Exploding cityscape

I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks now, thought it was at a point where I can post a clip for C&C. It’s a fairly simple exploding cityscape, using the explode modifier. Let me know what you think, please. It’s part of a larger project.


PS-I recognize that there’s still plenty of work to do. It needs more buildings and too many things travel in what look like straight lines. Camera angles and moves aren’t really in yet, either, and there’s the pesky question of why the lighted sections are still “on” after the city’s been blown away. It’s a WIP…

Great, not much else to say. Are you going to texture it?

Wow that is sooo cool. Congrats on the look. I really like the remaining rubble too.

Yea that looks good! Is it going to be cartooney in the final shot?

I’m not planning to texture it. The whole project is being done with very simple materials, a limited color palette, and the 'toon edge, to retain the cartoon feel. I’m also planning to render this particular scene from a top view, to show the expanding shockwave moving thru the buildings. There will be more cars and maybe some stick figure people, the whole screaming and running from the disaster scene.

I was happy to find out about weight painting, that’s what enables me to leave the foundation rubble for these buildings. I’d not worked with that feature before, nor the explode modifier, so this project has been a good learning experience for me.


I don’t want to pester for a tutorial, but any chance of a quick break down of the steps to get a building ready for exploding?

Nice look, I would make it happen just a little faster.

Atom - I agree. Timing is still off on pretty much everything.

3pointEdit - request noted. I’m attaching a couple of screen shots of the settings for that cinema building object. Basically it’s a combination of a particle system and the explode modifier. Note that the particle system must be on top of the explode modifier in the modifier stack, and AFAICT it must be applied to work. I have separate particle systems for each building, since the angle of the blast would be slightly different for each this close to the epicenter.

I found this page to be very useful when figuring out how to do this:

And this page discusses weight painting, I used this reference as well:

I’ll see what I can do about a tut.

Thanks for the feedback!


Great style! Again I’m in awe of how much you can do with blender…
btw I would’nt even change the “straight lines” of the flying rubble, I feel that it fits the look perfectly. But then again, I don’t know exactly what you are going for, so I’m thrilled to see more.

Thanks for that, I too really like the style. Such a relief from “Photoreal”, reminds me of a james bond title sequence. Any way I apprecciate the sharing.

Thanks. I was offline over the weekend (we went to the beach) but hopefully I’ll have a new render to post in a day or two.

Updated version posted:

Yay, coooool! i found it hard to follow tho’, your destruction is excellent, don’t hide it with rapid cuts.

I would stay on low road shot for coming destruction then go high and wide for devestation reveal.

really sweet tho. Great job.

Thanks. Your comment makes perfect sense to me. Maybe I could just keep the street-level camera moving after the car hits into a tracking/tilting shot that will show the overall devastation. I plan to add some more time, maybe 10 seconds or so, before the explosions hit, to try to establish the scene of a late-night cityscape further. It’s impossible to see in this render, but there’s a traffic light with flashing red and yellow just beyond the cinema…

Why not establish the scene on a close up of the flashing light then cut to wide low of car entering shot (big bang) cut to hi wide.
Remember also that in movies there is a convention of repeating an explosion for effect, it allows you to stretch the effect out over a scene.

Good thoughts! Thanks!

How did this project go? Is there any update?

Hello David-

I’ve been working on it, haven’t posted a new video yet but should have one up over the weekend. I’ve added some more buildings, vehicles, traffic lights, and a new camera position at street level. Rendered that view last night, left the original high camera position rendering when I left for work this AM. May get some more work in tonight, but we’re headed to see “Monsters vs Aliens” in 3D after work so I may not.

And now my lunch break is done so back to “real” work. :slight_smile:

Another update:

I need to work on the movement of the vehicles, and figure out how to mangle the lamp posts, but I’m fairly happy with it so far.

Looking great, some tightening of edits will make it shine I’m sure. I love the flashing traffic lights. Can you bufet the camera as the shock wave passes by in low angle?