Friday, November 23, 2007



Particles, man, its all about the particles. I haven't explored them as much as I ought to have, since I always had this vague snobbish feeling that they are too simple, too easy, and I should concentrate on harder physics, like fluids. But the incredible wealth of phenomena you can model with a point mass, a few forces, and a cheesy Euler integrator endlessly astonishes me. O particles, is there anything you can't do?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For those arriving via reddit, you're probably interested in other video effects. You can check some of them out here, here, and here. If you're not arriving from reddit, the video that they saw is here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm working on a sound-reactive animation. In my quest to come up with some kind of visual analog to the music I was given, I've pursued a number of dead ends, but at one point I tried a very minimalist approach, seeing how simple the base geometry could be and still be interesting. The above pic is an example. A number of the pictures I made suggest textile patterns, and avenue I may pursue later.


I am just so absolutely besotted with procedural methods. I am currently playing with procedural floral patterns. This one is cooked up from about a dozen parameters -- number of petals, length, radial noise, petal width, petal attenuation function... it goes on. It's fun to explore the parameter space and see what you can come up with. It is implemented as a Renderman displacement shader.

I would really like to do the same in true 3d, though that is a much more complicated problem. I'm thinking of generating the base geometry as stream-surfaces based on particle simulations. I dug up a particle system I wrote a couple years ago, and it is pretty darn good -- fast and flexible. Finer detail could be provided through displacement shaders.

I was considering using floral patterns like this for a sound-reactive animation I am working on, though it just doesn't match the music, which is jangling and percussive. But then, maybe that would be cool.

Thursday, November 15, 2007



It's fun to watch the spheres gradually accumulate to fill the volume. Better quality quicktime here.


A 3d equivalent to this previous post. One extra dimension proved to be a lot of trouble, and roughly 1000 times longer to compute (this had to run overnight, albeit it with a not-terribly-efficient algorithm) . Happily, what I'm am working on at work is actually somewhat related, so it didn't cut into the main focus of my extra-curricular efforts, a short, sound-reactive film, the deadline for which is approaching with terrifying rapidity....

For the physics geeks in the crowd, this is a bust of Max Planck, reluctant progenitor of the quantum theory. I used his head for the sole reason that I needed a manifold triangular mesh of a human head, and his was the first I found, but it seems fitting that it was his head of all heads that I discretized into spherical quanta.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007



Looking for a pinched, starved shape style to contrast the puffy, cartoony style of the last post. The above is not entirely what I was going for, but the approach yielded some interesting imagery.

Some more examples: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Saturday, November 03, 2007



It's time to confess my immoderate love of 1) implicit surfaces; and 2) sparse convolution noise. Both can be bloody expensive in rendering time, and implicit curves and surfaces are huge memory pigs, but lordamighty you can make nice pictures with them, that you can't any other way.

Brief animation test here. (It's a zipped quicktime.)