg file. Let's drag and drop this and drop it right inside of the composition area. So this JPEG is a lot bigger than the composition.
So I'm gonna come over here and just move this into place about right here. Now I wanna scale this down a little bit. What I could do is zoom out in the composition window and grab the corners and scale it just like you would in another design tool. Or what we can do in After Effects is we can toggle open this little triangle here next to the layer. Toggle open transform. If I scroll down, I can find the scale property. And I can click and drag and scale this down this way as well. So I'll bring this down to about 93% and just move it over to the corner.
Now I'll scroll up here and just toggle this closed. Next, let's come over to the Effects and Presets panel and we're gonna come in here and look for the effect called shatter. So I'll start typing the word shatter, this will show up here under the simulation group. And to apply the effect, we're gonna click and drag and drop it right on top of the JPEG file. Now in some cases, when you apply an effect, you won't see the artwork show up and you won't actually see anything happen until your jog the timeline. Many of the effects we'll use in this course do not require that we move the timeline or change the rendering view but sometimes some effects will.
So as you're exploring around in After Effects, if you ever apply an effect and don't see any changes, take a look at the timeline panel and take a look at the effect controls panel. So in the effect controls, I can see here that the view for shatter is set to Wireframe plus Force. So I'm gonna click on this and simply change this to Rendered. So I'm basically saying I wanna see the rendered version or the rendered result of the shatter effect. Now I'm not seeing anything shattered so let's come down to the timeline panel, grab the playhead and I'm simply gonna just drag this out a couple of frames.
And notice that we now see the shattering effect. So the artwork is being mapped across that shattering effect and giving us the ability to sort of break apart that artwork and everything is in 3D and is casting shadows, it picks up light, we can rotate, we can do all kinds of cool stuff with this. So now that we've got this working a little bit, let's come back to the effect controls and let's come down here and change the shapes. So let's toggle up in shape, the default setting here is Bricks. I'm gonna come in here and just change this to something else, let's come in here and choose Puzzle.
And now all of these items will now become puzzle pieces if you continue to drag the timeline out, this will go further and further into the shattering effect. I'm gonna come in here and change the scale of the timeline. Gonna drag this over here to the right to make it so that as we drag the time, the increments are much smaller so we can go one frame at a time. Let's come up here to repetitions back in the effect controls. Right now, the default is set to 10. If you hold your cursor over the top of the letters, you'll see a little right and left arrow over the pointer.
If you click and drag, these are scrubby sliders so you can scrub these. So as I add more repetitions, we can see more puzzle pieces along the X and Y axis. So that's very cool. So I'm gonna bring this back to about 21, somewhere in this range here. Let's come up to the puzzle setting, let's come down and change this to glass. Next, let's come down here and toggle open the force area. So let's come down and let's change the position.
I can change the position by coming over and scrubbing over the X and Y properties. So this is the Y property. I can also change the X property which goes side to side or you can come over here to the composition and you can click on this center point and drag this around. So what we're gonna do is create a graphic where we have a basketball looking like it's breaking through the words School Record. So with this center point down here, let's come back over here to the force. Let's come down and play with the radius. If I increase the radius, it increases the area that is breaking, the JPEG file.
If I decrease this, you'll see it gets smaller and smaller all the way down to a more controlled area. We can also change the strength. If I increase the strength, this will push away those pieces much faster. And again, all of these are hooked to the timeline so I can come back here and move the timeline as well. So I'll leave these settings right here. Let's come down to the physics. Let's pop this open. Now inside of physics, we can control even more options. Let's come over here to rotation speed for example, click and drag and I can rotate all of these pieces around.
We can also change the viscosity which is how sort of sticky the pieces are to each other as they're being blasted apart. We can change the gravity, we can change the mask variance or approximately how heavy they are. So that along with viscosity will give us some different results. And one of the things that I'll say a lot during the course is you've gotta really play with all of these settings. Even if you don't know what they do, it's really easy to come in here and just hover over a number, click and drag and just change all of the settings. And just move these around until you get an effect that you like.
So I'll scroll up to the top here, I'm gonna play with a few more settings. For direction, you can pick this and change the direction of the force that's coming out. We can also change the extrude depth. And this controls how thick the JEPG file appears to be before it gets broken. So now with my broken pieces over on the right, let's go back over to the project panel, let's grab the basketball PNG file. Let's drag and drop this over here to the right-hand side so it sort of covers up the shattered area. Then down in the timeline panel, let's grab the basketball layer and let's drag it underneath the school record JPEG file.
Now a shortcut to get to the scale tool is with the layer selected, I'll press the S key on the keyboard, that will automatically bring up scale. And I can scrub this down a little bit just to make this a little more obvious, so we can see this through the cracks. And then, of course, I can go back to the JPEG file, go back to repetitions, for example, I can add more pieces, or I could continue to change other settings until I get the look that I'm after. And then the last thing we'll take a look at here before you go and explore on your own, is if we come down to the camera settings, let's toggle this open.
Inside of the camera settings, you'll be able to see that this truly is a 3D effect as well. So if I come in here to the camera rotation, come over here to the Y rotation, change the degrees, we can actually move this around in 3D space, which is just totally amazing. And then we can do the same thing for the X and Z axis as well. So I can sort of move this around a little bit until I get exactly the effect that I'm after. And then once you have an effect that you like to get this back out to Photoshop to do some further editing or import it into any number of other applications, you can come up to the Composition window, come down to Save Frame As, and choose Photoshop Layers.
And we talked about this earlier in the introduction videos. Now of course, you can continue to play with various settings to create all kinds of interesting effects. For this particular project, I saved my file out as a Photoshop composition, then I painted in a few shadows over the top of the basketball. And then I saved this out from Photoshop as a JPEG file for use in a web article.
- Adding dramatic lighting
- Color keying photos
- Animating a page curl
- Creating patterns and textures
- Generating artwork from blank layers
- Adding rain and lightning to illustrations
- Creating water and bubbles