Build a Shattering Cinematic Title Opener


In this tutorial I will be showing you how to create a Shattering Cinematic Logo Opener using only After Effects. The tutorial is based on some very simple tricks and tips, which we will combine to make an impressive massive final result.

1. Setting up the Metallic Look

Step 1

Make a new Composition.


Step 2

Make another Composition.


Step 3

Before we create any effects, we need to break up the colors of the logo first. Insert your logo in the logo Composition and drag 5 copies of it into the Logo Gradient Composition.


The reason you want to do this is to make the text visible even inside the logo. Otherwise it will just be a flat layer once we apply the gradient to it and you won't be able to see the text on the logo.

One more thing, I dragged in the ActiveDen logo here because it has more colors than the Aetuts+ logo. We need black, white and the other colors separately.

Step 4

Apply the Color Range effect on the top logo layer and select the black and white colors so that you can only see the rest of the colors.

Effect > Keying > Color Range.


Step 5

Select the 2nd layer and choose Alpha Matte from the Track Matte Options.


Now Pre-Compose these two layers and name them White.

Step 6

Repeat Step 4 & 5 again and apply the Color Range effect on the next logo layer, this time only selecting the white color.


Then choose the Alpha Inverted Matte option from the Track Matte option and Pre-Compose it.

This will only show white colors.

Step 7

Now apply Gradient Overlay on the three layers we made one by one.

Right Click on Colors Comp > Layer Styles > Bevel & Emboss & Gradient Overlay.


Leave the settings as is, then click on Edit Gradient.


Apply the above color settings.

Step 8

Repeat Step 7 on next layer and right click on the next layer which we named White. Layer Styles > Bevel & Emboss, and Gradient Overlay.

Leave the settings and click on Edit Gradient to apply color settings which you can see in the picture.


Step 9

Do all the steps mentioned in the previous step again and apply the following color settings on the last logo layer.


Step 10

Lets see how our logo is looking at the moment.


Now you can understand why I separated the colors in the beginning of this tutorial.

Change the logo to the Aetuts+ logo.


It's looking good now so lets move on to the next part.

2. Shattering the Logo

Step 1

Create a new Composition.


Step 2

Add a camera to the composition. Layer > New > Camera.

Insert the Gradient Composition we just made in the previous part.

Add an adjustment layer. Layer > New > Adjustment Layer.


Step 3

Now apply four Expression Controls on the Adjustment Layer named Controller.

  • 1 Checkbox Control
  • 1 Angle Control
  • 2 Position Controls

Effect > Expression Controls.

Rename them as depicted in the picture below.


Step 4

Apply the Shatter effect on the Logo Gradient Layer and use the following settings.


Step 5

Alt+click on the Force 1 Position stopwatch and paste the following expression:

thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Shatter Point 1")("Point")


Step 6

Alt+click on the Force 2 Position stopwatch and paste the following expression:

thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Shatter Point 2")("Point")


Step 7

Alt+click on Gravity Direction stopwatch and paste the following expression:

thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Shatter Angle")("Angle")


Step 8

Now create keyframes for the Radius of both Force 1 & 2 and set the value to 0.05.


Step 9

Move ahead few seconds and change the value of the radius to 0.5.


Step 10

Go back in the Shape settings and set the Extrusion value to 0 because we will create our own extrusion later in the tutorial.


Step 11

Lets check how things are going.


Well they are going pretty well until now.

Step 12

The reason we made a controller layer is to control all the parameters with a single layer which we are going to create in the next few steps. Lets change the Position and Direction of the Shatter and see what happens.


See, it works perfect.

Step 13

Duplicate the Logo Gradient layer and change the Pattern and Repetition settings in the Shape options.


This will increase the pieces with a more random order.

Step 14

Again, duplicate the layer and increase the Repetition Value to 100.


The more randomness you create, the better it will look in the end.

Step 15

Now insert the normal logo comp behind these Shatter layers so it appears as if only the top layer is shattering.


Step 16

Add a Logo Gradient layer under all the layers without the Shatter effect and move rest of the layers ahead in time. This creates the illusion of the logo shattering after few seconds.


Step 17

Add an Adjustment Layer and add the Glow effect to give it a shiny look. Just play with the values till you have something that looks good.


Step 18

Now if we want to make extrusions, we won't be able to see it in this logo so we need to experiment with the normal logo.


Step 19

Duplicate the normal logo layer. We will use it for the extrusion. Rename it to Logo 001.


Step 20

Apply Gradient Overlay on it. Right Click > Layer Styles > Gradient Overlay.

Leave the settings as is, just change the Gradient colors like I have in the picture.


Step 21

Make it a 3D layer, Alt+click on the Position stopwatch and paste the following expression:






The benefit of this expression is that when you duplicate the layer logo 001, it will keep pushing it in the Z space and will fake the extrusion effect.

Step 22

Under the Opacity of this layer Alt+click on the stopwatch and paste the following expression:

c =thisComp.layer("Controller").effect("Extrude")("Checkbox")

if (c==1){


}else if (c==0){



This will help you switch on and off the extrusion by a single click from the Controller layer.

Step 23

Now drag the logo001 layer to the beginning of the timeline and put it below under all the other layers. Then create around 50 Duplicates of it. that will give you 50 layers pushed back in Z space separated by one pixel.

You can see the example of extrusion in the picture below.


Now this is really starting to look like a metallic extrusion.

Step 24

For this step I made one more duplicate layer of the shatter effect and changed the shape of the pieces to show more particles shattering. I also used a different logo to see if it's working fine with other logos.


We are now done with this part of the tutorial. Lets create the background for it.

3. Creating the Space Background

Step 1

Make a new Composition.


Step 2

Insert your cloud BG.


Step 3

Apply the Curves effect on it. Effects > Color Correction > Curves.


Step 4

Make few copies of this picture and set the mode to screen.


Step 5

Change the position and rotation of the layer to give it some randomness.


Step 6

Apply a wiggle expression to the opacity of a few of the layers to create a lightning effect.


Step 7

Make an Adjustment Layer and apply the following effects on it: Tint, Photo Filter, and Curves.


Step 8

Change the mode to Add for those layers on which you applied the wiggle expression.


Step 9

Now drop this Space Composition in the Main Comp which we created in the previous part and enable the Collapse Transformation option.


Step 10

Lets take a final look at the effects we created.


We are done with the tutorial here.

In the preview you can see some camera movement and Optical Flares. You can add them in depending on your own choice. The project file above is of the preview video, not the one we created here during the tutorial so you wont have to worry about Camera or Flares.


In this tutorial we learned how to separate the colors of the logo and then apply different layer styles to give it a metallic look. Additionally, we learned how to make a cinematic looking Shatter effect. All this was done inside of After Effects.

Hopefully you have learned something useful in this tutorial. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or you might want to suggest any improvement which we might not know yet. Thanks!