dvd intro animation like THX

I want to do a short animation similar to the THX intro at the beginning of some of the Star Wars DVDs. (I can’t find an example of it on the internet anywhere). It’s a Crystal ball with lightning inside it. It explodes (explode modifer) and all the shattered pieces melt back together (like in terminator 2) then morph upwards to form the THX logo.

I tried doing a halo/particle system inside a sphere (ray trans and alpha = 0) but the particles don’t show up (assuming it’s because they are not raytraced). Z-Transp works, but not as realistic looking for the crystal. YafRAY doesn’t work for halo particles?

How would I make little lightning bolts inside this ball?

no ideas?

You could try making some kinky animated hairs:

Create a few static-animated particles with velocity driven by a cloud texture. Use IPOs to vary the texture’s OfsZ. Click Grad in the particle motion tab and set Nabla to about .25.

Play around with ref, spec, emit etc. to get an electric effect.

I’ve only tried these with internal renderer. Dunno how they will look with Yafray.

thanks…might try that one. I thought about doing hair particles, but didn’t think of using a texture to drive the speed or using emit etc to make it glow.

Here’s how I would try it - but keep in mind, I’m a COMPLETE noob. I haven’t touched particles or anything like that, and I’m not sure I even understand the question.

The camera position is static, right? Or at least during the time of the lightning sequence?

Model a small section of the lightning bolt, then duplicate it, and parent each duplicate to the one in front of it, like a chain. Make the material how you want it with the emissive and radiant or whatever. Use the animation to offset 1 frame. You may have to adjust the length of each segment to be just right for each frame, or only have the lead segment travel its own distance in each frame.

Start the scene with the lightning bolt out of the frame when you get to the frame you want the lightning to start, and use the “direct” curve to make the lead segment appear instantly where you want it. Each subsequent frame will have each subsequent segment show up in the same place. Use the smooth (bezier) curve for the rest of the animation until you get to the end, where you’d use the direct one again to move the lead segment out of the frame.

Mix in some motion blur, and maybe even some funky shader ramps for neat effects, and I think it would look cool. You could also tweak the time element of the animation to “speed up” the frames.

Reading this over, I may have over-reached my abilities - both in terms of Blendering and explaining. :slight_smile: Apologies if so. :slight_smile:

I thought about doing hair particles, but didn’t think of using a texture to drive the speed or using emit etc to make it glow.

Also try mapping them to Strand, and play with the Strand thickness in Materials. Let me know how it turns out!

I would try to make a flowing ‘river’ of particles that flow along a path similar to a lighting bolt. Texture the particles, and put a motion blur on them, and you have a starting point. This prolly isn’t a situation that you want to use strands.

Think of the way lighting moves. It moves like water, it is flowing plasma. Like lava, but very very fast.