10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2009 7:39 AM by ChrisPoisson

    HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT

    Level 1
      Hi would really like to learn how to turn text into sand. particularly how they did it in this Dexter Typography project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSmSvZ1UYhA&playnext_from=PL&feature=PlayList&p=407917D68B 40A94E&playnext=1&index=1

      it goes from solid letter to sand to solid letters again and it's something i'm really needing to learn to do. thanks always.
        • 1. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
          If you read the YouTube poster's description, these effects were actually created in the real world. He ink-jet printed the text onto sheets of transparent material, then filmed the sheets in liquid as the ink drifted off. Obviously the footage was then extensively manipulated digitally with masks, speed ramps and compositing tricks to get the cool end result.

          However, if you wish to pursue the all-digital route, here's an old Cow tutorial using Particle Playground:
          http://library.creativecow.net/articles/eriksson_emanuel/sand.php

          I've used multiple iterations of the Shatter effect to create some quite convincing dust-style transitions, by using extremely small particle sizes and animating the Force centre. Usually some blurring and distortion is also required.
          • 2. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
            > I've used multiple iterations of the Shatter effect to create some quite convincing dust-style transitions, by using extremely small particle sizes and animating the Force centre. Usually some blurring and distortion is also required. <

            Shatter rules. You can spend HOURS playing with the physics properties to get beautifully convincing tiny particles.

            You can google the effect and spend a few minutes sorting through two or three thousand hits. Doesn't take long to find qualified tutorials from several AE and other motion grahhic sites.

            bogiesan
            • 3. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              If you have Trapcode Form, you could also try this:

              http://aestuff.myleniumstuff.de/?p=106

              I agree, though. Shatter saves the day once more...

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                Level 1
                thanks for the replies guys but i still feel like neither of these are exactly what's going on. with what you said andrew, in the description it doesn't say about the filming in water with the text coming off and i can imagine what that would look like and im not really convinced that's exactly what he did although i know that you know your stuff so you might be right. i would just think that the water would warp the text and if this is how you feel he did it can you be a little more descriptive on how i would go about doing something like this myself. like would i just need a fish tank with water and tranparent paper or what?
                as for the creative cow/particle playground attempt, i know PP is render intensive and at the end, i personally just dont think it looks too good, this original video looks very whispy like its flowing around, so far i think andrews is what sounds the most correct.

                i do have trapcode form so i thought it was made with form and then was wondering if there's a tutorial on it, in your site mylenium i just get a project file and i would like to have instructions although i'll try to reverse engineer everything.

                Thanks for your response and ANDREW if you could please respond and give me some more insight as to how i should go about doing something like this i would really appreciate it.
                • 5. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                  Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                  I've sent the creator an invitation to join this discussion.

                  But here's how I'd do it:

                  I'd print the text onto clear transparencies (you can buy them at any office supply store) in black.

                  I'd get a large shallow flat glass/pyrex dish, and put it on a well lit white background or light table, with camera positioned directly above the dish.

                  Next, some experimentation would be required. I'd experiment with different liquids - water, turpentine, maybe even clear oil (like baby oil) for a more viscous effect. I'd try pouring the liquid into the bowl in different ways and directions to get different types of dispersion.

                  Once the technique is determined and all the text elements have been shot, I'd import to AE and mask any garbage, use colorization and/or mattes to change the text colour, and time remapping to reverse dispersions and re-time everything. Obviously lots of compositing and layering would be necessary to get it all cohesive.
                  • 6. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                    Ben Bullock, the creator of the YouTube clip referenced in the Original Post, sent me this answer:

                    >Hey guys, This is Ben, I made the Dexter video you are talking about. Andrew pretty much summed up how I made the video. It was all shot and comped in after effects. I didn't use any effects on the project. Which is why you can't get any effects to look right. I just used a spray bottle and water bottle with water to wash the ink off of the transparencies and filmed it with my digital camera. It is a pretty intensive task and defiantly would take a while to get it down. I would just experiment until you get the style you want, and then use that for whatever. Thanks,
                    Ben

                    I hadn't considered a spray bottle as a tool in this job, and it's ingenious - it'll give more forceful and controlled movement.

                    A big thanks to Ben for taking the time to answer.
                    • 7. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                      bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                      that was a wonderfule effect, totally old school yet with digital updates; the best kind of stuff.
                      However, I'm going to say that very similar stuff can be achieved using vector blur and techniques perfected by Dean Valez (motiongraphicslab.com).
                      No, Dean's work is not the same kind of organicosity but it works.

                      bogiesan
                      • 8. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                        Level 1
                        mylenium i keep trying the file that you have on your site and i can't seem to replicate the look. i get the dispersion and the fade and everything what i don't get is the "whispy", blowing in the wind look my particles just blow out and fade and that's it and i need control over this because i would like to make it look like it's blowing in the wind from one word to another just for a few words and i'm having a hard time. can you send me another file or help me out with pointing out some key things that i might have missed because i'm not noticing it. thanks for all your help and i got to talk to ben bullock who redirected me here lol
                        • 9. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                          Well, if you can point me to an example, I'm sure the file can be modified for your needs. There's just too mayn ways to interpret this them to cover them all in a single project...

                          Mylenium
                          • 10. Re: HOW TO CREATE TEXT TO SAND EFFECT
                            ChrisPoisson
                            Yes, Shatter is a great way to do this. The Total Training Shatter tutorial is 2 hours long, so there's a lot to learn.