- Film Making & VFX Edutainment

Roof Destruction VFX with After Effects and Cinema 4D – Part 1

I won’t lie to you, this is going to be a rather long tutorial. But it will be worth it! You will learn how to create a sweet destruction effect of someone crashing through the roof just like the one you can see in our VFX Short Film Mario’s Magic Mushroom! Due to the length of this tutorial, I have decided to split it into two parts.

Part 1 – In this part I will show you how to create the base destruction effect of someone crashing through the roof in Adobe After Effects. We will add some basic destruction stock footage into the scene and you could consider the effect completed at this point.

Part 2 – To enhance the destruction effect, I will show you how you can simulate debris elements using physics in Cinema 4D and then composite them back into your final scene!

Let’s get started with Part 1!

Putting a Hole into The Roof

First, you need to get an image of the outside of a house. I have taken a photo in Melbourne’s suburbs of a rather shaggy looking house with a trailer in front of it. I took this photo on a cloudy day and I recommend you do the same. It is tricky to realistically integrate elements into a sunny shot because you have to also create realistic looking fake shadows and that can be very complicated.

Create a new composition in Adobe After Effects and place your photo of the house into it.

Roof Crash Destruction 01 - House

I have also taken a simple shot of the inside of my house. We will use this image to show through the hole in the roof so any interior image will do. Import this image into your composition.

Roof Crash Destruction 02 - House Interior

Because we want the interior to show through a hole in the roof of the house, drag the image below the shot of the outside of the house.

Roof Crash Destruction 03 - House Layers

Then apply a mask to the house layer to cut a hole into the roof. Make it nice and ragged so it looks like it was broken through rather than cut out. To create a hole, you need to set the blend mode of your mask to ‘Subtract’.

Roof Crash Destruction 05 - Subtract Roof Hole Mask

You should now be able to see the interior of the house showing through the hole in the roof. Scale the interior image as needed to make it sit nicely in the shot.

Roof Crash Destruction 04 - Hole in Roof

Next, we will composite a shot of a person growing into a giant and smashing through the roof into the scene!

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