Niall Horn VFX's Blog- Making Of My Work & RnD

Friday, 12 December 2014

My Final 2014 FX Reel

My Final 2014 FX Reel is online! Final 2014 Reel

Thanks for all the support this year, its been a great year of VFX, from working on WarThunder for Platige Image, and then Ghost VFX, aswell as working on amazing Personal Projects, and ending the year on an ambitious one man FX Project! I hope to work on a project over the Christmas Break, and more ambitious personal projects in 2015, aswell as some amazing FX Jobs. So Happy Christmas and Have a great New Year! See you in 2015!!

Thanks a lot!- Niall

Friday, 5 December 2014

Turbine Engine Explosion- Personal FX Shot

Hi Guys,

For the past 2-3 weeks i've been working on a main test shot for a project (Cant Say What It Is!) but while waiting for sims and renders from that I started working on this Personal FX Shot. This shot has nothing on Wetas Amazing Shot from the Avengers but I did use that for Reference of the smoke trails! This shot I started on quite a while back with the scene setup, so having the free time to finish this was great, also my End Of Year 2014 reel is currently a WIP so this will be on it!

The Setup and Modelling was done in under a day, the model of the engine is a basic Cylinder with some rotors, and ladders on the base of the engine, then the actual outer body is just a box with some basic extrusions to look like a spaceship wing, and the Engine fits inside of it. The base Models were under 2000 Polys, the detailing was all added with the Amazing Max Modifier, Greebele. There is actually destruction of the engine, however you dont see it as the explosions covers it, but I put quite a lot of detail into the Tubines breaking which switich from a normal turbine to a broken one over 5 frames, then I use some PFlow Debris exploding, and I even added in some internal wires sticking out of the broken turbine. After the Setup was done, I did a basic annotation of the explosions I wanted in the engine. I did do some tests using RayFire to do RBD sims of the Turbine breaking, however these were not working so well with the Greeble Meshes, In the end I manually keyframed some chunks of the rotor/turbine to fly higher than the main debris.

Early Annotation I did For Explosions and Smoke Trails/Streamers
The Final Engine Model with internal details and debris.

Next was the FumeFX Setup, I knew from the start I was going to need multiple grids, I wanted to keep the Main Explosions in the same Grid so they could all interact and have diffrent smoke colours with Colour Caching, I also Knew I wanted to do this for the secondary Explosions. However I ended up with 4 grids. The Smoke and fire trails shared the same grid (A very big grid). The Fireball explosions are just basic PFlow Icon emissions that delete after a few frames, I always find trying to get more varation in the Particles speeds helps, but then to much will spoil it, and you end up with the well known "Bubbly Fire Look".  I played around with animating the timescale a lot, I didn't want a super fast explosion becuase I really wanted to see the fiery detail mixing with the smoke, but I didn't want a slow explosion as then the shot feels less engergtic like theres less energy from the explosion. For the smoke trails, I used a PFlow Spawn setup to and kept the trails trailling for around 6 frames with some variation, therefore the smoke trails are quite well definied, for the fire trails, they are again a PFlow Spawn setup, however they delete within 2 frames and have very short trails, these trails and then used for the fire which genreates the smoke through temperature rather than just emitting smoke. I did plan to use Afterburn for some even bigger smoke shooters/trails that would be pointless siming in Fume as the grid would need to be huge, but the I relaised it was not going to work well as the camera is so close towards the explosions you wouldn't hardly see them.

Trails Grid, Early Sims

Becuase the camera by frame 100 is just outside the Fume Grid and we are so close to all the Fume grids throughout the shot, all the grids were sim'd at quite hires and even with optimization in the stepsize and multiple scattering, the render for the Fume beauty pass took over 15 Hours. However I did over 50 iterations on all the Grids aswell as multiple previews, and test renders before setting off the final beauty pass. The Multiple Scattering that was casting on each others grids increased that time even more, but well worth it for realism. One Thing to note is that the Greeble was not sim'd in Fume as the Geo Collisions, it was only enabled at render time, siming Greeble Collisions on the Voxels would of been a nightmare and pointless.

 Just some of the Highlight Fume Previews^
A Test Render of The Trails Grid, Too Much Small Scale Turbulence

The Clouds were done in Afterburn, I talk a bit more about the setup for Aburn Clouds below in my Horrors Of The Skies Write up. Its hard to get nice detail without doing Fluid sims, however I wanted to stay in Aburn so I used a basic Plane, then used edit poly and soft sel to define the lanscape of the clouds, I then scatter particles on it through PFlow, only around 2000 and used ABurn with a lot of turbulence to get cheap detail and only one main Sunlight, aswell as using ambient light to fake the scattering. Aburn does not work well, using lots of particles, you really have to use less particles bigger sphere scale, which gives you a lot less control over the shape and size. I knew there would be a lot of comp on the clouds so I got them looking as best as possible matching the skydome and lighting.

Aburn Clouds Setup.

All the FX passes were done in Scanline, the Geo of the engine and debris was done in V-Ray, I used a HDRI in a V-Ray Light Dome for the main lighting, but then some standard V-Ray Lights for the sun and a bounce light underneath the engine. I had horrendous flickering issues due to the Greeble density, in the end I had to bite the bullet and use really high samples/subdivs, and any flickering that was left, I hid with Motion Blur. For the Fume Shadows (they were faked in comp with a 3D Solid expanding over the Engine), The FumeFX GI was rendered through V-Ray.

I created Basic Metal Shaders, from Diffuse, Spec and Bump Textures 
I really wanted the Lighting/Rendering to look Spot On!

The Composting was mostly spent on getting the Fume and Aburn passes to fit well in comp, making sure they looked like they were in the sky, using Tint and Curves aswell as Hue and Sat to get them to fit into the SkyDome Render. Ofcourse there Lighting was matched to the Skydome, but you never get working Renders straight from Max! All the Camera Shake was added in Comp using Wiggle Experssions and Keyframes. Lots of Extra motion blur to cover up the flickering also. For the Fume Renders Compositing I did not use any Glow, instead I use Hue and Sat to take a lot of the yellow saturation out, and then relied on a Lens Flare for the glow, The Fire shader I created was working well without Glow and I did not want to totally whiteout the fire, even though in reality with a cameras exposure it probably would whiteout.


Overall I am happy with this shot, I would really like to re-do it well not redo but do a V2 trying to match the Actual Avengers shot and match Wetas Explosions exactly, but I have a lot lined up right now aswell as working on my Reel, I talked about learning Thinking Particles so some of my RnD from TP will be coming soon. I also have a really big Client test shot in Production which for now is confidential but I will be able to show it once its done!


As Always Thanks For Reading!- Niall

Sunday, 16 November 2014

LittleBird Crash In Street- FX Shot

Hi Guys

I was close to finishing this before starting the Horror Of The Skies Project, However it got delayed because of that, but the past 3 days I have been working to finish it. This shot started last January (Jan 14) after watching the LittleBird Crash MPC Did for Man Of Steel. I setup the basic scene and camera, with some basic anim on the Littlebird and then kinda forgot about it! I started working on it Mid September again, and just finished it today (After a few iterations of Finals). The Final Production time on this would be around 3 weeks of working on it after my other actual VFX Work!

The Basic Anim was the Littlebird spinning out of control due to a broken rear rotor blade, and then it crashing nose/cockpit first on the road, causing the rotors to break and the helicopter to fall on its side. I wanted to add in more detail and actully have the Littlebrids fuselage deform/bend from the impact, going down the sim route would of ethier been doing soft body/cloth for metal sims or maybe trying to use TP SC Deformation, but for something like this I wanted to do it by keyframes, one it gives more control and two it saves time and complexity, I just used basic soft selection to "bend" the impact vertexs on each collision throughout the shot and it worked really well, however a lot of it is hidden behind all the debris. I got a few emails asking how the Rotors were done all of them assumed it was TP, actully its just switching the spinning rotor to a pre modelled broken rotor on impact over a few frames, the debri hides the switch plus its spinning fast so you dont notice, I could of used Morpher to do this also. Then theres some Rotor Debri that a PFlow system chucks in the air. A cool thing I deiced to do was go in an animate the pilots bracing for impact, its very subtle, but adds to the shot (Proof of why you should always wear seatbelts!).

Cockpit Bending/Deformation on Impact

Once the Anim/Deformation was done I deicded against using a 3D Street model and wanted to setup a basic 3D Matte Painting in After Effects, so I found a street image from the Internet and painted out the people,foreground cars, foreground shadows, trafficlights and wires. I then split the plate into layers and replaced the sky. I did this first, so I could have lighting refrence and also spacial refrence when working on the destrucion sims and Rendering. (More on the Comp Below)

Then it was back to the destruction FX of the Road. For the Inital Destruction of the road, I know a helicopter would not break a road up this easily, but I thought it called for some cinematic license! I used a basic RayFire Sleeping Objects setup with some proxy mesh for the Littlebirds body, Once the sim was done I subdivided the fragments and used Noise on the inner faces key framed to only turn on when the fragments are thrown in the air. At that point I was still using RayFire 1.61 so did not have access to RayFire Asperity.

<Using Noise On Fragments>

I then used PFlow with Speed Test to emit lots of instances of the RayFire Fragments from the actual RBD Fragments. These Instances were also using the Noise detail on the edges which would later proove to best a waste of render time due to heavy Motion Blur!
Setup of Basic SpeedTest PFlow Systems to Emit Debris Instances

 This PFlow system was not Box 2, just normal PFlow with some bounce&Friction on the defectors. The Soil System was just a duplicate of this system but using Spherical Fragments and lots more of them, with some wind and turbulence.

I then used another Duplicate of the Soil System but with no instances, just lots more particles, I rendered this System through Krakatoa to create very fine dirt that really adds a lot to the final shot. Also some basic sparks from another system were thrown in the air when the Rotor hits the road before it breaks.

Fine Dirt PF System/Pass- Adds Detail- Rendered Through Krakatoa

For the Fume FX Dust I made a basic Fume setup where the smoke IE Dust is only emitted on the frags when the are travelling through the air, again through Speed Test, Then I drove this with an Effector with Turb by Density values of the smoke. I also Increase the gravity as a lot of people think dust behaves like smoke whereas dust is a lot heavier than smoke as its very tiny soild particles and smoke behaves more like fluid. The Final Dust Render Pass is quite thin and Subtle due to me not wanting it to obscure the destruction. In The Fume PF Emission rather than just emitting from the Hero Fragments I used a seprate part of the system to send out random particles based on the velocities of the fragments animation these particles would spawn trails that deleted quickly so the dust emission had much more variation rather than trailing off the fragments. The Dust did not Matte all the PFlow Fragments it was pointless in the end, as they were not ineracting with the sim so I would rather spend time in comp blending the passes.

Fume Dust WIP

The Lighting and Rendering was done in V-Ray, Using a HDRI that kinda matched the street, and using a V-Ray Sun. The Helicopter Asset had a spec map but it was painted wrong so I ended up not using it. The Road and Fragments were shaded based on a Max shader vs using Camera Projection of the plate. The Pilots were actully using SubSurfaceScattering on there skin, even though you barely see them. I looked at lots of refrence trying not to make the LittleBird to glossy but not too diffused. It was hard to find the right balance, plus the asset was limited to a Diffuse Map.

Timelapse of Lighting & SlapComping the LittleBird and Road Debris

Basic Rendering Setup- WIP

I Blended the RBD Road from the renders to the plate in Comp. The intial Beauty Render had the Road,Debri,Littlebird on and the Rotors were rendered on there own so they could have motion blur done in comp. I then rendred the Littlebird on its own with the Road and Debris Masking it (MatteShadowMtlWrapper) so when I colour corrected the CG Road to the Plate I would not affect the LittleBirds Render. 
To Transfer the 3DS Max Camera to After Effects I used a blank scene with just the camera in and some random cubes put in the view of the camera, I then used this render pass in AE and using the Built in 3D Camera Tracker I could replicate the 3DS Max Camera in After Effects so the 3D Matte Painting would line up with the movement of the 3DS Max Camera. Also any other elements that needed to go in, could just be added as 3D Layers rather than having to re render them on cards, or track them in by eye in comp, This works best for Nodal pans rather than when the camera would be moving in 3D Space.
 If I did not do this, I would have to recreate the Matte Painting in Max on Cards at diffrent depths in the Scene, or go to a 3D Street with Skydome. The Majority of the Motion Blur was done in Comp using RSMB, Some Velocity Passes and Radial Zoom Blurs.

 I Even faked the Dust Shadow in Comp and used a Solid as a 3D Layer.

Overall I am really happy with the shot, the Lighting/Rendering of the LittleBird Could be better, but the asset was limited to a Diffuse map, and me faking the Spec and Bump with Fractals. Maybe would be cool to have an Impact Explosion, but I think it looks better without. I watched the MPC Shot from Man OF Steel so many times, and the amount of Motion Blur and Camera Shake they put in there was pretty ugly so I'm glad I didn't go overboard on them. In the Future for a Personal Project I really want to Recreate The SuperStallion Destruction From Battleship!

Updated Version of the shot for my 2014 Showreel In Progress-

As Always, Thanks For Looking- More VFX Work and Personal VFX Projects Coming Soon!

Friday, 14 November 2014

One Man, One Month VFX Sequence- Making Of Horrors Of The Skies

Intro and Project Synopsis:

On the 13th October I started working on a 30 Second Sequence about a RAF World War One plane been shot down and crashing into the ocean, I had until November the 10th to finish the sequence. Not only was I alone on the project, not only was I doing everything (Not Just FX) I even had to model the plane and texture it! I knew this was going to be a huge undertaken, and I knew some of the quality would suffer due to the time, but here is the Making Of the Sequence, Horrors Of The Skies.

I always really wanted to make a WW1/WW2 Dogfight Sequence, so I kinda saw this as an opportunity to test my skills, so I can think about doing my own sequence in the future. This is the first VFX Sequence I have ever done!

Note I plan to make a Full Breakdown reel when I get time.


Making an Animatic in 1 Day

With one day to make an Animatic I setup four scenes, one for each shot, using low res assets and basic PFlow systems I blocked out the animation of the Plane (Sopwith Camel) and the PFlow systems blocked out the Explosions,Engine Fire, and Water Splashes. The Animatics came in very useful throughout production, and they got my ideas for the sequences into 3D from my head. Some Ideas I had did not work and if I had not of tried to Previs/Animatic them then I would of wasted time which I could not afford here. I rendered the Animatics through QuickSilver Renderer and then edited them together in AE, also I all of the Animation and Camera Animation from the Animatics for the base animation/setup in all four shots.

Animatics In Progress For Shot 4

4 Day RnD Of Plane Destruction and 3D Volumetric Clouds

I spent around 4 days of RnD before Production started, my main worry was about clouds, I spent around 2 days Cloud tests with Afterburn which I now own, In the end I didn't use Afterburn at all expect for Shot 1 due to the time constraints. But I used Afterburn to see how detailed I could get 3D Clouds, and the results were not bad at all, I think if I had more time on the project I could of used AB and it would of been really nice. In the End most of the clouds are ethier pre rendered FumeFX Clouds or Stock Photo Clouds on Cards, and the Sky-domes which have there own clouds.

Test Shot For Clouds ^^

Another thing that got scrapped due to time constraints but was part of the Pre Production Days was a PFlow tool I started working on called "DogFightTool" Which was a system I started working on to have Background planes dogfighting each other to add more depth/detail to the shots, It was based on lots of test events so that if one particle (Plane) flew close to another one it would get shot down, or if it was in the air for so long it would get shot down, then to get them chasing each other I used wind and find target events. Sadly I did not have time to develop this further but may do in future personal projects.

Very Early "DogFightTool" Development

The last day I spent doing Plane Destruction RnD, I initially was thinking for Shot 1 I would use nCloth in Maya to get the tearing wing, however again due to time constraints I could not, due to the time it takes to tweak the sims and then reexporting from Maya to Max through Alembic. In the end I used RayFire and rather than just getting a normal RBD sim I added bending/Flexing to the fragments by Keyframes using FFDs and Bend Modifiers to add a more realistic breaking/snapping feel. I stayed far away from Voronoi Fractures. See More Below.

Wing Destruction RnD- Maya nCloth

Wing Destruction RnD- Rayfire (Max) Plus Keyframe Bend/Flexing

I looked at reference's such as King Kong (Weta Digital 2005), RedBaron (Pixomondo 2008) and SuckerPunch (Pixomondo 2011) as they all have Biplane Destruction in, It seems Weta used a more Rigid/Soft body approach for the Biplane Destruction in the New York Sequence, where as Pixomondo went for a more cloth based approach of the tearing wings. Ideally I wanted to go down the cloth route and then add internal details like the airframe when the wing gets ripped off, but I went with a more Deforming Rigid Body sim like in King Kong.

Amazing Example Of Weta Digital's Use Of Deforming Rigid Bodies on King Kong (2005)

Modelling And Texuring a Sopwith Camel in one 36 Hour Day

As you will know I am not a Modeller or a Texturer and dont have many skills/interest in that area of 3D although I do model a bit for FX when creating Proxy Meshes. The Acual Asset of the plane/Sopwith I worked on when I was in College so I sorted out the bad topology in some areas, I then just went in and added lots of detail to the plane, I used a Free Asset by Virt3D for referencing.
I then recreated the UVs in Maya and sent it to Mudbox to Paint. I painted Diffuse Maps for each part of the plane, also Dirt Maps, and some very crude Bump Maps.

Once these were done I brought the Plane Back into Max and created a rig for all the moving parts on the plane including the Pilot. (The Pilot I did not Model).

Texturing The Sopwith In Mudbox
Rigging The Sopwith In Max, With Basic Controls

Pretty please with the asset for the amount of time I had, its nowhere near as good as it should be but I really dont have the time or skills in this area of 3D.


Making Of Shot 1 and a Huge Setback on Day 1!

I actually have an article Below about the making of Shot 1, but I will explain a synopsis here,
So Day 1 of production I faced HardDrive Corruption on my C Drive, which took down my DNS causing DNS Failure, after 10 Hours of frustration I had to do a Clean Reinstall of my OS which was soo annoying! More so resintalling all my software and Licenses. However it was nice to get some of the junk off my HDDs!

Shot 1 has to establish the look of the Sequence so it was important to get it looking as good as possible, I used the Animatic Animation for a base for my Hires Animation, I then added some little wobbles of the plane and animated the flaps/wings to move responding to the motion of the plane.
Also the German plane was animated but did not have a rig like the hero plane as there was no need to waste time.

Then I manually fractured the plane wing by cutting the vertexs up, and use Rayfire with activate by object to animate a box to pass over the wing causing it to break apart in the frame ranger I planned to have the explosion in when the plane reacts.

Plane Destruction Sim

For the Explosion I knew that MG Rounds to the wing would not cause an fireball, however the shot needed it to sell the dramatic effect, I went for an Airburst Style Explosion with Smoke Trails, Using Fume FX Ofocourse! With Particles for the emission, the Actual Plane and Fragments do not interact with the sims becuase I would need bigger grids and I did not have time.

Shot 1 is the only shot that has 3D Clouds in, and most of them are cropped out in the final shot anyway, Using Afterburn and a Basic PFlow system emitted on a plane which shapes the clouds, One thing I needed to make sure of was not to over do the turbulence in the clouds, Yes its adds detail which is needed BUT if you add to much, it looks really crap!

To Much Turb on AfterBurn Clouds.

The rest of the clouds are cards and then the Skydome in the background. For all of the shots, I could not do proper renderpasses, I was relying on Beauty Passes for nearly every render pass (Not FX).  Composting was done within 5 hours, the aim for the sequence was to be quite flat and desatruated.

SHOT 1 Breakdown and Comp Work In Progress


Making Of Shot 2 & 3

Shot 2 and 3 were done together based on the same Scene Files, apart from different cameras. The main problems I faced on these shots were due to the camera been so close to the plane and the engine fire.

Again the animation was based of the animatic, and then more details added with the hires rig.
I spent one day before Production for the shots setting up Flak scenes. Based of the techniques of flak I did for WarThunder I setup 5 different grids. All were quite lowres as unlike WarThunder, these flaks would be flying past camera rather than exploding in the sky as the camera moves around them. This also meant there would be lots of motion blur on them. They were using a main PFlow emitter for a small blast, then mushrooming smoke trails, and then thinner smoke trails. Then using Fume Colour Caching to get the smokes mixing together.

Two Of The Flak Sims^^
The Engine fire was done using a grid attached to the plane and using Wind to fake the velocity because the grid would have to be huge if not. Again I did this on WarThunder for the B-17 Engine Smoke. Using Particle Emission from the engine, and low velocity so the wing would "Push" it back. I got some feedback from a friend after the shot was final saying the smoke looks out of scale compared to the flak flying past the camera, I totally agree with this, The flak serves as a speed reference to how fast the plane is falling, The Problem is I did not want a huge scene, so By using the flak I wanted to fake the scale.

Initally the plan was to merge the Flak grids into the scene as "Preset Grids" however in the end I just rendered each flak elements from two different angles and then hand tracked them in comp flying past camera. One really good idea I had was to put lots of these flak renders in one comp and have them explode at random frames, and then use this comp in the background of Shot 2 to add more Depth to the shot. I think it worked really well.

 Shot 2 Scene Setup
RePos'd Camera For Shot 3, Using the Same Scene Files As Shot 2

I also then use a PFlow system to emit sparks coming from the fire, To add more detail to the engine fire sim, I did some post sharpening in comp also.

Rendering With Pretty Simple Setups In V-Ray

Lighting and Rendering was done with V-Ray as were all the shots, Using A HDRI plus some V-Ray Lights in some areas. Again the comp was very flat and desaturated.

Shot 3- Close to Final

Making Of Shot 4

Shot 4 was going to be no doubt the biggest shot, It was very good fun crashing the Biplane into the ocean! I had 1 week to do the whole shot from Scene Setup all the way to Final Comp, I had pretty much 12-15 Hour days for a week for the whole 5 seconds of the shot, and in the end the shot was only 4 seconds due to the edit!

For Refrence for this shot I looked at a really old but awesome Game Cinematic that was done in 2003 for Medal Of Honour Rising Sun, Called "Welcome To Paradise Soldier", The last shot is of a Japanese WW2 Zero Crashing in the sea, and for 2003 it looks awesome, Back then there will of been no Fluid sims ofcourse, Also for Reference I used the Deep Gold C130 Crash Shot.

Shot 4 Animatic

For the Animation I had to get it dead on, not only for the scale to look right, but also it needed to play well to camera, Theres not really much to say about the animation other than I had huge headaches getting the plane to look like its sumersaulting without making it look out of scale. I knew that the Destruction/RBD sims would be inplay as well as the Fluid sims so the Actual Animation was only going to be seen for the first 50 frames really. The RBD Sim was done by Manually cutting the plane up rather than a Voronoi Fracture as I did not want it to look like stone, Each piece of the plane was sim'd on its own to break at different times. If I had more time I would of wanted to go down a more compelx sim and add more bending and internal details etc. I did add some bent metal inside some of the frags for some small detailing.

Basic Small Cylinders with Noise to Fake Metal Inside The Plane

Once the RBD Sims were done I Keyframed some of the pieces to play to camera, like the tail to fly towards camera and splash. I then used an SD Export through the RealFlow Plugin to Export the final sim cache to a new max scene, where I could scale it down using a Helper/Scene Scaler so it would be the right size in RealFlow. Once the size was set, I spent a few hours modelling some crude Proxy Mesh for the Fluid Collisions on the Main/Hero Debris. Using the actual geomrties from the sim in RealFlow as the Collisons would be disastrous as with any Fluid Simulator the Collisons need to be clean. All the Proxy mesh is just lowres exturded boxes to match the shape. It doesn't have to be super accurate as the pieces are splash quite fast so you dont really see the collisions. The Proxy Mesh just gets parented to each piece of the Hires sim, then the Proxy Meshes get baked/cached to SD again and brought into RealFlow, The Final RealFlow Sim will ethier be scaled up once back in Max to match the Hires RBD Scale OR The Hires RBD Sim will be used at the Fluid Sims Smaller Scale. Aslong as eveythings scaled properly, some scenes like the engine fire, can be at the higher scale whereas the Fluid Render Scenes will be smaller scale, but it will all match up in Comp.

 See How Simple The Proxy Mesh Can Be^

In RealFlow I did lots of lowres tests first to check the scale of the fluid, as this is a main stumbling point in Fluid Sims. I knew that the main look of the sim would be coming from the Splash/Spray Sims and the Mist and Foam, but to get them looking right you need the core fluid to be working well. I used some Vorticity Boost to get the splashes looking more broken up and violent from the imapct of the plane. For the Collions between the Proxy mesh and the Fluid I used Shell Mode with a small Cell Size, it worked really well and was really quick.

Core Fluid Sim was around 25 Million Particles 
Splash For Mist Sim

For the Secondary sims, I used a main Splash Emitter using Dumb/Ballistic Particles that really shaped the dense splash cloud, I used a Noise Field to inject some nice splash turbulence to the sim. Then Instead of using VDB Mist via Voxels, I used a sepreate Splash Emitter, with Lower Gravity, a K Age (To Kill the Particles Off Quickly) also some direction wind to blow the mist backwards, this emitter was then rendered as Krakatoa Voxels and is a lot easier than the current VDB Pipeline through RFRK and Mental Ray. The Bubbles/Foam and Splash sims were also rendred through Krakatoa, I did plan to use Alembic Proxies, however the RealFlow Alembic file Stitching Script had some problems and I did not have time to patch an update. Rendering through Proxy has its benefits but the Krakatoa Render was pretty fast, and good enough for this project.

The actual Fluid Mesh, I planned to render through Frost and do WhiteWater Velocity shading, but in the end, It was taking to long to render, also I was cutting a lot of the mesh off anyway, as in reality when water is moving at the speed the Plane crashed into in, it would all be spray and mist rather than in a mesh like state, so I just bit the bullet and used a flat ocean plane for the ocean rather than blending the Fluid Mesh into an Extended/Infinte Ocean Plane. It worked well.

The Fluid Mesh Was Scrapped due to Long Render Times and Tight Deadline
But It would have been nice to have WhiteWater Velocity Shading.

The Final Sim Passes with the Krakatoa Voxels Mist (Bottom Middle)
Even the Core Fluid Particles Were Rendered and Used in Comp to add more splash density.

In the Final Comp I added a small island in the distance by 3D Tracking the Skydome Render with After Effects built in Camera tracker and then just used a basic matte painting with 3D Layers to put the island in. The Engine Fire, is actually the Shot 2 and 3 Grid merged into the Shot 4 scene file and just parented to the plane, the motion looks bad, but we only see it for 30 frames anyway becuase then the water would extinguish it.

And there we go! Thats 4 weeks work and the Project is done, and was viewed at My Local College via Projection.

Project Evaluation/Final Summary

So due to the time limits there was a lot of stuff I could not do mainly to do with adding more details, and putting more time into FX,Lighting and Rendering. But for 4 weeks of intense hard work I am really happy with the sequence. I knew from the start this was not gonna be World OF Warplanes RealtimeUK Quality, But I really wanted to see how far I could go all alone within the timeframe.

Big Thanks To- Middlesbrough College, Franck Dhotel, Trevor Brewis, Zoe Lewis. Also Thanks to Graham Collier and Cris Scubli  for there feedback throughout the project.

I plan to do a Breakdown Reel When I get time, If you want to watch the Final Sequence, its not on Vimeo but here:

I also plan to release my Personal Production notes once I edit all the bad spelling out of them, so anyone whos interested can learn from my mistakes if they take on a gig like this!

Thanks A Lot Guys!- News Projects Coming Soon!