The Mill Collaboration - Week 2 - Update 2

This page will be a documentation of my upcoming class for the Fall of 2017. Here I will be sharing progress for my work under the teaching of Professor Bridget Gaynor and Deborah Fowler, and the mentors of visual arts studio, The Mill.

Mentors include:

Todd Akita - FX Supervisor

Cat Gulácsy - US Talent Manager

Kyle Cody - VFX Supervisor/Lead Compositor

Billy Dongjoon Jang - Senior/Lead Lighting CG Artist

Early Test of the Fracture

New file with improved Uv's

New file with improved Uv's

I now have a working Houdini file that writes out all the faces within the fracture and maintains decent UV's. UV's and Textures are an area I'm working to improve and Houdini has a different approach to the process. As I mentioned in the previous post I experienced serious issues with grouping and Uv's. I learned the hardway the importance of pipeline integration and have gotten a taste of how it works. Unfortunately it was through mistakes and problems that I created. Sometimes you need to make mistakes to truly understand and grow from the experience. Houdini and VFX in general are very finicky and unique in terms of integration. It's one thing to work in Houdini when you are using Mantra alone, when it comes to teamwork you need to be open and flexible to all sorts of integration procedures and be very aware of your team's needs. Learning to build within Houdini logically to best support any artists in the future is crucial. Below is a sequence of exploded views that should allow texture artists to easily understand the layers of the fracture and also paint and texture the effect.

The new Houdini file takes into account UV space and incorporates two separate fractures based on the points of two spheres in order to create the inside and outside geometry. Sine the object is a cannon ball, and the Sand Solver was beyond my capabilities, I wanted to create smaller chunks of "congealed, hardened" gunpowder that could be shaded.

New Node Tree

The following images show the bullet solver and dopnet including the bullet settings. The rolling ball still has issues. It no longer floats like it did originally due to to much force and not enough friction. Now the problem is ballencing the angular velocity with the other parameters and the uniform force node I am using to add more impulse. 

The Python node is the key to separating out and controlling the geometry. A friend helped me work out the script and showed me the value of Python within Houdini. It was crucial to help offset the inside and outside pieces of geometry within the cannon ball.  Until now my only Python experience was inside Maya with Mel from the Intro to Programming for Visual Effects. I'm looking forward to next quarter and advanced scripting to dive deeper into Python. The next photo includes the uniform force.

Another issue that I need to address are the glue constraints. I have not been able to get them to cooperate so for now I am releasing the glue based on frame count. This week I hope to solve that problem and idealy add some dust or debris to really sell the shot. 

Top View of the New Fracture.