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Battlefield 4 Explosion

tharle
polycounter lvl 9
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tharle polycounter lvl 9
Does anybody have any idea how they did the really big explosion in the new Battlefield 4 gameplay trailer? http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=U8HVQXkeU8U about 9:10 in.

The rest of the pfx work looks like sprite work (really nice sprites but still) but that kind of rolling explosion is so hard to do with sprites. Maybe flowmaps on sprites i guess?

Really wish i had a copy of the Frostbite 2 engine to play with :(

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  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 11
    Looks like a flipbook no? Don't have any video capturing software at work to step through haha.
  • tharle
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    tharle polycounter lvl 9
    no, i dont think so. there doesnt look to be any repeated areas in the explosion that would give away a flipbooked sprite.
  • RC-1290
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    RC-1290 polycounter lvl 7
    It looks like they used a technique similar to what was used in the Unity 4 demo video.
    They say a few things about it in this video (at around 4:36).
    It is some kind of volumetric effect. So it seems like they're raymarching (a basic example of raymarching I've seen: "What does the place I'm at now look like? Move a bit forward. Repeat.") voxel data or some other kind of volumetric data.
  • tharle
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    tharle polycounter lvl 9
    awesome, cheers RC. i thought it'd be some fancy tech like that.
  • Eric Chadwick
    I made an anim GIF from the HD video, cropped and slowed down. Definitely impressive.
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5913234/Battlefield4_Explosion.gif (15MB)
  • mikiex
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    mikiex polycounter lvl 5
    Whoever did it should be proud :)

    The problem I see with raymarching , especially if done per pixel would be expensive.
    without seeing it closer its hard to tell, other than it looks really nice
  • RC-1290
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    RC-1290 polycounter lvl 7
    Sure, it might be expensive, but current PCs can handle it.
    Someone (smb02dunnal) recreated the effect in Unity 4 (DX11 mode) for Unity's recent DX11 competition. He posted a zip of the full project, so you could check that out to see how well it performs.
    Keep in mind that he made several entries for the competition, and the competition only lasted about 2 months, so it might not be as optimized as the effect you see in the Battlefield 4 trailer.
  • mikiex
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    mikiex polycounter lvl 5
    That Unity demo is nice, it didn't run too well on my laptop (Kepler GPU).
    Consider this game is coming out on Xbox360 and PS3, I wouldn't expect they would have an effect that wouldn't work on these platforms. Unless of course they are desperate to have everything read for the next consoles (well I am sure they are, they were for BF3 but had to scale it back). I'm sure someone from DICE will pop up and let us know :)
  • Obscura
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    Obscura grand marshal polycounter
    Hmmm. It runs on my very old pc(e5500,HD5450). Just with 7 fps, doesnt matter how i set the graphics, but runs.I was surprised.
  • Axi5
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    Axi5 interpolator
    my cpu's gonna need a massive upgrade for this O_O I barely run Catzilla's physics benchmark over 10 frames per second. I'll give the demo a go but I'm not expecting good results at all and I'd still consider my PC ahead of the next gen consoles.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    It can also be done for very cheap on a DX9 shader, using vertex colors as the base for your offset of the smog, for the one in Unity.
    The only problem is, you would then need a pretty dense mesh.

    The one of BF4 looks impressive, but if it's coming to consoles too with that effect, then I would say it's just really impressive texture work with some nice flow/vertex offsets that are doing the movement work mostly. I wouldn't be even surprised if for optimization reasons they just used a Stack-Map (Masks in the channels) or so.

    What really makes that explosion impressive is the lack of aliasing around the edges and proper sorting of the mutiple layers of the smoke, which is what gives it that nice volume effect, unlike many other explosions which only default to a simple additive and have to fight with alot of optimizations just to make it work, especially for a fast-paces FPS games were rockets fly at you form all directions.

    I remember not too long ago LoTtek made such an explosive effect and showed it off for UDK, I can't find the link, but it was pretty cheap and actually looked for something that was whipped out in 5 minutes and lacked real textures.
  • Drew++
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    Drew++ polycounter lvl 11
    It's just simply an animated texture fellas... Sorry to break it to you. xD
    source: a buddy at dice
  • Norman3D
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    Norman3D polygon
    Yeah, it might be a flipbook + vector maps to interpolate between frames, like in Killzone 2.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    My heart has been broken!
  • Eric Chadwick
  • RC-1290
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    RC-1290 polycounter lvl 7
    Really? Nice work. That doesn't bode well for freedom of movement in the single player campaign, but I think the blast is cool enough in that scene to justify it.
  • mikiex
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    mikiex polycounter lvl 5
    Would be interested to know if its made of multiple parts , I assume it must be.
    Also what software was used to create it.

    If its multiple parts I am sure it can be used plenty of places, it seems to have volume.
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