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An Explosion To Remember

Using After Effects plug-ins to create an explosion
In Photoshop use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the region that the Shatter effect will be applied to. It is very easy to create a matte area for this shot because the windows and walls have natural straight lines in them. Copy and Paste that selection into another Photoshop layer.





Now, because Shatter wants to be applied to an entire frame, let’s distort this little window and force the perspective to be head on. Use Edit/Transform/Distort to stretch the window to fit the image area.

Image after distortion


While still in Photoshop, you should also paint an interior room that fits behind the cropped area. This way there is a simulation of a room behind the exploded wall.

Save this image as window.psd and import the file into After Effects. When given the option to select the layer to import, make sure you import the layer that has distorted window.

Drag and drop the window to the timeline above the original video layer. To this layer apply the Shatter effect.

I won’t go into all what all of the settings for Shatter do, instead I would recommend that you check out Brian Maffitt’s "What’s New in Adobe After Effects 5.5", where he spends over an hour discussing all the ins and outs of the plug-in.

Here are the settings I used for this effect:

Pattern: Glass
Repetitions: 40
Extrusion Depth: .20
Force 1
Depth: .1
Radius: .2
Strength: 5
Force 2
Depth: .1
Radius: .35
Strength: 5
Physics
Rotation Speed: .2
Randomness: .1
Viscosity: .1
Mass Variance: 30%
Gravity: 3.0
Gravity Direction: 180 degrees

The Radius settings are keyframed to ramp up from 0 to the maximum. Set those to taste. When all the settings have been entered, turn on Corner Pins in the Shatter interface and align the effect layer with the original window. If you scroll through the timeline, you will see the window explode but the debris looks really distorted. To fix this, adjust the focal length of the virtual camera to more closely match the focal length of the real camera. For this project, the focal length is around 38mm.

This makes everything look a bit more natural.


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Related Keywords:adobe, adobe after effects, explosion, artbeats, stock footage, animation, compositing, fireball, stephen schleicher

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  • An Explosion To Remember by DMN Editorial at Aug. 03, 2004 11:02 pm gmt (Rec'd 2)

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