Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CG Unionization

The topic of CG Unionization is heating up, let me say more on the topic since I feel like my views have changed recently.

A Union is as simple as we agree to group together on these issues. Could be enforcement of labor laws, and lobbying for equal laws across states, fighting subsidies inequalities where they can.

Union is not an agent who will get you more money, agents are agents. Unions are not going to keep students/jr level artist from being abused and over worked b/c they do it to themselves. They can’t effect base salaries b/c that has to be able to naturally sway on a number of factors.

Unions could organize health care, but then companies won’t be afraid of that b/c all their competitors pay equally so it’s easier to add to budgets, and not a line item to be removed.

Set up and manage 401k’s to make it easier for artist to keep theirs, this doesn’t mean the company matches contributions. This could even be cheaper for a company if the benefits are already there.

Union will be what the market wants and what will fit naturally.

The negative is the artist will start paying from their own pocket some full time staff people to use their money on union salaries and lobbying. Organizing health care ++ doesn’t come for free. I think another large part is many union members don’t want to be involved and want it to work for them w/o voting or taking part. Union maybe sound scary but it doesn’t have to be. You have a voice.

So, is this what you want? yes or no?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SOuP dev

I keep waiting to have a better more perfect'er video to post on the SOuP dev I've been doing. But this will be a start/where I'm at. Peter's been working on (as some of you do, and all of you should know) but the newer part is an uprezing wavelet turbulence.
I wrote about each video on the vimeo page so check them out.
http://www.vimeo.com/17243715
http://www.vimeo.com/17249372
and
http://www.vimeo.com/17249372

SOuP upRez Wavelet test 11d_1 from destruct007 on Vimeo.

http://www.soup-dev.com/
SOuP, get it. Its free.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FX Houses Open for Biznass

I know when I'm looking for a list of US FX houses it's a pain in the ace. I found a list of some on a reply to some talk about Asylum closing, I added the links... Anyway, the list!

Psyop    
Eight FX       
Motion Theory       
Prologue       
MPC LA           
The Mill LA       
Public           
Logan           
Brand New School
OOOii           
Svengali       
D-Train           
Method           
Sway        
Look           
Hydraulx       
Eden           
Stargate       
Zoic           
Buck           
Radium           
A-52           
Brickyard FX       
Blue Room       
Sight           
Luma Pictures       
Crazy Horse       
CIS

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Good with Maya Fluids


Maya Fluid Testing from destruct007 on Vimeo.
Ok ok ok its been a while since I last posted. I have for you my "scientific method" of fluid testing. I use this a few times a week when in heavy development of a new effect. There are so many combinations of settings, it could be arguded billions of combinations, but lets say even a few million. There is no way and no one who can predict how a fluid will react given a set of attributes and influences. This is one of the key parts of fluids that make it hard to learn and harder to master. A master of fluids is someone who knows how to narrow in on the attributes that are effecting the fluid... well faster than someone who would just be good with fluids. I use this technique to help me understand different attributes. A lot of the time I fine my understanding challenged, and refined as I continue to learn what the hell is going on in there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2D Maya Fluid Sun

If you don't know to right click and save as...
http://agentfx.com/mayaFiles/2DFluidSun_m2011.ma

What's all this? A Maya file? What? Thats a first. I never share Maya files! Well an exception. For years I tried to make a file that looked like this just for fun, but its harder than it seems. You'd think, turbulence no buoyancy. Yeah sorta, but that still tends to build up velocities that are hard to control.
Anyway I was messing about trying to make a sprite for a fireball with no buoyancy... and it worked for something else. It looks kinda like the surface of the sun. Try other resolutions, high detail solve, I feel like I stumbled on this, and just stare at it playing back. The high turbulence "breaking" is controllable in a few ways like substeps but I didn't care to slow the playback down.

Maya 2011 only, Enjoy.

(oh and try to go to http://agentfx.com/mayaFiles/ to see if there are other files... there arn't, hah but I would have tried that)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Delete History, Maya Nodes 1


Delete History, Maya Nodes 1 from destruct007 on Vimeo.

In order to become better at Maya we need to have a better understanding of what's happening "behind the scenes" in Maya. How the node network functions and how Maya automatically connects, disconnects, deletes, etc nodes in your scene. This is a really quick look at a simple shape node network, and what is really happening when you delete history.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mel script to mess with 2

I posted before a script to mess with, that was a short script, well I've added a UI to it and now its a crap load longer, but there are new features. It will save your cache settings with the file, so if you oversample it will remember the oversampling, etc.
http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/scripts-plugins/dynamics/c/cache-fluid-and-playblast
So check it out, I'll make it work for windows this weekend. Right now it's only Linux.

EDIT: now version 2.1 with changes from "Alberto" plus a few extra things that I needed to do like error checking.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Switching to Unreal for a while

I needed to switch to learning Unreal engine as I'm looking to get into games next, probably mainly using UDK, so I'll have to come back to Unity in a couple a months.

New Laptop (nobody cares)

$1000 budget, and I was || close to getting a 13' macbook pro, the cheapest one, when I said screw it, I don't care, going Dell. I got so much more computer for my money.

Studio 15 Laptop
Intel Core i5-520M 2.40GHz
6GB DDR3 at 1066MHz
15.6" Full High Def (1080p) High Brightness LED Display
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470, 1GB
500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Disk Drive
Back-lit Keyboard
$1022 total (After tax n stuff, - discounts)

vs the mac has less on all fronts except: body, battery life, arguably video card, iPhone app dev, and resale price.
But the 13" mac is $1225 with tax even after the $100 savings from teaching at Gnomon! Lame. That's about a 20% cost increase, over budget, for less. I'm still not a mac.

Friday, August 20, 2010

3DBuzz got Unity

3D Buzz has been around for a long time. I've not watched their unity tutorials yet b/c they aren't playing on this version of linux for some reason, anywhoo that will soon be fixed. But a great list of tutorials, that I can be sure will be worth the time to watch them. I don't get how they make their money but 3dBuzz is pretty cool for sharing all this.

Check it out.
http://www.3dbuzz.com/

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fire 1.5


2d Maya Fluid Fire Settings from destruct007 on Vimeo.
Finally! Fire tutorial 2... er 1.5 This one is better than 1 but honestly I did it a few months ago and now forget some of what I said. I remember it being decent and good to see workflow of fluid sims. I think this would probably be the most important video to watch if you already have a good foundation in fluids.

The audio starts to go out of sync half way through but whatevs, that always seems to happen in longer tutorials.  But just so you know...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mel script to mess with

http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/scripts-plugins/c/cache-fluid-and-playblast

Just posted this for people to check out. Its a somewhat polished somewhat rough cache then playblast script. I've commented it heavily so you can check it out and break it down. Only works on Linux right now, since the "system" call is a linux format. A good simple test is to get it to work on Windows or OSX.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The importance of //Notes

Why do I do this to myself? sometimes I make only a few notes then I come back to my set up and say WTF was I thinking?!?!  Its not like I can't read any one thing, I wrote it. But why some numbers are there, what settings were doing what, relating to each other how, why, damn. I hate going back to work on old code, even with notes. Often I feel like screw it just re-write it, easier than fixing what was previously broken.
This is one of a few sparks particle expressions... and my eye glaze over when trying to understand this initially, but I have to cram this back into my head. Honestly its not that much code, but to make this code do what you want artistically with easy is another thing altogether. You have to have the math, connections and settings back in your head working congruently.

//creation
//spark strong %
sparkShape.strongPercent = rand(1);
float $strongPercent = sparkShape.strongPercentage *.01;
if (sparkShape.strongPercent < $strongPercent)    {
    sparkShape.indexPP = 10;
} else {
    sparkShape.indexPP = 0;
}

//short %
float $shortPercent = sparkShape.shortPercent *.01;
sparkShape.shortPercentage = rand(1);

//spark scale
float $length = rand(2.5, 3.5);
float $yScale;
float $zScale = $yScale = gauss(0.55, 1) * sparkShape.widthMult;
if (sparkShape.shortPercentage < $shortPercent)    {
    float $shortRand = rand(.15, .3);
    sparkShape.scalePP = <<($length * $shortRand), $yScale, $zScale>>;
} else {
    sparkShape.scalePP = <<$length, $yScale, $zScale>>;
}

//index start value
sparkShape.splitIndexPP = 0;

//split scale
sparkShape.splitScalePP = <<0, 0, 0>>;

//split pop amount
sparkShape.splitPopEmitter_emitterRatePP = rand((sparkShape.splitPop * 0.5), sparkShape.splitPop);

//lifespan
float $life = 24.0 / sparkShape.life;
float $lifeRand = 24.0 / sparkShape.lifeRand;
sparkShape.lifespanPP = $life * (rand(($lifeRand * -1), $lifeRand));

//scale spark on second frame of life
if(sparkShape.age > 0.042 && sparkShape.age < 0.08)    {
    float $mag = mag(sparkShape.velocity) * sparkShape.lengthVelocityMult;
    vector $sclPP = sparkShape.scalePP;   
    float $velLengthMult = $sclPP.x * $mag;
    sparkShape.scalePP = <<$velLengthMult, $sclPP.y, $sclPP.z>>;
}

//runtime
//vary fade out speed
float $randFadeOut = rand(1);
if($randFadeOut < .05)    {
    sparkShape.indexPP += .4;
    sparkShape.splitIndexPP += .4;
} else {
    sparkShape.indexPP += .2;
    sparkShape.splitIndexPP += .2;
}

Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting up to speed on Javascript

While most programming languages I've used are similar, MEL, Python, C, Javascript(back in the day for web) Using Javascript for Unity is pretty straight forward once you get the syntax.
For the most part I feel like I "got it" but reading over this in my spare time did solidify my foundation.
http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=36096
and then this
http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/
I think going from MEL to Unity's Javascript with this thread is a leap forward, other than the more codey stuff later, it's a lot of the must know.
Javascript is a huge part of Unity, controls juuust about everything (or C#). So if you were a maya emitter/field tweak fx'er who didn't write a lot of functions to get your job done faster then this might not be a smooth transition.

Currenly I'm working my way through this long tutorial, taking my time to understand what we're doing.
http://unity3d.com/support/resources/tutorials/3d-platform-game
My only critique, if you can call it that, is there's a LOT skipped over in the name making it a doable tutorial (already 122 pages) They can't have you make EVERYTHING otherwise it'd take forever so they skip over a lot. That's cool, just leave big gaps to fill in later.

Friday, July 23, 2010

RigidBodies Unity compared to Maya

Playing with the RBD's in Unity, noticed a few attributes that don't exist that maya has and I use.

No Bounce, or Impulse (translates and spin).

Bounce seems to be the tricky one. Tricky b/c even in maya how it loses energy is not as straight forward as a divide, otherwise it vibrates forever. And in Unity it will be adding up force, vs losing the 100% opposite directional force.

If its not built in, I can script something, but I'm surprised to see that missing. I think I'll start making a .js toolset for RBD's to add these as needed.

Side note: I need a laptop at work to play with as Linux and work computer are both reasons I do not to have it here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alec Holowka, from Infinite ammo

Yes another post first day blog is live, WTH? No I won't normally be doing that but at my day job I'm pushing particle counts on a sim with self collision, which gives me lots of time to sit and wait. So... here we are.
When learning FX, inorder to be good at it, you really need to be generally good at just about every other aspect of CG, or gaming in this case. Hence, my plan is to learn to be a master of Unity. It has to be if I want to be good at FX(and make games). So part of that is getting back into javascript, as I touched it basically in collage for internet purposes but now that seems to be the choice for what I want to do in game.
I really am enjoying these video tutorials by http://infiniteammo.ca who's taken the time to break down a lot of stuff, mostly on the developer side (vs artistic/3d side) but really getting me up to speed in a jiffy coming from film fx. Anyway Alec Holowka seems to be an awesome guy, so check him out (if you haven't like for-evar-ago!)

ethical games rigidBody tut

This is a nice simple intro to rbd's in unity.  (video 6 & 7)
http://ethicalgames.wordpress.com/category/tutorials/

Nice to see how he scripted in the functionality, different than maya but not foreign.

First Post! Woot!

Hello world! I've decided to take my Maya FX skillz and see what I can do with them in Unity 3D for games.
My other site www.agentfx.com has my maya fx stuff. I'm working on learning unity at the moment, but feel like I'm picking it up quickly since I've learned a number of 3d apps before and its well laid out. I'd like to post what I learn and things I figure out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Awesome XSI - ICE Dynamics

http://lagoatechnologies.com/

EDIT: After digesting the contents of the videos over a few days I want to change this post.  Initially I was, and still am, impressed and blow away by the awesomeness of these dynamics. Definitely some things in here that would be extremely hard to do get maya to do, but at the same time, I've also only once in my career had an need for most of those hard-to-make-in-maya fx.
Unlike Fume FX which is still the leader in my mind for smoke, fire, and explosion fluid solves, thats something I need often.  
I'm excited to see where Lagoa goes, and still very impressed and inspired by the demo. I would love to find out the sim times on it, which could be impressive or sim-ilar to RealFlow which is the standard.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Speaking of Demo reels

I'm always telling jr artist to see as many reels as they can, hell, I think everyone should see a lot of reels to get an idea of what your peers are doing and to motivate you to push yourself in raising the bar. New site out there that has just that all in one place.

http://www.cgreelworks.com/

If your lucky and they find your reel, sweet. Otherwise, it can't hurt to get your reel up there in front of more eyes. Anyway, check it out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DD Intern

We just hired an intern on our show and I thought I'd share his demo reel with others to see what kinda of student reel gets you into DD.

http://www.cmessineo.com/

With this demo reel he basically flew threw the process. We were like yeah, looks great, hire him. Interviewed him, but mainly to see that he knows what he's talking about/he did the work shown. Anyway, he started yesterday, so if you're looking to get a job in FX, an internship like this at DD will fast track your career vs starting off in roto or the alike and working into FX. Work hard and work smart to show your best skills.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Negative effects of 6 day weeks

I feel like one can expect 6 day weeks to garner more work produced for a few weekends, but after a while that benefit fades into just taking productive hours from one day and moving them to another. My maximum production efficiency with the most usable work produced is 50 hours/week over 5 days, and honestly of that 50 I expect that I'm only REALLY productive for 6-9 hours/day but those productive hours shift from day to day and the 9-10 hrs caters to that.
We don't need just "FX elements" we need "good/final FX elements". In order to create that an artist needs creative energy and mental focus. There's only so much of that you can squeeze out of yourself a day, if you squeeze that extra back up energy it just takes some from tomorrow. Each day it takes some from the next day until you basically come it tired and useless. Unable to crank out final work in a timely manor just be as good as our auto pilot is. Managers often feel better about having artist around for longer/more hours. They feel like if they're in their seats they'll get more work done, and all time in a seat is equal. That misconception is why we work the way we work.
Our goals are the same, produce the best looking work in the fastest way possible. Get shots to final with the least number of hours. For weaker artist, or anal Sups/Directors that's done by producing the most iterations possible so that the notes can clearly define the direction. Iterations need to be done b/c there are things in the shot that are not right. Good artist can give themselves notes and final a shot with minimal iterations, when they have the creative energy and mental focus. This saves time in dailies and across the board and ends up working out for both the artist and the company.
The hard thing, from the companies perspective, is the weaker artist who need more iterations to get their shots to final. In that case the company might feel the need to ask them to do more hours. I get it, but across the board 6 day weeks, seems to be more costly than it's worth for both the artist and the company. I normally reserve the 6th day for the final 2-4 week push.
On this current show, after many 6 day weeks, I feel like I come in and don't have my usual artistic power to make final looking work with ease and crank out whatever is asked of me. I feel drained and artistically weak. I can't think of what to work on next, when I render something I sit and think, lose my train of thought and am comparatively unproductive. My joy in this occupation is cranking out work I'm proud of faster and better than expected.
Only the managers will know what works best for each artist on each show. There's a lot to consider on their part, and that's not my expertise. I only know management of myself. I hope that my perspective is helpful to you on  future shows.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fluid Resolution & Simulation

The nature of the solve is to be different at different resolutions to a degree. Doubling resolution is common multiple for uprezing to get more detail. However 20x40x20 going to 40x80x40 is a huge jump in the fluids "mind" and the settings will need to be quite different between the two. Where as 100x200x100 to 200x400x200 is going to look close to the same with more detail.
Think of it like a picture 20x40 pixels can't make out what that looks like, 40x80 is now a tall icon and you can see a little more, once you get to a certain rez you can see the full image. Anything more will just be more clear/sharpness to the image. Fluid solve is kinda like that.
Now think about painting an image in photoshop. if you have 20x40 pixels how you paint that image and how you exaggerate colors and contrast to get it to show up and read is quite different then how you would paint it if you had more resolution.
This example is just to say low rez doubled is noticeably more readable where higher rez ends up just having more detail.
(click to enlarge)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Explosion Test 2011

Explosion Maya 2011 test from destruct007 on Vimeo.


Messing around on a project, and figuring the ins and outs of Maya 2011

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cover Letter Example:

To Whom it may Concern

Hello. My name is David E. Schoneveld. My profession is creating magic in the hearts and minds of people around the world! You may know this profession as your company hires artist similar to myself all the time to do that very thing. My interest is in this very aspect of your company, the hiring part. 
While the last 7 years I've been travelling around the world as a big game hunter, it saddened me as I killed the last endangers African Elephant Lion, the largest and most dangerous animal on dry land.  Saddened because I knew then I had reached as far as the road would take me in big game hunting. I use the same drive and focus on creating special FX, so you can imagine even though I have little to no training in computer animation I still am deadly when it comes to finalling shots! Oh believe you me, when you see my work, and you will see my work... just that. Dot dot dot.

Call me. 

Or email me. Yeah maybe email is better, because I might be in a movie or busy and can't get my phone or something. I won't leave my phone number in case you stopped reading and tried to call me right away. 

David E. Schoneveld

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Specialties in specialties

I've been thinking about cg artist as RPG characters. Where people are at a level, and can level up with time or study. Each artist gets good at what they are mostly asked to do. Creature modelers get better at creatures, Lighters get better/level up with the renderer they use day to day.
In FX its interesting. There are specialties within the specialty of FX. I think of it as a mage character. You get to a certain point in the game and you can choose a more specific specialty. Dark, Light, Fire, Ice Mage whatever, something. FX is kinda like that. There are Particle specialist, Shader specialist, Fluid, Fire, Liquid, Deformation, Destruction etc. FX artist will learn in these and other categories. From time to time be further into one than another. Not that we can't do them all but people's experience make some a better fit for some jobs than others, "Specialists". Maybe its more like a thief character where we keep adding to our ability %'s.
I think about how you can keep pushing in one area but your improvement slows, like each level is double the current exp points. I think that is fairly accurate from games to real life "levels". hah NERD ALERT!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fire test 1


Fire Test from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Test fire render. Just messing around, trying some things. This has no fluid texturing, and not even the best settings for the fluid sim. What seems to be working is that the fire looks good/sharp & soft w/o turning into smoke. Its got a good speed for film, not too fast but fast enough to feel more "real". Fire is also not that hard when its on a static object. I'm able to focus my resolution to only where its needed (300x200x80) and maximize its use.
Anyway I'm going to move away from the techniques I used to make this so I thought I'd share it as it stands now. I want to push the sim to be better, and. add more detail with adding texture coordinates... we'll see.

The compression really hurts it, lose a lot of the details. I tried this and another version to keep the detail. The glow looks like crap when compressed, I'll see if I can figure out a better way. Anyway here it us for now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New demo reel!


demo reel, spring 2010 from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Its in HD so you can full screen it!

Extended Break Down (simple one is on the Vimeo)
2012: Josh Hatton & I did the Fluid sims, Chris Haney - Particles
Transformers 2: I dev the Meteors Apirak Kamjan and I implemented, Tank explosion was me & Talented Mark Renton in Comp.
Pirates 3: Maelstrom Lead Joakim Arnesson, Water Lead Paul Sharpe. I was under Paul, helped R&D  and render shots. I helped R&D the fog. On the first shot I did the fog.
Wolverine: Eye Lasers me & Comp, probably made 75 versions of that. Destruction Josh Hatton, Zack Judson, & I Shatter/Debris Fluid sims, Kevin Brown Particle Volumetrics, Chris Haney made everything work.
Fast & Furious: Car is real and CG so added sparks, dust, debris, and CG car destruction.
The Covenant: "Assention" Magic was me & Chris Bradley, Comped by H Haden Hammond. The power ball was developed by me and passed on to H Haden Hammond & Dave Fedel.
Sky Captain: Plumes and explosions me & Comp, Rocket trails were developed by me passed on to Sean Applegate.
Nike Commercial: Tornado was me and Comped by Justin Johnson. Clouds are live action.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VFX Guild vs Union

The VFX town hall brought up the idea of a Union or Guild for VFX. Neither is a horrible idea, but in practice it's not always the best idea.

First no union until the companies get their act together, with a trade organization or something. Unions will only hurt. ILM stopped being a union shop not too long ago. I was/am still in the ILM and DreamWorks union IATSE.
I like the idea of a guild b/c it can be much less invasive and more like VES, but with a different goal. Guild could enforce legal practices, like no unpaid OT. Set some standards for artists, and smaller things to make some people lives better, who can't seem to make it better themselves... well that would be the idea anyway. In practice it'd probably be some b/c hassle that made it harder for new artists (like actors) to start working. 

A union to me... get read for a negative review... Union to me feels like the charge a lot of extra$ to the company like pensions that are complete BS, and a lot of artist never see that money. They get crappy health-care, charge you $3k or more to join, and feel like they do nothing. Think about who runs a union, full time union people. Lame. For every full time employee that's the union/the artists who pays for them. Are they worth it? That's money that could be in your salary but its not. "Oh but unions get us better wages" No they don't. You still negotiate your rate, but now there is less play for the company b/c they already have and extra $15k/year on top of everything for union crap, most of which you will never see. They will make sure you get holiday and vacation days (or get paid extra for not), which is nice for sure. But a guild could do that too. 

Another thing, I don't think the most Sr artist want or need the union/guild. The mid and jr level need it, b/c its easier for them to be taken advantage of. Basically I'm skeptical, and think artist should manage themselves, but that's another blog post.

Lastly a union will never happen, so its not really worth talking about. It only takes a few big companies to say we're a non-union shop. We don't hire union people, during hard times, and you'll see people fleeing the union in droves just like the editors union now. Guild can start out soft and build in power and influence... but the moment it becomes a negative on the resume, is the moment it's hurting not helping.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rendering Fluids with higher than 1 Dynamic Attrs


Rendering Fluids with higher than 1 dyn attrs. from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Its not uncommon to sim and render fluids with dynamics attributes higher than 1, but that tends to lead to issues in shading and rendering since maya's internal fluid shader defaults to 0-1 value mapping. Yay! I mean, YAY there's a workable solution!The draw backs to this is not being able to see your ramps entirety, altho you could write a MEL script that just displays your ramp on another ramp...

The FX Process

Here's the thing. Its not about how did I or why did I do something in a scene. Its a process. I start with 1 fluid 1 emitter kinda low rez (50x50x50'ish) I turn everything on, b/c I know what I'm doing and what I want to make ;) I set only 3 attrs damp 0.01 swirl 10 temp turb 5, the second 2 are just the sliders all the way up. Playblast. Hmm looks like the fuel isn't burning fast enough, turn up reaction speed and turn down ignition temp. playblast. Hmm looks like temp isn't fading out now. Turn up dissipation. playblast. Nope not enough, turn up more. playblast. Hmm looks too regular.

make hypothesis.
I wonder if I separated the temp into a smaller emitter it would react differently with the fuel?

test, playblast, nope settings off. tweek, playblast.

ok thats kinda better not much but it's better. hmm uprez. playblast. ok now it needs more bouancy or something, tweek. playblast. Still looks kinda regular.

hypothesis
what if I make the fuel emitter separate and give it a really high value and strong turbulence?

test. ok all my settings are now off. Tweek playblast, tweek playblast, tweek playblast. Hmm ok that looks better.

the point is, why did I do something and is it "the way to do it?" is hard to say and very case by case. Thats why I think of it as "playing" its not a real shot, its kinda general R&D. No rules, try things. sometimes they work other times epic fail.

I can't talk and play at the same time b/c my mind is totally focused on, what settings have I changed? What settings are the animating settings/strongest influences to velocity? Where is the balance of fuel to temp? What are the last 20-50 changes I made? (not THAT much of an exaggeration) if I make 3-4 changes then playblast what were they, and what were the last good numbers? Remember you can't really undo too much with fluids b/c the timeline change will jack your computer.
If I'm at work doing tests and someone talks to me, it could be the end of that test. I can't remember what I was doing. Now I just see a bunch of settings, but I don't understand why I did that, hah.

So play, have fun, test out you ideas. Only experience will make you better. Keep testing and playing. Guess at how it works, test that guess and see if you are right. A failed test doesn't mean you are wrong it just means the test failed. I find a lot of times what I thought was wrong was right later, I just didn't do the right test.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fields & Fluids

A work lesson I keep having to relearn.

If you use fields to push and force a fluids movements you open the door for unexpected and unnatural results.

Use fields sparingly. Think hard as to how you can get a fluid to move with only internal fluid dynamics (not the internal "turbulence") and weak motion fields. Sometimes it's turning a fluid in it's side so buoyancy is left or right. Sometimes its having a strong + temp and weak - density buoyancy.

I spent time doing a crack dust sim and kept getting crappy looking sim's. I played with all the settings, even conservatively went back and eased into it. I had a line of emitters along a curve and a turbulence field in the front to disrupt the "air" before the crack emission. The results were somehow unnatural, even at its best. Not to say I won't try it again but its not how dust would react in real life and it looks almost unconsciously fake when you see it CG. What I mean is, when a crack happens in real life there's no turbulent air on the leading edge of the crack, so adding one in CG doesn't help.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WIP test fx shot

Magic Dust WIP 1 from destruct007 on Vimeo.


Just an fx test I'm messing around with. This is only the start. next the dropping dust, and the reaction when it lands, which might be a colorful nuke type thing... we'll see.

I'm posting this for comments, since it's just ok right now. I've got a lot I can do with it yet so... posting it to show some people, thought I'd share it too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fluid Emitter Turbulence


Fluid Emitter Turbulence from destruct007 on Vimeo.

Maya Fluids quick tutorial on the fluid emitter's turbulence setting. How to get more control over it, and ideas for better break up in the fluid sim through the emission turbulence. Anywhoo, just some things I've been discovering about the fluid emitter.