There are a number of different things you can do, but there are also a number of (very different) ways it could look. Could you describe with a bit more detail HOW you want this dispersal to happen?
Are you wanting them all to flow a certain way? Are you wanting them to all move at the same time? Are you wanting the movement to begin at one end and move through the flake? How much randomness do you want? Etc.
From your general description I would create a new composition and drag your snowflake comp into that new comp so that it is nested. You could also select all 160 layers and pre-compose them. The end result is the same.
Now I would add Shatter to the nested Snowflake comp and experiment around with the settings. You may want to create a custom shatter map, use a gradient to control the forces and limit the extrusion of the pieces, but, for me, breaking things apart in interesting ways that involve physics is always very easy and fast to render using Effects>Simulation>Shatter.
To learn more about Shatter and the other simulation effects in AE just type shatter or simulation effects in the search help field at the top right corner of AE.
Sorry to see you struggling here. Have you tried anything our ACPs have suggested? Good stuff there, you know!
I'd like the disperse to be a bit random, I don't have anything too specific in mind, I guess I'd like the little parts of the flake to start leaving not all at once... in different directions?
Thanks for answering!
Hi Rick! Thanks for replying!
I don't want the parts of the snowflake to shatter. I'd like them to just separate with an organic look and go out of screen.... Have any ideas?
Hi Kevin! Thanks!
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Shatter as Rick suggested can go a long way. It's a very poweful effect that can produce more than just shattering bricks and glass. I would try it before dismissing it.
You can also use a particle effect like cc particle world (free in Ae) or particular, or form (3rd party plugin) and set it to use one snowflake as a particle. Then you can apply different parameters of physics to produce the motion you need.
you could show us your artwork and also a reference for the desired motion and it will surely clear things up as we could show different ways of achieving the result.
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Yes, shatter with a custom particle shape and a gradient for the shatter map... Don't have time to give you a step by step but you can design a gradient with something like fractal noise and then animate the effect of the gradient to get the pieces to fly out in random fashion. A custom particle shape can create shapes that are exactly the shape of your snowflake particles. You can then animate the physics to have the pieces fly off the screen any way you like and you can even use the AE camera to enhance the effect. Shatter is an incredibly powerful physics simulation plug-in that about 90% of AE users don't have any experience with and it's ignored. I've used it many time to assemble maps, diagrams, graphs, flow charts and do a zillion other things. You just have to fiddle with the parameters and learn how it works.
Hey there Daniela,
If you like Rick's response. Please mark it as the correct answer. Thanks!