FLOW – The Making of the Film

FLOW is a short art film I’ve started mid-summer at Mixpoint – a post-production house which kindly bears with me as their resident CGI director. Few images like those Juno photos got me seriously captivated at the time; I was also deep into commercial tabletop photography with their thick, vividly textured imagery of mixing liquids of all sorts – a grossly overlooked form of art. On top of that, there’s been a bunch of technical stuff I was looking to play with for ages, so here’s the resulting mix, shaken and stirred for your viewing pleasure (and then over-compressed beyond any of my control):



And below I’m diving into the making-of details:

We approached production more like one would with live-action than full-CGI material this time – I’ve created long takes of base action coverage as our source footage first, which was then cut into the actual film by the marvelous Marek Duda despite me trying to get in his way here and there. So most pixels are mine; most cutting is his.

Marek used Resolve on his side. For me it was mainly Houdini and Fusion; a lot of each.

Simulation setup

First came the sims – standard Houdini Pyro containers with a couple of mods. For one I’ve added a custom field to store and advect the colors of the streams. Secondly, running all the simulations in 2D mode made it way more fun – much faster and with a lot more resolution – still providing enough data to reconstruct the required depth later in the process. It’s all about generating the right data in fact – not getting the perfect image out of the box. The right data can be shaped into pretty much anything later (something I’ve written about before) and Houdini is one tool greatly liberating in terms of data manipulation. The trick is to see which data is right at each stage: for me this sim stage was about getting the motion and interaction of the fluids right, so I’ve spent some time just playing around in the digital sandbox. With a simple render rig I’ve been exporting both the simulated volumes (one voxel deep; density, velocity and color) and EXR texture sequences (color and velocity).

Splitting the streams into RGB channels

The color was used to isolate the interacting streams by placing them into different RGB channels. This allowed to mask and further manipulate the streams individually, and possibly even do some quirky effects like mixing 2 fluids into an arbitrary color. More info on the method here and here.

Mixing yellow and green flows to fiery orange

I’ve done the camera work in Fusion, placing these long “action” textures in 3D space again. This was way more interactive than a 3D animation software would allow and Marek got his preliminary multi-camera footage, so he could start editing in parallel with me working on the shots. I’ve exported the same cameras back to Houdini for later rendering.

Setting up cameras in Fusion


The next and last stage in Houdini was to create and render the graphical elements for the final assembly in compositing. I use this approach really often – rendering merely the technical passes from 3D to do the real lookdev in comping later. It takes bending the head around a bit, but surely pays off in flexibility – comping iterations are so much cheaper and you get incredible power in shaping and changing things when you need it the most – at the late stage when things really start getting together. In commercial work this also means that you can iterate on client’s feedback faster too.

So here are the Houdini elements, similar set for each shot. All individual elements have been created from the same initial sim data, reusing many parts, so it made sense to batch-generate them together and later render as delayed load procedurals in Mantra.

Elements' setup in Houdini SOPs

The first element is the volumetric pass. This is where it gets its depth back in a Volume VOP – the flat simulated data gets extruded, blurred and its density adjusted. Speed benefits aside, there is also a fine control advantage in doing this in SOPs rather than DOPs. Just like with everything else, the coloring is technical and separates the rendered streams into the individual RGB channels.

Volumetric pass

Simulated velocity volumes are used to advect particles with a simple SOP solver.

Advected particles
SOP Solver contents for particle advection

Trail operator over the same data with some point copying create the streamlines.

Streamlines

Complimentary to the streamlines are topographic isolines. These are built by displacing a plane vertically with the simulated texture's values and then slicing through it (i.e. with a Clip SOP) in a loop. Additionally, the main volume can be (and was) converted to SDF and sliced through too.

Isolines

These are all the products of the same data – those simulated textures from step 1. Yet another example of its manipulation are the columns. This time a regular grid was used to displace the points vertically based on the fluid density value and then connect each point to its undisplaced version with an Add SOP.

Columns generation in Houdini

Many more various elements could be created from the same sim data, but I felt I already had enough for the solid visual diversity at this stage and finally took the whole thing to Fusion for comping. With a moderately sophisticated setup (which really boils down to this and other articles already quoted above), each shot got its set of several different looks exported plus few separate elements we used for transitions during the online sessions with Marek.

Final Fusion composition
Each shot has been render to several different styles

It took few calendar months to finish the FLOW since we had to fit it into whenever the commercial workload allowed us to, but I believe that the actual hands-on production time turned out to be a little more than one man-month. And if you’ve read all the way down to here, also be sure to check out Mixpoint’s Vimeo and Facebook pages!

And a couple of good books for the road:
Peter S. Stevens, Patterns In Nature
Philip Ball, Flow
Milton Van Dyke, An Album of Fluid Motion

Thank you and enjoy!










44 comments:

  1. I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. Vfx Film Making Thrissur

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing. Very nice blog. Get popular magical short video app Likee and watch the latest kiran abbavaram movie videos online.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing. Very nice blog. Get popular magical short video app Likee and watch the latest Raja Vaaru Rani Gaaru movie videos online.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No producer needs to confront family, companions or film financial specialists and state they couldn't complete the motion picture. Loved ones are continually lenient at last, yet regardless you'll feel a passionate disappointment on the off chance that you can't convey a completed film like you disclosed to them you would.
    Latest English Movie Download Visit: sharemkv.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks movies counter dual audio

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for your information, it was really very helpful: https://www.hd123movies.net/

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work type logos

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pretty good post. I have just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your blog posts very much. I am looking for new posts to get more precious info. Big thanks for the useful info. hd123movies

    ReplyDelete
  9. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! filmywap

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. man with a van Oxford

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 123movies new link - If you looking to watch movies online for free then you might land on 123movies.com But this is not legal site to stream online.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a hard time describing my thoughts on content, but I really felt I should here.Your article is really great.I like the way you wrote this information.
    Streaming Movie21 Online

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you are celebrating a birthday or graduation, let the honoree choose the movie.

    f movies

    ReplyDelete
  15. The date of release was April 24th, 2017 and under the Universal category (that is meant for both adults and children). However, it was clearly mentioned that the movie must be watched under parental guidance. The name of the applicant to sign was Shri Y.N. Sobhandari for M/s Arka Media Works Entertainment LLP, Hyderabad and other signee was Shri Pahlaj Nihalani, Chairperson, CBFC, Mumbai. The duration of the movie was for 167 minutes and 30 seconds.fmovie

    ReplyDelete
  16. The people that donate aren't giving you money expecting to ever see anything back or get a return on investment.
    123movies

    ReplyDelete
  17. Reading, watching movies or plays, or similar activities that might bring inspiration. Erklärungsvideo

    ReplyDelete
  18. The reason there being the subject matter though poorly executed is dear to the fans of DC comics.

    0123movie

    ReplyDelete
  19. In fact, they had the ability to capture more complex scenes, particularly through the use of filmic devices.

    123movie

    ReplyDelete
  20. Through the examination of Chaplin's The Immigrant, one will see how the aforementioned criticism motivated Chaplin to regard silent cinema with a keener eye.123movies

    ReplyDelete
  21. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. 無料

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. Bring Collective conscious to love and harmony

    ReplyDelete
  23. Innovation buffs out there are as of now acquainted with the seedbox.Dan Seedbox

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. buy instagram likes paypal real

    ReplyDelete
  25. A couple of the segment factors were likewise identified with work-family atmosphere, explicitly adaptable time desires. ข่าวบอลล่าสุด

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thankfully, it has also become much easier. mangakakalot

    ReplyDelete
  27. Do you like Flash? Do you want to get online funny Flash to your local computer or other digital devices for offline enjoying and sharing? The best way is to download and change online Flash SWF files to common video, such as AVI, WMV, FLV, MPEG, MP4, etc. So that you can play it with Windows Media Player or other video players. Now, Flash SWF to Video Converter software can help you to do that. Ontiva YouTube To MP3 Converter

    ReplyDelete
  28. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. Filmes Torrent

    ReplyDelete

  29. This is an amazing article. I am enjoying reading your well-written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. hygienic hostels

    ReplyDelete
  30. You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this... مسلسلات قصة عشق

    ReplyDelete
  31. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Film streaming

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Cloud" Tech - The latest in technology, you're now able to go online & merge a new movie release calendar with your own device calendar so that you can get alerts for new movies the same way you're reminded about a dentist appointment. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Fmovies

    ReplyDelete
  33. Going to graduate school was a positive decision for me. I enjoyed the coursework, the presentations, the fellow students, and the professors. And since my company reimbursed 100% of the tuition, the only cost that I had to pay on my own was for books and supplies. Otherwise, I received a free master’s degree. All that I had to invest was my time. Electronics

    ReplyDelete
  34. เว็บดูหนังออนไลน์ฟรี เต็มเรื่อง HD ดูหนังใหม่ชนโรง 2020 หนังไทย หนังฝรั่ง Netflix พากย์ไทย ซับไทย ดูหนังผ่านมือถือได้ทั้ง iOS และ Andriod คมชัด ลื่น ไม่มีสะดุด หนังใหม่

    ReplyDelete
  35. It is a fantastic post – immense clear and easy to understand. I am also holding out for the sharks too that made me laugh. 화상영어

    ReplyDelete
  36. So you want to Become a Film Director? You've emailed the odd production company to find out if you can come down to their studio and help out, Film Director you've emailed other directors to see if they would take you to set but none have replied and you've sat their and hoped someone will hand you a job on a plate. Yes, I know you have!

    ReplyDelete
  37. L&I alludes to this program as Stay at Work (WA-SAW). Expressly, if a work injury petitioner has impediments due to guarantee related conditions, Google Maps Scraper

    ReplyDelete
  38. This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… this website

    ReplyDelete
  39. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. youtube to mp4

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. film streaming

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. ดูหนังออนไลน์ฟรี

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is a decent post. This post gives really quality data. I'm unquestionably going to investigate it. Truly exceptionally valuable tips are given here. Much obliged to you to such an extent. Keep up the acts of kindness khatrimaza

    ReplyDelete
  43. Pour acheter des kamas dofus visitez le site Acheter kamas dofus film streaming

    ReplyDelete
  44. The best way to cloak is to register a domain name containing the keyword that could be used to locate the product and then forward and mask the affiliate link. Another way is to use free URL shortening sites to forward them. Yet another way is to use your existing website to cloak them by registering sub domains and forwarding the affiliate sites to them. adult url shortener

    ReplyDelete