Stars forming shapes

I’m looking to duplicate the effect in Peter Davison’s Doctor who intro ( where the stars form the face, but I’m not sure how to do that. I was also going to use a lot of motion blur to have the face kind of shoot out the way it does, but I don’t think that would work all that well. Is there an easier way to do that? Thanks.

The easiest way would probably be to create a particle emitter in the shape of the face with the emission density weight painted to varying strengths over the surface in order to define the shape’s details.

Okay, thanks. When I watched it a little closer, it looked to me like the face stars were moving with the rest of the starfield but somehow stopped and formed in the shaped of the face. would you reccomend splitting the face mesh into different parts and having them “rejoin”, somehow? If so, how exactly would I do this? Sorry for being such a noob.

I was watching the latest episode of Dr Who last night, and they’ve brought back this effect for Matt Smith. As far as I can tell, the way it seems to be done in the new credit sequence is with layers. There are several planes of “stars” (looks more like nebulae than stars, but whatever) and the camera passes through them in turn, so parts of the face disappear and it seems to dissolve into stars.

So I’ve taken a head mesh that I stole from blendswap ( and fiddled with it. I deleted some areas to make “shadows”(i.e. places with no stars to fake the shading of a real picture, same as they do in the title sequence), then split it along a few seams to make three pieces. Then I spread them out front to back, so if you fly a camera straight ahead through it, it’ll do the same dissolve thing you see in the show.

If you surround this whole thing with a cloud of more stars, it should become visible as you move through the cloud. You could also split this into individual objects, then keyframe the pieces to start farther apart and move together as the camera approaches, or just animate the particles themselves. I’m not sure which would look better. You’ll probably just have to experiment.

I don’t know for sure if this will work quite right, but I think it will put you on approximately the right track. I’ll leave you to figure out the right sort of particle setup. Good luck! Starface.blend (446 KB)