Chapter 14. Pyrotechnics: Heat, Fire, Explosions

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My nature is to be on set, blowing things up.

—Ken Ralston, winner of five Academy Awards for visual effects

Many people—guys mostly, perhaps—first become interested in a visual effects career as borderline pyromaniacs or gun nuts. They want to blow shit up. You have to follow your passion in life, I suppose. Creating your conflagration on the computer isn’t quite the same outlet as the boom and the singed eyebrows, but maybe it helps keep these people off our streets.

The truth is that explosions are still most often (and most effectively) done through a combination of practical and virtual simulations. ...

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