egg fog

In this exercise you are going to learn how to crack an egg and have light beams coming out of the cracks. The crack (shatter) effect can be used to crack just about anything (warning: it can be very slow and/or unpredictable) and the light beam effect can be used for, well, light beam effects although in many cases the use of After Effects plug-ins such as Trapcode’s Shine or Genarts Sapphire can be more interactive and easier to control.

1. First create a polygon sphere and delete the history (very important).

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2. Now you must change your menu set to “dynamics” (upper left corner) or access it from the hotbox. With the polyh sphere selected choose Effects > Create Shatter and open the options and enter the values below:

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3. Hit the create button and wait patiently. This is a very slow process. After a while you should see that the sphere has been cracked in different parts. In our animation here I chose to have the original sphere visible until frame 10 and have the visibility of the shards on starting at frame 10. Everything rotates but after frame 10 the shards split.

4. You can see how the various shard settings affect the outcome of the operation: extrude, edge jaggedness etc. Also, other types of shatter are available. Experiment!

5. The next step is to place a point light in the middle of the sphere.

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6. A quick render shows that the sphere is lit on the inside and that’s all. In the Point light attribute editor open the Light Effects tab and you will see a box named Light Fog. You will be take to another tab like the one below (in our exercise here: I parented the original sphere and the shatter group of objects to a locator in order to animate them – I also applied a colored shader to the objects)

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7. Now a render should produce something like hat:

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8. The fog is definitely visible but it’s not quite the effect we’re after. Anyone wants to to take a guess? We need shadows! Turn on the Depth Map Shadows in the Point light attribute editor and also you might want to increase the size of the fog radius.

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9. A new render will show some light beams coming out of the cracked sphere now. Setttings can be adjusted, you can for instance make the fog denser or bigger or having a different color. If the fog would become grainy you can increase the Fog Shadow Samples in the Depth Map Shadow attribute editor although this will seriously slow down your render. To complete the picture you can add a directional light and change the render background.

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10. As shown below the same technique can be use to create the very stereotypical text effect. In this case I punched the letters out of a NURBS plane using Projected Curves on Surface and the Trim tool. I placed a spotlight behind the plane and adjusted its color and intensity. I applied a light fog node to the light and voila (ok you should tweak the settings a bit)


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