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Creating a Hut Destruction Scene Using Photoshop, 3ds Max and After Effects

Preview


In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to show a still image of hut being destroyed by storm using Photoshop, 3ds Max and After Effects. 

I’ll show how to create secondary animations of torn cloth, debris, dusty wind etc to add the feel in the scene. Using these techniques, you’ll be able to turn any still image into a beautiful live action scene.

1. Setting Up Image in Photoshop

Step 1

Open Photoshop.

Open Photoshop
Open Photoshop

Step 2

I’ve imported an image of a hut, into Photoshop, to demonstrate the
effect. You can use a different image if you prefer. 

Image import
Image import

Step 3

Since the upper part of the hut will be shattered, isolate this upper part in a separate layer.

Isolate the part
Isolate the part

Step 4

With the help of lasso tool, select and cut the indicated upper part of the
hut.

lasso tool
lasso tool

Step 5

Make a new layer and rename it as Outer Part. Paste the cut upper
part in that layer.

Outer Part
Outer Part

Step 6

Following the same way, make another new layer and rename it as Inner
Part
. In this layer make an inner and shattered part. You need to do some
paint job in this step.

Inner Part
Inner Part

Step 7

Now, turn on all layers. It will just look like before, but the upper part
and the BG are now separate. Save the file in PSD format.

BG
Inner Part

2. Creating Flying Debris Using Particle Flow in 3ds Max

Step 1

Open 3ds Max.

Open 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max

Step 2

To create flying debris, go to Create > Shapes > Line
and create several random shapes.

Create  Shapes  Line
Create > Shapes > Line 

Step 3

Once done, select all the chunks and apply an Extrude modifier to them.

Extrude modifier
Extrude modifier

Step 4

Select all the chunks and then go to the Group
menu and group them all, Group > Group.

Group menu
Group menu

Step 5

Create the flying debris using a Particle Flow system. Create a PF Source system navigating to Create > Particles > Particle Flow Source and open the Particle View window by
pressing 6 on the keyboard.

Overwrite Shape with the Shape Instance operator. Click on None and select Group from the list.

Particle View
Particle View

Step 6

Go to Shape Instance operator and turn on Group Members
option. Decrease the Scale % value. You’ll now see the chunks scaled
down and scattered randomly. 

Shape Instance
Shape Instance

Step 7

Go to Speed operator and decrease the Speed amount and
increase the Variation and Divergence values as indicated in the
following image.

Speed operator
Speed operator

Step 8

Go to Birth operator and set the values of Emit Start to -100,
Emit Stop to 100 and Amount to 100.

Birth operator
Birth operator

Step 9

Go to Spin operator and set the Spin Rate to 360 and Variation to 20

Open Render Setup and render the animation sequence from 0 to
100 frames.

Spin operator
Spin operator

3. Creating Torn Cloth in 3ds Max

Step 1

Open 3ds Max. Create a plane in the perspective viewport. Keep its Length
Segs
 and Width Segs as 100.

Open 3ds Max
Open 3ds Max

Step 2

With
the plane selected, apply the Cloth modifier onto it.

Cloth modifier
Cloth modifier

Step 3

In the cloth modifier,
click on the Object Properties tab.

Object Properties
Object Properties

Step 4

In the Object Properties window, select plane and turn on Cloth radio button. It turns the plane into
cloth. Click on OK button.

Object Properties window
Object Properties window

Step 5

Open
the cloth modifier roll out. Select Group.

Select Group
Select Group

Step 6

With
the indicated top left and bottom left vertices of the plane selected, click on Make Group button.

Make Group button
Make Group button

Step 7

In the Make Group window, rename the group name as Hold Vertices.

Make Group window
Make Group window

Step 8

With
the Hold Vertices group selected, click on Preserve button.

Hold Vertices group
Hold Vertices group

Step 9

Go to Forces
> Wind
and apply a wind force in the scene, from left to right.

Forces  Wind
Forces > Wind

Step 10

In the
cloth modifier, click on the Cloth
Forces
 tab.

Cloth Forces
Cloth Forces

Step 11

In the
Forces window, select the wind and click on the left to right button to
bring the wind force in the simulation. Click on OK.

Forces window
Forces window

Step 12

Click
on Simulate button. The simulation starts and you
can see the cloth simulation in the viewport. 

Simulate button
Simulate button

Step 13

To
make the cloth torn, I would use a black and white texture as the opacity map.
You can make your own opacity map in Photoshop. The black part would be
transparent while the white part would be opaque.

Black and white map
Black and white map

Step 14

Press M
to open the Material Editor. With an empty slot selected, click on Opacity
channel. It opens the Material/ Map Browser

Click on Bitmap and
select the black and white image. Click on OK.

Material Editor
Material Editor

Step 15

Apply
the material to the cloth.

Apply the material
Apply the material

Step 16

Render
the torn cloth simulation till 100 frames.

Render the torn cloth simulation
Render the torn cloth simulation

4. Creating Shatter in
After Effects 

Step 1

Open After
Effects
.

Open After Effects
Open After Effects

Step 2

Import
the Hut.PSD file into After Effects as a composition. It comes with three
different layers, Outer Part, Inner Part and BG.

Outer Part Inner Part and BG
Outer Part, Inner Part and BG

Step 3

Create
a new solid layer and apply a Turbulent Noise effect onto it, Effect
> Noise & Grain > Turbulent Noise
. Set the Contrast and
Brightness values as shown and indicated in the following image.

Turbulent Noise
Turbulent Noise

Step 4

With the solid layer selected, go to Layer > Pre- Compose. Rename
the Pre composed layer as Ramp and choose the second option. Click on OK

Layer  Pre- Compose
Layer > Pre- Compose

Step 5

Turn off the Ramp layer. 

Ramp layer
Ramp layer

Step 6

With
the Outer Part layer selected, go to Effects > Simulation >
Shatter
and apply the effect on to the layer. 

Select View as Rendered.
If you scribble the time slider, you will see the outer part of the hut is
getting shattered. But you need to tweak it to get the desired effect.

Effects  Simulation  Shatter
Effects > Simulation > Shatter

Step 7

Open Force 1 and Force
2
drop down menus and set the values of the properties as indicated and
shown in the following image.

Force 1 and Force 2
Force 1 and Force 2

Step 8

Open Gradient
drop down menu and select Ramp as the Gradient Layer. Animate the
Shatter Threshold value from 0 to 100 values, starting from the frame
where you want the shatter effect to begin.

Shatter Threshold
Shatter Threshold 

Step 9

Import
the torn cloth and particles debris and put the layers on the timeline to
composite.

Import the torn cloth and particles debris
Import the torn cloth and particles debris

Step 10

Create
a solid layer. Apply S_CloudsGenarts Sapphire plug in, effect
on to the layer. Set the Shift Speed X value to 600. This will
create an effect of stormy wind.

S_Clouds
S_Clouds

Step 11

Create
an adjustment layer. Apply S_Film Effect and Hue & Saturation
effects on to the layer. Turn on Colorize option and set the Colorize
Hue
value to 40. This will create a pale stormy day effect. 

S_Film Effect
S_Film Effect

Step 12

Hit the play button and you will see a stormy scene with flying
chunks of the hut, various wooden debris and torn cloths. 

Play the animation
Play the animation

Conclusion

You can play with the values of the properties of the various effects to get the desired look.