9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2016 2:42 AM by Roei Tzoref

    Animate JPG containing particles


      Hello people of After Effects land.


      A client of mine gave me a jpg that contains a logo. The logo is made from small particles that together form a shape of a light bulb.


      I wan't to make an animation of that bulb exploding and existing particles to shatter all around. Is there a normal amound of work way to make that possible in After Effects? Or is this possible only by hand, which in my case will take too much time.


      Thank you for all the answers! Have a great day!




        • 1. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

          Show as the logo please. you wrote JPG, will you get the logo as an Illustrator file? If so - there are ways to automate most of the process. more information will give you educated answers.

          • 2. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
            domend72939305 Level 1

            Hey Yooofi!


            Here is the picture. I could trace it in Illustrator, since the biggest resolutioni have is quite good.



            • 3. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
              Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

              I see.


              Tracing wouldn't do any good and it will damage the quality of the design.  you need the objects separated as they were designed initially.


              based on the image and the technical information you provided I am assuming that a lot will have to be done manually and with tricks to pull it off. if you don't have the elements as separate layers, you can't cut every one yourself as they are embedded in one another - you can cut in chunks (more about it further down the post). are you sure you can't ask from your client the design files? this is important. if not - at the very least get a file on transparent background so you won't have to create transparency yourself and damage the pixels - surely your client at least have that (still, insist to get a source file if you can)


              so if we are talking about pixels here, on Transparent background. I would cut the outside elements of the blub to a seprate layer (photoshop)


              if it has to be the exact copy of the logo you will have to work with the exact layers i.e cut each one of them one by one as chunks


              and once I have these 50 layers I will bring it to Ae as Composition-Retain Layer Size and animate the layers backwards to the initial spot (on the light bulb) and patch the light bulb so if fills up. then I would make an exact element of the "X" as a vector file (reconstruct yet again what should have been provided ) and use any particle effect that would simulate an explosion (CC Particle world, Particular)  based on a sprite/textured layer (meaning you get to call what the particle is) and with both of these happening at once and refining my key-framed animation to support the explosion until the final position - you can have a neat effect

              • 4. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                domend72939305 Level 1

                Wow dude! You are amaying. Thank you!


                Already contacting the client for a working file - hopefully they can provide me the vector one. I'll report when I have any new news.


                Thaks again. Your help means alot, since I am a very poor After Effects user.



                • 5. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                  Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                  glad to help - we all started as new users Good luck

                  • 6. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    In my opinion Yooofi's approach is way too complicated. Getting the original artwork in vector format would be a good idea but you can use Shatter from the Simulation effects category in After Effects to create a custom shape from the red x's and then use physics to shatter your light bulb layer. I would separate the image into two layers, one with the red and one with all the other colors. You can do this in a couple of minutes in Photoshop or even inside AE. Then I would use the red layer as a custom shape layer in Shatter and either animate the shape or create a gradient with a shape layer to use as a shatter gradient. Doing everything inside AE in about 2 minutes gives me this:

                    Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 7.51.50 AM.png

                    To learn how to use Shatter type Shatter in the search help field inside AE and check out the community resources and help file.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                      you can count on Rick to find a subtle and simple solution . forgot how powerful and useful the shatter effect really is. now because of you and Rick, I learned something new and dug into this effect with your image. so this is the breakdown to do this (Rick, correct me please ANYTIME). what I lack in experience, I make up in vigorous search for the proper way. and detailed  posts. so here it is:


                      1. Clean up the bulb in photoshop leaving just the white. you could do this in a number of ways: I used select -> Color Range for 95% of it. and the other manually with the Polygon Lasso Tool.

                      2. other layer should be just the x's and make more by copy pasting until it looks like this.

                      I Just copy pasted the red over and over on top of each other and made it a smart object and masked it as the shape of the bulb so the Psd file should look like this:


                      in AE the setup is as follows:

                      1. I duplicated the red layer and made a precomp out of it -> Leave Attributes - this will be my map to tell the effect we are about to add, how to explode based on color values.


                      2. hear this, it took me more than an hour to figure out why the layer wasn't exploding properly by just using itself!. you need the layer to be divided in some way by color or else it will be one big chunk i.e  if the color information of the bulb X's is connected - I won't get separations between the exploded shapes ... instead I got one big shape falling down and a couple of lousy X's. so I needed to make space between them. in the precomp I used color range effect  to make transparent holes between the X's (in PS I used  Black stroke Layer Style to make the layers the same appearance and it's suitable for matte extraction because it's very different from the red)  just enough to make my red layer in the master comp shatter Properly. (I would open two windows and examine this as I work)

                      now in my Main Comp I applied Shatter. set my Pattern to Custom and set my Custom Shatter Map to my Map Precomp we did before. increased my radius so the explosion will be wide enough. and in order for the effect not to crop by the boundaries of the layer, I added our old friend "Grow Bounds" Effect and increased the Pixels value.


                      ended up with this:



                      now please give me your Client details so I can collect my cheque. DONE

                      • 8. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                        domend72939305 Level 1

                        Hey guys!


                        Wow! So many usefull tips. Thank you guys! It means alot! If there is a way to repay you guys, please let me know. Besides cheque... Please.


                        Yesterday I recived an AI original file in vector. Do I take a differend aproach now or is Roei's choice still the best?



                        • 9. Re: Animate JPG containing particles
                          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                          Great news! always insist to get the best source as possible (don't push it of course, but ask and do what you can)/


                          Roei's Approach is really Rick's Approach. I over did it and he corrected me. teachers learn from teachers.

                          do the separation of the layers in Ai with 3 layers:

                          1. the white

                          2. the red x's - assemble them to fill the light bulb head, same As I did with Ps. now that you got them in objects it's easy.

                          3. the same layer but with transparency between the x's so that Shatter could read the information as not one big unit. it needs the "holes" to give you that effect. - this will be the Custom Shatter Map