Solar Flare Animation

Hi,

The following video clip (use mplayer or vlc to view it; Windows Media player struggles to play it on my old laptop) shows some stellar solar activity:

http://www.4shared.com/get/a1A8e0U7/solar-flare.html

Am looking for suggestions on how to animate such a clip, including:

  • The “molten” feel of the plasma arcs
  • Creating arc-like patterns
  • The glow and movement of the surface
  • What techniques you would use to make the surface patterns

Any and all comments would be appreciated.

The clip is from the start of the movie 2012.

Thank you!

Some small suggestions:

  • Try using the smoke simulator to create the arcs (you’ll need a version of 2.5 for that). You may need to use composite nodes to create the glows. One guess could be to set the smoke sim to have a white material, then blur and colorize, and the white core (probably blurred a little, but not colorized) back on top. White cores are what make things look hot/bright.
  • The material of the sun’s surface can be done with simple textures. Try using combination of “cEmit values will not brighten any other objects up, unless you have global illumination (of which I do not know the current progress of implementation). This should be fine as there are no other objects in the scene, and can be faked easily by adding either a area light over the whole surface, or point lights at the brightest of points.louds” (you may have to increase the size option), Stucci, distorted noise, and any others you think will work. It’s really mostly just an artistic guess on selecting and setting the materials. Use a color ramp to set the colors for each, and have the textures affect Color and Emit, which will have the surface light itself up. Emit values will not brighten any other objects up, unless you have global illumination (of which I do not know the current progress of implementation). This should be fine as there are no other objects in the scene, and can be faked easily by adding either a area light over the whole surface, or point lights at the brightest of points.
  • Animating the surface is as simple as setting key frames for the Z value of the texture noise generators. Key frames can be set for any variable in the interface, not just for location, rotation, and scale. Any lights in the scene can also be animated in this way.

Hope this will help in some way.