View Full Version : FXWars! THE OCEAN: Trey Harrell

02-10-2006, 03:02 PM
Hi guys, I'm in this time, and will be doing The Ship.

Here's some R&D work I did the last few days dealing with foam interaction, splashes, buoyancy and getting a grasp on what kind of rendertime to expect.


Best of luck to everyone... can't wait to see the results!

02-10-2006, 03:10 PM
look like a maya fluid scene. Is it?
this is a little bit too fast . Big rooling wave must be slower to appear bigger (bigger is slower)

02-10-2006, 03:17 PM
Yeah, it's using Maya fluid effects for the ocean and the mist. I just pulled the mist and camera move from a preset for this shot, the sky is an HDRI (for nice speculars) and the "tube" is a primitive. All of the shaders have been tweaked pretty heavily to look halfway decent within mentalray.

You're right... it's moving far too fast and the scale isn't correct on the waves themselves relative to the tube.

I was concentrating on learning how to use buoyancy/wake emitters and also learning how to generate particles based on surface interaction -- which is pretty tough as the ocean surface only exists within the shader.

I've since found some MEL scripts (which I've linked in the tips & tricks thread) that will allow me to generate a polymesh from the ocean shader as a collision target.

02-10-2006, 03:29 PM
Thats damn nice! man! Theres something funky going on with the foam tho it looks like its flashing.. and your mist is cool but looks more like smoke to me.. mist should be finner

02-10-2006, 04:07 PM
wow that looks damn good!!

can u tell how u did foams? r they particles or just procedural texture?

this one is gonna be gr8 entry...

02-10-2006, 05:15 PM
wow.. that is nice..

02-10-2006, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the commentary, guys :)

Wasn't expecting too much response over it... like I said, this isn't even what I'm planning on using for the challenge. They're just a couple R&D tests that I did to dig a little deeper into fluids and decide what I could achieve in the time limit we're talking about.

I spent almost all of my time on the motion of the elements and the simulation -- not too much on the shaders because tweaking that stuff is a month away on a case-by-case basis.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to pull off a tall ship/pirate ship getting smacked around in a storm based on my initial tests. I think I'm going to be tweaking particles (spray/splashes) up until the wire, so if I have any characters in scene, they'll be greenscreen comps and not CG.


jigu, the foam is a 2d fluid simulation built-in to maya's ocean shader -- it's fairly difficult to get decent results from it... doubly so if you're using mental ray instead of the Maya Software renderer. There's a wake emitter on the bottom of the tube which is adding more foam into the ocean based on the velocity the tube hits the surface as well (a little bit of expression glue needed for that). The foam is actually added when you adjust heat voxels/second on the wake emitter, and that's where that expression is.

In addition to the foam, I've got some particles being generated whenever:

- Any tube vertex collides with my low-poly approximation of the ocean surface

- The angle between any two faces of a given wave on the low-poly is greater than 40 degrees.. this helps out the whitecaps a little, although is *barely* noticeable with the extremely low number of particles I used on the test.

Robert, the mist looks a LOT like smoke currently. It's really just a maya fluid preset that I haven't fiddled with at all yet -- it looks a lot more like mist rendered with the Maya Software renderer, but it breaks into cotton balls in mentalray. I'm curious if I could use my lowpoly ocean surface to push the mist fluid around a little bit.

Bet that would make some super complex secondary motion for free.... (writing this down and sketching this idea!)

Rendering is the least of my worries at this stage in the project, but I'm happy that my water and sky shaders are already close enough that I can just assume that they'll rock with a day or so's tweaking toward the end.

Thanks again to everyone who dropped in today... think I'm going for either a storyboard or a mini-script treatment next before I get started for real.


02-10-2006, 07:13 PM
but if it looks right in the end then thats the way to go!

02-11-2006, 08:09 AM

it's really great .... water seems so real ! :bounce:

Good luck !

02-11-2006, 08:01 PM
One more R&D test before I start on the actual scenes...

The waves are a little slower, the splashes are a little heavier, the foam progresses at about half the speed of the last test. In addition, i played around with having my water act as a collision object and push my mist around a little bit, but it isn't giving as much rolling motion as I'd like. The scale feels right to me now, though.

Also, the camera's a little bit 'looser'... maybe a little too loose ;-)


I have to say, this challenge is shaping up to be really fun. I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's approaches to the problem, and getting feedback from everyone to improve the shots.

Time to archive the materials in this one and get to building a ship!


02-12-2006, 09:17 AM
hey it's looking nice..

well i wouldl ike to point out that get ride from that "violet" bluish specularity.
u rarely can see specularity in stormy ocean..

ur one is coming really nice..

02-12-2006, 10:21 AM
Really good work on those shots tharrell! Will be following your thread closely!:)

02-12-2006, 06:39 PM
hey it's looking nice..

well i wouldl ike to point out that get ride from that "violet" bluish specularity.
u rarely can see specularity in stormy ocean..

Yeah, the spec is definitely too hot in mine, particularly for the level of mist in the air. It's mostly because I used a violet-sky HDRI for the tests, and haven't touched it since before I added the foam.

No foam on the water, and you need a little more spec... add foam, and too much spec looks out of place, but there's still enough contrast from the white foam to make things 'feel' right without it.

I guess my main challenge is going to be interacting with my ship and my camerawork. The fluid effects almost feel like a 'make it pretty' button, so I want to really push myself in the realism of the interaction, and maybe some real-world camera work that I've always wanted to try (like in the verité style of Firefly or Battlestar Galactica).


02-15-2006, 05:32 AM
Hey Trey, it's looking really good! I like the second shot better.

- Jonas

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