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A Question of Methodology

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Dale Paquette
A Question of Methodology
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:04:49 pm

I selected the Maya forum because of Maya's excellent reputation. Personally, I'm a Blender modeler. And, perhaps this is my problem. That said, I have a question wrt 3D modeling. One of the more popular VFXs are large, massive explosions, quite typically buildings. I'm sure all modeling programs have some capability in this area. What I would like to know from a pro is: are building models typically blown up in their entirety or are the building models made of many smaller pieces which are individually blown up? Or is there still another way? Guess I should clarify, what I'm after is modeling the debris, not the fireball and smoke, with all of the requisite physics included. Can anyone point me to a resource that develops the methodology for modeling explosions in a way I can use it regardless of the software? Thanks in advance.

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Steve Sayer
Re: A Question of Methodology
on Feb 3, 2012 at 2:32:47 pm

I'd sketch a very loose outline like this:

1. Model intact building.
2. Model broken building based on intact one (only the largest 'sections' that break apart).
3. Model a bunch of miscellaneous debris: chunks of concrete, twisted metal, pieces of furniture, etc.

Creating the whole shot will involve integrating all these elements together, plus more, even finer details, such as broken glass, dust, as well as fire and smoke, etc. There will also be rigging and deformation involved.

It should be pointed out that this is not a small task; it could take an entire studio of people to accomplish it (unless we're talking about a very low-detail effect seen in the distance or something). It's also worth mentioning that such a sequence would almost certainly be made up of multiple shots, each focusing on a different area and with its own particular elements.

Have a look at this video for some reference:

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Mathias Duch
Re: A Question of Methodology
on Mar 9, 2012 at 11:29:16 am

there are a lot of plugins aswell if your not doing anything to michael bay, i tend to playaround with them, and it works fine.. though i do not think they will be really good on like Avatar, or transformers.
It depends on your work..
Ill link you a video:

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