View Full Version : Maya newbie - need help with explosion effect

12 December 2010, 09:16 PM
Hi Guys,
I'm working on a music video, and was driven to start exploring Maya on my own when it became apparent that nobody at my school was really capable of digitally creating an explosion effect, which I need for the video. Unfortunately for me, my school's film program places far greater emphasis on the writing and intellectual theory of filmmaking, as opposed to production elements. Live-action production elements, much less digital, are barely taught. I also figured that perhaps, it would be a good idea to start learning elements of CGI as a practical skill. I'd like to introduce abstraction patterns to some of my future videos, and I believe Maya would be ideal for creating patterns.

But I digress, for the question at hand, could somebody give me some pointers over how to create some explosions? In terms of reference, I'd be looking at something like this (

For the sake of simplicity, I'd obviously not be worrying about the debris, just the explosion itself.
I tried to get a start by looking at this tutorial ( However, that thing stops working once you change the fluid container and resolution to a different size.
I also got the Gnomon introduction to fluids guide, but I suppose trying to watch that without even a basic grasp of Maya wasn't a good idea, and additionally, explosions themselves were not specifically covered. I'd begin to learn everything in a fundamental order, except for the fact that I need the explosion fairly soon.

Thus, if somebody could point me towards another tutorial, or key me in on basic fields that must be modified to get me started on an explosion, that would be great. For now, all I've been able to do are to separately create the fluid container and emitter. Figuring out how to link them together will be my next step.

So yeah, as you can see, I'm pretty much just starting out with the program. Really should've tried tweaking with things in high school, 20 years old and almost out of college seems a bit late for starting.

Edit: Found another tutorial -
However, this one produces a nuke-like explosion, and I'm looking to create something more conventional looking.

01 January 2011, 10:11 PM
If you have little knowledge of the basics, getting a quick walkthrough might be tricky indeed.

Although I don't have any tutorials at hand for you to check, I suggest you read through this thread:

Then afterwards google for SOuP ( resources. There are a ton of SOuP tutorials that are actually more about fluids and explosions, I've seen a few of em and I think they're the tutorials you're looking for. Again, I don't have the direct links, but I'm pretty sure if you look into SOuP you'll eventually stumble on to them.

Good luck.

01 January 2011, 05:52 AM
Hi dizzyone, thank you so much for your help.
At this point, I've decided that I just can't learn how to run, without learning how to walk, and have decided to stay clear of explosions until I've gained a sufficient enough understanding of Maya. But again though, thanks!

01 January 2011, 07:37 PM
good idea to learn to walk first. I would also say that instead of "run" your last post should say a "moon shot". Fluids can be brutal, even when you know them.

May i suggest that you could try to comp a bunch of practical elements into place instead of trying to do it digitally.

here is a decent site for explosion reference you may be able to get something you could use for your video.

good luck

01 January 2011, 08:11 PM
In the subscription advantage pack for Maya 2011, in the nDynamics menu set are some "effects assets" that you literally just import into your project. You may still have to learn a little about fluids to adjust the parameters efficiently to make it look like what you want, but I added a big round explosion to some video using that in a fairly short time... I didn't really time it, but I typically spend a lot more time setting my camera path just right than I did making the object blow up.

The explosion effect really doesn't blow the object up, it just makes expanding fire and smoke puffs. If you key the visiblity of the object and then animate some gibs flying about, it works well.

<* Wes *>

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2011, 08:11 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.