Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

Date: May 11th, 2009
Author: Ivory Morhuld

We will continue our 3D Studio MAX Online Tutorials with base concept of How to Make Simple Nuclear Explosion. For modeling and animation we will use popular 3D modeling and animation package – 3D Studio MAX.

Nuclear explosion looks like growing mushroom at the center of the nuke, ring of shock wave and fire balls around the bomb. Following this three main features we will simulate explosion of Atomic Bomb.

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

First we have to prepare some land where the Nuclear Bomb will explode. For our case this is enough to be a box with more segments on X and Y axis. Next, for more realism will add noise and suitable texture to the land like shown on the picture below:

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

Now it is time to make the exact mushroom of the nuke. Like in the tutorial of Vase in 3D Studio MAX we will use 2D shape (Create / Shapes / Line) rotated with Lathe modifier to get into 3D shape of A-Bomb. Here is the picture of 2D shape and resulted 3D object:

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

After the shape of mushroom is ready, we have to scale this object in time. First lets scale entire object proportional by X, Y and Z axis. Next make soft selection on bottom vertex where will be fast moving shock wave and scale the selection proportionally by X and Y axis. Both of this scaling have to be made on second keyframe – at the and of the movie.

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

For more realism we can add noise on the mushroom and to clone the object, but on the second object we have to change Seed parameter to get difference. Also Noise have to be animated. Both objects will be more natural if Object Motion Blur are turned on. It is good to make camera moving around the nuclear explosion with some noise on camera to simulate earthquake. Light will be better to be animated – by increasing multiplier in the time, for more lighting from start of the explosion to the huge mushroom-like fireball at the end.

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

When you are ready with the scene composition it is time to make and assign materials. I prepared one yellow-orange material for the one mushroom and one very bright fire material for the second mushroom. When both of them waving while grow, they will cover each other and two materials will look like burning fire.

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

Next lets prepare some fireballs which will burn around the expanding shocking wave. This have to be Cylinder Gizmo with Fire effect set on it. Also this Gizmo have to be scaled in the time by X and Y axis like we do this for shocking wave. You can get good effect with also increasing flame size in the time – when fire comes to you (camera).

Nuclear Explosion in 3D Studio MAX

Now lets see the rendered result of Nuclear Explosion.

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