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  • Noel Ruppenthal

Piranha Volumetric FX

Returning after about a year to modelling this ship, I've started figuring more of the FX to go with it, including thrusters and shields.


The shields are an idea I've had for a while, where instead of the usual sci fi behaviour of deflecting incoming energy bolts and beams off of a 2D surface, Hyperbeing Universe shields would scatter the particles like a physical medium would scatter light

The shield material is doing two cases of Pythagorean Theorem with math nodes to make the shield brighter the closer it is to the energy bolt. This means I can move the bolt and the shield effect will follow it


Another effect I needed to figure out was the thrusters. I've always wanted the ships to move through space with realistic Newtonian dynamics, and this necessitates thrusters. My target look was meant to look similar to the RCS thrusters seen in real space footage of spacecraft visiting the International Space Station. Also a volumetric effect achieved mainly by animating a pair of gradient nodes that control the density and brightness of two volume shaders: one that makes a gas that catches light, and another that emits light. The gas is a bit dense for what I was going for but that should be easy to adjust next time I work with these.

Below is an example of some real footage of RCS thrusters on a SpaceX Dragon capsule beginning 1:26 into the video


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