Particles

Honda Robots – Made Mean

I was the senior FX TD on this project and was responsible for the flamethrower fx, robot cable sims, paint spray, logo branding and any heat haze effects.

Honda_Lighting_Master30s_v60_H264_FullRes from Hugh Johnson on Vimeo.

In addition to the main 30 second commercial, we also delivered 3 10 second commercials. I was involved in this one where I simmed all of the tyre smoke:

Honda Socials 'Nutjob' from Dave Walker on Vimeo.


Clash of Kings

This was a very interesting commercial to work on. I was asked to provide all of the FX shots, and also to supervise the shoot in Hungary. We shot 1 day at Korda Studios and then 3 days in central Budapest. I also used photogrammetry on set for the first time, and found it an invaluable tool. Its always a good idea to capture as much data from the location as possible, and having scans of the location just made things much easier in the post work.

I used FumeFX for all the smoke and fire effects, and Thinking Particle for the dynamics simulations.

We filmed a lot of the footage in slow motion and I needed to match the speed with the FX. The final shot also contains a few speed ramps, so the only way we could match these was to simulate the FX on the whole slow motion plate, and then apply the ramps in post. This meant that the final shot is simulated over 200 frames to produce the correct look.


Houdini Flip Fluid Viscosity by age

Quick test to change the viscosity of a flip fluid by particle age.

A point attribute called birthframe is made in Sops so that each particle knows when it was born. Then in Dops a Popvop is used to read the birthframe attribute, and subtract it from the current frame of the sim which gives the particle’s age. This age is then passed to a fit range node which fits the value of 0 to 40, to 0 to 5000. This is the value written to the viscosity attribute on each frame.

Viscosity_popvop

This is what the flip section of dops looks like. The popvop is placed after the source volume for the flip fluid.

Viscosity_dops_network

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Thinking Particles Breakable Joint Tests

A series of tests varying the breakable velocity value for joints. The strength of the joints is also effected by a distance test to the center of the force that’s used to exploded the boxes. In some of the tests I add a random multiplier to add some variation to the effect.

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Nightclub Visuals

I worked on some nightclub visuals recently, which was a great change from my usual work. This was more a motion graphics type job, and involved a cloth like material streaming off a dancer as they performed traditional Chinese dancing.

I ended up simming about 8000 frames of particles, and then meshed the streams in Frost. Render times were pretty large, as the client required double HD. This is a small sample of the final result. I’ve changed the V-Ray shader in this version, as I wanted to try something else.

This is a render test at the double HD size, there are some Frost meshing issues with this test.

The particle count had to be increased to remove these holes in the mesh, but it was still a problem in the final render. This is partly down to the thin nature of the cloth like structures, as its not possible to increase the thickness of the mesh in Frost without changing the look of the streams. The only way to remove the holes is to massively increase the particle count.


Nazi Mega Weapons: Super Tanks FX

A selection of shots from Nazi Mega Weapons: Super Tanks.

Didn’t have much time to get these explosions delivered. Just one day of setup, and then 1/2 a day per explosion for more setup, sim and render.

The fume sim is driven by a particle flow system. I wanted to have a strong petrol based explosion type, with an initial large blast, followed by multiple secondary explosions as other sources of fuel are effected by the heat of the first explosion.

To achieve this I used multiple fume particle sources with different settings, and could adjust the amount of fuel and heat I was adding to the explosion with each blast.

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Qualcomm: The World Without Mobile Viral

I was asked by The Viral Factory to supervise and produce the vfx for a Qualcomm viral commercial.

I supervised the 3 day shoot in London, and then produced most of the post work over the following few days.

At the time of posting the viral has had 2.4 million views!

Here’s a breakdown of the Tweeting shot:

Thinking Particles 5 was used to sim the 10,000 falling birds. The sim times were actually pretty quick at about 30 mins considering the large number of objects.

V-Ray was used to render, with a V-Ray camera and motion blur. I did think about rendering a velocity pass, and using Realsmart, but considering the large number of overlapping birds artifacts could have been an issue. The shot was comped in After Effects.

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Word of Tanks: Endless War Cinematic

I recently finished working with the fantastic RealtimeUK on the World of Tanks: Endless War Cinematic.

I worked on a few shots, but mainly I worked on the Chi-Ha tank crashing though the bamboo. The bamboo was rigged and animated by hand, while the leaves were particle flow system, driven by a fume grid. The grass was Hair Farm. Here’s a video of that shot with a brighter grade.

An early test of the leaf dynamics:

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Large Scale Petrol Based Explosion

A fume test for a large scale explosion.

I’ve gone for a messy out of control explosion, with lots of secondary explosions after the main starter.

This is achieved with a combination of object and particle sources. As the shape for the object source expands, it dumps out a load of fuel and temp, with a fair amount of object velocity. At the same time a particle source is fired, and also sprays out some fuel and temp (but less than the source). The particle source also emits a fair amount of velocity.

Although the particle source is also burning, some unburnt fuel is left behind above the main fireball. This then catches fire and the fireball expands and rises up. Any unburnt fuel is also caught by the secondary explosions.


LVJ Ship Crash Dust / Smoke Trail Dev

Quick test to run through some ideas on creating better fluids behavior from smoke or dust trails. The idea is to create some eddies behind an object as it passes through the air.

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