5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2008 9:45 PM by (Tana_Adams)

    Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball

      I'm fairly new to After Effects CS4 and have been asked to have a ball bounce in from off screen and basically break into a bunch of letters that will drop and then form a sentence. I'm having trouble figuring out how to show the ball breaking up into letters spilling out. I'm currently looking at the reshape effect but I'm not sure this is exactly what I need. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

      Thanks,

      Tana
        • 1. Re: Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          I think you're going about this the wrong way. You should not be bent on actually trying to generate the text from the ball. You can easily simply have it appear as if "falling out of the Ball". This means, that the text layer by all means can be separate from the actual bouncing and only need to become visible when the bubble bursts. You can break the ball into fragments using the Shatter effect and by providing a respective Shatter map and gradient map, this could include some of your letters, but not all, most likely. The rest would then simply be disguised by additional debris created using additional instances of the same effect or other particle systems like CC Particle World...

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball
            Level 1
            Thanks, Mylenium...your comments are most appreciated. I'll try going down the path you suggested. For the "text ball" piece, I got something to work with masking but haven't been able to get the letters to "spill" out. I did touch on the shatter effect at one point but I couldn't seem to get the letters to just "fall" out onto the ground. They seem to burst into oblivion and fade out. Is there a way to control that?

            Thanks,

            Tana
            • 3. Re: Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              That's where the shatter and gradient maps come in, the latter of which define the resistance and stickiness. In your case you will probably create a pre-composition in which you fade out a white solid to "release" the letters, revealing a greyscale gradient that defines the actual viscosity. The trick here is to animate the position of the force field in unison with the gradient motion. The force should in fact be as small as possible and be placed above the initial position of the letters, so it "pushes" the letter downward when it comes in contact with it. If you're not too concerned with mimicing physics exactly, of course you could create a cluster of text with a simple text layer - position animator with negative values to bundle them up, rotation with wiggle to make them tumble, scale to vary their size. When you animate those parameters, it should also be possible to get some nice trajectories for your text falling. There are some text presets in AE illustrating part of this stuff...

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball
                Level 1
                You can fake this using CC Sphere and Shatter, but it will take more than one layer. Pre-comps and Shatter Maps make this possible. I threw together a CS3 project for you to look at. It's kind of rough because I only spent about 15 minutes on it, but it should give you some ideas.

                You'll find the project here.

                The best way to do this is with a 3D app. The second best would be to use a 3rd party app like Trapcode Particular.
                • 5. Re: Text shattering or falling from the shape of a ball
                  Level 1
                  Thanks SO much to both of you for your help. I'm getting back to this project in the morning so I'll try your suggestions.

                  Tana