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Letter's ripping apart

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Scott O'HaraLetter's ripping apart
by on Sep 26, 2012 at 6:19:25 am

Hey all,

So I'm trying to make an effect where my title is situated in a desert and a strong wind rips the surface of it away, until its gone.

Any ideas where I would start, or is this something that a 3d program would have to handle.


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Vishesh AroraRe: Letter's ripping apart
by on Sep 26, 2012 at 6:54:46 am

MR. O'Hara

You can use Red Giant's Trapcode Form Plugin for creating this effect.

Here is a tutorial which may help:

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist


Demo Reel(3D):

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Letter's ripping apart
by on Sep 26, 2012 at 7:18:08 am

I would try to combine a particle system with 3d distortion using FreeForm Pro. Use 3d distortion and some displacement to animate the front for each letter being ripped apart using FreeForm Pro. Use particles to animate the texture and displacement map to simulate the front disintegrating into bits (like in the tutorial from the previous answer).

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Scott O'HaraRe: Letter's ripping apart
by on Oct 2, 2012 at 8:00:15 am

Thanks Ted I'm going to give this a shot as well.

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Kevin CampRe: Letter's ripping apart
by on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:04:25 pm

i've used shatter to do similar erosion-like effects.

to quickly see if it might work for what you have in mind, first create a shatter gradient. create a new comp name it 'gradient', add a solid and add fractal noise.

bring that gradient comp into a new comp and hide it, add your title (or just create some type) and add the shatter effect to it.

for the shatter shape pattern choose glass and increase the repetitions to get shards that seem like they are about the right size.

under the gradient settings, choose the gradient comp as the gradient layer and key frame the shatter threshold from 0 to 100.

in the physics settings set the gravity direction to be the direction that you want the wind to be moving.

set the view to rendered and then do a quick ram preview to see if this technique could work for you.

you can refine the particle shape with a custom shatter map, and you can refine how the particles break apart by modifying the gradient layer. adding a wiggle expression to the gravity direction could make it seem more wind like.

you can find a good tutorial here at the cow for custom shatter maps and i can give you the basic process i use if this is a direction that will work for you.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Scott O'HaraRe: Letter's ripping apart
by on Oct 2, 2012 at 7:37:50 am

Hey Kevin

Thanks for the info. Ideally I'd like to really see the peeling back and ripping off of the text's "skin", but I'm believing this to be more and more a 3D software project than an after effects one.. at least how I'm envisioning it with the detail. That being said I'd still like to try and make this as close as possible using AE. So I followed the steps you pointed out and I like where it's heading. The issue I'm facing is now getting a more randomized ripping of the letters. So if I'm using the word "Guardians", I'd like to have parts of the "S" go and the "G", and have it slowly build up as the wind gets more powerful.

I'd also like to have the parts that rip off less chunky feeling, and more like paper, like the wisp away in the wind once there ripped off.

It may be that I'm getting tired right now but I know there's a way to have that happen, just not sure how. If you already explained this I apologize.. need some sleep. haha


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