This is the breakdown to the collapsing bridge shot of the student project "Das Duell". All done (except car modeling) by the VFX hobbyist Delano Osterbrauck with the help of Wolfgang Wiedmeyer, who shot some of the textures and gave technical advice concerning the physics at the beginning of the main bridge simulation process.
Main software used: 3ds Max 2010, After Effects CS6, Adobe Audition CS6
The collapsing bridge scene was the most difficult CG-scene of the Extended Trailer ´Das Duell´. At the beginning of the concept phase of the project we were not certain whether it is possible for one VFX hobbyist with one workstation to realize such a scene but at least we got a final result which you can see above.
Every object except the vehicles had to be modeled and textured. First the environment was created: the highway with its guardrails, different kinds of highway signs that were textured with images we took from highway bridges and finally the vegetation on the left and right side and also in the middle of the highway had to be placed. The modeling of the bridge had to be done in a way that allowed a complex simulation with rigid- and softbodies. That means that it was important to ensure that there were no intersecting objects in the simulation and the tradeoff between detail on the one hand and polygon reducing on the other hand in order to not overpower the simulation engine and not getting a bad viewport experience in 3ds Max had to be taken in account. Especially the handrails on top of the bridge were a stress test for the engine as well as for the graphics card. The vehicle on top of the bridge is not part of the simulation but hand-animated.
The simulation results were enhanced by additional particle systems. The particles (stones) were modeled with different noise modifiers and emit from the breaking points of the bridge. The closer one particle system is to the camera the more detailed the particles are. This approach allowed to handle even a high amount of particles.
The dust simulation is driven by additional particles which also emit from the breaking points. It is partitioned in three sections to get more detail out of each simulation. The explosions are also fully CG.
The scene is rendered with multiple passes and then composited in AfterEffects with all the other elements.