My first project here at Digital Domain was the creation of a CG pyroclastic cloud for the movie "Dantes' Peak." The director requested that the cloud evolve in a realistic way with time -- that is, he wanted it to billow as it grew. This is my first test sequence of such dynamics.
Unfortunately, all the CG pyroclastic flow was axed in the end; none made it into the final movie. But what we did was pretty nice, and we'll be using it in the future, for sure!
Another project of mine here at DD is creating CG pyrotechnics. I LOVE explosions! I've only put a few days into it at this point, and here's what I've come up with. It's based on the pyroclastic cloud seen above, only simpler -- there are no light sources or shadows in this fireball.
At this early assessment I have to conclude: Hollywood is cool!
If you're interested, I submitted an animator's sketch on the topic to SIGGRAPH 97. Unfortunately, it was rejected.
We at DD have vaporized a certain familiar mouse and dog. The Disney Cruise Lines commercial airs on Monday, June 9, 1997. This is a preliminary test of a character made of clouds.
Dr. Prof. Musgrave's Free Range Science (tm) has revealed the shocking truth about comet Hale-Bopp. See this excusive video footage and decide for yourself who's right and who's moved on to a higher place.
"We have the technology."
What goes up, must come down. We all know that Timothy Leary had his ashes blasted into orbit (or if you didn't know, now you do) (I'm not kidding!) Well, here we see our patron saint returning to Earth for the final time.
Timothy Leary's dead. Long live Timothy!
My primary research project is to bring in to being, at interactive rates, a set of realistic planets. This animation represents the preliminary "proof of concept" for the idea. It is to be expanded into a longer piece, with a soundtrack consisting of a short segment of Saint Seans' Third ("Organ") Symphony, already recorded by the Yale Symphony Orchestra.
This has been a long and arduous project. It's literally been in production for years, starting with Craig Kolb's and my work together at Yale some years back, when the planet model and procedural terrain with adaptive level of detail were developed. Then Matt Pharr and Rob (Alec) Cook and I spent a whole lot of time getting this much of the animation scripted and rendered. Much thanks along the way are also due to Lee Butler and the ENEWS division of the Naval Research Laboratory (where the rendering of this animation took about two weeks of after-hours computation on four SGI Onyxes).
I made this animation "because I could." It is simply a procedural texture, as described in our book, mapped onto a plane. The animation is created simply be sweeping the plane through texture space.
I was motivated by the beautiful fire animations made by Chris Perry, then of MIT and now of ILM. The animation was computed and recorded at the ENEWS division of the Naval Research Laboratory; thanks are due to Lee Butler for creating the mpeg version.
Well, it's not animation in this form, but it may be art...