Monday, 4 October 2010

Minor Project: R&D Flowing Water step-by-step

A challenge I am facing with this project is to do environment specific effects. I decided to tackle water first because straight away it seems like potentially the most complicated one with many potential of ways of going about doing the task at hand. The water in my scene isn’t going to be if huge focus rather it’s more an accessory so I need to develop a fairly cost effective way of producing what I want. Enough detail so it can effectively pass off as water but something I can quickly produce without going into masses of lengthy processes that are unnecessary for the level of detail I want water to achieve. After some fiddling I have found quite a nice effect. The method of which I have detailed below:

1. I created a CV curve tool and within the dynamics menu set I attached a ‘Curve Flow’ effect to it. This creates particles that flow along a CV curve.

2. The particle type is changed to a ‘Blobby’ and the radius and threshold are increased.

3. In order to make the blobbys more organic an expression needs to be made in order to vary the radius as the particles are created. You do this within the Per Particle Attributes and create a new Dynamic Attribute.

4. Within the new Radius PP attribute you create a new expression which randomises the size of the particles within a certain range.

5. You then apply a water-like shader to the particles.

6. Here’s a rendered version with Raytracing applied. Obviously more tweaking in necessary to get the correct effect.