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Need To Make Ghosts


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Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a way to make ghosts, that fly around ethreally , transparent blended with white. I have a working knowledge of houdini and with a few days of tweaking I can figure it out, but I was wondering if anyone had any good approaches that come to mind that may be able to do this procedurally and elegantly.

Please reply with a rough idea for a workflow that may work in this case, if you have time.


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you need do it in 3d/vex only if you want rays to go across ghost so we can see him inside... otherwise just do it in composition playing around with alpha and luma key. This should give you good understanding of what you really need, and perhaps you do not need anything more.

You can also flip surface normals and render second pass of ghost - inside view. Then mix these two layers in composition... and you have your ghost with both sides. See also fresnel effect. Rendering just fresnel pass for in and out faced surfaces should give you interesting results.

and yes, xray is also goog point to start: is this shader just a playing around fresnel function or ancidence angle?



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Thanks everyone for your reply. The shading and compositing aren't too large of a problem. So far I have just done some tests in xsi using the hair tools to create the bottom ethreal blowing section, and using a skull for the head, compositing them together in after effects.

I would have liked to do the motion and the ghosts movements procedurally in houdini, but so far my tests with dops weren't very successful (just my lack of knowledge and experience I think)

I also experimented using a mesh captured to a bone chain linked to a curve with an expression to make the fluid motion, but I was thinking it would be better for something a little more ethreal and spontaneous, and i'd like to eventually copy them to a particle system so I have many ghosts flying around

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