Unofficial Side Effects Houdini Group

I was brought onto the Benjamin Buttons team at Digital Domain a few weeks before delivery in order to create the opening titles for Paramount and Warner Bros. Eric Barba, our VFX Supervisor, asked me to form the studio logos using a variety of old-fashioned brass and wooden buttons spilling into frame. I simulated roughly 10,000 falling buttons in Houdini using ODE, then randomly assigned 20 button models to the sim objects. The studio logos and mattes were projected on the end frame, then the textures were copied to all the prior frames so they would stick to the moving buttons. I rendered everything in Mantra (special thanks to Jonah Hall for some helpful VOPnets, and Randy Sharp for the button models) and comped the shot in Nuke. Once the first sim was complete, that layer of buttons was frozen in place for collisions with the second falling layer (to save on simulation time). A few practical dust elements were added at the last minute to give the shot an antique, musty feel.

j vimeo.com/28918545

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