VFX & Film Making Edutainment

Adobe After Effects – Building Destruction Effect (Part 1)

In this advanced After Effects tutorial I will show you, in detail, how to destroy a building within a moving shot. Don’t worry, we will be creating a fake building  in After Effects so we can blow it up without harming a soul. Here is the final destruction effect that we will be creating:

How To Blow Up A Building 01 - Final Effect

Preparing Your Footage For The Building Destruction Effect

Whenever you are working with a moving shot (a shot where your camera is not fixed on a tripod) you need to track your footage. If you filmed your scene with your camera on a tripod you can skip this section.

The footage I filmed shows me talking in front of the Melbourne skyline. We pretend like a massive explosions strikes a building in the distance and me and the camera man dive for cover. The camera then returns to show me, stunned, in front of the city as another explosion hits the building and it collapses in a wave of debris and smoke. Here is the footage we filmed – without the destruction effect.

How To Blow Up A Building 02 - Base Footage

Tracking this footage was going to be tricky due to the hectic movement of the camera in the middle of the clip. So I decided to track the beginning and the end of the footage separately. Since you can only see the building for a frame or two during the hectic movement, I decided to fix those two frames up manually afterwards.

Let’s get cracking with the 3D Camera Tracker.

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