Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I recently created this explosion in 3d Studio MAX by following a tutorial by Andrew Kramer from VideoCopilot. Amazing guy he is.

Well anyway, just to briefly describe my process - the basic method was particle instancing. I created 3 big debris pieces and 1 small dirt pieces and used particle instancing to emit these pieces of geometry that I created. I created a bump texture in 3Ds max itself. I did not know where I was going with the explosion - all I knew that I wanted to show the massive scale of the explosion, thus I made it slow motion by rendering it out at 100 fps instead of the usual 25. The rendering time was a killer - almost 2 full days, mostly because of the skylight casting realistic shadows. I rendered it out in two passes - the beauty pass and the z-depth pass. So here's what the beauty pass looked like:

Hardly any color information. However, I brought the rendered sequence into Fusion and added a gradient background and used a speedSix plug-in to simulate an explosion. This plugin is just supposed to give out light rays but after modifying it a little bit, I managed to get a slightly explosive look.

Then I went onto creating the source of the explosion - the meteorite, and timed it up so that the explosion happened at the correct timing.

I was quite happy that I managed to turn something with only grayscale values to something with slightly more color.

Below is the final version. Please rate and comment on it. Thank you!

Enjoy! =)

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