Hi Guys, I have been working on this shot in the past week, It all started when I came up with an idea for my Showreel to have a Battleship style 6 shot seqence where we see a Mech Robot rise from the ocean only to encounter a US Navy ship attacking it. Thats when I came up with the idea "Mech Vs Navy" (MvN). I plan to work on this as a main project, but still doing other shots/RnD for my Reel as well but I plan for this to be my "Showreel Seller Seqence". I have actully fully previs'd all the shots which I may post soon, but for now its my reference for planning out the 6 shots in more detail.
Shot 2 involves the Mech Robot rising from the ocean to attack the Navy Ship, In the final there will be splash/foam/bubbles/mist etc. but this test shot was for me to learn the Realflow PRT Frost Pipeline. In the Past to get the WhiteWater Effect when bodies of water move at high speeds my only way to do this has been faking it within my custom Ocean Shader created just for shading RF Sims and creating Ocean Surfaces, this method works well and I used it on my RF2014 Sea Monster Shot and you can see it works well, However this method is even better.
Method:I started by creating the Mech asset- this has been a small ongoing side project as I am not a expert at modelling/texturing but I really wanted to make my own asset for this sequence as I have done in the past for my shots. I looked at a few Mech Designs and started with really simple blocking of the model then adding details like Panels and then I modelled the Rocket Launchers. Next I UV'd this and textured in Mudboxwhich was done while my Sea Monster Shot was simulating, I also rigged the Final Asset with a simple IK rig.
Modelling/Rigging The Mech in 3DS Max
Texturing the Right Rocket Pod in Mudbox
Test Render with V-Ray Lit with a HDRI
Next Was The RealFlow Simulation- I animated a basic File of the Mech rising up where the water will be and exported this to RealFlow (2013). I knew early on I would not be simulation Secondary sims of Splash And Foam so I setup my scene with PRT Caching on for the Hybrido Domain. PRT Files take up a lot of HDD Space because of having to Cache Realflow's Native RPC Files at the same time. I first Ran low res sims of around 500,000 Particles to test the collisions with the Mech, I also was testing using a Noise Dameon thats bounded so it breaks up the initial breach of the Mech giving a nicer look and shape to the water as it cascades back into the ocean.
Testing the Noise Breakup on the Breach of the Mech
Once I was happy I left the Hi-res sim to run for around 12 Hours, The time is a lot longer than it should be but thats due to me caching out PRT Files with Velocity Data in them so I can use it when back in Max.
The Final HiRes Sim (Screenshot)
Next Was Back to 3DS Max- I imported my PRT RealFlow Cache in via Krakatoa's PRT Loader, I then used a Magma Setup as described in previous posts to colour the Particles by Velocity, Min Range the Particles will be Black and Max Range White, this will be relevant later on. I was having trouble loading so many particles into the Viewport even though my PC should be good enough so I only loaded in 50% of the particles in the viewport. I then added a Frost Object in with Zhu/Bridson meshing type, I would of gone for Anisotropic however it takes a long time and in this test I went for Zhu/Bridson. Due to the still high Particle count my Max scene was crashing, so Hristo Velv gave me an awesome trick for meshing with Frost in the Viewport, What you do is put the PRT loader on its own object layer and turn the layer off, then Frost on its own layer, The Particles are still tehcninally visible to Frost, however there are not displayed in the viewport which makes Frost super fast. I was getting 150FPS in the Viewport which enabled me to view the mesh in Realtime even with a Houdini Ocean Toolkit Modifier on it. The other 50% of the mesh will be meshed at Render Time.
PRT Loader, Frost, Mech Geo on Separate Object Layers
Once I was happy with the mesh in the Viewport I tested the colour via Velocity out, this was the main purpose of this test, Frost uses the Magma Data to colour the mesh White if the Particles are moving fast and Black if they are slow (Min&Max Range).
See The Velocities effecting the Vertex Colour Info
This is now so simple to create proper White Water based on Velocity, All I did was setup a basic Ocean Shader within V-Ray and used a Vertex Colour Map in the Refraction Map slot, thus driving the amount of Refraction, Thus Driving the Whiteness of the water based on the Particles Velocities. ( A side note Caching out Vorticity can also be used to Colour the Water and you can even cache both Vel and Vort out to get even cooler results). I tried various diffrent rendering techniqes to get the water looking as nice as possible, I was rendering Global Illumination Also. But I initally was lighting using a V-Ray Sky but then decied to switch to a HDRI and use some V-ray lights to have more control over the final look.
Using V-Ray Sky For Lighting
Using 4K HDRI For Lighting
The Shot was rendered for 2 angles, Angle 1 was rendered for 120 Frames which took around 10 Hours, Cam 2 was only Rendered for 70 Frames only and took 8 Hours.
Comp in After Effects, a bit of Colour Correction on the water and thats it really.
Final Shot Uploading Now
More Mech Vs Navy Tests coming soon, Got a lot of FX work in the seqence everything from more Fluid Sim Work, all the way to Destruction and FumeFX Sim's.