Re-Entry Atmospheric Effect

I’m trying to figure out how to do a re-entry effect (like when a capsule from space enters the atmosphere). I’ve tried particles, it didn’t seem quite right, mostly lines and little dots everywhere. I’ve also tried a fire simulation but that just seemed to be more like the capsule was on fire. Any suggestions?

I’ve been working on something similar. But it’s a thing I do in my spare time and I work slow, so it’s not near finished.

There is still much I need to do to make it look good (particularly, blurring the big particles correctly so it looks smooth instead of rough and lumpy like it is now), but perhaps there’s a small chance it can get you started as well.

I wanted a more sparking/burning effect then soft plasma of realistic re-entry, so I decided to go for particles.

There are 3 particle systems of different sizes and color, using material settings derived from andrew price’s sparks tutorial.

If you think this is the type of effect you’re after, I can probably make a .blend to upload here if you want.

Another alternative may be a specially crafted mesh with a blend texture applied. Though that seemed a little difficult, and too smooth for the effect that I wanted.

Yeah, sure Ill take the .blend file. I’ll take a look at it. I was also going for a soft-plasma like re-entry like you said.

Since the original scene was like 200MB, much too big to upload, here’s a simplified version.

I also included a (very simplistic) color-ramp, mesh-based re-entry effect as well, if your object is roughly spherical, you may be able to do something with that one instead.

Ok thanks. Ill check it out. Thanks for the help! :slight_smile:

One other thing I forgot to mention:

Have you seen Gravity yet? I just had a chance to see it not too long ago. The re-entry effect in that movie is quite spectacular!

They’re using a whole host of complicated effects combined, stuff far beyond blender’s capabilities at the moment. But I think that it’s probably possible to get a basic approximation using particles.

I think you can do that with teh smoke sim.
Just have a force that pulls the smoke/flames in the direction you want it to go.

NICE evolution, I understand nothing about vfx, to me looks great on static image, but have something animated?

Here is a quickie. Some tweaks and compositing and I think it would work.

Yes, I’ve seen gravity. (That scene was amazing), but I agree that Blender isn’t capable of doing those effects yet. I have heard that the creators of Kerbal Space Program use fur shaders for their re-entry effects for the game. Is this possible?

I think it can be done. Ill have more time in a couple days and Ill tackle it.

Some more experimenting.

Rich, I think you are getting really close now.

So I’ve been experimenting, and I’m trying to get a smoke sim (or particle ) to get it to look like it was a long streak that can also adapt to the movement of the object. Is this even possible???

You can use motion blur on the particles. I need to have 800 samples before it looked good.

Gravity had amazing special effects, but horribly bad hollywood physics.