Hi I am new to AE and I am wanting to create a brick wall with water flowing through the cracks.
This will happen over time. I would like to animate it so one crack happens and then another and over time the whole brick wall collapses. Can anyone direct me in the right direction on how to get this done. I have the brick wall photo ready to go.
Honestly - you are probably better off building a small-to-medium scale model,cracking that, having real water crash through it, shooting it, and then using AE to composite that into whatever scene you are envisioning. You could even shoot lots of different assets (or buy stock footage if you can find some that fits your needs) and comp it all together into a pretty good-looking shot.
You can do alot with AE, and maybe someone here can think of a way to accomplish what you want to do - but to have a realistic-looking wall with cracks, and then have water crash through it is going to be exceedingly difficult/impossible to pull off in After Effects as I believe you are thinking of it. I would look into some kind of combination of Maya or 3D Studio Max (to handle the wall) and RealFlow (to handle the fluid simulation).
If it can look very stylized, you could make some other things that would work (i.e. a more "animated" or "cartoon" looking style, not using true 3D objects or super-realistic physics, etc.) and have it be pretty cool.
But if you are looking for photorealism, I think you're going to either need to shoot it and composite it, or look toward a more robust 3D application working in conjunction with a fluid sim.
I think Simon is correct...the only way to get the realistic look that you want is to use a 3D app and a good simulation program. I have a few tutorial on my blog that you can take a look at that might give you some feel for what you can accomplish with these tools.