December 19, 2010

Toward realistic explosions in After Effects + bang!

BlueCast Studios posted a tutorial on YouTube, Realistic Explosions (but really, pedestrians in San Francisco aren't that jaded).

This one is good for those just learning After Effects (you know who you are), who might follow Todd's sage advice: "the best place to start is at the beginning." If you're at the beginning, try these then some of these and maybe these; then see Andrew Kramer's explosion compositing demo and his explosion tutorials).

Advice is not too different for those wanting to learn faking fire, gun fire, muzzle flashes, and so forth; see Fire in After Effects, Realistic Muzzle Flare Tutorial and Muzzle flash tutorials in After Effects.

Note: There are a number of stock footage resources that have footage. Video Copilot has a stock/training DVD Action Essentials 2 (see the compositing demo), and Forging Fire posted about free stock footage from Detonation Films in Free Explosions - Fire - Missile - Decapitation Footage.

Steve Holmes has several tutorials on integrating fire and smoke into environments in his Artbeats videos. Todd Kopriva summarizes these in a kind of course outline in Steve Holmes Artbeats podcast.

Also, Mark Christiansen's book After Effects Studio Techniques explores best practices of common creative VFX tasks, including those involving light, environment matching, heat, and explosions. One of the chapters is free on the Peachpit Press website: Pyrotechnics: Creating Fire, Explosions, and Energy Phenomena in After Effects. See especially his advice on modes and luma mattes.

Update: The CGSociety was digging through its vault and goes back to 2005 for the basics with a study of the anatomy of the explosion by Kieron Helsdon; see BANG! The Anatomy of Explosions.

Update: see also Mind-Blowing Movie Explosions Explained from Reactions and
a Tuts+ course on the topic, Smoke, Fire and Explosions in Adobe After Effects with Christopher Kenworthy.


Patrick DePuydt said...

Nice work Rich!

Rich said...

I'm just a little guy standing on the shoulders of the more courageous!