View Full Version : FXWars! NUKE!: Todd Harland, Freeform, George

02 February 2010, 10:58 PM
My first FXWars challenge!
Hopefully i'll find the time to see this through.

My inspiration is based on aerial footage of the 1951 testing of a 225kt device referred to as "George".

I'll be combining a variety of tools & techniques to achieve my goals in the following order:
Create animated meshes for the hero explosion in 3ds Max.
Animate an aerial camera with Max & Craft Director Tools.
Import camera data into Vue and create terrain & atmosphere to use as my backplate.
Export a low res ground mesh from Vue to Max to use as a collision object for particle effects.
Use AfterBurn sticky particles on hero meshes.
Use AfterBurn & PFlow for shockwave effects.
Create FumeFX systems for rising & falling debris.

If I have enough time i'd like to include an effect to simulate the ionization of cloud layers that occurs after the initial blast.

I'm hoping to render with FinalRender and composite in Nuke as I am fairly new to both and would like to use this opportunity as a learning experience but if it doesn't work out the way I hope i'll probably end up rendering in Mental Ray and compositing with After Effects or Fusion.

Good luck to everyone.

02 February 2010, 01:22 PM
wow, you must really have enough time. Sounds like a tight schedule. :) Good luck and have fun! Curious to see all those steps.

02 February 2010, 02:51 PM
@Designer - Yeah, it's gonna be tight but I really want to complete this. I may have to wake up earlier and go to bed later to finish it. Good luck to you too!

Here's what I've got so far:

WIP 01 - Base meshes (

WIP 02 - Aerial perspective camera animation (

02 February 2010, 04:46 PM
Hey good start. The sense of scale is already good IŽd say, maybe a little too slow considering the plume shape.

Keep it up

02 February 2010, 05:23 PM
It's great.
strange method you are using but I'm kinda newbie so.
good luck.

Check these two places.

02 February 2010, 05:46 PM
@Designer - I'm trying to follow my reference footage closely, the lengthy feel is just a result of the extreme viewing distance. It's not very "Hollywood" feeling but I may speed it up a bit in post. I'm not sure yet.

@VTeixeira - I'm using meshes with AfterBurn for the hero explosion due to time constraints. I will be running FumeFX sims for a few things later on though. I see you're entered as well, thanks for the compliment and good luck to you as well.

02 February 2010, 05:52 AM
I managed to line up a basic Vue environment so I could get a better feel for the scale.
I'll work on the composition of my terrain and cloud layers next.

WIP 03 - Low res Vue comp test (

02 February 2010, 01:00 PM
looking good. certainly alot of 'real' nukes dont look very 'hollywoodish'. I started mine very uniform, and have been steadily adding this sort of turbulence to it.

02 February 2010, 08:02 PM
wow dude! Thats an interesting combination of effects to try and pull together, looking really cool so far.

02 February 2010, 03:38 PM
Although I really liked the shape I had with the geometry I decided to try some other methods.
I tried using FumeFX & RealFlow to move AfterBurn particles but I just can't seem to get AfterBurn to play nice.
I think my original plan may change and i'll just end up using FumeFX if I can get close enough to my original geometry shape.
I feel like i'm on the right path but i'll have to run a few more sims.

Here's a render of my first test sim.
It's done at a much higher speed in order to cut down on sim & render times but i'm going to keep my end result closer to the speed of my original concept.

WIP 04 - FumeFX sim test 01 (

02 February 2010, 09:32 PM
looks like its burning out too soon, starts off well then dissipates too quickly. keep em coming!

02 February 2010, 09:46 PM
It may seem that way, but if you stretch that 5 second clip over a minute and 40 seconds it's burning for a while.
In my reference footage it takes about approximately 33 seconds to burn out.
It continues to billow and hold most of it's shape for the full length of the clip though and that's what's giving me the hard time.

I think i'll try multiple emitters on my next go at it to see if I can control it a bit better.

02 February 2010, 11:17 PM
Hmm, yea you can tell that your using a simple source, and trust me adding more sources will just make it harder to shape. I find that using particles is the way to go. birth them slow and in a big clump pretty much going nowhere, then let them die about 10-15 frames later just to get that initial "ball of fire" and then let fumefx take over.

Good luck man.

02 February 2010, 12:37 AM
Yeah, I started off using particles but i'm still experimenting with different ideas trying to get the shape just right.
I'm giving myself until the end of the week to nail down the technique i'm going to stick with.

Good luck to you too!

02 February 2010, 05:54 AM
you have the right idea ;)

03 March 2010, 03:06 PM
So, with only a few days left I am sadly having to pull out of this one.
I was simply unable to find the time to develop this into something I could be proud of.
I look forward to participating in future challenges.

Good luck to you all, I've been seeing some great ideas come to life.
Can't wait to see the final results!

Edit - All WIP videos are offline.

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