woensdag 19 september 2012



Today I want to talk about something that always draws everybody's attention over here at Xorm when it is being developed.. Explosions!
Most of our games feature them and somehow we always seem to find a reason to put them in a game. I guess we are all addicted to them.. :) Anyway I want to show you how we create them.

Pieter is our chief explosion expert when it comes to explosion effects in our games. He gave me a lot of tips on how to create good looking explosions with a real bang effect.
We create explosions using several particle systems layered on top of each other. They can be seperated as follows:

  • Flash
  • Sparks
  • Fireburst
  • Smoke

The 'Flash' is the least visible part during the explosion sequence, it only appears at the first frame. Despite showing the 'Flash' only at frame 1 of the sequence, it is very important. It gives the effect a real 'BANG!' Effect. Without this the explosion effect can become more of a fireball, without any impact or energy.
The 'Sparks' are there to visualize the energy of the 'Flash'. They also give the explosion direction aswell as revealing the origin. On top of those things it makes the explosion appear crisp and sharp, which really helps to sell the effect.

The 'Fireburst' is the most visible part of the explosion. it is visible after the 'Flash' and represents the flames and fire of the bang. Without the 'Fireburst' it just isn't possible to create a good looking explosion effect.

The 'Smoke' is there to complete the fire effect from the 'Fireburst'. Not only is it true that fire generates smoke in real life, the smoke particles also counter act the additveness of the 'Fireburst' particles. Without the 'Smoke' particles the 'Fireburst' could end up looking too bright and white without any shape defenition of the fire it represents.

This was my first attempt on creating an exploding car:

First Explosion

As you can see it doesn't appear to have that much energy. It also looks more like camp fire laying on its side..
Pieter suggested me to start over with the above information in mind and try again.

This was the end result:

Improved Explosion

That's it for this month! :)


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