The great folks at Mettle have a new post, showing how to create the iconic symbol of a skull and knives shown in the Expendables 2 titles. Nancy recreates this animation in After Effects creating the skull from a displacement map (ya really, and it looks great) as well as the knives that will be animated.
This is a good example of how ShapeShifter AE is still a great plugin to have even though After Effects CS6 has new 3D rendering capabilities. Of relevant note is ShapeShifter’s ability to use adaptive tessellation, where object resolution varies based on details. This really becomes evident when creating the text of the titles.
Nancy at mettle gives a quick rundown on how to create The Expandables 2 film title sequence, using CS6 Master Collection (After Effects + PhotoShop) and mettle’s ShapeShifter AE plug-in.