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Scatter Effect in AE

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Sean PlattScatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 6:31:09 pm

Hi all. I need to scatter balls that begin at the exact center of a 1920 x 1080 window (all of them stacked up on each other) and end up at randomly placed spots around the stage within the window. The balls have to begin their movement and end their movement at the same time. They just have to move at the same speed (have a similar curve in the speed graph). Can anyone give me guidance, if you had to do this, what effect would you turn to? I don't use simulations much in AE. Or are expressions the only way to do this? Thanks so much for your help.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:04:01 pm

I wouldn't use an effect. I wouldn't use an expression. I wouldn't use a script. I'd use a 3D application.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Sean PlattRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 10:44:07 pm

Thanks Dave. I haven't worked in 3D applications so may need to look for other options.


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Walter SoykaRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:11:32 pm

How many balls are we talking about? This could be pretty quick to animate by hand just changing the position.

Really random? Or do you want to be able to art-direct where they land? Can they cross/intersect each other as they move?

If they all start/end at the same time, and they all move at the same speed, they will all move the same distance. Is that what you want?

You mention simulation. Do you expect them to have some kind of dynamics, reacting physically to each other and to a floor?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Sean PlattRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 7:34:01 pm

Hi Walter. Sorry I wasn't clear- these are good questions. There is quite a large amount of balls. pretty close to 200 layers with one ball per layer. I would say pretty random on where they land. Clusters are fine. There should not be much intersecting going on other than right at the beginning as they are moving outward from the center. On the last frame. The balls should be really spread out across the 1920 x 1080 window and show more clusters in some spots. So to that, they wouldn't all travel the same distance- some of them end closer to the center than others. But they will start/stop at the the same time. And they won't need to have any kind of dynamics applied where they react to one another. The only thing is there will be a camera movement applied to the comp, panning out as they balls are moving out from the center to their ending spot.


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Walter SoykaRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 8:04:00 pm

Maybe this old post of mine will help you?
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1050784#1050793

Honestly, sometimes it's easiest just to roll up your sleeves and do this by hand. You can set up an expression system like the one I show in the project linked above, but being based on randomness, they are impossible to specifically art-direct.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Sean PlattRe: Scatter Effect in AE
by on Feb 16, 2016 at 10:42:02 pm

Thanks Walter. I think I might need to do this by hand like you said. The expression you referred to almost does it, but need to control placement a little more. Thanks again.


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