PDA

View Full Version : Particle effects in "300", how are they done?



Joe Battle
09-09-2007, 09:40 AM
As a beginning LW9.3 user I am intrigued with the drifting snow effects in the early scenes of The movie "300". Also equally the floating embers in later battle scenes are very effective.
I am assuming these are particle effects, perhaps Hypervoxels.

Personally I want to incorporate this type of effect into my single frame renders, not animations.
I have experimented with hypervoxel and pixie dust settings with no initial success.
I'm sure I'm missing some very simple settings which must get these effects to appear.

In regard to the attached render, for example, I want to fill the atmospheric space to the right of the figure with particles to simulate "Stuff" floating in the air around her.

Re. attachment Figure built in Poser 6, HDRI atmosphere built in Vue5 Infinite, Render done in Light Wave 9.2
Reflection eye map dialed to 20% for effect.

Thanks, Joe

Captain Obvious
09-10-2007, 10:25 AM
Many of the particle effects are actually photos of paint splattered out on sheets of paper, that are then layered up and animated by moving and scaling them.

Steamthrower
09-10-2007, 10:37 AM
Captain's right, they took pictures of splattered paint and rotoscoped them using Windows Movie Maker.

Joe Battle
09-10-2007, 12:34 PM
Captain's right, they took pictures of splattered paint and rotoscoped them using Windows Movie Maker.

You guys have got to be pulling my leg on this one.
Here I am trying my best to be a purest and do all my rendering totally in cgi.
I've been studying my LW manual for two days, the hypervoxel section.
I've begun to get an understanding of particle effects and pulled a few quick sketches . I've filled the picture frame of reference with hypervoxels attached to null objects. Still working out the details of making the overall scene work with figure and floating objects. I'm trying two formats, one where the figure is surrounded by floating embers, the other where she is surrounded by drifting snow, matching hdri atmospheres to both themes.
When I get an acceptable finished render I'll post it here.

Thanks for the info about "300".
I actually do believe your explanation of their effects.
I suppose in the end it is the quality of the finished product which matters, not necessarily the path to get there.

Joe:)

Mr Maze
09-10-2007, 12:35 PM
Windows Movie Maker? Really?

Joe Battle
09-10-2007, 03:16 PM
SpinQuad has a new Hypervoxel training video.
I haven't yet tried it out but here's the link.

http://www.kurvstudios.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=LW-T037-001&Category_Code=01-02-01

Steamthrower
09-10-2007, 05:52 PM
Cap'n Obvious and I were both pulling legs.

From what I remember (I think it was in a Cinefex issue) Shake was used in 300 for particle effects.

paulhart
09-10-2007, 08:32 PM
I was at the SIGGRAPH user event presentation for Softimage and the developer team for 300 showed all kinds of compositing build shots and a lot of the "splattered" blood was images of splattered ink on paper, composited in with 2.5D movement with the film plate. They were trying for a more graphic effect look, "crushing the blacks," pushing the grain, etc. They talked about trying the shots with particle effects efforts that did not work and then showed the team creating the splatters on paper. Once it is all composited in with alpha maps to keep it where it belonged, it is what makes the shot that counts.

Captain Obvious
09-11-2007, 03:06 AM
They weren't using Windows Movie Maker (probably Shake, in fact), but yes, they did use ink or paint or something.

Mr Rid
09-11-2007, 05:03 AM
Many of the particle effects are actually photos of paint splattered out on sheets of paper, that are then layered up and animated by moving and scaling them.

Er, for snow? I think there is some confusion with blood fx. I vaguely recall something about the snow done in XSI and would gently land on the fur of the wolf and all that.

But HV flakes/dust whatever are pretty easy to do in HV. You dont need any tutorials. Add an emitter the size of your frame with some vibration or use a Random wind to break it up, and put little sprites on it. Enter a size variation.

Captain Obvious
09-11-2007, 05:37 AM
Ahh, SNOW! I knew I should've read the first post more thouroughly!

gaetan
09-11-2007, 09:25 AM
I did snow with Lightwave particle systeme and I render with JetstreamFX!
for all shots with the wolf!

the Ambers was made with maya !

Cheers!

Gaetan

Joe Battle
09-11-2007, 09:50 AM
I did snow with Lightwave particle systeme and I render with JetstreamFX!
for all shots with the wolf!

the Ambers was made with maya !

Cheers!

Gaetan

If you are in fact the guy who did that stuff great work!! :bowdown: And thanks for filling me in on your work flow.:)

Joe

Joe Battle
09-11-2007, 09:53 AM
Er, for snow? I think there is some confusion with blood fx. I vaguely recall something about the snow done in XSI and would gently land on the fur of the wolf and all that.

But HV flakes/dust whatever are pretty easy to do in HV. You dont need any tutorials. Add an emitter the size of your frame with some vibration or use a Random wind to break it up, and put little sprites on it. Enter a size variation.

Mr Rid, Thanks for giving a beginner some real specific pointers. They are much appreciated.:)

Joe

NanoGator
09-11-2007, 12:22 PM
Here I am trying my best to be a purest and do all my rendering totally in cgi.


Why?

Joe Battle
09-11-2007, 01:15 PM
Why?

In an effort to learn my craft.:)

NanoGator
09-11-2007, 03:29 PM
Ah, I getcha. :)

Steamthrower
09-11-2007, 05:00 PM
Well, even the biggest guys cheat: as long as you can't tell the difference in the end product.

Mr Rid
09-11-2007, 07:09 PM
'Hacks' get it done.

Hack Tricks (audio- few minutes)
http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/ma/ma070905hack_tricks

The wise CG professional does not rely on only 3D. I dont understand 3D/FX artists who do not even own a decent video camera and capture device, or who do not know there way around basic compositing. Employers are most thrilled by an artist who is about solutions both effective and effecient. The romantic ideal of the uncompromisng artist is likely to be someone unemployable.

Steamthrower
09-12-2007, 01:08 PM
A good case to point out would be the Particle Illusion software. This program is just 2D effects: and it's as easy as anything to use. There's nothing difficult about it; it's as fun as a computer game. Yet it's been used for pyro effects in numerous feature films...the VFX guys could have developed some intensive hypervoxel scripts and gotten the same effects, but taken weeks and weeks for the same end product.

Mr Rid
09-12-2007, 11:45 PM
Illusion was certainly fun to play with but yet another great idea that never seemed to be taken to the logical conclusion. I found it rarely useful in practical situations, or if things were moving, particularly on the Z. But occasionally, yes it was great for fast smoke trails or rain.

But a good use of Illusion I understand was used for the smoke/energy tendril thing that shoots out of the super warrior woman's hands in Legend of Zu (crazy fun FX). I was told that they modified Illusion's code to make it work this well.
http://www.box.net/shared/static/t0b5ysvfst.mov

Sande
09-13-2007, 11:41 PM
But a good use of Illusion I understand was used for the smoke/energy tendril thing that shoots out of the super warrior woman's hands in Legend of Zu (crazy fun FX). I was told that they modified Illusion's code to make it work this well.
Maybe I'm just overly critical before my morning coffee, but am I the only one who thinks those effects look, well, quite bad really? Especially the smoke/energy tendril, which looks like a series of animated 2D particles - which they are, of course, but I guess it shouldn't be that obvious...
Njah, I'll get my coffee now... :)

Joe Battle
09-14-2007, 09:09 AM
Maybe I'm just overly critical before my morning coffee, but am I the only one who thinks those effects look, well, quite bad really? Especially the smoke/energy tendril, which looks like a series of animated 2D particles - which they are, of course, but I guess it shouldn't be that obvious...
Njah, I'll get my coffee now... :)


Yes, I agree. The effects seem very 1980's at times. This is really the heart of the matter then, what can be done on the leading edge of our craft vs. what has been done before. Of course every project has it's appropriate budget and audience.

I believe that art to a great extent is "perceptual training". It is often said the artist is a step ahead of the general public in how he/she sees the world. Impressionist painters were a great example. They saw light in a whole new way.
In a contemporary sense we are convinced of the reality of a scene today because, to some extent, the FX are new to our eyes. Once accustomed to the new FX we begin to accept and integrate that vision into our perception of reality. Hello "Bullet Time" for example.

Today the camera "follows us in slow mo." and thereby gives important witness to our lives.:)

Joe

Jim_C
09-14-2007, 09:24 AM
but am I the only one who thinks those effects look, well, quite bad really?


Particle Illusion effects are cheesily awesome!!!

I am an FX 'wizard' to some of my buddies with that program. ;)

Video game fun is exactly right tho.



but yet another great idea that never seemed to be taken to the logical conclusion.

Whatcha mean if I may ask?

Steamthrower
09-14-2007, 10:53 AM
Those effects do look cheesy, but I'd figure that the entire movie would be cheesy (being Chinese and all - about the intellectual equivalent of Jackie Chan).