Fourth Year

Final flowers and growth effects

Throughout the film there is a number of times that flowers and plant life will spring to life and grow at an accelerated rate. So I’m going to show that here, I haven’t been able to render an of this yet as it’s a bit complicated at the moment but it does work and here’s how I did it.

I originally intended to use the flower animation I had made previously and fill the scene with them, however it was a little too heavy and complicated to get this working. Balancing all the roles of this production myself means I have to make choices about how far I can push ideas and how long I can spend on making them. The flower tech should never be to the detriment of the animation. So revised the technique and decided to use something more similar to the grass in the scene as I know this is working well.

The grass is a paint effects tool with which keeps the process rather simple, meaning it doesn’t kill the programme quite so easily. The main problem I had for getting the grass working was to have it renderable and coloured with the renderer I am using (Pixar’s Renderman) to fix that but keep the colour information and shading from the default maya attributes menu I created a custom shader that allowed renderman to take the colour and value information from the paint effects attributes itself. I used the same shader for the flowers to begin them. Though I got rid of this shader later, it allowed me to test the flowers more efficiently and see a much more accurate depiction in render previews.

Creating a curve, I drew a line across the floor plane to mirror the motion of the character, I then attached the paint effects to this curve. Changing the brush width, global scale and a number of other attributes I was able to effectively create a blanket of these flowers that covered the scene as I needed them to. I then added the flow animation settings and growth speeds to recreate the blooming effect and timed in such a way that it bloomed in response to the characters movements.

Once the movement was working well and I was happy with everything I converted the paint effects into polygons. I did this specifically to have greater control over all elements and shaders of the meshes. To really give the flower petals the mystical glow I wanted them to have and to have better control over the colours overall.

Just to push the ethereal appearance even more, the white silhouettes of the petals will have a luminous glow and a rising pollen particle effect.