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UPDATED.

If some image doesn't load, just refresh the page. Dropbox isn't too reliable unfortunately. I chose it as a medium over forum's upload mechanism only because the latter seems to compress images on its own, which I do not want.

 

Two master shots:

 

nuts_and_bolts_master.jpg?dl=1

nuts_and_bolts_take2.jpg?dl=1

 

And three detail shots:

 

nuts_and_bolts_take1.jpg?dl=1

nuts_and_bolts_take4.jpg?dl=1

nuts_and_bolts_take3.jpg?dl=1

 

What was done in Houdini:
Some modelling of base shapes (blades of both fans and all tubular shapes of the CPU cooler - some of which are not visible on this particular shot) and instancing of similar meshes; RBD simulation for realistic placement of all those nuts and bolts; rendering (Mantra); postproduction.

Other software used:
Nvil - subdivision modelling of all objects.
3D-Coat 4.5 BETA - UVs and texturing of all objects (but the floor).
Bitmap2Material 3 - generating PBR textures of the wooden floor.
Photoshop - tweaking displacement map of the floor (painting the spacing between the boards); stencils for texturing in 3D-Coat; post.

 

Took over 7 hours (edit: per shot) to render on a 3930K... :o Mostly because of those blasted semi-transparent motherboard rivets...

 

---

Old, flat image can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vjbje6vcz2o8k4r/nuts_and_bolts_cam1_final.jpg?dl=1

 

Edited by ajz
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Very cool piece! I'm curious about how you approached the modeling and simulation of all those tiny little screws and bolts. Is everything modeled to real-world scale or just in arbitrary units and you're tweaking the solver to get the correct behavior? It seems like even a very robust dynamics system could have trouble accurately simulating such small objects, so I'm very interested to hear what your experience with it was.

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Thank you all for heart-warming comments. :)
I wouldn't mind hearing some critique too, in order to know what I should pay more attention to in the future.

 

Very cool piece! I'm curious about how you approached the modeling and simulation of all those tiny little screws and bolts. Is everything modeled to real-world scale or just in arbitrary units and you're tweaking the solver to get the correct behavior? It seems like even a very robust dynamics system could have trouble accurately simulating such small objects, so I'm very interested to hear what your experience with it was.

 

I modelled all objects in arbitrary units and then scaled those objects to fit each other's size inside Houdini. Initially I made the scene to match real-world scale, but due to one problem (unrelated to DOPs) I had to crank up the scale a lot, so now the cooler measures 28 meters in height... However, because the goal of the project was a still image, this didn't matter much for the simulation, which I needed only to scatter objects around the scene in a semi-random fashion.

For the purpose of the RBD simulation I replaced all moving models (nuts, screws, washers and motherboard rivets) with their modified low-poly versions. I tried to make them as much convex as possible, while still keeping their overall shape. I used meta balls field mode in their DOPs, and a mixture of volume and ray-intersection modes for DOPs of static colliders. 1/6 Min/Max substeps and an aggressive auto-freeze DOP were enough to make the simulation fast and quite accurate. Generally speaking, I didn't have to do a lot of tweaking to DOPs. Most of them are almost at their defaults. I believe that most time I have spent tweaking meshes of colliders rather than fiddling with DOP parameters.

Objects settled down after about 160 frames. I don't remember exactly how much time it took to solve the simulation, but I think it was something under 20 minutes.

 

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Guest tar

I wouldn't mind hearing some critique too, in order to know what I should pay more attention to in the future.

 

 

 

A critique is that it's could be much more interesting as a photograph in composition and lighting. Shoot it with different lens and angle and lighting. i.e. practice with a real camera on a similar setup perhaps:

 

Keith Johnson explains this in his recent excellent Houdini work: @ ~39:29

 

'Houdini - Neon Sign - Part 2'

https://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_forum&Itemid=172&page=viewtopic&t=38375

 

Edit: JIT! As of H14.0.307 there are IES profiles for lights included in $HFS/houdini/ies  :)

post-8321-0-00702200-1429765945_thumb.jp

Edited by tar

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This was an excellent video and a good piece of advice. Thanks Marty!

I'll be experimenting with different lighting conditions and some detail shots today. I am most definitely going to check out those IES profiles. I'll see if I can come up with something more interesting.

 

Until then, here's the same rendered image, but with some heavier post. Hopefully I didn't overdo it.

 

nuts_and_bolts_master_shot.jpg?dl=1
 

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Okay, finally the rendering has finished. I edited my initial post to include new images. I hope they're more interesting than the original one.

 

PS. Sorry for large dimensions, but I'm not sure if it's possible to use thumbnails on the forum. :blush:

Edited by ajz

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