Tuesday, 13 November 2012

And So It Begins...

So I've finally decided to get a blog set up, taken me forever. But this will be a place for me to document my adventures into learning how to be a proper FX artist. It'll be a place to record my progress and my experiments with things. 

I thought that I'd just show some of the stuff I did over the summer, I know it doesn't look like much but it's very hard to put into a physical, or digital as it were, form an accumulation of knowledge. So this summer I learnt how to use FumeFX. I decided that I'll never get anywhere unless I can do the basics like fire and stuff and being able to generate my own UV flipbooks would be essential. Now these aren't great simulations I know, but it's a start and they allowed me to learn FumeFX so they served some purpose :P 

Now you know, they're not all that bad. Okay... so maybe they are, especially the smoke. God, my eyes; they bleed. But I learnt a lot about this, smoke is very tricky to emulate properly because of it's rather complex internal motion. And then there's the fact that I found an even better way of generating smoke for use in particle effects so I'll be getting on and doing that from now on.

So this is the flipbook texture in Unreal's Cascade. I know it's not much, I'll explain in a sec, but it's quite a nice feeling to see something that I've made and not some premade texture that I've slapped in. Right, the reason that this is so awful, other than the video capture being really laggy, is that the flipbook texture is flawed. Because I was learning as I go I didn't pay any attention to the shape of the fire I simulated. This made it really difficult for me to make it loop in After Effects and as you can see there's some really bad fading and popping. Even animating the alpha/colour over life couldn't stop it. So that's why it's only a basic fire with none of the stuff like heat distortion, embers or slight smoke, cause they wouldn't have covered up the fundamental flaw. So now I'm going to go back and resim my fire taking into account knowing how to loop it. 

Right, so I don't know when I'll get round to updating this again as uni work is a little heavy at the moment. But in the meantime, this week I'm planning to; start learning how to use RealFlow, playing around with UV distortions to make the fire more realistic (even if it's naff I can still practice with it) and with materials, and maybe make some fireworks in Cascade cause it was recently bonfire night and there's plenty of fireworks about :P


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