realistic movie explosions

Even though special effects have never been better than they were today, there’s always room for improvement. For example, even though we’ve had stellar digital visual effects at our disposal awhile now, there have been plenty of disappointments on the big screen. In fact, one area where Hollywood sometimes had difficulties was in creating realistic movie explosions. But thankfully, science stepped up to help.

A new video from Theodore Kim, professor of Media Arts, Technology and Computer Science at the University of California, explains how Hollywood has been able to create realistic explosions in movies, and it’s all thanks to a fancy algorithm.

Here’s The Science Behind Hollywood Explosions from the University of California (via Gizmodo):

This video gets pretty technical, and there’s some math and science talk here that I’m not entirely sure I fully grasp. But knowing that it makes possible to the ability to create realistic explosions in movies is all I need to know to appreciate it. Michael Bay should probably have a shrine to this little tool somewhere in his mansion full of lingerie models.

Along with more sophisticated and realistic explosions being created by digital effects, the creation of smoke has also improved vastly in a relatively short amount of time as well. And it’s all thanks to a tool called Wavelet Turbulence, which you can learn a little bit more about right here.

Films such as Avatar, Iron Man 3, Super 8 and Man of Steel have used this tool to create the blockbuster explosions you see on the big screen, and probably even take for granted. So the next time you see a massive explosion in a movie, think about all the hard science and math that went into making that possible, and then you can go back to eating that popcorn in your lap.

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