2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2010 7:46 AM by bogiesan-gyyClL

    How do I make a laser cutting out text. I need this to look like sheet metal.


      I need to create an animation of a company logo being cut out by a laser, like a laser cutting out words on sheet metal. Anyone know how I could do this?


      Also before you reply to this post please know that I am definetely a novice in after effects, so anyone who is going to suggest or post a tutorial for me to follow, please make it a video or include pictures. I had one guy in a previous post send me a link to a project folder I could download. I had no idea what I was looking at. I couldn't find the after effects file or even the tutorial he was talking about.

        • 1. Re: How do I make a laser cutting out text. I need this to look like sheet metal.
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          If you're new to After Effects, you really need to learn the basics before you can tackle anything complex like what you describe.

          I strongly recommend that you start here.


          This search pulls up a few threads that should point you in the right direction for the laser cutting metal.

          • 2. Re: How do I make a laser cutting out text. I need this to look like sheet metal.
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

            Create text in Illustrator. Export as single path (advanced AI skills required). Import path into AE. Apply path to solid layer as mask information. Apply Beam effect (or similar like Lightning or Advanced Lightning). Apply mask path to one of the the effect's End Points.

            Copy layer. Turn off or delete Beam effect and apply your choice of CC particles. Parent the end point of the particle to the endpoint of the Beam effect.

            Duplicate the layer again and change the particle to smoke. Duplicate again and add Lens Flare to the end point path and the Unmult.


            You use parenting (or a more elegantly applied set of expressions) all the way down the line so any changes you make to the original timing and positioning are reflected in all downstream effects.


            The magic of this hackneyed visual effect lies not in the beam or sparks or text. It's in the finesse and elegance you use to remove the waste metal, apply a glow to the hot metal edge, add smoke, and change the direction and pattern of the sparks to simulate a cutting torch or a laser or a science fiction ray gun. If you go 3D, you can animate the camera to follow the cutting beam.


            Dean Valez's site used to have a lovely example of this effect. His contribution was to have the background sheet of metal hesitate and then topple toward the camera, leave the bottom of the frame and crash hard enough to shake the camera and raise a cloud of dust. He was a master at adding special touches that elevated the sequence above the ordinary.