12 Explosive Visions Of The Cosmos Crammed Into A Box

12 Explosive Visions Of The Cosmos Crammed Into A Box

Last week at Eyeo Festival, creative coder and artist Robert Hodgin (aka Flight 404) demonstrated 12 new projects he created using an adapted version of the Cornell box—a virtual room that consists of three white walls, a white floor, and an illuminated ceiling. Each piece can be viewed from any angle in the room simply by moving the camera around to a preferred vantage point, and within this space, anything is possible… graphically speaking.

Each of Hodgin’s visualizations transforms the virtual room into a cosmic allegory of sorts, with balloons representing the big bang and floating orbs interacting with each other amidst a flurry of laser sounds. Of the lot, we’ve picked our favorites. Join us as we blast through these short, mind-bending videos, some of the illest graphic experiments we’ve seen. Be warned that, once this is over, your hair might be blown back and your eyes will be stuck wide for a little while after.

Big Bang

This is Hodgin’s interpretation of how the universe began, and it’s certainly a sunny look at the biggest and most violent explosion time has ever seen. Viewed as a birthday party, the “Big Bang” consists of a cloud of balloons filled with confetti and a crowd cheering like it’s the first new year’s party ever, which it is.


Watch a black orb stand its ground while under attack from an evil looking, spider-like mass of tentacles, which convulses with negative energy. Each hit results in a blinding splash of color that looks like it’s got to hurt.


This is probably what it looks like when you’re trying, for whatever reason, to map a huge explosion. The best part of “Shockwaves” is easily when it freezes and we rapidly shift camera to another viewpoint… and then explode again. And again.


If you’re at all repulsed by “Repulsion,” then you’re clearly squeamish around blood. Not only is this gory mess swaying like a serpent, it’s also floating in the middle of the room. However, if you’re a fan of Spiderman villain Carnage, this will get you hype for the potential of seeing him in CG action one day.


Stepping away from the literal cosmic depictions, “Catalog” is a three dimensional map of a couple hundred thousand stars closest to our sun, and what makes it even more awesome is that you can look at the mass from the perspective of any individual star.

Take a look at Robert Hodgin’s website to see the full collection of 12 videos, along with wonderfully detailed explanations of his working process, some of his challenges, and the innovation he employed to create such breathtaking scenes.