Visual Effects 1
This month I had Visual Effects 1 and we were tasked to make some pretty awesome effects in Maya 2015. My first project was a Rube Goldberg Machine. We had to practice making rigid hard bodies and passive hard bodies. Along with different fields I was able to make the Rube Goldberg machine work. I then gave the scene some colors and also practiced lighting the bulbs by making the texture glow instead of using a light.
Quick History lesson
For those of you who don’t know, Rube Goldberg was the guy who invented the machines that you already know about. They are the machines where one thing triggers the next and then that thing triggers the next and so on. You probably just didn’t know that was the name of them. Reason everyone knows about them is because he was a cartoonist that drew these wild machines that we have all seen in cartoons and now in modern days people build them, but fun fact, that most people do not know is, he never made one himself.
Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor and author. Reuben Lucius Goldberg (Rube Goldberg) was born in San Francisco on July 4, 1883. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in engineering, Rube went on to work as an engineer for the City of San Francisco Water and Sewers Department.
More info on Rube Goldberg here.
Here is my Pre-Pro Storyboard with my plan of what I was going to use and how I was going to do it. The fun thing about this class was they made us do our story board and plan before we even knew what we were capable of doing. My guess is so we didn’t feel limited to what we knew how to do and it would challenge us to try to learn how to do what we wanted.
Here is my final project, Please watch in HD if possible for best results.
Rube Goldberg Machine – Lesson 1 – Rigid Body Dynamics
Our second project was a Foundry scene that was given to us and we had to create particles for Smoke, Fire, and Liquid. We had full control of what the scene would look like. We used all kinds of particles to create certain looks. Lots and Lots and Lots of setting tweaks to try to pull off certain particles. My original plan was slightly different then the final project, but sometimes that happens. My original plan was to do Steam, Smoke, Fire, and Sparks. But I changed it up by getting rid of the steam since it was so close to smoke and changing the sparks to liquid to keep the scene short for rendering purposes.
Here is a look at my Pre-Pro plans. You will see how I had slightly different plans then the final project.
Test Renders of my Fire and Smoke
The Foundry – Lesson 2 – Particle Effects
Here is my final video of Lesson 2. I am very happy with the way it turned out considering some of the challenges I ran into on this project. Of course I see some of the errors and things that I wish I would have had time to change. Please watch in HD for best results.
Our third and final project was a super fun one for me. We had to practice creating soft bodies. The first thing that came to mind when the professor was presenting our final project was Jello! Who doesn’t love watching Jello Jiggle? So I did some research and found a video on-line of Jello being dropped at high-speed to give it a slow motion effect. I wanted to try to recreate that look of Jello falling and rippling in slow motion. But how was I going to do it? After many different methods I found one that really gave it a very nice ripple effect. The first few tests made it very stiff and cartoony. Once I found out how to make the Jello look real, then it came to color and trying to get a good look of the surface. I used a MIA X Material and set it to a solid glass, but then tweaked the settings for hours. Below is a few test renders once I got close to what I liked.
My original plan was to try to replicate the video as close as possible with about 12 pieces of Jello all interacting with one another. Once I got to two pieces of Jello I started running into issues where each piece I added after would change the dynamics of the first two pieces of Jello. I knew that rendering was going to take a VERY long time as I wanted to render in the highest quality of mental ray for this final project so I decided to just work with two pieces but make them look the best as possible. With 600 frames it took over 40 hours of render time to produce the quality I was looking for and the final video shows it!
Test renders of my Jello
Jello Simulation – Lesson 3 – Soft Body Simulation
Here is my final video for Lesson 3 and I am so happy with the way it turned out! Please be sure to watch this in HD so you can see the full quality that I put into it. I mean after 40 hours of rendering at least take a minute to watch it in all its glory. I also found a commercial for Jello from the 1970’s and thought it was perfect for this video. Please feel free to comment below and tell me what you think of all these projects.
Hope you enjoyed my 3 projects from Visual Effects 1 as much as I enjoyed making them. Feel free to let me know by commenting below. I sure learned a lot about Maya and how to make things look amazing within it. Excited to continue to learn more. On to the next class!