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Hey there,

I don't think any of the Houdini artists here that worked on this commercial are frequenters of odforce, unfortunately.

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Far too busy too chat on forums, by the look of things.

That particle work is incredible!

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very nice work :)

and a VES Nomination:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Esuvee-Keep it on all Fours -- William Bartlett, Scott Griffin, Jake Mengers, Andrew Boyd

Guinness noitulovE -- William Bartlett, Scott Griffin, Andrew Boyd, Dan Seddon

Motorola-PEBL -- Eric Barba, Lisa Beroud, Janelle Croshaw, Greg Teegarden

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I love making of's.

Can you guys explane to me what are the color code on most of the smoke/particle stuff?

image_2.gif

Speed? Age? Normal? What is is used for?

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I was also wondering about that.. and i think that color are the normals... but i can be wrong..

23509[/snapback]

This is a cloud lit from three angles with red, green and blue lights. You can color-balance this and then monochrome it then comp it.

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ah ... nice one.

thanks for explaining this ... i guess this "making of" is one of the best i ever saw.. specially since it makes me thinking about "why and how". .. usually making of are just bunch of steps which doesnt really create you any interest or explain anything...

good. well.. its D2.. what i'd expect :)

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Guest cody harrington

I love making of's.

Can you guys explane to me what are the color code on most of the smoke/particle stuff?

image_2.gif

Speed? Age? Normal? What is is used for?

I did the pyroclastic cloud at D2 for this spot, I used rgb lights to render the voxels (with D2's storm) so that the lighting could be controlled interactively in the composite. The particle setup used a proprietary advect pop written by josh krall, which created a vectorfield to simulate wind currents from 6 simple splines hand drawn with a curve sop. The particles drifted loosely around the splines and fell off naturally into different vectorfields. There were 2 particle systems, the initial particles that were larger, less dense, and had an infinite life, the other set were split off the initials, were smaller, and faded in and out quickly to simulate the roiling billows. There were 350,000 particles in all which became cloud points in Storm. The voxel count was somewhere in the many billions and wrote to disk at about 2-12 hours/frame, mostly because the shadowmaps were hi-resolution and took at least 5 hours a frame. After that though it was a breeze to load the voxels back in, adjust density, lighting, and even add rendertime noise, then render out HD frames at about an hour/frame. The fact that Storm could easily voxelize that many points was remarkable and a testament to how powerful a tool DD has.

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Thank you verry much cody, for the in depth! I'm going to check the video again thinking about that.

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(with D2's storm)

so normal houdini user has no chances to create clouds like those, right? or maybe should I ask how close clever houdini user can come with apprientice to clouds creation?

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I beg to differ! If you have a chance, it is certainly with Houdini and some smarts mixed with sweat.

There are a few ways to get this look. The trick to DD's magic is that their solution is fast, fast, FAST I tell you!!!!!!!!! We're talking seconds instead of hours or days! This gives them the advantage of tweaking to get the perfect look where everyone else in production takes a couple stabs and that's what they get. When other companies still struggle with ideas of managing billions of points and mashing hybrid systems in rigid pipes, DD's system is darn right elegeant.

Now you can use several different techniques depending on how large the effect is on the plate and how far away it is.

That being said, you have to build your own tools or hip files to generate smoke.

Different ways to do smoke:

- render geometry using dented spheres or sprites. -> Slow due to opacitiy calculations. Geometry ray-marching. :P

- render with i3d. Fast due to the almost immediate integration of light contribution to the current shaded point. Has minor artefacting. Motion blur is there but must be managed.

- render with point clouds. Integration of light contribution is slower but results can be cached per region.

- render with geometry, i3d and point cloud layers and comp carefully (depth hell I admit).

Then there's the basics... You have to know data (SOPs and attributes), dynamics (POPs), and how to render this (shaders and Mantra knowledge).

There should be enough info in past posts to get a good start on all the above. Each technique has it's pros and cons.

Don't ever think that these effects are out of your reach! You can nail it. It's just that it may take a lot longer but everyone has to start somewhare, including DD. Best to do this on your own without the production headaches. Allows you to tweak and get comfortable. Don't ever forget that if it doesn't motion blur, time to rethink the solution. :)

A bit of background on DD. The smoke trails in True Lies and the smoke on Apollo 13? Dented Spheres!!! Just took a long time to render due to the opacity layers. This means DD and others have 12 years of development (since 1994) on you. That's all.

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so on a side note... how do you tell your boss that it is going to take that long for an image to render?

Do you guys bill for render time or just eat the cost as part of over head?

-k

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I beg to differ!  If you have a chance, it is certainly with Houdini and some smarts mixed with sweat.

...

A bit of background on DD. The smoke trails in True Lies and the smoke on Apollo 13? Dented Spheres!!!  Just took a long time to render due to the opacity layers.  This means DD and others have 12 years of development (since 1994) on you.  That's all.

23554[/snapback]

What's mildly disturbing about this statement is that I'm yet to see a good looking high-resolution, highly detailed i3d genertaion and render of such a shot to this day. Perhaps I have but haven't realized it?

The most powerful thing about Storm is the easy and fast way of populating the voxels. Besides the "meta-clouds" method, this does not exist in i3d as of yet in any way or form - and in the current architecture it is very very difficult to make it sing. i3dgen is incredibly slow for large voxel sets. Just try creating a large (1024x1024x512) voxel field and stipple in dust along a spline path. Can't do it? And just being able to do this technically is only a fraction of the problem when you need to make a good effect.

The population of good looking voxel is BY FAR the hardest part of volume rendering since the theory of raymarching is very very very well discovered and very standard.

That said, even if we use Storm to generate the voxel field and output to i3d format, and attempt to render that field using i3d, you'll get slow renders and artifacts.

Lets not suggest the Gardener sphere method after 12 years of Houdini development, eh? :ph34r:

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This is a cloud lit from three angles with red, green and blue lights. You can color-balance this and then monochrome it then comp it.

Continuing on the "adjustments" made in post, I found this step by step of a new rendering plugin for after effects:

It uses the color information and z-depth

ZbornToy

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