I was looking at that tutorial, very in depth and long, my only problem is that I don't have green screen video but I'm sure I can use his techniques to make it work.
So has anyone used the shatter effect that comes with AE on moving video and gotten good results? Making my friend on fire looks good but I would still like to know about using the shatter effect on video, or does it only work with pictures and text?
It definitly works on video, but i guess that the video of your friend you are using is all shatering, whereas you just want you friend to shatter right ?
The doc page for the shatter effect also links to good tutorials and general help on how to use it.
Shatter works just fine with any kind of footage but it shatters the entire layer. If you want to make something in a video shatter then you must separate it from the background and then you must replace area where your subject was in the original video. From the way you described your shot you'd have to roto or mask out your subject and then you'd have to borrow some of the background from before or after where you want your subject to blow up to fill in the hole.
If the camera is locked off then you can just pick the spot where the explosion happens and do some Photoshop work to that frame. If the camera is panning with the subject then you'll have to pick the spot for the explosion to start, roto out your subject for at least a few frames, then fill in the hole left when you cut out your subject. There's no one click solution here. It's a lot of work, much of it by hand, and it could involve some tracking. Deciding after the fact that you want to insert an explosion is the hard way to do this. Planning and shooting specifically with the effect in mind is still hard, but it gives you the best chance for success.