Exploding Fist in 5 Minutes – 3Ds Max Tutorial

A Exploding Fist in 5 Minutes: Hi there and welcome to the 3ds max tutorial ‚The Exploding Fist in 5 Minutes‘. This will be my firts post in english language … I hope you’ll understand the single steps ;-) This scene at the end of this tutorial is saved many years ago in 3ds Max R3 – I just found all this stuff a few days ago and decided to use this files to generate my very first tutorial for my blog. So lets go ahead – grab yourself a digital camera, if you would like to do everything from beginning by yourself.

I would do it – it is a cool feeling to see, „this“ is my fist in this image :-) You need also a software like Photoshop to create the alpha channels – and of course, 3ds max or any similar 3d software to recreate this scene. This is so easy, it could be done on nearly every other program. On the next page we dive in!

This are the first steps for the textures we need in the scene, because we do not only want to set up a image in front of a exploding wall of bricks – no, we would like to create the illusion that we blow this shit up and see some bricks still in front of the fist.

Create the textures for the 3d scene
Create the textures for the 3d scene
  1. Take a photo of your fist or borrow yourself one :-)
  2. Extrude only the fist, this is what we need to get trough the wall
  3. Create the alpha of the fist-image, to use it in the opacity map slot

So If you would like, setup the fist-material first. Just put the Image from step 2 into the diffuse colour slot and as you already know – the alpha of this image in the opacity map slot. that’s all.

So it is time to build a nice brick wall, this is the only work you have to do – but if you create a few bricks and use the array tool (tools -> array) you can easy clone them to a complete wall. So place a camera in front of it and we can continute to the explosion.

the 3ds max bomb modifier
the 3ds max bomb modifier

As you can see in the image above, I used the simple bomb modifier to blow this up. After you used some bricks you attached to a bigger mesh and attached this to the bomb you can pull the animation slider to see the default explosion. Here you need to experiment to get the settings you would like to, but do not use to small pieces in the ‚Fragment Size‘ settings. If you see a little chaos like in the image to the top right, keep it (simple). Take a look at the following image how to do the setup of the next step:


Now place a ‚Atmospheric Apparatus‘ sphere for the dusty explosion in the wall. Clone this sphere, rename it to fire explosion and move it a few units to the front or where you like it. Take a look at ‚image 4‘ if you can not find the menu.

It is time to setup the fire and dust ‚Apparatus‘ – open the menu ‚Rendering‘ – ‚Environment‘. In the tab Atmosphere/Effects press ‚add‘ and select a „fire effect“. ‚Pick Gizmo‘ and select the first atmosphere. Press ‚add‘ again and select ‚fire effect‘ again. Pic the second sphere gizmo and change the colours of inner and outer colour to a gray and 90%white.

When you do a rendering trough you camera, you will see some fire and dust, which may need some adjustment if you like.

In the last part of this tutorial, we close the material editor and clone some more bricks in the wall – i.e. five or six of them. Now we press ‚auto key‘ or record to simply record the following animation and move and rotate the stones towards the camera. Move the slider at the bottom to see if you like the animation(s).

Scene Screenshot in Max
Scene Screenshot in Max

We need this for the movement of the stones in front of the fist plane – take a look at the following picture, maybe I get on the limit of my skills in english :-)
Now you see where the new ‚plane‘ needs to be positioned. We add the new plane in your favorite view and open the material editor again. Add the fist material to the new plane we created and move it between the wall and the flying bricks.

If you do a testrendering and think it may look ok, we do one last thing, to add a little bit more realism in the scene. Please select all the flying stones and the exploding fragments. Do a right-click and select the ‚object properties‘.  Seek for the ‚Motion Blur‘ settings and change from ’none‘ to object or image. The difference is, motion blur by object looks often far more realistic, but takes a lot more CPU time to be calculated. So if you scene is still not final, use only ‚Image‘ Motion blur and do the final render only in Object Motion blur. But remember – if you explosion generates a lot of polygons this can freeze your pc or take up to many hours to complete ;-)

So now we reached the end of the tutorial and I hope you took some inspiration with you when you move on in the net. I would be glad if you ‚liked‘ this tutorial and give me a visit again.

Download 3Ds Max Modell

Thanks for your time, best regards, juergen


Ich bin Jürgen und als glücklicher Familienpapa und arbeite als Mediendesigner in Wiesmoor und entdecke mit unserer kleinen Familie die Welt. Was uns wichtig erscheint, müssen wir hier in unserem Blog niederschreiben. Abonniere uns, damit du immer auf dem Laufenden bleibst: Wir posten Fotos auf Instagram und haben dem Podcast nun auch einen Kanal unter Friesenzeit dort eingerichtet :-) Bis bald! PS: 'Nakieken' ist übrigens Plattdeutsch und bedeutet soviel wie "genauer hinsehen" und genau das ist Programm hier im Blog.

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