6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2011 8:03 AM by celuloyd

    Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls


      I'll try to explain again what I'm trying to do.


      Image having a basketball that has been cut in half. Fill both side with an equal number of three different colored ping pong balls (or golf balls - this is to give an idea of size). Now lay an M80 on the top of one half in the center and put the two halves together (so that the M80 is in the center of the basketball and buried within the ping pong balls). Then detonate the M80 and picture how the ping pong balls would fly out in every direction. THAT's what I'm trying to do with AE. Is it possible? I'm using CS3 with stock effects.


      I think it can be accomplished one ball at a time using motion paths, but I would think there HAS TO be a way to do it with particles or some other way. Does anyone have any suggestions?


      As usual, thank you!



        • 1. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
          racer_300m Level 1

          If you can't achieve the desired effect with the built in particle emitters, you need to get a particle emitter like Trapcode Particular that allows for custom particles, they're called 'sprites' in Particular.

          • 2. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
            celuloyd Level 1

            Well, I don't KNOW if I can create it using the built-in particle emitters; that's why I asked. That sounded snotty but I didn't mean it to. I'm just very frustrated... plus, I don't have $300 to buy a plug-in.

            • 3. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              CC Particle world is as close as you're going to get. You'll need to create a custom particle. Mine is a 40 X 40 pixel comp with 3 frames and 3 circles with grain applied to give the particle texture. They kind of look like Trix cereal.


              Screen Shot 2011-10-16 at 4.36.38 PM.png


              The second step is to add the particle layer to your comp at about frame 3, add a solid for CC particle world and set up the particle like effect using a custom particle like this:


              Screen Shot 2011-10-16 at 4.40.36 PM.png


              Now just adjust the physics to get the kind of explosion you want.


              The trick is to pick up the explosion on about frame 6 so that the particles are in motion when the wrapper comes off. All it takes now is some layering with your wrapper that is going to contain these balls. You put front layers in above, back layers below, and you've got as good as it's going to get with standard particles.


              Here's some things to think about. CC Particle World particles don't react with each other. IOW, they won't bounce off each other. They will react with a floor. You could create several instances of the explosion and set several floors to get some interactivity with the wrapper layers.


              By far the best way to do this kind of thing is in a 3D application. Blender would do the job nicely and you can export camera moves to AE. The second best would be with Trapcode Particular. Whatever way you decide to go this is not a simple effect with just a couple of layers. It involves lots of manipulation, mattes, blend modes and some critical thinking.


              The explsoion looks something like this:


              Screen Shot 2011-10-16 at 4.58.20 PM.png

              • 4. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
                celuloyd Level 1



                Thanks! I'll give this a shot when I get home tonight. The balls look pretty much exactly what I'm looking for!



                • 5. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
                  bogiesan Level 4

                  If you cannot get to a 3D modeler, Rick's suggestions will make this work as well as you can get it. I would add that you should create the effect to run at 10 times your screen time and then, after you've rendered the movie, apply time effects to get the speed you want.


                  But here's another important point. Explosion and scattering and shattering effects are rarely super realistic. The best effects are always suggestions or illusions. If you deconstruct what you need to imply and compare that against what you think you need to actually show, you will see you don't really need as much effort, as may particles, or as much realism. Usually.

                  For instance, the balls coming out of the exploding basketball are not what will sell this effect. It's the smoke and fire that makes the explosion work. You only need to imply there are balls emerging from the wrapper. Your intercutting to the balls bouncing off the walls of the room (and leaving dents), whizzing past observers, striking and shattering glass windows...those are the illusions that make the effect work. I am, of course, making several assumptions, perhaps invalid, about how this effects shot works in context.


                  Try to have fun with this project.


                  Message was edited by: bogiesan

                  • 6. Re: Try again ... Exploding Ball Full of Balls
                    celuloyd Level 1



                    Thank you for your input and suggestions. The balls "on-screen" time, even with the slo-mo, is less than 2 seconds, and I have a stock explosion I'm using. They don't necessarily have to be realistic, just better than the stock balls generated by AE. Also, this is just for a 4-minute short movie that is, more or less, an experiment in AE.


                    I truly appreciate all the help!