Research and ideas for animation


For my idea I would like to animate a shatter effect or slowly deconstructing an object with different kind of effect an emitters in a way just like when a prince Rupert’s drop is dropped on the floor but does not shatter instantly instead the shock wave of vibration the travels up the tear after it has hit the floor then makes it explode because of how a prince Rupert’s tear has been made.

The other idea I had was to make a shatter figure in a model but slowly so people can see exactly what is happening at the time of impact and what inspired this idea was looking at Lichtenberg figures being made in a thick piece of glass on its own then someone hammers a rod into the bottom of the glass block and the rod then sends out up to 2 million volts of electricity which instantaneously give the block of glass a Lichtenberg effect which is what happens when lighting strikes hit the floor or even a person but I will cover this in more detail down below.

Although I could always make both of them into one idea where I shatter one object in slow motion in different ways and angles so I can see how both pieces of research can affect the way my destruction project will go as these are ideas my experiments throughout with different programmes and such could change the way the idea will work.

Prince Rupert’s drop

What is a Prince Rupert’s drop or dutches tears? Well they were discovered in the 17th century and when you drop a molten piece of glass in ice-cold water or oil the glass freezes and cools down making the outside cool quicker than the inside of the drop and that give it its tadpole shape and they are different every time and what you are left with is a bulb of glass but the real science is what is happening in the inside of the bulb because when the a Rupert’s drop rapidly cools down the outer part contracts and creates pressure but when this is happening the inside part is still goo like as it is still cooling down but after a while it will then contract because the outer part of the glass has cooled down and contracted already which causes pressure to the inside then it does the same by contracting even further to create immense pressure. Giving the bulb a great deal of strength and why it is such an interesting topic to use for animation.

Now what makes the Rupert’s drop even more fun to experiment with is the thin piece of glass which is at the end of the bulb because when this thin piece is touched or snapped at any point the Rupert’s drop wont only shatter it will explode from the point it was snapped at. And the reason for this is because the inside of the Rupert’s drop if looked at with a Polaris scope which is a filter which is polarised to keep the light out you will see that there are internal stresses inside the drop so because the Rupert’s drop compressed so much when its hot cool water or oil the outside of the drop has compressible stress but the inside has high tensile stress which is high tension being stored energy inside the drop so when the drop gets snapped at a certain point the high tension will be feeding off its self which gives it the same effects like a chemical explosive which has a chain reaction as seen in this video.


This reaction is also seen in many other objects that are also blown up but with more due care and attention to keep the explosive energy (kinetic energy) to a precise point into the object without making too much debris with the explosion by keeping it controlled and they usually do this with an electronic pulse through wires into plastic charges and although I will not be making the plastic explosives but instead only the practicality of the steps that it takes to make the effect and that’s why I am also researching into how construction companies have used explosives on different bridges as that has the same effect the Rupert’s drop has.

bridge explosion.gif

Just like bridge explosives that are used for bridges they use the same kind of chain reactions to demolish building as well and they achieve this safely by imploding the structural beams of building and letting gravity take its course because when the structures have been destroyed the floors will cave in on each other and will create the building foot print.

Although most companies use the same explosive whether if it is for the demolishment of building, bridges or massive structures such as power stations and power plants but as I just listed those structures they are all different from one another as well as the blaster crews that demolish building so in a lot of cases they will have to use another type of explosive to bring down a building as they do not all share the same structural weaknesses

over time is has changed as the earliest documented implosion of a building was in Ireland in 1773 where 150 pounds of gunpowder was used to take down a church and at the time that was an incredible amount of explosive material to use and because gun powder is a low velocity explosive which means that is burns very slowly as to why it is used back then as you had enough time to either get to a safe distance after lighting it or you could stop it as you have the time.

After this method was used for a time, times changed as well as structures for cities and people started to look for higher heights and this gave the introduction to skyscrapers and these looming structures were different from your average brick and granite house or tower as for these structures to have such length they were made of more durable materials like metal and steel so the blast crews would have to up the ante on their explosives to take them down and this introduced the explosive dynamite which is the stable state of nitro-glycerine.

Although the most used explosive in modern society to demolish buildings because of how it uses electrical current is RDX or research department explosive which was used widely in world war 2 as it had more pack for it punch compared to TNT also it was used in one of the first plastic explosives which are used a lot for detonated charges in building.

Lichtenberg figure

What are Lichtenberg figures? Well they are branching pathways in which high voltage currents pass to create patterns similar to a lightning strikes discharge and they put these patterns into different types of material to insulate the pattern and use them as decorations although there is much more work that goes into making these high-powered ornaments than you think because they weren’t always made so easily or in 3D for that matter.

As the first the Lichtenberg figure was actually made in a 2 dimensional dust figure which is when dust accumulates on the surface of electrically charges plates of resin. Which was used by the physicist who discovered this method who was Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in 1777 and after observation of the phenomena he then started to demonstrate this to his peers and students.

The reason I looked into these pattern is because I wanted to see if I could implement them onto an object and break in that way as well or to have an object break in slow motion.

hammer lightning.jpg


YouTube. 2016. Mystery of Prince Rupert’s Drop at 130,000 fps – Smarter Every Day 86 – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 27 October 2016].

Mail Online. 2016. Stunning video of condemned bridge which collapses in six seconds after being blown up by 153lb of explosives | Daily Mail Online. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 November 2016]

Julie Rogers-Martin. 2016. Prince Rupert’s Drop – Julie Rogers-Martin. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 01 November 2016].

Pinterest. 2017. Viac ako 25 najlepších nápadov na Pintereste na tému Lichtenberg Figures. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 05 June 2017



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