Damages 2 Teaser

Recently I posted a 3 part series of tutorials on creating a shattering glass effect using Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects. This is the project that inspired that series. The brief was to animate promotional key art of a person with bloodied hands holding a brief case and finish with a glass shatter effect to reveal the name of the series, followed by the channel logo.


I used a series of position animations around the image, combined with flash frame close-ups of the bloodied areas. Once the full image is revealed it shatters to reveal “Damages 2″. Notice how before the shatter, a large specular highlight on the glass is revealed; I didn’t want any specular on the initial reveal but needed it for the shatter for a more glass-like effect. Rendering out the specular pass as part of a multi-pass render allowed me to fade up the specular only when it was required. One problem with the specular pass was obvious banding but this was disguised with a subtle noise effect in After Effects.


Notice also how after the initial shatter the image fades to reveal clear glass; I decided to do it this way to make the glass obvious and also to allow for a faux refraction effect created in After Effects using the Displacement Map Effect.  Trapcode Particular was also used to add some detail to the shatter effect.  These techniques and more are explained in the tutorial.

  1. illd

    Well done, thanks for sharing. Did you render out the specular pass in 8 bit? – maybee this could be the reason for the banding…

  2. Lou Borella

    Could the banding be a monitor issue. At home I do almost all my projects in 32 bit and I still get banding. Then I realize that my monitor LCDs are only 8 bit panels. The colorspace of the monitors can really make a difference in your previews but it doesn’t reflect in the output. The cost difference for the better monitors can be 4x as much!! Until I get constant color correction work at my home studio it doesn’t pay to upgrade my 2 24″ Dell LCDs.

    Do you see the banding on the broadcast monitors as well? (do you have a broadcast monitor hooked up to your graphic workstation?) Most of the broadcast clients I have in NYC only have broadcast monitors on the edit workstations. I have to trust that banding is only showing up on my monitor and not the render file.

    I’m totally guessing but I could have a point …
    Lou …

  3. John Dickinson

    Hey guys, I rendered in 16bit and also had the problem on the broadcast monitor attached to my system. A Google search did reveal evidence of others having problems with banding in the specular pass. I’m interested to find a solution for this one.

  4. NIKOO

    Well done!

  5. illd

    Hmm, that banding issue really sounds like a bug…JD, thank you for the tip on using noise to minimize the banding effect – I really didnt know about it. Is there something to watchout for using the noise effect against banding issues?

    • John Dickinson

      Hey illd, a small amount of noise, say 1% is an effective way to disguise banding. I usually try that after increasing the color depth to 16bit, which can also help.

  6. Frank

    Thx for sharing.

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