Exploding Teapot Tutorial

Exploding things are some of the most common effect in many movies and tv. In this tutorial we'll learn how to create a basic explosion effect using blender 3D. This tutorial is using version 2.75a of Blender 3D.

Step 0: Preparation
Because the teapot object is part of extra object add-on for blender, we have to make sure that the extra object add-on is enabled. To enable the extra objects add-on, first click File tab and select User preferences. Select/click the Add-ons tab if not selected yet. On Catagories subsection click Add Mesh to filter the add-ons. Click the Extra Objects checkbox.

Step 1: Move the default box object to other layer
When opening a new blender scene, there’s a default box object on the center of the scene. We will use this box as a domain for smoke simulation later in this tutorial, but for now we’ll move it to other layer so that it won’t get in a way. To move the default box to other layer, first select the box using RMB, then press M, and click the 2nd box in the upper left.

Step 2: Add a teapot and plane object
Next step is to add a teapot and a plane object. Before we add anything, first make sure that the cursor is at the center of the scene. To make the cursor move to the center of the scene press shift+S then click Cursor to Center.
After the cursor moved to the center of the scene, add the teapot object. To add the teapot object press shift+A then select Mesh>Extras>Teapot+.
Create a ground plane object. This ground plane will hold the pieces of the exploded teapot so that it won’t fall into the oblivion. To add the plane press shift+A select Mesh>Plane.
scale the plane 6 times the default size to make it big enough to catch all the pieces from the exploded teapot. To scale the plane 6 times the original size press S then press 6.

Step 3: Make the teapot explode
we need two things to make the teapot exploded. We need a particle system and we also need an explode modifier to make exploded teapot effect. We also need to add collision physics to the ground plane to catch the pieces of the teapot.

Step 3.1 Add the perticle system

  • To add a particle system, inside the properties panel go to the particle system tab and click the “+” sign to add a particle system.
  • Inside the Emission section of the particle system tab, adjust these values:
    • Number : 56
    • Start : 4.00
    • End : 8.00
    • Lifetime : 250
  • Inside the Velocity section of the particle system tab adjust these values:
    • Normal (emmiter geometry) : 2
    • Z (emmiter object) : 8 m/s

Step 3.2 Add explode modifier

Inside properties panel go to modifier tab, then click the Add modifier pulldown menu and select explode modifier. By doing this step, we change each of the particle we created on previous step into pieces of the teapot object.

Step 3.3 Add Collision physics to the ground plane

To add Collision physics to the ground plane we need to select the ground plane and go to the physics tab in properties panel. Then click the collision button. Set these values:

  • Particle stickiness:0.8
  • Particle Damping Factor: 0.95
  • Particle Friction Factor: 0.65

Step 4: Add smoke effect to make a better exploding effect

After we make the teapot exploded, next step is to add smoke effect/simulation. Creating a smoke simulation in blender require two basic thing. First we need a domain object which limit the simulation area and the second thing is called the flow object. A flow object is an object which emit the smoke.

Step 4.1 Adding the smoke simulation

  • Create domain object
    1. Move working space to layer 2 which contain the default box we moved earlier.
    2. Go to Physics tab in properties panel
    3. Click the smoke button
    4. After we click the smoke button, the smoke section will appear. Select the domain button to make the default box object as boundary for smoke simulation.
    5. Check the dissolve checker box to make the smoke disappear after some period of time.
    6. set the Time to 20.
    7. move the box back to layer 1.
    8. Scale the box 8 times the original size by pressing S then press 8.
    9. move the box up (Z axis) by pressing G then press Z then move the mouse until the bottom side near the teapot and ground plane object. When the bottom of the box is near the ground plane left-click the mouse to release the box object.

  • Create flow object
    1. Select the teapot by right-clicking the mouse button.
    2. Go to physics tab in properties panel.
    3. Click the smoke button.
    4. After the smoke section appears, click the flow button to make the teapot as the flow object..
    5. Inside the smoke section change the Flow Type pulldown menu from smoke to smoke+fire.
    6. Click the Flow Source pulldown menu and select particle system.
    7. Click the particle system box and select ParticleSystem.

Step 4.2 Baking the smoke
After we set up smoke domain and flow we can watch the simulation by pressing play button. In order to reduce cpu usage, we can bake the smoke into a file. To bake the smoke simulation into a file, follow these steps:

  • If you haven't saved the project, save it to a file by pressing alt+S then save the file.
  • Select the domain object, in this case the default box object.
  • In properties panel, go to physics tab.
  • Expand the smoke cache section. If you haven't saved the blend file, this section will be grayed out.
  • press bake button to bake the smoke simulation.
  • The cache files will be created under blendcache* folder. The blendcache* folder will be at the same location as the blend file you saved earlier.

Step 4.3 Texturing the smoke
At this point you can press the play button to preview what the smoke simulation will look, but if you try to render the scene, you will only see big black box. This is because the default box still have the default material. To make the domain object render properly, we need to set up the proper material for the default box. To set the default box to be able to render the smoke, follow these steps:

  • If not yet selected, right-click the domain object to select it.
  • In properties panel, go to the material tab.
  • Click the X sign to unlink the current material so that the domain object have no materal.
  • Click the + sign to add new material. After clicking the + sign, the new material named "Material.001" will appear.
  • Double click the "Material.001" text and rename it to "smokeDomainMat".
  • Change the material type from Surface to Volume.
  • Set the Density to 0.000
  • Set the Density multiplier to 1.200

  • Next step is to add smoke and fire texture to the material. To add the texture to the material go to Texture tab.
  • Click New button to create a new texture.
  • Rename the texture into smokeTex.
  • Change the texture type from Image to Voxel Data.
  • After you change the texture type to Voxel Data, the Voxel Data section will appear. Inside the Voxel Data section change the Domain Object to Cube.
  • Go to the Influence section and uncheck the Emission color and check the Density and Emission.

  • Go to texture slot again and click the 2nd texture slot.
  • Click the New button again to create yet another new texture.
  • Rename the texture into fireTex.
  • Change the texture type from Image to Voxel Data.
  • Go to Colors section and check the Ramp checkbox.
  • After checking the ramp checkbox, a color slider will appear with two handles.
  • Click the + sign 4 times to add 4 more slider handles to the ramp.
  • Click and drag the slider handle to move their position and click the color box to change the color of the selected handle.
  • Adjust the new slider handles to the new positions and colors to mimic a fire color. In this scene, these slider have these settings:
    1. 1st handle (the most left handle):
      • Position:0.000
      • Color (RGBA): (0,0,0,0)
    2. 2nd handle:
      • Position: 0.138
      • Color : (0.233, 0.000, 0.025, 0.500)
    3. 3rd handle:
      • Position: 0.359
      • Color : (0.296, 0.058, 0.046,1.000)
    4. 4th handle:
      • Position: 0.705
      • Color: (0.593, 0.510, 0.145, 1.000)
    5. 5th handle:
      • Position: 0.919
      • Color: (0.814, 0.746, 0.678, 1.000)
    6. 6th handle(the most right handle):
      • Position: 1.000
      • Color: (1.000, 1.000, 1.000, 1.000)
  • Go to the Voxel Data section, change the Domain Object to Cube and source to Flame.
  • Go to the Influence section and check the Emission and Emission color.
  • Set the Blend dropdown menu to multiply.

Step 5: Placing the camera and rendering

The exploding teapot scene is pretty much done. All we have to do now is to place a camera and a light then start to render. The only thing you need to be sure is to render using Blender Internal engine because the current blender version is only support rendering smoke simulation using blender internal engine. 



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