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FX Experiment #008: Rain Effect using Wet Maps

Category : FX Experiments · No Comments · by Apr 25th, 2013

I haven’t posted anything in a long time here, because I have been very busy. But here’s another FX Experiment I’ve been fiddling with this week.

I first discovered Wet Maps when plying around with Glu3D a couple of years ago and I wanted to find out if you could create that natively in 3ds Max. As it turned out, you can!

I used 3ds Max’s Particle Flow, Mesher and Render To Texture to create the animated sequence of Wet Maps. I then blend between a dry and a wet material using the Blend Material with the Wet Map sequence as the mask. The wet material also has an additional animated Noise Map to give the illusion of water flowing along the surface. No plug-ins was required for this, it is all just standard 3ds Max tools. Max is awesome :)

I hope you liked it, cheers!

Disney: Quality before Quantity!

Category : Research · No Comments · by Dec 7th, 2010

I was watching this short clip regarding the making of Disney’s new movie ‘Tangled’ and one thing in particular caught my attention:

“An animator here at Disney will produce anywhere from 2 to 5 seconds of animation… per week(!)”

- Byron Howard, Walt Disney Animation Studios

It gives an interesting perspective of how much effort and energy is put into the making of one of these pieces of art :)

Just for fun… lets put some maths to this :P

If one week is 40 hours and the animator is animating 5 seconds and each second is 24 frames, then:

(24 fame per second * 5 seconds) / 40 hours = 3 frames per hour

In other words the animator is spending an average of 20 minutes on each frame to get it right! :)

Check out the clip for yourself.

Cheers mates!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – E3 2010 Cinematic Trailer

Category : Blur Studio, Inspiration · No Comments · by Nov 9th, 2010

Here is yet another awesome trailer for the upcoming game Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare. The makers of this beauty is – of course ;) – my all time favourite studio; Blur Studio.

“The Battle of Alderaan. The Republic’s gravest hour. In the years before the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, the Sith Empire sought to crush the Republic’s morale by destroying Alderaan. Check out one of the pivotal battles of this conflict in the second cinematic trailer created for E3 2010.”

- Blur Studio

May The Force be with you…

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Category : Movies · No Comments · by Nov 3rd, 2010

Talking about turning classic animation into 3D-animation (my previous post about The Road Runner animation). Now it’s Tintin, Snowy (Milou) and Captain Haddock‘s turn to enter the third dimension! :)

You can read more about it and see some renderings at Empire:Magazine.

Captain Haddock and Tintin

Captain Haddock and Tintin

“With CGI we can bring Hergé’s world to life, keep the stylised caricatured faces, keep everything looking like Hergé’s artwork, but make it photo-real.”

- Peter Jackson

I’m looking forward to this :)

Road Runner – Coyote Falls

Category : Inspiration · No Comments · by Oct 29th, 2010

The two classic characters Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner (wiki) from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies have been brought back to life in full 3D by Radium – Reel FX. :D Check it out!

Well, I loved it! :)
Cheers mates!

Finished Work: The Back Alley

Category : Finished Work · No Comments · by Oct 15th, 2010

Tada! :)

The Back Alley

I started this project over a year ago but ran out of time to finish it. However, I found myself with quite a lot of spare time recently – I guess that’s one upside of being unemployed :P

One extra fun aspect of this project was to figure out how to use the Cloth Modifier in 3ds Max to place the fabric on the wooden poles. I really like this modifier; very advance yet easy to get started with :)

I’m currently stuck with my laptop with only 2GB of RAM thus I wasn’t able to render the whole scene in one go, with all the displacement going on. Hence I had to break up the rendering into different passes with each building separated. I then composited it all together using Eyeon Fusion. Blimey, pre-multiplied alpha can be a real bitch! :P I had to delve deeper into this, and experiment with ways of getting around those ugly dark or white halos. So far I’ve made steps forward but I sense there is much more to discover on this, somewhat, confusing subject – but I’m always keen to learn ;)

Cheers mates!

Here are some WIP post:
WIP: The Back Alley – Part 1
WIP: The Back Alley – Part 2

Silence at Zero-Nine

Category : Game Projects · No Comments · by Sep 3rd, 2010

It’s finally here, what you all been waiting for (some of you perhaps not knowingly)! A few months ago we were preparing for the final school project for our last year. A few of us teamed up determined to make a game – and made a game we did indeed.

Research Station 09 in deep space

Research Station 09 in deep space

Find out more and try it out yourself!

Real-Time Photorealistic Ray Trace Rendering

Category : News · No Comments · by Dec 11th, 2009

This is cool, you got to see this! The pain of endless render times will soon be history. Companies around the world is working hard to develop the future of rendering. And that is GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) accelerated real-time rendering of ray traced photorealistic renderings! So instead of waiting two hours, you just have to wait two seconds, for a rendered result on your screen. As I mentioned there are quite a few companies working on this kind of technology out there, and here are some of them.

Shaderlight (ArtVPS)

V-Ray RT (Chaos Group)
V-Ray has one solution that is already available I think. Check out this presentation from SIGGRAPH 2009; V-Ray RT GPU Rendering Demo

iray (mental images)
mental images and nVidia joins forces to create a real-time renderer using the mental ray and CUDA (wiki) technology. It will be available in mental ray 3.8 and the current version (3ds max 2010) is 3.7 so perhaps the next release of 3ds max (sometime mid-2010, perhaps) will include the iray renderer, wouldn’t that be awesome! :D

RealityServer (mental images & nVidia)
This is cool, nVidia is developing a server-side real-time rendering solution for web 3d. It utilizes the iray technology from mental images and renders the scene on a server and the image is then sent to all the client computers, all within just seconds! Check out a video presentation here:

Now wasn’t this really good news! :)

Cheers mates!

FX Experiment #005: Nuking a city

Category : FX Experiments · No Comments · by Nov 29th, 2009

I always wanted to nuke a city… you know, CG wise! :P So I did a quick test with Particle Flow and Box#2 (PhysX) to figure out a way one could go about achieving such an effect. Anyway, here is a  rough render with a simple city built out of lots and lots of boxes; 16,130 to be precise.

My viewport struggled to display all the boxes but PhysX had no problem calculating the physics for me, which was very nice. And I finally figured out how to use motion blur with Particle Flow, that’s been bugging me for quite some time until now.

Next step will be to build some houses and pre-fracture them and then use those instead of boxes, add some particles for dust and debris and of course a huge mushroom cloud…


3ds Max used in the production of Roland Emmerich’s 2012

Category : News · No Comments · by Nov 28th, 2009

During the production of Roland Emmerich’s apocalyptic disaster film 2012 Autodesk’s 3ds Max was used extensively to create very impressive visual effects. Here are some screenshots I grabbed from a “Making of” video, were you can see 3ds Max on the artists’ monitors.


3ds Max with a dark UI colour, showing the ruins of Las Vegas in wireframe.


3ds Max on the left monitor.


3ds Max on the left monitor, with some fluid simulation it looks like(?)


3ds Max on the left monitor with black viewport colours.

Check out the video and read the article here: Special Review: 2012 Film. The Making of. HD Video

The company behind the VFX is Uncharted Territory, LLC.

A new plug-in for 3ds Max called volumeBreaker was used to smash buildings and roads to pieces.

volumeBreaker is a volumetric geometry fracturing tool that will instantly create sub-geometry within any mesh – geometry that perfectly fits together and fills any given volume. With volumeBreaker Cebas brings a Hollywood quality destruction tool to 3ds MAX. volumeBreaker was developed in consultation with, and to meet the very exacting demands of, VFX artists working on multi-million dollar movies – because of this, volumeBreaker truly is a production proven tool.

The tool is being developed by cebas VISUAL TECHNOLOGY Inc. and you can read more about it here:

Now, ain’t that cool? ;)
Cheers mates!