In the Ask The Master section to day, We're thrilled to have Master in Water simulation - Igor Zanic . Igor is FX TD artist particle an...
Igor Zanic. Igor is FX TD artist particle and dynamic effects using Houdini.
Realflow,NAIAD and Bifrost simulations who has been working on major projects or feature films, commercial. He also worked with Bifrost Team on fluid solver development. Igor will talk with three great VFX Artists included: Hammer Chen - VFX based in Doha, Alessandro Nardini - VFX Artist from Dneg Vancouver and Omar Meradi - VFX From Luma Picture Melbourne.
May I know some details of foam texture development in Houdini?
Hi Chen, the foam texture I did on whale RnD is a mix of Flip Rest and Ocean Shader foam part. In Houdini 15, inside the new Fluid Shader, there is a vorticity bump section that lets you add details in vorticity area and makes you use rest to follow that flip motion. I basically extract that part from the Fluid Shader, and the Foam Section from the Ocean Shader and mix them together. So in reality, everything is already inside Houdini. I just do my simple Shader using their workflow.
What is your machine specs, and how many PC or laptops do you have?
I have two Core i7 workstations with processor numbers 4770 and 4790; each with a RAM capacity of 32GB. Also, I recently built a new workstation with 2 Xeon- 40core/80Threads and with a Ram capacity of 128GB.
What do you do during simulation? Facebook?
It depends, it's either I'm working on another workstation or watching the making of a movie or I'm reading articles from VFX studios on how they executed some special movie effects.
Any suggestion for overnight simulation?
I believe you mean suggestions for simulation enhancement. I always like to do some wedge tests overnight so that by morning I would have seen how some parameters work, and also the subsequent result to be expected. I have shared a few of my overnight simulations with the public.
RISE Project from Igor
How did you get into water/fluid simulation work? Was it out of curiosity, necessity, or a random event?
Hi Alessandro, I have always wanted to go into VFX. Jurassic Park and King Kong were movies I watched over and over again. They got me thinking and ignited the passion and resolution in me to one day become a part of it. Initially when I started, modeling and texturing were not my thing and lighting too was boring. However, because I really loved water, swimming, jumping... Also, when I was a child, I saw the making of "Deep Impact" and I was amazed and excited. After that experience, I started learning and trying different softwares, hoping to find the one that would empower me to do whatever I wanted. After many years of searching, I finally got a chance with Naiad, and after that, I just wanted to make more and more videos and RnDs.
What is the step you really enjoy the most while producing your beautiful work from start to finish? Is there a particular task during the creation of your beautiful simulation where you spend the most effort in preparing it before moving forward?
I believe it's in the RnD stage, because here you try a lot of different setups and this is where you also learn a lot. For example, you get to see and understand the different scenarios for which a particular RnD intensity would be ideal, maybe 90% or 10%...you'll understand this at the RnD stage. So I think RnD is the most interesting part for me because it's similar to a simulation or even a render, and it gives me an idea of what the finished work would look like.
How much are you trying to art-direct the final result versus how much you rely just on the solver result?
I can say it's a mix from all my RnD tests that I've done. I have an idea of what Solver would give me in terms of appearance, details, motion, etc. I try to use different setups to make my simulation look similar to the reference; sometimes I calm the fluid in some area, add some wind on top, make more details around collision etc. Also, I think of what would be necessary for the rendering part, so that I could add them later at the render stage and not be bothered about what Solver would give me in the end. Basically, I try to see the complete picture all the time.
Houdini with its flip solver and all its procedural paradigm versus Bifrost in Maya and its type of workflow. Which one do you feel more creative with and why?
I don't like to compare Houdini and Bifrost. Firstly, Houdini has been in the market for such a long time, and its procedural workflow is really great. Bifrost on the other hand is still very new in the market, but I think it's gradually getting there. We just need to wait and see.
What in your view is the next big milestone you would like to see in CGI fluid simulation workflow and technology?
Hmm, it's hard to say but I think a lot of developments are already in place. I see studios sharing their new tech ideas with software developers. Some information that once used to be exclusive to the big guys in the industry are now assessable to freelancers like me. I think it's really good that everybody now shares their in-house tech stuff but one thing that would be nice to see is big scale fluid simulations as we have seen from ILM, Scanline... This information would enable freelancers like me a chance to do something as big as that.
The Dragon - Water Splash for Platige Image from Igor
How do you think Bifrost and Houdini fluid will evolve in the future?
Hi Omar, I think they will become faster and better. There's always room for improvement, optimization, faster workflows, etc...
Thank you Igor also Thanks Hammer Chen, Omar Meradi and Alessandro Nardini for a great interview! Make sure you can check all Igor's work on his page www.igorfx.com or his vimeo vimeo.com/igorzanic
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