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Create a Logo Dispersion Effect using Particle Flow and After Effects

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Read Time: 4 min

As you may know, when you get a grasp on particles in CG, the possibilities of what you can accomplish are nearly limitless. In this 3ds Max based Particle Flow tutorial, you will learn an easy method of dispersing a logo into particles using materials.


First of all launch 3ds Max. Now go to "Create > Shapes > Text", and in the text field type "CG TUTS". Apply the "Extrude" modifier to it to give it some depth.


Now go to "Create > Space Warp > Forces > Wind". This will create a "Wind" icon in the view port. Put it on the left side of the text in the view port.

Step 3

In the same way create a "Drag" and put it beside the "Wind" in the view port.

Step 4

Now it's time to tweak the values of these space warps in the view port. Select the "Wind", and in the parameter rollout, set the "Strength" to 0.5, the "Turbulence" to 0.88 , the "Frequency" to 1, and the "Scale" to 0.02.

Step 5

For the "Drag", sin the Parameters rollout, under the "Damping Characteristics" group, set the X-axis to 15.0, the Y-axis to 13.0, and the Z-axis to 15.0.

Step 6

Now make some random shapes with the help of the Line tool (as shown). Note: The final effect will depend on you how do you make these in random shapes. Select them all and make a Group.

Step 7

Now go to "Create > Particle System > PF source" and drag it in any of the viewports.

Step 8

Select the "PF Source" icon in the viewport, and in the "Setup" rollout, click on the "Particle View" button, or hit 6 on your keyboard.

Step 9

Now your Particle View window is displayed. Create a Standard Flow and delete the Position Icon, Speed, and Shape from it, since you won’t need them for this task.

Step 10

Drag a "Position" object into the event, and under the "Emitter Objects" window, add the text “CG TUTS”. Select "Grayscale" in "Density By Material", turn on "Use Sub-Material", and set Material ID box to 2.

Step 11

In the same manner, add a "Shape Instance" and "Force" to the event as well.

Step 12

Select the group of line shapes for the "Shape Instance" and for the "Force", add a "Wind" and "Drag" in the "Force Space Warp" window.

Step 13

Now open the material editor, and in an empty slot assign a multi/sub object and
set the number of materials to 2. Now click on the sub material 1 and in the Diffuse channel, select any color (in this case white).

Step 14

Put a Gradient Ramp in its Opacity channel. Animate the black ramp, in linear from left to right. Do it in such a way that it must overcast the white untill the 80th frame. Give it a bit of Noise also to have a better look.

Step 15

Now go to the other sub material 2, and put a Gradient Ramp in its Diffuse. Animate the ramp in linear from left to right in such a way that a strip of black color must travel through the white until the 80th frame. Also make it invert in the “Output” panel.

Step 16

Copy the Gradient Ramp of the opacity from id 1 and paste it in the opacity of the id 2.

Step 17

Apply this whole Multi/sub object to the text in the view port.

Step 18

Assign a "Material Static" operator in the event, and drag a white material slot to the "Assign Material" button.

Step 19

Press “F9” to render and you will see a beautiful scene of the text "CG TUTS" turning into broken random shaped particles.

Step 20

Press “F10” to open the render setup window, and set the render frames from 0 to 143, and the output size as HDTV(1280/720).

Step 21

Set the file format as TGA with 32 bits per pixel (which will give it transparency), and then render the scene in an image sequence.

Step 22

If you have After Effects, you can use it for some post work, like adding shine from the back side. For this I imported the image sequence into After Effects. If you are not familiar with the After Effects interface, kindly visit www.vfxrider.com, or AEtuts.

Step 23

Make a duplicate of the “cgtuts” layer by selecting it and pressing “Ctrl+D”, or by going to "Edit > Duplicate".

Step 24

Select the layer which is behind the first one, and apply "Effects > Sapphire Lighting > S_Rays". You can get the Genarts Sapphire plugin from www.genarts.com. Play with the values of rays length and the color. You can use the Trapcode Shine plugin for this kind of look as well.

Step 25

Now if you hit the play button, you will have a beautiful logo dispersion scene!

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