Activating the Cell Fracture Plugin
Click on the File menu and select User Preferences.
Click on the Add-ons tab. In the search box type Cell Fracture and tick the check box that appears. You can close this window or click on the
Save User Default to make this add-on available as default, each time you open
Adding the Text
In a new file, press A on the keyboard to select all default objects and press the Del key to delete them.
Press Shift-A and select Text to add text object.
With the text selected, press R, X, N and then type 90, to rotate the text 90 degrees in the x-axis. R is shortcut to rotate, X for axis and N to input numeric value.
Right click on the Text to select it. Press Tab key on the keyboard to enter edit mode and type the text or the title you want. Press Tab again to go back into object mode.
With the Text selected, click on the Fonts tab in the Properties panel. Press the folder button and browse for your favorite font.
Preview the font by clicking on the thumbnail button. Select the font and click on the Open Font button.
I selected OpenSans-ExtraBold for this tutorial.
With the text object selected, press Alt-C and then click on Mesh from Text to convert the text to a mesh object.
Press Tab to enter into edit mode. Select all vertices by pressing A key and then press E to extrude. Move the mouse and after getting some thickness, left click to confirm. Press Tab again to exit edit mode. Save your file by press Ctrl-S.
Setting Up the Wall
Press Shift-A and add a Plane.
Press R, X, N and then type 90 to rotate the plane 90 degrees on X axis.
Press 1 on the keyboard number pad to get into front view. With the Plane selected, press Tab to enter edit mode. Select all vertices by press A key. Press S and scale the plane up to make the background wall. Left click to confirm.
Press S and then X to scale it along the x-axis, to make the wall a bit wider. Move the mouse and then left click to confirm. Press Tab to exit edit mode.
In the object mode, right click on the Text object to select it. Click on the widget button to enable it and move the text object to the center of the wall.
Place the text object such that it intersects the wall, and is visible from both sides—front and back of the wall. You can increase the thickness of the text object accordingly.
Select the plane (wall) by right clicking on it. Click on the modifiers button in the properties panel. Press the Add Modifier button and select Boolean.
In the Boolean modifier panel, under Operation, select Difference and under the Object, type the name of the Text object (here Text). you can choose the object when it appears in the list.
Finally click on the Apply button to apply the effect of the modifier on the wall (plane).
You can see that the wall has the negative impression of the text. Select the Text object with right click, press G and move the mouse to move the text to see the effect on the wall.
With the Text object selected (right click on it if not) press Del to delete it as you don't need this anymore. If you don't want to delete it then you can move it on another layer by pressing M key and then clicking on the layer button.
Right click on the plane to select it. Press Tab to enter edit mode. Press Z for wireframe view.
Press 3 on the keyboard number pad to get into sideview. Press B and drag select all the back vertices of the text. Ensure you don't select any other vertices.
Click on the Object Data tab in the properties window. Under the Vertex group panel, press the + button to add a vertex group.
Rename the group if you wish and then click on Assign button. This will assign the selected vertices to the vertex group.
This helps to select the group whenever you want instead of selecting the vertices individually.
Move the mouse on the 3D view port. Press A to deselect everything and then A again to select all vertices of the plane.
With all the vertices selected, and in the side view, press S key to scale, then Y to scale it along Y axis, and then type 0 (zero).
You'll notice from side view that all vertices will are now aligned and the wall plane is flat like before.
Press A to deselect all vertices. In the Vertex Groups panel click on Group and then press the Select button to only select the vertices assigned to that group.
Press P on the keyboard to separate the selected vertices (group) from the main wall plane. Click on Selection in the Separate menu. The vertices are now a separate object.
You'll have two different objects, wall and the text, lying flat. Do not move any of the object as you need them to be aligned so that they appear seamless and there are no gaps in between them.
Right click on the Text to select it. Press Tab to enter edit mode.
To see only the selected object press / on the keyboard number pad. Press A to select all vertices. Press E to extrude. Move the mouse backwards just little bit to give some thickness. Left click to confirm.
Press A to select all vertices. Press Ctrl-N to recalculate the normals of the faces, so as to ensure all faces are pointing in outward direction. Press / on the number pad again to exit local view mode. Press Tab to exit edit mode. Save the file.
Assigning Materials to the Objects
In the object mode, right click on the text object to select it. Click on the Materials button in the properties window and press the New button to a new material to the object.
Change the name of the material to anything you want. I renamed it to Green. In the Diffuse panel, click on the color and select a color.
Increase the Intensity slider to 1.00. You can leave the Specular value as it is.
Right click on the wall to select it. In the Materials panel, click on the dropdown button and select the material you already created for the Text object.
Both the object, wall and text should have same material so that they appear seamless and one piece.
Breaking the Text Into Shards
Right click on the Text to select it. Press T to bring out the Tools Shelf (if not there). In the Tools tab, press the Cell Fracture button.
In the Cell Fracture options window:
- Set the Source limit to 100. This is the number of shards into which the text will break. You can keep it 50 if you want bigger and less number of shards
- Set the Margin to 0 so that there are no gaps between the shards
- I want the same material to be applied to the shards therefore left the Material option to zero. This means that the first material in the material slot of the text object, i.e. green will also be applied to the shards generated
- By default, Next Layer is checked, this will make the shards appear in the next layer, i.e. the second layer
- Press OK and wait for few seconds
The Cell Fracture popup will go away and the shards are generated on the next layer, layer number 2.
Click on the layer 2 button on the view port or press 2 on the keyboard to switch to that layer. You will see the shards generated.
Press B and drag select all of the shards.
Press Ctrl-G to create a new group of selected objects. Rename the Group to anything you want. I named it shards.
Setting Up Rigid Body Physics
Right click any of the shard to select it. Click on the Physics button in the Properties panel and press the Rigid Body button.
Check Enable Deactivation and Start Deactivated. This will keep the rigid bodies intact in their default position until any other rigid body hit them.
You need to apply this setting to all of the shards. Instead of doing them one by one there is another way. With the shard selected, press Shift-G and click on Group. choose the group you created for shards. This will select all the objects under that group.
In the Tool shelf, press T to bring it, click on the Physics tab and press Copy form Active.
This will copy the rigid body settings from the active shard to all selected objects. You can check this by selecting any shard and see its rigid body properties in the property window.
Click on the Scene settings button in the Property window. Uncheck Gravity so that the shards don't fall down, instead they should fly away like in space.
Animating the Shards
Press 1 on the keyboard or click on the layer one button to switch to that layer. Right click on the wall to select it. Press M and click on the second layer button to move it to the second layer where the shards are.
Press 2 on the keyboard or click on the layer two button to switch to second layer. You will see both wall and shards are placed in this layer.
Press Shift-A and add a Cube. This cube will be used to hit the shards, giving them a kick and motion.
Press 1 in number pad to get into front view. Press Z to toggle on or off wire frame view. Place the cube at the center of the text.
Press 7 on the number pad to get into top view. Move the cube behind the wall and text, as shown in the image.
With the cube selected, press Tab to get into edit mode. In front view, press A to select all vertices of the cube.
Press S, X and move the mouse to scale the the cube along the x-axis. Scale it up so that it is a little bit bigger than the text.
Press A on the keyboard to deselect all vertices. Press 7 on number pad to get into top view. Press B and drag select the front two vertices of the cube.
Move them forward with arrow widget or press G key to move. I gave the front face of the cube an angle so that this side of the cube hit the left side of the Text shards first, followed by the rest.
Press Tab to exit edit mode.
- With the Cube selected, click on the physics button in the Properties window
- Click on Rigid Body to set the cube with rigid body dynamics
- In Rigid Body panel, check
Animated as this cube will an animated object
- Check Collision Margin and set the Margin to zero
Press Shift-Left arrow to go to the first frame of the timeline. Right click on the cube to select it.
Press 7 to get into top view, and move it back to a distance from the text. Press I and click on Location to insert a keyframe for the location of cube.
Move the timeline marker to 20th frame or type 20 in the current frame box.
With the cube selected, press I again and click on Location to insert another keyframe on the same location. This way, the cube will be in the same position for first 20 frames
Drag the timer to frame number 80 or click on the current frame counter and type 80.
Move the cube forward so that its front face crosses the text. Press I and click on Location to insert another key frame.
Press Go to First Frame button and then press the Play button or press Alt-A to preview the animation.
You will see that the shards are pushed when the cube hits them. Press Esc to stop the animation. Press Shift-Left Arrow to go back to the first frame.
See form other angles as well.
Split the 3D view by dragging the corner upwards.
Press the editor Type button and select Dope Sheet.
You can adjust the keyframe markers to set the speed according to your taste and requirement. Right click to select any marker and G to move.
Rendering the Animation
Move the mouse in the 3D viewport and press 1 in the numpad to get into center view. Left click on the center to bring the 3D cursor there.
Press Shift-A and add a Camera. Use Z key to switch between wire frame mode and solid shaded mode.
Right click on the camera to select it and press G to move. Place it in front and at a distance from the objects. Check from top view and side view.
Press 0 or ins key in the number pad to get into camera view. Check that the scene and text comes in the center.
In the 3D view, press Shift-A and add a Lamp > Sun.
With the Sun selected, press R to rotate and give it some angle, so that the shards gets light from above. Check from top view as well. Ensure that the sun does not point towards the wall.
With the Sun selected, press on the Light Settings button in the Properties panel, and change the color of sunlight to yellow. This will give a nice effect when reflected from shards.
Click on the World button in the Properties Panel.
- Change the horizontal Color to white or leave it dark grey according to you preference. This will be the color in which the final text will appear. As there is no object behind the wall, the text will appear in the color of the world
- Check Ambient Occlusion. This will give a global illumination as well as softer and realistic shadows
- In the Gather panel, Click on Approximate button
- Check Pixel Cache and increase the Correction to 1.00
The cube used is just to kick the shards and set them in motion, and should not appear in the final result.
Move it to another layer. Select the cube and
press M and click on the third layer button to move it there. This way
the cube will affect the objects but will not be rendered, if only
the second layer is selected while rendering.
Press 2 or click on the layer two button to set only the second layer as active layer.
Press 0 or the Ins key in the number pad to get into camera view. Press F12 so see a rendered frame. Press Esc key to exit preview.
If the animation is not right, then enable the second layer, go to first frame and replay the animation. the rigid body dynamics will re-cache again. You might have to do this when opening your saved file.
Set the total length of the animation according to your requirement. Play the animation and note till which frame you want it to end. Type the number in the End frame counter.
Next to add sound. You can either split the 3D view further, just like I did while adding Dope sheet editor, or you can change the dope sheet editor to Video Sequence Editor.
Move the mouse in the Video sequence editor and press Shift-A and click on Sound to add sound. Browse for your sound clip.
I used the sound effect file from NamiNatasha. Match the sound with the animation. Again, Right click to select and G to move the clips in the video sequence editor. Play the animation to preview the results.
Press the Camera (Render) button in the Properties Panel.
- In the Dimensions panel set the dimensions of the final movie file. I use the default HD resolution, but at 50%
- Under the Output panel, browse and set the directory where you want the animation file to be saved. Also give a proper name
- Select MPEG in the format drop down list, instead of the default image format
- In the Encoding Panel, select MPEG-4 for format. For Audio Codec, select MP3
Finally hit the Animation button and the animation will start
The rendered animation will be saved in the directory you set. Browse for it and play the file!
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