This is a recreation of a scene from the Porcupine Tree’s stage video for their song “Anesthetize” (http://vimeo.com/6853481) so I cannot take credit for the concept. I found this song and video very powerful and decided to recreate one of the really cool CG scenes in a higher resolution (said scenes begin around the 7:15 mark in the video)
The modeling is very simple. I used the very cool (but extremely buggy) laplacian lightning add-on (http://www.blendernation.com/2011/06/27/laplacian-lightning-generator-blender-2-5/) for the electricity halo thing and used a few tricks from the supernova tutorials for texturing the center rings. Everything was heavily blurred, colored, twisted, glared and whatnot in the compositor (THAT was certainly an adventure).
At this time, the pills are animated in time to a section of the music, but the lightning and textures are not. To animate the pills as seen in the original video, I parented the ring of pills to an empty which I restricted to rotate only around the Y axis. I also added a copy-rotation constraint to each pill to be able to easily synchronize the rotation of the pills in a given ring by rotating a second empty. The first empty can then be rotated or moved to make all the pills move together while the second empty can be rotated to make the pills spin faster or slower about their individual centers. Each ring was then duplicated and moved to create the tunnel-of-twisting-pills effect. If anyone wants more info, I’d be happy to share.
In short, this was mostly just an exercise to re-create something that already existed, but I liked the result enough that I felt I should share it. Maybe some prog-metal fans (if there are any that frequent this site…) will enjoy it.
[Note, while I would have liked to allow CG cookie to use it for promotional purposes, (though I doubt they would use it anyway) I really can't as the original concept is not mine.]