Snowy River- CG Environment for production

Snowy River- CG Environment for production

by JackGillTaylor on 31 May 2023

An exploration of creating environments in Houdini, along with complex fluid simulations. Brought together in a 2.5D composited scene inside of Nuke.

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This personal project has been an exploration of creating an (almost) photoreal environment, along with exploring fluid simulation for the first time. I spent many late nights and early mornings working on simulating, scattering, rendering and more. 

Surprisingly, one of the most difficult aspects of this scene was creating an accurate snow material. I tried many approaches including (but definitely not limited to): Volumes, Quixel textures, Particles and finally, what I settled on- no pun intended- A shader setup within HtoA using noises as well as real grunges to build a displacement shader, and using SSS to mimic the way that snow scatters light as ice fragments. 

Collecting reference was crucial, I took reference for layout, rocks, water, snow, and vegetation,  as well as using some shots that inspired me, specifically Andrea Sbabo's river scene in Houdini- seen top right- who was kind enough to give me some advice and guidance when I reached out to him, as well as a go-ahead on posting the project.

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