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Contest: Most Realistic Blender Explosion


ExplosionTrillian is hosting a contest on Elysiun: creating the most realistic Blender explosion.

His goals are twofold: testing how good Blender's particle systems are and providing the community with a tutorial on the winners entries.

He writes:

Looking at the great advances in the 3d world these days (just watch ReBoot for the 4 seasons, and you can see the progression), and Blender is very advanced, but one thing I believe is lacking is the particle system. Some people will disagree, but if you take a look at Battlestar Galactica, Galaxy Quest, etc. you'll see that Blender is a bit behind. I see amazing works of modelling, texturing and rendering, but not many people go for explosions and fire effects etc. Lets see what you can come up with.

If you've seen work like @ndy's Mindfields then you'll know of course that, as with everything else, it's not so much the tool as the hand of the master that creates compelling effects.

So go on, do your best and you might win the Palm V that he's giving away.

Deadline is April 15th. Details on the Elysiun forum.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. OK, after some experimentation I'm now officially in for this one.

    Creating a cool-looking explosion was something I wanted to do for a long time. Now that a Palm V is a stake I finally found a compelling reason to try.

  2. I'm glad this was posted. I think contests showing more advanced techniques like this really pushes Blender forward.

  3. I can see it now... *tinkley winkley winkley winkley*

    Enter a kitchen, a blender on the counter mixing something. Suddenly (oh no!) it spews bits of goo everywhere! And then I suppose it would tip over, and the engine would overheat and pow! it blows up. Sweet! Taking the prompt literally makes me happy... But hey, I'm still daydreaming! It burns the cabinets, drops some flaming wood into the stove, starts a grease fire, BLAM! and then the camera starts to panic, running out of the house to witness the whole house explode BLOW! And then the car! DOOM! Then it flies up into the sky houses poping in proximity like ping pong balls on mouse traps... Maybe an airplane will explode for no reason.. And what the hey, we'll just zoom all the way out and blow up earth too. YESS!

    Oh wait, its due in April. I'll just keep that idea for later... or something.

    On a side note, it looked like Mindfields was made using the "halo" material setting on meshes

  4. I'd like to improve the particle system but the code's so twisted I don't even know where to start.

    - Oh, well. I suppose I'm just picking bones.

  5. ...and on a sidenote:

    Yes, the particle-system really needs improvement. It is a very important tool for animators and should probably be completely rebuilt from scratch. I can only hope that we will see development there in one of the upcoming releases.

  6. @Konrad8ha: Nice one. One hint: you can add more drama to your explosion by adding some well timed camera shaking. This will make the explosion much more believable; with most explosions the camera won't remain steady.



  7. Hi everybody!

    I'm a blender user from France.

    First, thank you for this website and all the interesting articles about Blender.

    I discovered it recently, but be sure that I will come again!

    Here is a link to my first attempt of a realistic (herm, not yet) explosion.

    I know that it is out of contest because of the ship and stars in background, but no matter, I'm making it just for fun!

    The short movie is available in two formats:

    You can download a lot of other short movies on my site.

    Have fun!


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