View Full Version : Digital Snow

10 October 2003, 07:26 PM
Using maya 5 or lower what are some people's methods to creating realistic snow fall? I have done it with sprites and particles, but I am curious if people have used other methods. What ways have you created digital snow for LIVE action footage, any tips and tricks for extra realism?

10 October 2003, 11:26 PM
Try combustion, they have some nice snow effects in their particle engine. I was actually testing it out a couple days ago

10 October 2003, 12:23 AM
i would really like to work in maya and i don't own combustion, so it makes it kinda hard, thanks though.

10 October 2003, 12:23 AM
Well, I guess I'm in the same boat -- I NEED SNOW! :p

You don't want to know... (Okay, I'll tell you anyway.) Last winter I decided (out of the blue) to shoot a (live action) short film that was supposed to be a quaint, nostalgic thing about a snowman that comes alive, only to crave hot cocoa and eventually die by a tragic hot cocoa melting incident. :surprised

'Twas lots of fun shooting the thing, except for one thing -- there was no snow! Last winter was the winter of dearth, with absolutely no snow whatsoever.

But, silly me, I wanted to shoot it anyway, so I did -- using some big bouncy balls as placeholders for the snowman. Bah, I can add in all that snow stuff later. Of course. Why not? :rolleyes:

Unfortunately now I've got an edited short film with absolutely no snow. That still leaves me to:

1) Rotoscope a CGI snowman in place of the bouncy balls.
2) Somehow magically cover the ground in CG snow, never minding the fact that my two kids are running around on the regular grass whilst building the snowman.
3) Add snow effects and such falling from the sky, completing the picture.
4) And, of course, make all of these elements blend together realistically.

Yahoo! :hmm: Heh, at this point, all I can say is... help?

10 October 2003, 03:44 AM
I recently needed ultra-realistic falling snow for a project and wasn't happy with the limitations in 3D - so I bought a bag of flower, grabbed a camping gas burner, boiled some water and draped a black velvet cloth behind the burner (to screen out).

A set up a digital DV cam and sprinkled flour down over the boiling water. I got amazing results for compositing. Nice random snow fall with a little extra bit of steam.

Play with the lighting, the amount of flour and the verocity of the boiling water.

Ian Jones
10 October 2003, 10:05 AM
ummm.. what was the boling water for?

10 October 2003, 12:43 AM
The boiling water causes hot air to rise and creates pockets of turbulence for the flour to swirl around. Gives it a windy fall rather than a straight fall.

Try sprinkling some flour with out it and it just falls down too dispersed. Boiling water not only moves it around nicely it clumps the flour together more to get snow flakes.

10 October 2003, 10:32 PM
Great tip Dingbat :thumbsup:
I must play with that someday :)

Thanks a lot!

Ian Jones
10 October 2003, 12:51 AM
hey, thats pretty nifty. Thx for the tip.

10 October 2003, 01:32 AM
This is all very nifty, I even tried it. Works great with some of the Artbeats snow effects I had. However, does anyone know anything about digital snow?

10 October 2003, 04:21 PM
Yeah, quite a spiffy trick Dingbat. :) I've done similar compositing things, actually, and they really work great! Brings back the nostalgic feel that you're really making your movie on your own, without CG help.

But anyhoo, yes -- back to digital snow. Anybody got suggestions? Recommendations? Hehe, and any idea for my predicament? I've been running the raw footage through Icarus, but still can't quite get out good stuff. That's not to mention that I'm ruddy enough as it is in the CG world... :surprised Anybody got Icarus tips then, maybe? Or maybe willing to run the clips through boujou for me?

Thanks bunches. :)

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