Exploding Planet

May 2002

Planets are made for only two reasons: to use as a backdrop and to destroy. No self-respecting sci-fi fan with an interest in CG goes without blowing up at least one planet. This was made as part of my OAC English presentation (in which two planets blow up) and goes together with the War Amongst the Stars scene. The effect is created by applying a displacement map with an animated displacement value to the object as the polygon size is made smaller over the course of the animation. There is a big glowing ball underneath the planet, so as the poly size gets smaller (or the poly gets displaced downwards and ends up under the glow, the light is shown shining through. Then a big flare signifies the dramatic dissolution of gravitational binding energy, which culminates in a phyiscally unrealistic but trendy shockwave expanding vertically (yay for Star Wars: A New Hope: Special Edition). At the same time, the planet is scaled outwards; combined with the animated procedural displacement map, this makes it look like it explodes. Unfortunately there isn't much mass to the planet, since it's only polygons. This could be fixed by Hypervoxels or by incorporating solid chunks flying out at the right time.

Exploding Planet

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Production Info

RendererLightwave 5.6
Render timeapproximately 3 minutes
Original resolution1024 x 768 (per frame)

About Peter Yu I am a research and development professional with expertise in the areas of image processing, remote sensing and computer vision. I received BASc and MASc degrees in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. My working experience covers industries ranging from district energy to medical imaging to cinematic visual effects. I like to dabble in 3D artwork, I enjoy cycling recreationally and I am interested in sustainable technology. More about me...

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