By Jim Tierney, Digital Anarchy
Using the Cubic Distribution assistants you can have a bunch of layers start off in a cluster and explode in random directions.
Select some 3D layers and choose Window>Cubic Distribution Lite.
Set the Cube Dimensions to 1 pixel by 1 pixel by 1 pixel. When you click apply this will position all the layers in basically the same place, creating a compact cluster of the layers.
Before you click apply, though, select Random under the Layer Orientation options and turn on Set Keys for Position and Orientation. You'll want the Cubic Distribution assistant to set keyframes for all the layers so they animate when their positions and rotations change.
Click Apply. The layers are thrown together in a cluster.
Move forward in time some amount, say, maybe 3 seconds.
Change the Cube Dimensions to 2000 pixels by 2000 pixels by 2000 pixels. Re- apply the assistant.
This will cause the layers to be distributed over a much larger area, creating an explosion of layers when you play the animation back.