Learn how to explode text and logos with CC Pixel Polly and Shatter effects, and control the timing of the simulation.
- [Eran] Hey, everyone, Eran Stern here with another After Effects Weekly Tip. And in this video, I'll try to answer one for the most popular requests from client, can you please destroy, explode, or shatter the text/logo/title? So, as a form of example, I've created this short teaser for the Champions League Finals. And we can see that, indeed, almost everything on-screen gets its own synthetic explosion and shattering effect.
Here, I'm using only two effects that control all of the destruction, the CC Pixel Polly and the good old Shatter effect. So let's see how to create these explosions from scratch. So, I'm going to switch comps to this one, which holds the same elements, although nothing is exploding yet. And I just want to run you through some of the preparation I've already made. So obviously, we have the logos and the title.
I'm going to turn the visibility off for a moment. For now, I'm just going to concentrate on the kicker, as well as two instances of the ball. So, this guy was separated using the Keylight effect. I'm just going to solo, since he was shot against a blue background, it was quite easy to create this separation. I've also removed the ball from this video and duplicated another copy, and then used exactly the opposite, meaning that here, I'm only exposing what's visible inside the mask that I've created.
Now, the reason that I've split this layer to another version, which I've named the Ball Number Two, actually After Effects did it for me, so because I want to start the first explosion when this player kicks the ball over here. So I'm going to apply the CC Pixel Polly effect, which you can find under the Simulation category, so I'm going to scroll down, and here, this is the effect, I'm going to double-click in order to apply it after the Keylight effect. Now, the CC Pixel Polly effect is a simple simulation effect that breaks a layer into polygons in a very realistic way and create the flying pieces that look like they are moving in 3D space.
It is very easy to use and has one major flaw, which is that it doesn't support motion blur. But I'll show you a workaround for that in a moment. For now, let's just hit the Spacebar and see what happened. And as we can see, nothing really happens on-screen, and this is because the last settings of this effect, which are Start Time. So the first thing that we need to make sure to set before we'll begin the simulation is when it's going to start, in my case, at three seconds.
So I'm just going to type in 3.0, and I'm also going to hide the mask and shape path visibility, just so we can get a sense of how it looks. So we can see that if I'm going to press Spacebar, indeed, the simulation starts on time, let's just roll back a few frames and then play. But it doesn't really work as I want it to be because, of course, the fault polygons are quite big. They are using this grid spacing, and usually, you want to decrease to a lower value.
I'm going to go with eight in this case, and I'm also going to change other settings, such as the Force and the Gravity. So obviously, the force is how strong the explosion will be. I'm going to set it to 50, the Gravity is, of course, Gravity, and in this case, I don't need any. So I'm just going to set it to zero. Now, I'm also going to go to the beginning here, and I'm going to set the Force Center, which is going to set the coordinate from where the explosion will take place.
So I'm going to click on this target, and then I'm going to move it on top of the foot of this player. Then, I'm also going to change the Direction Randomness, as well as the Speed Randomness. This is going to help us to spread out all of the pieces from the explosion so it will look like it is actually flying in 3D space. All right, that's it, let's go to the beginning, and press Spacebar in order to preview what we've created so far. And it is very promising, you can see how nice this explosion is looking.
And it's also taking the direction of the layer itself, so it keeps on moving to the left due to the fact that we have something moving in our scene. Now, as I told you, this effect doesn't support motion blur. So if I'm going to enable it over here, as well as in the Master Comp switch, nothing is going to happen on-screen. Instead, what we need to do is switch off those motion blur settings, and I'm going to scroll down to the Time category and apply the CC Force Motion Blur effect.
This is a unique effect that was designed to work with synthetic effects such as Pixel Polly effect, as well as Shatter, by the way, which we are going to use in a moment. But for now, I'm just going to drag and drop it, and I'm not going to even change the settings, I think it looks quite nice. Let's just zoom in so you can see the motion blur, this is without, of course, and this is with. All right, now, I want to create some sort of a secondary blast, maybe with more pieces. So I'm just going to select the same layer and duplicate it by pressing Command D here on the Mac, Control D on the PC, and I'm going to change a few settings for the Pixel Polly effect.
I'm going to change the grid spacing to even a small number, so let's go with three. This will create even tinier pieces, and I'm also going to give them a bit more force, so let's go with 80. So this way, they will fly out more quickly. Also, I think it makes sense. So once again, from the top, I'm going to press Spacebar and see the result. And obviously, it will be a little bit more slower to render due to the fact that we are adding this fake or synthetic motion blur on top of the explosion.
But I think it's worth the wait because the results looks very promising. And now, we can actually take those two effects, the CC Pixel Polly as well, as the CC Force Motion layer, and apply them to the logo, and just change a few of the settings. So let's just grab this copy as well as this copy by holding down Shift, copy them to memory, and then, I'm going to scroll down, activate the logos layer, and I just want to verify that I know where it starts.
So in this case, it's right in the middle between three seconds to four seconds, so three, 12 in my case. All right, this is something to bear in mind. Now, I'm going to select the logos precomp, which holds all the three logos that you are seeing over here, and I'm going to paste the same effects. So, the first thing that I need to take care is the Start Time. Since this is pronounced in seconds, and I'm basically in between three and four, and I'm going to write 3.5, which is 3 1/2 seconds.
So this should start the explosion when the foot is just touching those logos. Now, if you want, you can of course, change other settings as well, but I'm going to leave it like this. And last, but not least, I want to also explode the text over here. So in this case, I'm actually going to rely on another effect. I'm going to scroll down this list until I see the Shatter effect. Once again, this is part of the simulation effects here inside After Effects.
So, once the Shatter effect is selected, I'm going double-click in order to apply it to the text. And first, I'm going to change the View to Rendered, so I can see what happens on-screen. And nothing is actually happening. And this is, once again, because this effect, as with other simulations effect, starts its process from the beginning of time, so from the beginning of the composition. If I'm going to go over here, we can see that, indeed, we have an explosion of characters.
So first, let's deal with the shape, the design, and then, we'll time it so it will start at the correct point. I'm going to change the pattern over here under the Shape from Bricks to Glass, I guess. And I'm also going to allow more repetitions, which means that I will get more pieces. Let's go with 30. This is a nice explosion, and also, as a bonus, you can see that the Shatter effect has added an extrusion for the letters, so this text is now becoming 3D text.
But for what I'm doing, it doesn't really matter. I'm just going to leave the default settings. I will, however, open up the Textures over here, and I'm going to sample a blue tint from the sky, and then, I'm going to change the side mode instead of layer to a tinted layer, and this will take the color what I've just sampled so we can actually see this extrusion on-screen. If we are using it, we might as well see it on-screen. All right, so now, it's time to time the animation.
Now, in my case, I think that, let's just turn off the effect so we can see it. His foot is probably reaching the text at around four seconds and 10 frames. All right, now that we know this, we can drill the shape up and open up Force Number One and play with the Force settings. And this is the way to animate Shatter and tell it when to begin. So, I'm going to set the radius over here to zero at this stage, and also create a keyframe.
And then, I'm going to move forward to, let's say, five oh five, so five seconds and five frames, and I'm just going to play with this value until everything is basically being broken, so 0.4, I guess. And then, I may want to reduce the strength of the explosion. Let's set it with two, in this case, and I'm going to take my cursor a few seconds back and press Spacebar just to verify that, in terms of timing, we have everything that we need.
So he's reaching those texts, those letters, and then, they are shattering. There are a couple of other things that you can set. For example, you can change the origin of the shape, which means that you can control where this explosion will take place from. So, in this case, I can click on this origin, and maybe place it between the G and the U, and the same thing is true for the force position, so you can move it as well.
But I think that it is, actually, in the right spot. Let's just try to move it over here and see what happens. Once again, I'm going to preview the result. All right, so let's go to the beginning, and I'm going to enable a few layers that I have in this comp, the Vignette layer, which is going to darken the corners, I'm using the CC Vignette effect. I also have the Snow layer, this is just a white solid with the CC Snowfall effect, and this is also part of the simulation effect, here it is, CC Snowfall.
So you can create very simple and fast simulations of snow. You'll the same thing for rain, if you need it. I'm also going to enable the audio, and I'm going to take my composition to full screen. Go to the beginning and press Spacebar in order to preview the final result. (rock music) (ball and logos explode) (text chatters) (rock music) so, this is two ways to explode and shatter elements inside After Effects, the CC Pixel Polly and the Shatter effects.
Two veteran tools in the application that are still very useful even today.