How to Make Explosions
by Digital Nightmares

Ok, here is my idea for painting explosions, fire or smoke effects:

I developed this while trying to copy the explosions of the great game duke nukem for own games. But after a while of trying that seemed to be too much work, and all of my motivation went away, so that I decided to do some experimental effects with antialiasing (smoothing a picture) of some shapes I already had drawn. As the results were really not bad, I painted more shapes using a sprayer to make them darker and rougher.

What do I need for this technique?

You need a painting program supporting a spray-function, a color-palette with the ability to change colors (to create your gradients/rainbows) and which is the trick of this tutorial: an antialiasing-function.

Going on:

First you choose a very light color to spray the rough form of your explosions. Then you may choose some darker colors to make the whole structure somewhat darker and more interesting. These are my first shapes created with spraying:

Then I created a palette, so the antialiasing process could not use the wrong colors (You can see my palette in the picture above - maybe you must change Netscape's image-method to dither!). After this I used the antialiasing function several times on the whole image, until all pictures look smooth enough.

Second screen shows the picture as it looks after antialiasing two times:

The next screen shows the final picture - after some more antialiasing:

This is the only trick to be used if you want to create some simple, good looking explosions. This additional pictures will show you some other effects that can be done with this easy and fast method of making great grafix.

And now have fun with antialiasing and do some great, new effects ...

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Date this article was posted to 1/28/2002
(Note that this date does not necessarily correspond to the date the article was written)

See Also:
Sprites and Tiles

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