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Technicolor Academy FX Reel

Technicolor Academy FX Reel

Edoardo Feraco
by muschiopitto on 17 Dec 2022

FX reel completed during a 8 weeks period for the Technicolor Academy's FX Course. Everything was created using Houdini 18.5, rendered using mantra and composited in Nuke. Simulations never took more than 2 hours. Credit for the building and tank models goes to TCS Academy, for the characters I used Mixamo.

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For the disintegration I used POP's for the particles and vellum simulated pieces of skin that slowly get activated using a custom infection solver I built. Getting creative to reach the result I had in mind was a super satisfying process to have. This first project was when I really figured out how powerful of a tool VEX is and made me commited to learn as much as I can about it to integrate in future workflows. Had lots of fun making everything work cohesively toghether.

The RBD was pretty challenging as the contraints I made had to be adapted for secondary fracture once the frame and force reached a certain point. I ended up using the proxy explosion I built to visualize everything because I ran out of time in the end. I really enjoyed making the collision from the explosion because I had to get creative to get consistent float frame data for the movement of the collider to hold using multiple substeps.

The tank was the most experimental project I did. First I had to figure out very quickly how to rig and animate in Houdini and in the end I'm pretty happy with the result I achieved in the very little time to study I had. To make the background and environment I took a frame of the reference video, inpainted the tank to remove it, upscaled the image using ai and then reprojected the image on some custom geometry I made on Houdini. That was essential to getting decent light reflections from the ground, as there were around 2 frames where the fireball of the explosion lit up the surrounding area. I then simulated the projectile using POP's, and used a sparse pyro sims for all the smoke and fire elements. 

The water was definitetly the most challenging shot I had made, as the most complex flip shot I had done prior to this one was a very small scale sim. I used different ocean spectrums to get the velocities I wanted and sourced them in directly in the dopnet. The whitewater is definitetly one of the things I should have worked on more, I got a decent graps of how it works only during the last part of the project unfortunately, and it was to late to resim it. This project took around 1,5 hours per sim of water and 30 minutes for the whitewater. I also made a custom wetmap solver to then tweak the shading of the rocks and the character.

I'm really happy with the results and the improvement I had in such short time during this course, as well as now knowing what aspects of my skillset I should focus on and improve.

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