Void's border
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Void's border

by ClementArlotti on 21 Jan 2021 for Rebelway FX Challenge

Everyfing about my work for the Rebelway FX Contest A character (let's name him "Bob") is about to complete his journey in

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Update - 28 Feb 2021

It's been a long time I didn't post anythig and I realised it was only the preproduction !
I originaly wanted to post my work by movie's chronoligical order, but to be honnest, until now, I realy struggle to get the right look for the ground's destruction (I will speak about it latter). So, for now, no major FX is completly done but, (apart the ground destruction) the first part of the movie is, I think, on the good way! 

So let's start with the environement !


Initialy , I only setup the floor to be able to work on the fx without thinking about environement and to avoid losing too much time on it. After having done some FX work, I decided to finish the environement in order to be able to setup my light right and  be ready to render the first part of the movie. 

The ground

The ground : nothing fancy. It's made with heighfield toolset and once meshed, with some manual editing.
Then, I added few megascan's assets and a rock floating stairs.


The stairs are made with a box, copied on a line with "pscale", "scale" and "orient" attribute's randomization.
Then bend and edited a few time, finaly re-meshed with SideFXlab voxelmesh and polyReduce.
Attribute Noise, used to displace the geometry, was also used many time to give a rocky and more natural look.

Floating Rocks

In my moodboard and amount my references, I clearly scketched ideas of an environement magically destroyed (maybe, by a portal or a blackhole style orb). So, I created many floating giant rocks with voron├» fracture on a displaced box, where I just kept a little amount of voronoi's pieces

To itemize, explode view sop and a random scale & rotation were applied on each piece with the primitive sop node combine with a blend sop to controle the amount modifications.
Multiple voronoï fracture and subdivition were used to crank up the details on the biggest rocks to try to give a understanding of scale

Finaly for the rocky stuff, little rocks from megascan were scattered on the ground and in the air, as little parts snatched by the portal !

My rocky environement dressed, I shaded it with 4 layered megascan's shader in redshift.
Unfortunatly, my megascan plugin wasn't working because of my Houdini's version (18.0.460 version, and I can't upgrade it for redshift license's reasons). Then, I decided to write a little Python script in order to convert the principal shader created by megascan into a redshift shader. 

The look is not fully matched but at least, I dont need to copy/past every single texture path of my 17 megascan assets and perhaps more in the future.

A second script were made to assign material witout erasing the other one. So I could switch from one Render engine to an other if needed.

PS : I'm realy a nooby at cooding so it might be a messy code. But it works in my case ^^ 

1 - Shader convert
2 - Assigne material

Once my scene will be lighted, big rocks would be rendered separatly and projected on simplifed geometry or cards as matt painting for optimisation sake.

The orbish Portal

The environement was dressed but there wasn't a clear magic feeling on it because the orb/portal was missing.

Most of this Fx was created in sop. The shell ( rwo1, image 1) and the streams lines (rwo2, image 1) are completely done using sop nodes : points vop, blend and attribut noise. The rest are hybridation of pop simulations, using basic behavior, previous created lines, to drag particules, and sop post processing.

In order to shade my fx with consistency, I came up with a clean point vop with age, velocity and noise parameters for both color & Alpha. Point vop still need work to be fine because I always add nods( curvenum color intensity randomisation, curveu energy flow ,etc), but it is a great starting place.
Converting this point vop into a wrangle would be a good thing to do, to save it as preset instead of HDA , but at a cost of slower modification in the future. I still don't know how to save it efficiently.

With add of clouds and a sky-rig, there is the result (viewport render) 

This post is more long that I was expected, so I'll see you in a few day to speek about our main goal : FX

Some things are already done but, I will try to speed up a bit... April is not that far anymore :)

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Update - 21 Jan 2021

    As a big fan of the Warcraft universe and immersed in the new World of Warcraft extention  "Shadowland" ; I decide to drive my FX work with many references from the Blizzard universe.


    A character (let's name him "Bob") is about to complete his journey in order to find the void essence to craft an infinite source of power ! Nevertheless, the border guard will not let him pursue his quest : no man shall pass !

Reference work

I decide to setup  my scene in the void border or a kind of magic rift. Mainly inspired by Wow "Legion" and "Burning Crusade"  style, I also find some references in the Riot's game "League of Legends" and in "Diablo III".

I used PureRef to create a Mood/refBoard in complement of Miro in which I alredy had a board with plenty of FX references.

    To create visual contrast I decided to use complementary colors. My environnement was in a Cyanish / Greenish  tones, so the monster will have a similar one to enforce his origines.
As a complementary color, our famous Bob will use a magic red dark theme. 

I found this kind of magic style in World of Warcraft again, and a bit in Starcraft II for the Hydralisk

Then, I quickly drawed some concept art (as I was able to) and sketch animations to have a better apprehension of my project. 

At this stage, i still need to do more concept art about energy flowing on the Monster and Bob


    I also made a "mind map" and a "to do list" in Miro to visualy see all the Fx I have to do ! 
It will help me to manage my time and focus on the mains tasks.

Still in progress