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

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Hi Guys,

So sorry for not posting for months, Been super busy at Scanline, Thanks to everyone who checks out my blog. I've started to get rid of some of my old/embarrassingly crap work !

Since ive been working full time for the past 10 Months ive not really had much time to work on my own stuff, I have been doing some RnD, but not progressing as fast as I used to.

However my RnD and Personal achievements at Scanline, I am super proud of along with the work ive done at Scanline over the past 10 Months which I wont be able to show untill the end of this year probs. I feel in these past 10 months ive learnt more than I have in the past 10 years !

Its been truly amazing, and I know it will continue to be even more EPIC !

So thanks for reading, and hope you find my older posts useful, When I do get free time I will be starting to learn more Houdini.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Wave Vs Building WIP-

Wave Vs Building- WIP

Hi Guys,

Long time no post, been super busy and awesome at Scanline, Can't say much on that front but over the weekends and some nights leading from 2 weeks before I started at Scanline till now and probs towards the end of the year/December I have been working on this Personal Project... Wave Vs Building.

A few main things I wanted from this Personal Project-

-Lots of new TP Skills, This TP System is possibly one of the most complex i've setup,
- Having Fluid Mesh/Surface Collisons and interactin with Large Scale Rigid Bodies and Debris
- High Detailed RBD Sims of the Building and Scafolding Strucutres Breaking,Bending and collapsing from the impact of the Wave/Fluid.
- Further develop my RealFlow Setup,Sim and optimization Skills.
- Develop 2 new tools/Methods in RealFlow and Shelf Tools for Doing, Sand/Silt Simulation underwater & Surface Debris Riding on the wave,

--- And then With all this to produce an Epic RnD Shot. --

My main inspiration for this RnD was Scanlines work on "San Andreas", also Gimpvilles work on the Norwegian film, "The Wave". I'm now working for Scanline as an FX Artist which as said is a dream come true. But as VFX is more than a job for me, I still work on and plan to keep working on FX personal Projects and RnD. Hopefully getting progressive more complex as my Skills improve, I get further in the industry etc.

Highres Building Destruction Sim Rendering- + Debris + Scaffold Structure  Break Sim

A big part of the project has been the Fluid Sim Pipeline for doing such a big body of water ie a Wave Carrying debris smashing into a building. The Fluid is bounded in a "Tank Setup" with l,ots of churning type forces and velocities been added, some kinda bounded forces for more control aswell.

Fluid Mesh Surfacing Test- Main Wave- (FLIP)

I really enjoy and have so much passion for doing these projects, and its really cool to be able to choose an FX Idea, and develop the Tools, RnD, Methods and then spend the time putting those researches and developments into Mini-Shots. Huge Kudos to V-Ray on this, i'm not much of a Lighter/Render Artist but the amount of Fluid mesh, Particles and Volumes + RBD Sims all with Motion Blur, Multi AOV's etc going through it like butter is amazing. 

So yeah I will probs post some updates December time, maybe new year, I'm doing a little bit of Houdini RnD For a short break... Coming soon, In my spare time. But after that with Fresh eyes I will be finishing this, mostly in the post sim/render assembly stages now. But there is some sims to still. 

Thanks for Reading-

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Amazing Times Ahead!


So two reasons I am writing this post, one to say some really amazing news, I am now working for Scanline VFX ( How amazing!) As an FX Artist! 

Which means secondly this blog might be a bit more quiet in the next few months. I still aim to work on my own Personal Projects and RnD in my free-time., but due to work been the focus and this amazing job will come first! 
I do have that Personal FX Project I've been working on for about 6 Months in the background which I will continue, also an RnD Project I have been working on for around 2 months on the weekend nights which I will be working on. 

I also want to say thanks for all the support from my VFX Colleges, Friends and Family, and people follwing me and my work.

Its so amazing to be working for Scanline!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Eruption- FX Personal Project

Hi Guys

I've not had time to write up my latest shots like I used to do, I am sooo busy right now! This might be my last personal project for the next few months! Anyway this ones been a blast to work on ;)

The shot time was around 1.5 Months in my spare time (IE aswell as ohter projects) I originally had the idea to do this Personal Project to futher my TP RBD Skills, but also to do a Large Scale FX Shot since i'd been doing Rain Setups for a month and wanted to do some actual FX Production aswell as setups! Inspiration came from the Wrath Of The Titans Kronos Seqeunce from MPC, But also from a lot of Scanlines work with TP and Flowline in Pompeii, Scanline did some pretty cool shots aswell as MR X. This is more of a Mountain/Volcano Top Explosion rather than a Pyroclastic eruption, Also the Dreamworks MegaMind Mountain Explosion Shots served as good reference/inspiration.  I wanted this look because it means more RBD Detail, lots of nice opportunities for Dust and Debris and lots of details. My Main Real Life Ref was Quarry Blasting videos where miners use explosives to blow up quarry's to extract Limestone and simillar materials, The Actual Destruction of the tearing quarry is something I really wanted to re create in my shot. Also There are some cases where mountain tops have been blown up when Sattelite Arrays are put on top, and these videos served as great reference aswell. For this shot I pretty much did everything apart from the Sky and Volcano Textures!

^Rigid Bodies RBDs WIP ^
^FX Slap Comps WIP^
Fume Sims - WIP

Eruption - Personal FX Project and Breakdowns

Thanks for looking, I will try to go into more detail when I get time! 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

MouseTrap Madness FX RnD

Hi Guys, so this has been a little fun FX RnD Project I did while waiting on another projects sims and renders. Inspired by the MPC "Kerry Low Low" Mouse TVC where MPC created a room of mouse traps in a chain reaction using there inhouse RBD Tool PAPI . I wanted to re create it with Thinking Particles in a near 100% Procedural Setup.

The system is fully procedural apart from the Mouse trap itself. Using ShapeCollison rather than Bullet here, The birth rate/birth objects of the traps is fully scaleable. The Activation is diffrent in two systems,firstly I used distance to activate the mouse traps from an animated helper this then passed a rule that lets the system calculate via a PPassAB the distance from the active traps to the non acitve and define the Chain Reaction Range to activate. The second system which is more of a replication of the MPC PAPI System is using an Activator to collide with the traps and then using velocity and collision rules to define the traps that get hit by another thus activating them. The traps jump in the air from inital velocity and then once that velocity reaches a certain threshold it stops spinning and gravity pulls it down. Theres also a BombForce in one of them! I also set up a version where the activators can be proxy objects rather than Particle spheres! So in production could add a Mouse proxy from animation in, define the traps area/birth and you'd be away !
Sim time for maybe 2 mins for 300 frames. There are a few self collisons so probs increase frame sampling. I rendred in V-Ray with some Subtle DOF via ZDepth.

MoseTrap Madness FX RnD

I have another RnD Project near completion before I move onto my "Big Summer FX Project" !!

Thanks for Looking ! 

Friday, 26 June 2015

RealFlow 2015- Alpha Tests

Hi Guys, Not had time to put some info on yet about the Boot FX work, but I will when I get time, in the meanwhile here is some of my latest 

Using a lot of the new Volume/Collison calculation methods in RealFlow, aswell as Caronte + Hybrido (Rigid and soft bodies interaction with Hybrido/FLIP). And some more small production style shots. Also doing RnD to get big spray splashes with the Splash and Mist Solvers.

^ Tentacle Splash - FLIP + Splash Sim (Replaced with Greeble Cube) ^
WhiteWater/OceanSurface Look Devs

RealFlow 2015 is coming soon, more info visit

I've just started on new projects so am gonna be super busy over summer doing lots of FX !

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Haix Boots- Fluid FX Work

All Final Images ©Haix
All Working/FX Images ©Niall Horn VFX

Hi Guys,

I got asked to work on these 3 shots for a new Haix Boot Commercial to be shown at am event in just under 4 weeks from the start date. I was responsible for all the FX, Lighting & Rendering and Slap/PreComps.

Haix Boots- Fluids FX RnD Reel

MORE INFO- Coming when I get time to write it up !