Archive for May, 2011

Houdini Cracking Tool

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The creation of real-world phenomena is a very common task in CGI and visual effects. From tornados to avalanches, from apocalyptic tsunamis to earthquakes. For the CGI Techniques module at the NCCA, cracks as they occur in earthquakes have been investigated further. A Houdini Digital Asset has been built to allow easy creation and artistic control of a crack on a given surface. The report (see download below) documents the background research and explains technical aspects. Furthermore, the key problems during implementation are explained and the solutions presented.

Here are some screenshots of possible results (taken from the report):

Cracking tool


Houdini Cracking tool


The video above explains its usage and current limitations. There’s still a lot of work to do and optimisations to be done. Feel free to get the Houdini source files below.

Project Report (PDF) • Download Houdini source files (zip, 0.8 MB)

Update: Added explanation video and download link.

You look nice today - Maya still image

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

This assignment is from the first term, but I never had the time to post it online. It is part of the CGI Tools module at the NCCA where we had to create a still image with the topic dynamism. Inspired by one of my favourite podcasts, You look nice today, I recreated (modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering) a scene inspired by their logo in 3d using Maya. Here is the result:

Maya still image - You look nice today!

The slightly dark look is intended and the lighting suggests the unknown waiting for him behind the door. The flowers and some objects in the background could have some more detail though. Overall, I’m quite happy with the result given the limited amount of time and since it was one of my first attempts using Maya as opposed to other 3d packages.

Rendering a Chocolate Ball using RenderMan

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

For the RenderMan part of the CGI Tools assignment, a simple real world object had to be re-created and rendered. The tasks were to analyse the object and apply the correct techniques in terms of displacement, shading, lighting, etc. The report documents these steps and the methods used. In order to produce two final images, a Ferrero Rocher chocolate ball has been created from scratch and placed in a scene.

The renderer used is 3delight and can be installed on Mac, Linux and Windows for free. Also see my TextMate bundle for rib files and 3delight.

These are the final renders:

Rendered Scene A

Rendered Scene B

Download Report

Download Source