Monday, 13 December 2010

No Downtime for P-Dawg!

Apart from giving myself stupid nicknames (although I actually want people to call me P-Dawg from now on) I'm really quite busy right now. School's out for Xmas, but I still got 7 days of work a week. Gotta write 8000- 10000 words for dissertation, which I'm not gonna blog about, cause it's boring. I'm gonna write a plugin for Maya nParticles, that mainly enables localized erosion, but also kinda works like the Sandman effect in Spiderman 3. That's my innovations project sorted. Plus I gotta start on all the FX animation stuff for the major projects.
Okay... I started with most fun task- A fire wall for Charlie's project. I haven't really done fire before. It does look like a lot of fun though. I found David Schoneveld's blog quite a while back and I really enjoy watching his tutorials. He's pretty much "the Daddy" when it comes to MayaFluids and I learnt quite a lot. He also talked about SoUP an opensource Plugin bundle written by Peter Shipkov http://petershipkov.com/development/SOuP/SOuP.htm, which is kind of based on the node based workflow from Houdini, but for Maya. Very cool stuff for any kind of Maya related problems.
The thing Schoneveld talks about is UpresFluid in SoUP. Like I said most of the nodes are based on Houdini nodes and so is UperesFluid.
The problem with MayaFluids is that the fluid container resolution changes the simulation ( in some cases quite drastically), so when you start off with a low resolution to get the motion right in realtime and then crank the resolution up for the shading, the low resolution motion of the fluid can be significantly different to the high resolution one. In Houdini you start on a low res container then upres it, which makes an exact copy of the low res container but with the option to multiply the resolution. SoUP's upres fluid does exactly the same (Awesome!!!).
Now to the practice... Charly and Luke are going to make a life action film with quite a bit of Vfx in it. One of the effects is gonna be a wall on fire, best example to test upres fluid.
I know it's not really good, but it shows how much more details you can get out of the original MayaFluid sim. Another really handy option is the wavelet turbulence. I'm not quite sure how it works but I know by changing some of the setting it gets rid of the puffy look of the flames.
I've definitely got quite a bit more work to do.

P-Dawg is out!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

One dude post-production

I read on fxguide a couple of years back about a guy called Gareth Edwards, who directed a TV history drama about Attila the Hun for the BBC. The remarkable thing about that guy and the film was, that on top of being the director, he also made all the 250 vfx shots himself. He only used off-the-shelf software like 3DMax, After Effects and Photoshop ...AND... it only took him 5 month. Now the same guy directed a feature film called "Monsters" and guess who did all the vfx shots!
Again it only took him 5 month and again he only used off-the-shelf-software. Fxguide interviewed the guy and I want to shared it, cause it's just the perfect example of what is possible through efficiency and discipline. Especially with the major project hanging over everybodies head I hope my fellow animators take some motivation from that, regardless of their field.
Here's the link:
The link for the article about his work on Attila the Hun: