Technically this effect isn’t anything spectacular. It uses no fancy tricks, everything is stock, yet I think even out of the box this is a pretty cool looking graphic. I thought about it when I was trying to fall asleep over the weekend, thinking that maybe I was on to something interesting and awesome and kept myself awake trying to mentally figure out how to do it. Turns out, everything is included in just one effect.

Relevant Websites

I only checked in on the official help pages for property descriptions on the shatter effect.

Relevant Resources

Obviously, my logo is my own, and the screenshot is one I took from Guild Wars 2. The smoke effects I got from

Technical Details

Chalk this one up to “they really do think of everything”. I had been thinking about my alerts again after having spent the day with nothing to show for any of them. What I had done, I didn’t like (surprise!) but alternatives continued to seem “weak” in my mind. As I was falling asleep, though, I wondered if it would be possible to have an alert logo “break through” the screen. Some alerts are obnoxiously intrusive, but this didn’t have to take up 90% of the viewport. It just needed to have a little “whoa!” factor.

I knew that the shatter effect had to be involved because out of the box it provides a means for the application of physics to an element such that it breaks down and out as if struck from behind. The default shapes are bricks, but after playing around with the effect I found that the glass shape looked better when we’re dealing with the motif of a computer screen.

There are three layers that make up this animation: a black layer that serves as the extreme background, the logo layer which has a tweened scale property with a little bit of ease-in bounce at the end, and the screenshot layer that has the shatter effect applied.

I originally had issues with the timing because the shatter effect starts almost immediately. By futzing around with the radius property, starting at 0 and then quickly switching to the default of 0.4 at the point I wanted the animation to start, I was able to delay it. I could then play with the appearance of the logo in relation. I also had an issue where we couldn’t tell that the logo was in motion until the wall breaks — naturally — so I added that little bit of bounce at the end.

Finally, I hit up for some smoke effects. These are just short movie clips with transparent backgrounds that I inserted at the point where the wall shatters.

The video above is for illustrative purposes, but in practice, we’d need to be able to have the screenshot be an actual screen. To do that, we’d swap the screenshot layer for a blank shape layer and set the shatter‘s texture front value to color, and then selecting a chroma-replacement green color. When used with XSplit or OBS, we can set this to transparent (if we wanted to trigger it locally), or if using StreamLabs, the chroma color should be replaced automatically when the alert procs.


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