|CreativeCOW particleIllusion Tutorial
particleIllusion from Wondertouch is used for a lot of effects work, from blowing things up, to psychedelic color blasts, and lighting stuff on fire. In this tutorial, Elvis Deane demonstrates something a little different -- use particles to disintegrate a logo.
To begin with, load the logoExplode.il3 library into particleIllusion. It contains a blank New Emitter, and one named Square. In the Project Settings, set your stage size to 640x480. Import the logo (lemonLime.psd) into the background of Layer 0. You'll notice that it has been saved with an alpha channel. This will allow us to create particles from the logo, using particleIllusion's Get Color from Transparency function.
Move the slider forward to frame 20, and then Add the New Emitter to the stage. Rename it Pieces. Right-click on the emitter and Make Line, then move the two points of the line emitter so that one is above the other to make a vertical line, roughly the same height as the logo on screen.
Move the time slider to frame 60. Select the emitter's reference point (It's a smaller, thicker point that started off between both of the points of the line emitter), and move it across the screen to the other end of the logo. If you rewind to the beginning of the scene and play back, you should see a sprinkle of particles move across the screen from left to right.
Right-click on the emitter and enter its Properties. Under the Particles>Color tab, select Get Color from Layer. Under Transparency, select Get Transparency from Layer. Hit okay to go back to the main stage and play to watch the results.
When you play back now, you'll notice that your particles have all but disappeared. The particles are only emitting when the line emitter touches the logo, and since the Number graph is so low, not many particles are being born. Go to the particle type's Number graph, and slide it up to a value of 300. Play back the scene again, and you'll see that particles are pushing off from the logo as the line emitter travels across the stage.
So now we have the basics of the effect, but the logo is still visible as the particles are appearing. We want it to seem like the logo is falling away as the particles are born. Go to the Library and select the Square emitter. It's simply a white square which we'll use to hide the background logo. Move the time indicator back to frame 20, and place the Square near the center of the stage. Increase the first keyframe of the Zoom graph until the square covers the entire logo, roughly 275%. Now move it to the left side of the stage, so that its right most edge lines up with the line emitter.
Slide the time indicator to frame 60. Move the Square emitter to the right, so that its right edge again lines up with the line emitter, and hides the logo.
Enter the Square emitter's properties, click the particles tab, and then the Color tab. Change the first keypoint in the 'Color over the life of the particle' to Black. Hit okay to get back to the stage.
When you play back now, you'll notice very little. That's because the big black square is hiding the particles from the Pieces emitter. In the Hierarchy window, select the Square emitter and drag it below the Pieces emitter to reorder them. Now when you play back, the flying particles from Pieces won't be blocked out by the black square.
Now it's time to spruce up the scene and add some life to the particles. In the Hierarchy window, select the Pieces emitter and move down to the New Particle Type. Rename it Dissolve. Select the Velocity graph and increase it to 150. Now the particles take off fast as the line emitter moves across the logo. Increase the Weight graph to 150. The particles now start to fall.
It always helps to add a little variety to the effect. Increase the size, velocity and weight variation graphs to about 10.
Finally, to blend the transition between the logo and the particles a bit better, decrease the Size graph to about 10, and increase the Number graph to 1400.
There's a lot of variations you can do to this effect. Change the Weight of the Pieces emitter to a negative number, and watch the particles rise into the air like bubbles. Change the shape of the particles from a circle to a star. Add a Force object to the scene and have your logo blow away in the breeze. And because we selected the Get Color from Layer option back at the start, you can swap in a different logo and the particles will automatically pick up the proper colors.
A brief note- If you add motion blur to the scene, you'll notice that the logo becomes visible under the black Square emitter. To fix this, go into Square's properties and duplicate the particle type once or twice. When you play back again, the extra layers of black should hide the logo.
Discuss this tutorial in the particleIllusion forum at Creativecow.net.
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