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Working on water
May 2, 2007 10:00 AM   Subscribe


 
The pixels must flow.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


What I find funny is that the shots of the water moving down the city streets (40 - 55 seconds in the clip) look fake, but not in a CGI sense, they look like miniatures. Which I suppose is kind of a testament to how far along they have come. If I saw that shot in a movie, I would assume that it was a practical effect done on a small scale.

So, do hoverboards work on CG water?
posted by quin at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2007


Cool video.

I wish there was a Greasemonkey script that would warn me when a link or website or video clip was about to terrify me with, say, the skeleton of a salmon head coming out of a tuna can, or a prehistoric eel/sperm/fish Cthulhu creature wiggling up from the deep... or a great white about to take down a helicopter.

It could be called the "I'm a Fraidy Cat" script or the "Sea-Creature-Phobia" script.

posted by pineapple at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2007


Their site has the shots from this reel in higher-quality QuickTime, if you want to pore over these frame-by-frame.
posted by chrismear at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2007


Total let down.

Didn't even get to see if the whale beat the helicopter.
posted by The White Hat at 10:17 AM on May 2, 2007


I wonder if sea creatures consider it a treat to eat "landfood"?
posted by yeloson at 10:19 AM on May 2, 2007


Fascinating and beautiful post!
Thanks, hover!
posted by Dizzy at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2007


Their site has the shots from this reel in higher-quality QuickTime, if you want to pore over these frame-by-frame.

No thanks... but I would like to pour over these frame-by-frame.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2007


The cost of the software probably seems small compared to the the 600-node farm you'll need to keep render times reasonable.

Just kidding ... anybody know what kind of processing power is needed to run these types of simulations?
posted by itchylick at 10:27 AM on May 2, 2007


Believe it or not, you can do this sort of thing for free using the open source 3D app Blender*. Video sample.

*If you've got a few weeks to spare to learn the UI.
posted by gwint at 10:29 AM on May 2, 2007


Those are some fantastic shots. Fire and water seem to be the two most obviously CG'd aspects of most film these days, so it's nice to see work like this.

If only there was similarly Moore's-ian progress on script writing.
posted by Adam_S at 10:29 AM on May 2, 2007


Shark still looks fake.
posted by notmydesk at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2007


That Shark/Helicopter thing looks like something from "Meg"
posted by Tenuki at 10:43 AM on May 2, 2007


Very impressive! If anyone's interested in trying their hand at fluid simulation, check out the open source 3d app Blender. It's nowhere near this proprietary stuff, but still impressive: SIGGRAPH demo, "Magic Fluid Control", random test on YouTube, another random test on YouTube, and my one rather pathetic stab at it.
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2007


Or, what gwint said. Dang it.
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2007


Don't forgot my work in that area:
Frantic Films' FLOOD
posted by bhouston at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2007


Coming soon to a PC near you: Bioshock.

It doesn't look as cool as this stuff, but some of the water effects are still pretty damn amazing for real-time rendering. (and in a game, yet!).

One of many sample videos is here; this one is focused on the water rendering.

One thing you'll notice, when you see the burst pipe, is just how hard rendering moving water is. It takes an unbelievable amount of horsepower. In the super-quality rendering demos the OP linked, each frame is often an hour's work for four thousand Linux machines. Bioshock, in comparison, is being rendered at 30-60 frames per second on a fast home PC.... in other words, with about a quarter millionth as much time to spend on each frame.

Given those limitations, I think it looks pretty damn good.
posted by Malor at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2007


This is so cool, I'd love to get a job coding for projects like this. BTW, looking at the higher quality QT video linked, the helicopter looks like it escapes. Silly whales, helicopters are for humans!
posted by Mach5 at 10:57 AM on May 2, 2007


Boy, did I get my math wrong. 4000 machines, at 1 hour per frame, is:

60 frames per second *
60 seconds per minute *
60 minutes per hour *
4000 machines rendering:

864,000,000 times more processing power spent per frame. So it's really no wonder Bioshock looks a bit amateur-hour in comparison. :)
posted by Malor at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2007


Fascinating... I'm really impressed with how well they're able to make the "water" interact with obstacles and corners.
posted by amyms at 11:01 AM on May 2, 2007


It's a shark, people! Tail swishing side to side = shark! Up and down? Whale!

Sorry. That video was pretty incredible, though.
posted by good in a vacuum at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2007


Where's my flying car (with the optional amphibious mode installed)!?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:22 AM on May 2, 2007


What I find funny is that the shots of the water moving down the city streets (40 - 55 seconds in the clip) look fake, but not in a CGI sense, they look like miniatures.

It looks a little out of focus at the bottom, maybe the fake miniature look was what they were going for.
posted by bobo123 at 11:22 AM on May 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


That's a great link bobo123, I thought you had to use expensive tilt lenses to achieve that trick. It never occurred to me that it could be done so easily in Photoshop.

Nifty.
posted by quin at 11:30 AM on May 2, 2007


Is it done with lots of tiny, virtual marbles?
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:35 AM on May 2, 2007


yup, tiny virtual marbles connected with springs.
posted by todbot at 11:42 AM on May 2, 2007


Damn you Malor, now I'm gonna have to buy a DirectX 10 card.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:57 AM on May 2, 2007


Speaking of sharks and helicopters, "hand me down the Shark Repellent Bat Spray."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:07 PM on May 2, 2007


BrotherCaine, I've been told that it will look very very nearly that good in DX9, so I wouldn't rush right out to buy one... especially considering you have to buy and install Vista too.... the closest thing yet to operating system malware.
posted by Malor at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2007


Did anyone else think the surface tension is a little high, or am I just a big nerd?
posted by exogenous at 1:05 PM on May 2, 2007


Wow. That was fun, and excellent. Bring on Gears of War II: Gears of Water.
posted by Elmore at 1:06 PM on May 2, 2007


Color me totally frickin impressed.
posted by Bugbread at 1:51 PM on May 2, 2007


Malor, had to buy Vista with my last computer purchase. It really can't be any worse than my last system which was BSOD every two hours due to some hardware glitch I couldn't pin down (video card or motherboard, why wont windows tell me?)

The integrated GPU on the new system probably wont do BioShock very well.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:51 PM on May 2, 2007


It looks a little out of focus at the bottom, maybe the fake miniature look was what they were going for.

Yeah, I was going to suggest that, but then again, let's not forget that in those particular shots, there's nothing about the field of depth of the water that looks weird, it's the set. and despite their claim that the shot are 100% CGI, i wouldn't doubt it if the sets were miniatures.
posted by phaedon at 5:04 PM on May 2, 2007


The thing that made me think 'miniature' when I saw it was the water itself. The droplets are bigger than they should be and it gave me the vibe of like a 1/6th or 1/8th scale shot.
posted by quin at 5:14 PM on May 2, 2007


Ok, you guys have CGI water down. Now make people look right.
posted by wubbie at 5:50 PM on May 2, 2007


What eye candy. Way cool.

Just went to a nice Science and the Arts lecture on Geometry and Art, among the speakers was Mark Neumann, a teacher of graphic arts, who talked about how far computer animation has come in just the last couple of years. This video is a great example of that.
posted by nickyskye at 7:57 PM on May 2, 2007


In case you missed the crazy shit they are doing at the embassy in canada - here's their citroen commercial that i think won a clio. they've also done spots for nike, and scion. sorry, i know it has nothing to do with water, but i peed myself a little the first time i saw this.
posted by phaedon at 8:42 PM on May 2, 2007


too splashy. now, water in a glass, that i like.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:46 PM on May 2, 2007


The uncanny river valley.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:42 PM on May 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


beautiful
posted by es_de_bah at 11:31 AM on May 3, 2007


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