cmiVFX brings you a brand new and improved Houdini Destruction Series where we'll give you the tools that you need to tackle almost any destruction shot imaginable. Houdini's world-renowned dynamic tools are used by all of the best world-class Visual Effects Artists and Technical Directors, and we'll show you all of the best techniques, tricks, and workflows so you can maximize your efficiency. We'll cover it all so you can be the best artist you can be.
We'll talk about the project and the result we're going for, we'll cover all of the areas and techniques that you'll need to learn, and we'll see why it's really important to know about the different areas in VFX. It's simple, and it will make you a better and more hirable artist.
To start off, we need to prepare the back plate that we'll be using for our shot. We'll set it to the right size and examine it. We'll be looking for clues like the lens size and lighting etc. We'll also set a scale reference so we make everything to scale and we'll match the camera to the plate.
In this chapter we'll setup the missile. We'll start by creating the model and then animating the missile on a path. This will determine the timing of the shot and it will be the starting point for the rest of the effect.
Here we'll be getting the car model for our shot. We'll be using a model already provided"”just the way you'll have in most productions"”then we'll need a proxy version of the car so we can use it to make the dynamic car animation flipping through the air. Later we'll use the same dynamic animation and transfer it to a high-res car. We'll mix the dynamic animation with a keyframed animation to make the car door open, which will accentuate the impact of the missile, and then we'll cache the results and make the car animate along the street to finish the car animation section.
Now we'll enter the very exciting work of destruction. We'll need to be clever about our scene and remember to think about what we need and how we want the effect to look. We'll be fracturing the floor and focusing on the detail in the area that the missile hits. Once that's ready, we'll use forces to make the shards explode and we'll set up collisions for the rest of the scene. Then we'll decide which objects we want to move and which ones should just be static. We'll prepare the geometry for the later stages, and finally cache the effect. As you can see, it's a lot of work.
Varomix DaGreit is a VFX Artist and Generalist TD and his love for visual effects began in 1993 when he attended a screening of Jurassic Park. He began working with 3D applications in 1998, starting with 3ds Max, then moving on to Cinema 4D, then Maya 2.0 in 1999, and he has been doing CGI for film, TV, video games, print, and web ever since. Shortly after Side Effects launched the Houdini Apprentice Program in 2002, Varomix became an ardent Houdini user. Since then it has become his main tool for creation. Varomix has also been an on-set VFX Supervisor and DOP assistant. He has been an excellent mentor for cmiVFX.
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