UPDATED 12/15/2013: Added Soft Body Progressive Cutting Demo to this reel! More info:


1) The Lone Ranger (Atomic Fiction, subcontracted from ILM)
Created glass and wood destruction geometry elements to pass onto lighters at Atomic Fiction (Emeryville, CA), and for subsequent grading at ILM (from whom the Atomic Fiction award was subcontracted from). Glass consisted of RBD destruction combined with particles instanced with random-shard geometry, matching a match-move layout. The wooden door at the end was accomplished in a similar manner, though with geometry more befitting splintering wood. Smoke passes were also added over some of the bullet hits to further integrate into the shot.

2) Glad Bag with Febreze advertisements (The Mill NY)
Created all of the smoke, stink, vaporization, and sparkly particle effects for the onion and fish characters. The stink effect sticks to the characters a bit, and responds to differences in pressure as the character moves quickly. In addition, the effect of the blue mist consuming the green mist was accomplished by emitting the blue only from an animated selection region of the green, and then in turn sinking the green out from that area. Particles were added to and advected by the velocity fields of these sims for extra effect.

3) Nixon Concrete Bust Destruction Demo
Ravenous alien robots swarm in and harvest a concrete statue of President Nixon for resources! I modeled the head in Maya 2011 first, and brought it into Houdini effectively as a subdivision surface. Areas of attraction on the surface bring in particles that represent position and orientation of the invading robot swarm.
Upon contact with the head, 1) a randomized chunk is carved out and converted to a native Houdini RBD, 2) Several more pieces are also broken off out of the gap, 3) The path back out is projected and pieces are preemptively broken off and glued on to be pushed off as the main piece egresses 4) The robot particle is bary-bound (my own custom OTL) to the surface of the new main RBD. In parallel simulation, smoke is emitted from newly created surfaces, particles are emitted, and small Bullet RBD objects are procedurally generated and emitted.
Pieces of the head that are determined to not have surface connectivity with the bottom-most polygons are deemed to have broken off, and are converted into RBD's as well. Any falling RBD's described so far may cluster-voronoi fracture depending on their speed and size, and will also contribute to the parallel smoke and particle sims. New (exposed) surfaces record high frequency displacement for render time. Volumes are used to determine where on the original surfaces to generate displacements for the initial robot crashdowns as well as vein-fracture lines leading out of the the edges of the holes.
Rendered with Mantra PBR (Physically Based Rendering) with custom shaders written to incorporate the displacement trickery and concrete look.

4) Soft Body progressive cutting system
The object is divided into sections every frame above, below, in front, and back of the blade. New surfaces are created for the regions above and below the blade, and are pushed away slightly. The regions behind are kept the same (usually the area previously cut as the blade moves deeper), and the regions in front are modified slightly to accommodate the new surfaces. These are all fused back to-gether, and any extra edges made by the cutting process (notably the ones between the split apart regions) are cleaned up. The new surfaces are remeshed to produce good triangles for wire simulation.

5) Empire of the Sun - "Alive" music video
Developed system to generate procedural LSystem based upside-down lightnings that have custom (and wedgeable) tip thickness and traveling internal pulses. Thickness, age, length, worldspace, and internal pulse info are all embedded into the output .exr frames for use by the compositor to achieve the final rendered effect.

6) Explosion
Created smoke, flame, and temperature elements with FumeFX's FusionWorks renderer in 3ds Max. Utilizes multiple emission points, particle based emission, and wavelet turbulence. Houdini RBD used for flying debris and disturbed rubble on ground. Re-colored and re-lit these elements in Nuke 6.

7) Breaking Bulb
Modeled an incandescent bulb in Houdini, and gave the glass part suggested fracture seams. Used Houdini 11's RBD solver to break the glass into the biggest pieces, wire solver to simulate the broken filament attached to the metal bottom, and used constrains to ensure that the filament and parts of the broken glass would stay stuck on. Houdini's ODE solver was used for medium sized pieces, and particles were used for the many tiny pieces.

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