For a while I have planned on getting a new tutorial that was going to make better the ideas I had with the dissolving tutorial. This sort of goes over that, but is not really what I had in mind. In any case the object in this tutorial explodes apart more than it dissolves, plus I let you guys know how to do it all in reverse so that it looks like it is assembling together rather than exploding. The steps taken here are very similar to a video I made recently --> http://www.darkscarab.com/animations...20Introduction
As usual, get Blender opened up. If you got the default cube, we are going to keep it there and use it. If you don't have it, please add a cube. Actually, it doesn't really matter what object that you use, just make sure that you have a mesh in your scene, I'll just be using a cube. Right off the bat we are going to subdivide our cube a few times. So head off into edit mode, select everything, and subdivide it a few times. I hit the subdivide button three times.
Tab (Edit Mode); Select All; Subdivide (x3);
Next up, we have to get out of Edit Mode and bak in Object Mode. To make our cube breaque apart we have to use the particle system (a part of Blender I use a lot). Go to the object settings (F7) and into the particle buttons and add a particle system to the cube. Let's change some settings before we move on. Let's change the life to 100, turn on Random and Even, Change angular velocity type to Spin, and "Angular V" to 0.500. Lastly we want to turn on "Emitter" in the visualization box. You can see all those settings in the image below.
F7 (Object Settings); Go to Particle Buttons; "Add New" particle system; Change "Life" to 100;
Turn on Random and Even; Change angular velocity mode to "Spin"; Change "Angular V" to 0.500;
Turn on Emitter;
All of those changes will help give the disassembly and assembly of the cube a more random appearance. If you go ahead and test run the animation (Alt-A) you will see that we just have a cube that emits particles out of it. In order for the cube to look like it is coming apart, we have to add a modifier to it. To do this return to the Editing buttons (F9). In the modifiers box you should see the particle system already added. What we need to add is a explode modifier. Once you have done that, test out the animation with Alt-A again and you should see that the faces of the cube are coming apart and following the particles.
F9 (Editing Buttons); Add Modifier-->Explode; Alt-A to test out the animation;
As a warning, I thinque you should know that the order of the modifiers do matter. If you put the explode modifier above the particle system modifier, it will not worque correctly. You will just see particles emitting from the cube. Another problem presents itself when you render somewhere in the middle of the animation. As you can see, the halos of the particles are showing and we only want the faces of the cube. To keep the particles from being rendered, head bak to the particle buttons and look in the visualization box. If you change the dropdown from "point" to "None" and make sure that "Render Emitter" is on, only the emitter (which is the cube) will be rendered.
Go to the particle settings; Change Point to None; Turn on "Render Emitter";
That's all there is to dissolving/disassembling any mesh. Oh course, you can make more faces to make it look more detailed and make any changes to the particle system to make it do what you like.
We just tore the cube apart, now you want to put it bak together? As you have probably determined by now to get it to put itself together we have to make our animation go in reverse. As far as I know, you cannot make just the particle system go in reverse. (Theoretically with the time IPO you should be able to, but after spending a lot of time trying to make it worque and searching the Internet, it doesn't seem like you can do it.) So, in light of that we will have to prepare the whole animation, throw it into the sequencer, then render it.
The sad thing about this is that if you are doing a complex animation, this will not work. The sequencer is going to reverse the whole entire animation and not just the particle system. So, unless you can make your whole entire animation in reverse, then this is not the way to go, in fact I cannot thinque of a way to do it at all without some serious video editing. Hopefully all of this will change in the future.
Ok, let's stop the with the bad news and just do what we can do. First we have to make a quik change in the window layout we have. Change it to the sequence layout (to do this, select the dropdown next to the help menú and choose "4-Sequence"). Once there, clik on Add-->Scene in the Video Sequence Editor window, the one in the middle.
Change window layout to "Sequencer"; Add-->Scene; Place the strip;
To flip our animation into reverse, we need to go to the sequencer buttons and turn on "Flip Time" in the "Filter" box. This will make the whole entire scene run in reverse. When you clik this, you should see the preview change from the first frame to the last even though you are still on the first frame. After that, you have an animation of a cube that assembles itself.
Go to the sequencer buttons; Turn on "Flip Time";
If you have never used the sequencer, there is a special setting you have to enable for it to render with the changed we just made. If you go bak to the render buttons and look in the "Anim" box, you should see a button that says "Do Sequence". Turn that on and when you render all of the changes that were made in the sequencer will be seen.