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Could someone point me in the right direction to reproducing this effect which takes an illustration, breaks it into circles of color similar to what an inkjet printer would do, and randomizes depth of each circle so you can watch the illustration dissolve as you zoom into it.

I'm using Premiere CC and have experience with Maya and 3DSMax.

  • The 3d package doesn't matter, you can simply use a particle system and distribute the particles based on an image or its alpha channel. This is one of the basic concepts and is supported by all particle systems. For blender see: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/26205/… – p2or Feb 24 '16 at 11:21
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Ok this is pretty theoretical since I haven't tried it, but I think it's fairly easy to do this in AE only, using the sampleimage Function and expressions . You basically scan the "original" image line by line and for every samplepoint you create a dot in a random size but same color as the sample point as a spacial representation of that sample point. Depending on the size, you move it backwards on the z-axis to give the impression of an even size from the starting perspective. Then you just start moving the camera through the "dot field".

http://www.motionscript.com/design-guide/obscuration.html

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poor's solution makes sense to me. Use Blender or equivalent to create a basic particle system with a distribution based on the illustration. Give the particles some jitter within z-space, match your shot between edited sequence and Blender and just move the camera along the z-axis into the particle field in Blender.

I was hoping for something built into After Effects, but while I think there would be some tinkering to get the initial settings looking good, this effect could be reproducible relatively easily across illustrations.

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This could also be done in After Effects by combining multiple 2D layers of dots in 3D space.

I would create a template outline of the cartoon, use a pencil or brush with a wide spacing and hard jitter applied, and paint maybe 15-20 layers.

When stacked in 3D space in AE, if you've created enough layers with dense enough dots, it would combine to create a fully black shape.

Then animate the camera through the layers in 3D space.

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