master de­struc­tion ef­fects with gno­mon

Wayne Hollingsworth from Gno­mon ex­plains how to set up ro­bust sim­u­la­tions in Maya and Hou­dini for the ul­ti­mate in de­struc­tion ef­fects

3D World - - CONTENTS -

Set up ro­bust sim­u­la­tions in Maya and Hou­dini

i n vis­ual ef­fects, keyframe an­i­ma­tion and sim­u­la­tion are of­ten done in sep­a­rate soft­ware pack­ages. In this tu­to­rial, I’m go­ing to show you how to cre­ate a sim­u­la­tion of a space­ship crash­ing through a wall in Maya and Hou­dini, us­ing the kind of work­flow you would en­counter in a real-world pro­duc­tion.

The ge­om­e­try and the an­i­ma­tion of the ship have al­ready been cre­ated in Maya. We’re go­ing to ex­port the wall ge­om­e­try to Hou­dini in Alem­bic for­mat, break it into pieces us­ing Voronoi shat­ter­ing, then make the pieces fly apart un­der the im­pact of the ship us­ing the Bullet rigid body dy­nam­ics solver.

To make sure the pieces don’t start to move too early, we’re go­ing to freeze them in place, and use an ac­ti­va­tor – a sim­ple cube synced to the mo­tion of the ship – to un­freeze them as the ship reaches them. Once the sim­u­la­tion is com­plete, we’ll im­port the an­i­mated ge­om­e­try back into Maya.

The walk­through is based on a masterclass I gave at Gno­mon – School of Vis­ual Ef­fects, Games and An­i­ma­tion in Los An­ge­les last year. You will need some ex­pe­ri­ence with Hou­dini in order to fol­low it, and the process is too com­pli­cated to ex­plain ev­ery­thing in de­tail here, but you can watch the full record­ing on Gno­mon’s Livestream chan­nel at http://bit.ly/ G no mon de­struc­tion master class. In the video, I also ex­plore other top­ics such as adding some ex­tra de­bris to the shot us­ing Maya’s par­ti­cle sys­tems.

Gno­mon holds mas­ter­classes and speaker events like this most weeks, and they’re usu­ally free to watch. If you want more train­ing like this, it’s worth keep­ing an eye on the Events sec­tion of its web­site: https://www.gno­mon. edu/com­mu­nity/events.

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