View Full Version : train wreck scene

02-01-2013, 06:29 PM
Hey guys, i have a question.
ok, so i'm filming a spy movie for a college application, and it requires some epic visual effects for the courses i'm wanting to take. What i want is for an enemy agent shooting an active train with a rpg, and the train blowing up like in the movie Super 8. I cant seem to find any decent looking train sets for lightwave, the software i use. can somebody help me out please?

02-01-2013, 06:34 PM

02-02-2013, 11:32 AM
i also need some help with the dynamics of the scene. i never used any of the hard, cloth, wind, ect, effects. what i was just able to do with my experiments is make a train car bounce off of another train car using some collision effects. but now im trying to make a full length train bounce off of the tracks (explosion from underneath), and all the cars following the first car fall with it. any suggestions or tutorials?

02-04-2013, 12:34 AM
Since you were able to do a simulation with two cars what happens when you increase the number of cars?

This is a pretty ambitious sequence if you're new to LightWave or cg in general. Are you able to freelance it out?

02-04-2013, 05:07 PM
i have used lightwave for about 5 years, but i mainly used it for fun. this is the first time im using it for an important project. i would rather do it myself with some outside help, such as these forums, i dont have money to have somebody to it, i can barely afford to fill my tank.

02-04-2013, 05:48 PM
Is your sequence storyboarded with clever camera cuts? Instead of doing a single simulation you could chop it up into manageable chunks where if the sim doesn't have to be technically accurate, it just has to look good for the camera.

02-05-2013, 10:01 PM
I suggest you look for actual train wreck scenes (even those in Super8) and try to figure out what you want to happen. You are just not gonna get a decent train wreck by simulating. That is not the way it is done. You decide what sequences you want to see happen and then you create the corresponding scenes and use simulations to add realism. Check marteStudio.com for some of our FX (so you see I am not talking out of just any orifice).

After you have your sequences planned, you get your basic motion by animating, but then add simulations to create pieces falling apart. The thing with Hard body simulations is that in an actual crash, metals do not behave entirely like solids, but bend and wrinkle like cloth under extreme pressures before acting like solids again. A simple Hard simulation won't do the entire trick and trying to get it all with soft bodies boggles the mind.

Also, if you have a good idea what you want to see in every cut, you will realize that it is possible to get a simulation to look like what you want at least for a moment. So you do several cuts and create several sims where you can animate your elements up to a certain point and then simulate for the rest.

Lightwave's 11 Bullet physics are just fantastic for this kind of thing, but objects have to be modeled carefully so that all the pieces have volume, are formed by triangles and if broken take extra care to eliminate anomalous polys that sometimes come out of the booleans that fracture makes. This is one of my examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCAaKv2w4bw

It takes a lot of practice to get it right. Please don't lose your patience or your determination and you will be able to do great stuff.

02-06-2013, 10:27 PM
I suggest something like this, assuming it's a night shot, your agent hunched at his position steadies his missile launcher and fires (you would have already established the on coming train). We see the missile shooting through the air towards the train (shouldn't be too hard to do). Camera back on the agent, we hear the impact explosion and you bring up the lights on the actors face, vibrate the camera a little in post and build up the mother of all train wrecks on the soundtrack, screeching tangled grinding metal sounds eventually coming to a rest. Cut to a reverse shot of some kind of matte painting of the wrecked train with added fire and smoke elements.

Now even if you don't follow this script exactly you get the idea, build the scene in shots like has been suggested already, my version completely removes showing the train stunt but still gets across the idea. You might even think it sounds corny or like a rip off but it would depend on how it was done, the mood, the sounds, the performance.

02-11-2013, 04:33 AM
All what the others have said+
Take some photos of trains from the side and stick it to your objects.
In making ofs I saw several times that the stand in geometry is ridiculously low,
for example in flythrough shots.
But how do you deal with fire? And debris?

02-11-2013, 06:06 AM
nice models >
(can be converted to fbx for free on the site)

also consider post >

02-11-2013, 03:58 PM
thanks for your help, guys. i think what im going to do is first storyboard it, since it the deciding factor on what shots i will be using. i think i might just try a simple train engine explosion, since we found a nice old and abandoned train yard with all the trains there. I would then use a combination of the lighting and sound effects to give the implications of the explosion/wreck and cg. i dont have any money to buy models, so i might just model them on my own. also i think that using a whole train wreck would be total overkill for this film. ill see what works best. if i like the simple explosion maybe i can challenge myself and try for the whole thing.

02-11-2013, 04:38 PM
pleaze post vid when done \:]

02-12-2013, 06:31 AM
Andrew Kramer at Video copilot has posted a breakdown of an upcoming tutorial featuring trains and explosions. He uses After effects mostly but it might help after you've simulated/animated the 3d stuff.


02-14-2013, 06:40 AM
well that's convenient...im a regular video copilot subscriber, how could i miss that. that is exactly what i'm looking for, thanks

02-14-2013, 07:25 AM

Snarky... LOL

02-25-2013, 02:22 AM
Just saw this pop up over at Renderosity - http://www.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/santa-fe-super-chief-1945-1953-bundle-for-vue-/97852 Its a train set - though passenger models (Sante Fe Super Chief and 4 cars) --- note, that its done in Vue format - but those are exportable and its just $22 USD so not a bad price. W/Rendorosity you can also contact the author directly and since looking at their store shows a ton of models that are non-Vue based I have to think the assets are being created in another format to begin with.

03-12-2013, 08:41 AM
Amazing ! I have the same problem now and thanks God for this forum and thread ! I have always thought that old posts or threads related with some of the topics are cool because I am sure that there will be other people who have to deal with the same or almost the same problems. Thank u all guys to helping for each other !