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Afterburn: Explosions
Added on: Mon Jul 09 2001
Page: 2 3 4 5 


I'll try to explain how to make firey CG explosions using afterburn and the octane shader. This assumes you have a basic knowledge of Afterburn and at least an intermediate knowledge of 3D Studio Max (yes that's right if you thought this was a Truespace tutorial or a Softimage tutorial you're in the wrong place, move along now...).

First of all, let me explain the process. There are roughly about three different ways to make explosions with Afterburn, at least the type that I'm going to show. I'm just going to go through one way today, it's fairly quick to render and very cool. All of the current CG explosions on my web page are using this technique with minor differences.

This tutorial will kind of be rushed since at the time of writing this I basically have only an afternoon to start and finish this since my work life has gotten more and more busy. So bare with me, I'll try to get the point and technique out as well as I can within the few hours I have to write this.

The particles and Lights

To start off create a brand new scene in Max. First of all create a 2D plane with any radius. Go to the primitives area of the create panel and create a hemisphere. Now select the hemisphere and right click on it and choose properties, deselect 'renderable' so that way it won't render the sphere, we want this as an emitter object, but we dont' want to render the object.

Go down to particles and choose paaray. Drag it out into the viewport, under pick object, choose the hemisphere, under particle generation change the particle quanitity to use total, and type in 220. Adjust the speed to 2.3 and variation to 25%.
This way not all the particles come out so uniformal.

Adjust the divigerence to 15% also for a bit more variation in the direction and speed. Adjust particle timing to start at frame 30 and stop and frame 33. This way they emit for 3 frames, the explosion ssentially will blast out and fade to darkness, we don't want an ever growing explosion that lasts for much longer than 30 frames.

Make sure display until is set to 100 and life is to 60, make the variation 10 just so they don't all die at once. Adjust the particle size to 0. Basically we'll be using volumetrics so we don't need the particles visible. We will later create debris for this explosion though.

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