Category Archives: Breakdown

Tutorial: Spinners & switch

Jason contacted us asking this:

“I’m creating a marble run scene using Newton 3 in AE. I’ve seen an example of what I’m after, but can’t seem to figure out how to make it nor can I find any assistance online for my problem. I want a marble to interact with ‘spinners’ as per the video link below : I’d also like the ‘marbles’ to interact with a ‘switch’ when they land. See video below:… Are these scenarios workable in Newton please? If so, how should I be setting these up? Please refer to the image attached as reference. Kind regards, Jason”

And here’s our answer… 🙂

I’ll show you how to quickly set up a simple simulation in Adobe After Effects, send it to Newton3, use fixed objects to only rotate switch and spinners, tweak your scene to have the best result.

Get Newton 3:

Get Rift:

Want to ask something? Contact us!

Pastiche: The Running Man

By popular demand, here’s the Pastiche Running Man project.




Pastiche Running Man 1.07 MB 324 downloads


Breakdown : Landor Chinese New Year Card 2014

Create soft bodies that react to a predefined animation using Newton2 and Connect Layers.

Motion Designer Lok Fu show us how he rigged the head and the neck of his horse using Newton2 and Connect Layers.

The final product:

Some animation tests:

02. Launch Newton, use the pivot joint to connect the body, neck and face (all the boxes). And tick the “Enable Limit” box, set the lower and upper angle to control the amplitude of those elements. Then tick out the same group from the “Collide With” box to make sure the boxes won’t affect each other.


01. First, animate the BODY (the boxes will follow the animated shape)


03. Turn the BODY to Kinematic to use the animation done in After Effects in step 1.


04. And let the neck and face Rock the world…


05. Finally simply just use Connect Layers to connect the boxes to create the smooth neck and the face.

The image above show how the horse reacted with the environment using Newton. But In the very beginning I just had no idea how to make the boxes looks smooth, then I’ve tried Connect Layers. The hair are done with Trapcode – Particular.

About the deformed circles.

The circles is created by a lot of little boxes, and all linked by the distance joint. The key is to set all the boxes anchor point at the same location, and set them as AEmatic bodies, so that they can be deformed by the horse because of the AEmatic tension. Also all the boxes will affect by each other via the distance joints to make the circle looks smooth. Finally use connect layers to connect all the boxes to create the circle outlook. The attached screen shot is the Newton setting, and you can see the testing result from the CNY14 testing animation (at 1″27).


Thanks Lok Fu!


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“Let’s be amazing” (Newton2) breakdown by Resolution Media

“Let’s be amazing” (Newton2) breakdown by Resolution Media

A few month ago, Jason McFadyen from Resolution Media sent us an amazing animation that uses Newton2.
That Rube Goldberg machine at the end is pretty amazing so we asked them for some breakdown and they kindly reply.

1. We began by breaking the machine down into smaller sections and designed them using vector graphics, mostly in After Effects

Heart Machine Ramps 01


2. Then to prepare for Newton, we dramatically simplified the composition, creating proxy version of the objects used in the animation.
This made it possible to for Newton to calculate our simulations in real time with no errors or glitches.
We also created new dummy objects that we hand animation, these wouldn’t be seen in the final composition but they helped ‘guide’ the physics simulation.
Ultimately we were creating a something that had to look good, not something that actually functioned, so a lot of little tweaks were made by hand that broke the laws of physics.
Heart Machine Ramps 02


3. The project in Newton.
The vast majority of the animation and 100% of the ball animation was created by Newton simulations.
There was a lot of back and forth between After Effects and Newton to get the design right.
We found it very easy to ‘test’ a design in Newton, make modifications where needed and then re-test to see if it worked.
Heart Machine Ramps 03


4. Once the simulation was exported from Newton we replaced all the proxy objects with the complex machine elements.
This was done by linking the complex objects to the proxy objects and then turning the proxy objects off.
The smaller sections were then all re-timed in the master composition so the animation would flow from one section to the next and time with the voice over.
Heart Machine Ramps 04


5. We also found Newton extremely useful when animating cogs and pistons.
Constant motion of interlinking cogs is easy to animate in AE, but realistic acceleration from a standstill was almost impossible.
The same goes for animating a piston or any rigid body machine with a number of moving parts.
AE is just not set up for it.
We essentially used Newton as an Inverse Kinematics (IK) solver and our workflow was very similar to if we’d been using 3D software.
Heart Machine Cogs 01


6. Once again we used proxy and dummy objects.
We found the ‘Star’ shape tool in AE very useful for creating proxy objects for the cogs that allowed for much tighter interlocking teeth.
We then set up links between in the piston and gave them limits just like an IK solution.
Note: We did not use a spring joint in out piston like the Newton tutorial, we had more moving parts and wanted more control.
Heart Machine Cogs 02

Thanks to Stuart van Eysden & Jason McFadyen at Resolution Media