14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 22, 2012 4:02 PM by Todd_Kopriva

    Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts


      Hi there -


      I'm pretty new to After Effects and I've been working on a project where I'm taking a logo (designed in dots) and using the shatter effect to bring it together. I'm using a custom shatter map and setting the shatter map image back to the logo image itself. This gives me the perfect shatter effect where my dots separate out just as I was wanting. However, I'm getting some bad artifacts as well as my dots becoming pixelated around the edges themselves.


      I've watched two tutorials on this site on using the custom shatter map. I've tried a couple of different things like duplicating my logo and recoloring it, making it black and white, using colorama on it, etc. but all give me worse results.


      What am I missing here? Thank you so much in advance for any tips you can give!


      Here's the render of the logo comp (I'm reversing this for my effect).



      Here is an image of the confetti-like artifacts I'm getting.




      What I'm using:

      Mac OS X 10.7.2

      After Effects CS5

        • 2. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          It's simply a limitation in the effect you'll have to live with. You might try using MiniMax or Matte choker to clean up the edges, but some artifacrts will always be there. And if it's really just confetty, you have plenty of otehr alternatives from CC Ball Action to Card Dance to good ole Particle Playground.



          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
            ShanaNunez Level 1

            Thanks for the response Mylenium. I'm actually not looking for a "confetti" look - that's just how I described the artifacts I'm getting. I'd really like to get a clean edge on it.


            The video of the logo I posted above is exactly the animation I'm looking to create (and did create with shatter except for the artifacts), but since you say there isn't really a fix for the artifacts, do you have a recommendation on an alternative solution short of animating 300 dots individually? FYI - the dots in the logo as you see them is the actual design of the logo - so they all have to land exactly where they are.


            Thanks again for the response.... it's so great to be able to reach out and get some help.

            • 4. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
              ShanaNunez Level 1

              Actually, the recommendation to use the Matte Choker helped quite a bit. Thanks!

              • 5. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                bogiesan Level 4

                check Youtube and vimeo for the Shatter tutorial by the creator fo the effect, Brian Maffett. I'm pretty sure he has posted his entire 120 minute movie he did when Shatter was originally released. It explains exactly how to create custom shatter maps and exactly why yours looks the way it does. Each of those little doodads is present in your map because you have not created the artwork properly but there are ne easy directions for the task. ONe thing many newbies at Shatter fail to understand is the custom shattering map driver is not the same file as the art that gets applied to the surface of the object.


                As Mr Myl notes, MinMax is one way to flatten your art for Shatter. But olorama is my favorite and it's recommended by Brian. Shatter looks for 8-bit colors with zero interpolation between the segments of color. Red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, cyan, white and black. That's it. No grays, no tertiary interpolation between the hard colors. Those indistinctly colored pixels are causing your tiny artifacts. 


                Pixelation is a result of many things. Shatter is not a procedural filter; once the pieces are formed, they move but they never get any larger. The pieces do not get cleaner as they approach the camera so the individual pixels become clearly and obnoxiously visible. You must start with a h-u-g-e precomp if you need the superb resolution and that, of course, will take forever to render at maximum quality and maximum physics.

                • 6. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  Here's a link to the resources that bogiesan referred to:

                  • 7. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                    bogiesan Level 4

                    Oh, yes, exCELlent, Tood.


                    Is that a permanent link from any of the AE help pages? Needs to be.

                    • 9. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                      ShanaNunez Level 1

                      Thank you everyone for the tips. I'm going watch that tutorial and see if I can figure it out.

                      • 10. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                        ShanaNunez Level 1

                        Good afternoon! I'm happy to report that I've figured this out. I watched the recommended tutorials and ultimately discovered a tip that helped me out.


                        Here's what I did:

                        I changed my original logo in illustrator to all black dots (with transparent background).

                        I applied the shatter effect to the black dot logo and set the shatter map to itself.

                        At this point it was perfect except that it wasn't in my colors I needed.

                        I added the original colored logo back into the comp and set the texture under the shatter effect to the colored logo and voila!


                        I had done all sorts of futzing with shatter map by recoloring, posterizing, etc. and non of that helped. But it looks great now.


                        • 11. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                          bogiesan Level 4

                          2-bit shatter maps are required for specific effects.

                          A color shatter map, judging from the original post, was what we thought you wanted.

                          • 12. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                            ShanaNunez Level 1

                            I'm not sure what I said or did in my original post that indicated I specifically wanted a color shatter map - I was just trying to find a solution to artifacting I was getting using the custom shatter map. I got the same effect I demonstrated in the video above, but without the artifacts this time, by changing the logo to the all black version and then making it the original color by adding the colored logo back in as a texture in the shatter effect. It's worth noting however, that simply changing the shatter map to the all black logo did not improve the issue. I had to make both the layer and the shatter map the black version of the logo to get rid of the artifacts.


                            Ultimately, the tutorial you recommended helped me understand everything a little better and when he mentioned using different layers for textures I gave it a whirl and it worked.

                            • 13. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                              bogiesan Level 4

                              "I'm new to After Effects" carries all the misunderstanding we really need in order to leap to all kinds of inappropriate conclusions.


                              Glad you figured it out but, far more importantly, you came back to close the thread and you did so with a positive and useful conclusion that anyone searching for Shatter in the future will be able to use. My thanks for that, hardly anyone ever does that and it is of tremendous value.

                              • 14. Re: Custom Shatter Map - Getting Artifacts
                                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                I'll second bogiesan's comment: Thanks for answering back with what worked for you.