If you have any ideas of good topic for this (If we do another) please post them on this thread.


  • “There’s a bomb on this bus!” :smiley: Let’s face it, everyone likes exploding things.


How about a humanoid or creature made of stone that is crumbling as it does some action or by some external forces?

Im gonna enjoy these FX Challenges! THANKS Roberto!

But no fair, the Maya, Houdini, and XSI guys should give some sort of handicap to us LW guys!
doh! :stuck_out_tongue:


Here is a list of topics copy-pasted from the old threads about a TD Challenge:

meteor impacts a-la armageddon, new york scene.
supernova/ deep space explosion.
warp/wormhole spaceship arrival/departure.
solar flare.
waves on a beach.
water flooding streets/tunnel.
compositing - change sunlit shot to storm ridden melodramatic shot, or viceversa.
melt a human.
train derailing.
raygun shot.
helicopter hovering over - water|desert/sandy area|meadow/trees.
jet afterburner takeoff.
candle flame.
rig a quadruped.
rig a millipede/centipede.
create an effective procedural lavaflow material.
create a twister.
create a mushroom cloud.
create a scene that demonstrates and emphasises large v small.
make a shot appear underwater.

On the simulation part we could try to recreate phisical effects
For example:

  • Ocean wave hitting a light house
  • Rain hitting some stairs
  • Avalanche
  • Twister
  • Tidal wave
  • A ocean liner being hit by a rogue wave.
  • An ocean container ship being hit by a wave, and losing containers.

and on the expression we could recreate the functionality of machine and

  • Working Catapult
  • Working Tank
  • Cannon Ball
  • a Wrecking ball

-Rube Goldberg machines



-Muscular deformation (pick a part of the body and set up deformations simulating muscle and tendon influence).

-“Choose a difficult rig and build it” - this came specifically from the idea that it would be difficult to build a snake. But people could choose wings, tails, tentacles, etc. I’ve been playing with dynamic tentacles a lot myself lately and it’s difficult to get believable fluid motion.

-Cloth sim (probably not using a cloth-plugin like Maya Cloth, but a softbody challenge)

-Secondary motion setup (maybe a preanimated rig or choice of rigs which people would be tasked with setting up secondary motion on).

-Lighting. Given a scene and tasked to light it. Create a mood and keep render times down, as if it were a production shot.

-Compositing. Given a source live action clip to comp a CG element into. Could be given a preanimated (but not textured or lit) scene to comp into live action plate.

-Water setup. Best sim of water, be it a glass or open ocean. Presets probably disallowed. OceanShader in Maya probably disallowed.

-Procedural animation.

Lots of ideas. I didn’t even read them all but I just copy-pasted the longer lists from the old threads. Lots of good ideas in there as I remember.


Wow those are some great ideas whiterabbit, got my head spinning just thinking about it. My idea is in your list but I’ll mention it anyways. I think a fun challenge would be to simulate natural events like tornados, volcanos, etc. I’m looking forward to these challenges. :bounce:


Transformers… anything but the original… pencil transformer, monitor transformer, coffee cup transformer… hmm i should stop picking object from my desk… you get the idea :stuck_out_tongue:


I loved your trebuchet-challenge, how about doing more siege weaponry? Dynamic battering rams for example… and maybe a challenge specifically directed at destruction, breaking walls, burning towers. And when you’ve run out of ideas you could launch a challenge where people could use all the stuff they’ve developed in the first challenges to create a battle scene! :slight_smile:

Ok, getting a bit carried away now, but you get the picture :slight_smile:


How about some particle fun?
For private fun i created some kind of automatic dogfight.
Not a single keyframe or timer is used in the setup: (2.2 MB) (1.4 MB)



Is the theme FXWars, in general or mainly medieval?

Well, how bout indeed doing more siege weapons?

Tensional Catapults
Torsional Catapults
Boiling Oil
? Fluids anyone?

And then on a more current theme:

The firing mechanics of a rifle or pistol, should be fun, on impact you can add a speed impuls and spin impuls to the bullet to simulate the explosion… Same for canons


OK here are some ideas that I have:

Atlantis Rising (Simulation)
Death of a Giant Killer Robot (Simulation and maybe comp challenge)
An Alien ship on the Capitol (Comp Challenge)
Killer Wave (Simulation )
Rag Doll Simulation (Simulation )
Tornado in my city (Simulation and maybe comp challenge)
Emergency Landing (Simulation )
The Quake (Simulation and maybe comp challenge)
F1 car crash (Simulation and should be done as a team challenge)
The New Ice Age (Matte and Comp)

And we can always go back to more siege weapons.

What do you guys think?


How about we create a sub-forum for these challenges so the compositing threads dont get pushed down too quickly? :slight_smile:


Sailboat. For realistic work, gotta go with a sailboat. Fully tackable of course. If you want it more complex, just add wind and waves…sailing through a storm would be cool.


hey ppl some really good fx ideas so far, heres my 2cents

  1. flesh wound - shot by bullet, stabed by sword, bitten by animal etc - should show initial un wounded model then the wound perferating the surface and then the bleading or whatever; a bit greusome but a lot of people get shot etc in movies. wouldnt require a full char model could apply tecnique to a cube or whatever…

  2. your gonna burn - object gets lit, burns and melts or crumbles to ash or whatever

  3. demolition - ever seen those documentarys where they blow up old disused buildings…they have techniques of where to place explosives and the timing they all go off at, so as to get the building to fall pretty much straignt to the ground. it’s quite a science apparently…

anyway like i say just some ideas, hope to work on my treb at the weekend.




Just like the old board game…a series of events that end in one trapped mouse!


Yep! Any Rube Goldberg contraption would be cool!


Good idea. An animated version of a Rub Goldberg machine:


Hey, I came up with a pretty cool idea (imo) the other day:


Have the person create an elaborate dominos setup, 1 keyframed trigger, and all the rest of the animation be dynamics of the dominos impacting each other and falling over.

The more outlandish and original, the better.


Don’t know if it ever aired outside the UK but in the 60’s/70’s there was a TV program called ‘Vision On’ staring Artist Tony Hart. At the end of every program they had a contraption built by Wilf Lunn that revealed the end credits, this machine was always powered by a ball-barring rolling down a track tripping things as it went, every week was a different machine.

So the idea is to build a machine that starts off with a ball-baring set lose at the top, this ball baring will roll down tripping various events until finally revealing a sign with a message on it maybe some sort of tribute to Wilf Lunn or Tony Hart.


how about some more:

-> objects sinking away in a swamp
-> a spiderweb when a fly gets caught… or something else fals into it and it breaks (bot not entirely)
-> the breaking dam
-> alien like acid
-> pyroclastic flow
-> underwater eruption (vulcano or other sort of release of gas)
-> underwater explosion (torpedo blast - explosion and implosion effect)
-> the x-men 2 morphing effect (similar imploding effect, but more smokey fluid like)
-> crumbling or wrecking a vehicle (like the two trucks hitting eachother in the Matrix 2)
-> ice breaking of a gletsjer (or smaller breaking ice - caustics/sss anyone ? :slight_smile: )
-> terminator T-1000 effect with a live action blend ( trying to integrate it as well as possible with a live action plate - planning your shot and making your own reflection maps. - or hdr maps if you know how)
-> crowd simulations driven by particle simulations
-> ghost like effects (mix between particles, live action, maybe fluids) like the ones used in ‘Le prince blue’ - very inspirational short btw)

This is an awesome thread - just mentioning something that might interest you guys… Allan Mc Kay just released his particle flow advanced visual effects dvd and it looks really cool.



I really like the idea of the Rube Goldberg/Wolf Lunn machine - a series of triggered events to eventually perform some simple task - the Honda Accord advert is a perfect example of this and a great excuse to include as many different FX into one sequence. You can even set what the task to be performed is, how we trigger it is up to us.