In today's tutorial we will create the effect of destroyed text with the help of Stipplism. The unique technique of using symbols for the text will enable us to keep it editable, even after applying  an opacity mask and multiple effects to different objects.

Step 1

Create a new Illustrator's document (Cmd / Ctrl + N), in the open dialog box, set the required sizes of an artboard, and choose RGB color mode.

Create a light gray rectangle that will serve as a background.

Step 2

Take the Type Tool (T) and type a word. In my case it's "ROCK". Here I used Open Sans free font.

Save the text as a new symbol in the Symbols panel.

In the future, this will allow us to simultaneously edit the text, opacity mask, and other copies of a symbol.

Step 3

Outside the artboard using the Pen Tool (P) create a few stones, which consist of triangles. Color the edges of the stones in different shades of gray color to transmit light and shade on the rocks.

Save one of the stones as a symbol in the Symbols panel, by naming it a "Stone".

To fill the letters with stones we need Stipplism plug-in. Select the remaining stones and go to Object > Create Symbol Variants…. In the open dialog box, select the Stone symbol.

All the versions of the stone appeared in the Symbols panel.

Step 4

Select the word "ROCK" and go to Effect > Stipplism > Symbol Stipple…. In the open dialog box, select the Stone symbol, pick the values of Density and Overall Scale, which depend on the size of the stones. Choose Vary Scale and Vary Rotation options.

Step 5

In my conception stones should be falling. Open the Appearance panel and create a new fill. Apply the vertical linear gradient from black to gray to the fill. The density of stones will be higher on the black color than on the gray one.

As a result, we get the effect of destroyed text, although the letters do not look good enough. We'll fix that in the next step.

Step 6

Pull the text symbol out of the Symbols panel. With the help of the Align panel carefully combine two inscriptions.

Select them, then click Make Mask button and tick Invert Mask option in the Transparency panel.

Step 7

Create a few stones at the base of the destroyed letters. Pull out the text symbol from the Symbols panel, and combine it with the existing symbols in the artboard. Add a new fill for this symbol in the Appearance panel. Apply black and white gradient to this fill, as it is shown below.

Step 7

Create a few stones at the base of the destroyed letters. Pull out the text symbol from the Symbols panel, and combine it with the existing symbols in the artboard. Add a new fill for this symbol in the Appearance panel. Apply black and white gradient to this fill, as it is shown below.

Step 8

Let's slightly edit the color of the stones. Phantasm will help us with this work. Select the upper symbol and opacity mask on the artboard, then go to Effect > Phantasm > Hue / Saturation…. Select the Colorize option and move the sliders in order to obtain the desired shade and contrast.

Step 9

Create flashes of light on the stones, symbolizing the power of destruction. Draw a circle, which is filled with a radial gradient from black (R=0, G=0, B=0) to light-blue color. Transform the circle into an ellipse using the Selection Tool (V) and apply the Screen blending mode.

Duplicate the ellipse a few times and rotate the copies at angles in multiples of 45 degrees, as it is shown below.

Select these ellipses and save them as a symbol in the Symbols panel.

Step 10

Once again pull out the text symbol, fill it with black and white linear gradient and apply the Symbol Stipple effect to it, choosing a symbol with a flash of light.

Destroyed text effect is ready. Let's check if the text remains editable after all the applied effects. Double-click on the symbol thumbnail with text in the Symbols panel. Change the inscription in the isolated symbol-editing mode.

Now leave the isolated mode. As you can see, everything works fine.

If the distribution of stones is not very successful, open the Symbol Stipple dialog box and click a few times on the Randomize button to choose the best option.

The technique of using symbols for text was developed by my friend from Moscow, Tom Subscriber, and I would like to thank him for that!

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