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When Given An Assignment How Do U Attack It?


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I wanted to ask this question, here since many of you have been working in this industry for a while.

When one is given an assignement to do a particle effect such as rain, dust, tronados, and what have you. How do you go about tackling the problem. I am curious, how do you go about making the effect so close to the real thing? Video footage reference is one thing but are there more parameters needed when thinking about the assignment given to you?

Also in terms of movement which (IMHO) is REALLY hard to nail how do you pros go about getting it right?

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Well, I've never done any weather effects, but I suppose it's the same as solving every other problem.

Step 1: Sit down and put some real thought into what the tool will need to do. Look at reference, read, decide what you actually need to do and think about how to do it efficiently.

Step 2: Rough out the major features

Step 3: Progressively refine it until it does everything it needs to do

Step 4: If someone else is going to have to use the tool, put some thought into putting an interface on it that makes some sort of sense

Step 4: Give it a run in a production situation and find out it doesn't work or flat out breaks badly.

Step 5: Beat the hell out of it until it behaves and gives you the result you want

Step 6: Show it to a producer or the director or supervisor so they can tell you it doesn't look right

Step 7: Make it look how management wants it to look despite the fact that the end result doesn't look anything like reality or what the initial specs called for.

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If it were in production, I would first ask the director/lead/supervisor for art direction and how crazy the effect needs to be. Then I would find out if anyone has ever done the same or similar effect already in production (or on another production) and see how he or she did it, then go from there.

If it is your own production, Mcronin pretty much laid it out, especially if you are going to be developing the tool from scratch.

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I've always liked:

`Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'

And as for real advice, I'd say the sim is probably the most important part of doing weather effects. If you don't get that right then nothing else will look good.

And with that, I find it's best to keep things simple. If you find that you're having to add extra force and wind with crazy values just to get the sim to behave, then chances are you've lost your way. I tend to just delete everything at that point and start again :).

I've seen some people *cough*Alan*cough* get a vastly superior looking simulation out of 5 pops and a bunch of SOPs than others with maddeningly complex networks.

Rendering it is a completely different animal though, and one I'm probably not the best to get advice from.


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Reference Reference Reference!!!

You can never have too much Reference!

Make a plan and lay out goals.

Break it down into bite sized chunks.

How do you eat a Elephant?

One bite at a time.

To go with Jason's Johnny Gibson quip...

Art is never finished, just due!

Real artists ship!

-Steve Jobs- sometime in the eighties on a beach on the west coast.

Good artists steal!

?DaVinci? Dunno

My 2 cents

okay mabey that was a nickle.

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