Can you help me paint the moment a vampire is staked and disintegrates?
Earl Biscuit, US
This is a tricky problem, because you have to think about how much detail you want to show and how deep you want to delve into the anatomy of the vampire and the various materials that are expelled by the event.
If you watch vampire movies such as Blade, generally the disintegration radiates from the point of impact outward toward the limbs, with burning embers and ash flying all over. Look at some reference photos of fabric and paper burning, and apply that to the areas you want to burn.
I envisage that this is going to be a dark environment – perhaps the vampire’s family crypt – and the main light source will be the glowing embers and fire coming from the area into which the stake is penetrating. This will light the vampire’s face from below. I decide I also want to see a few exposed ribs, so the viewer realises that it’s not just the bloodsucking fiend’s clothing which is going up in flames. I’m keen to see a lot of energy and chaos in this piece, and I also want the vampire to be clutching at his chest with gnarled fingers and arching his back in pain.