Pixar in a Box
- Effects overview
- Introduction to particle systems
- Simulating water
- Water simulation
- Smooth collisions
- Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
- Create water surface using particles
- Calculating contour lines
- What else can you make with particle systems?
- Fireworks simulator
- Genesis effect
- Getting to know Matt Wong
First we'll explore the origins of particle systems with the man who invented them, Bill Reeves! Pixar uses particle systems to create realistic water, smoke, and fire effects in movies. Particle systems help artists simulate real physics with millions of particles. In Finding Dory, Pixar studied underwater objects to make believable animations.
Want to join the conversation?
- Does a person interested in these types of graphic effects and anmation merely as a hobby need a great computer? Can a standard notebook handle this type of animation?(9 votes)
- The general problem with laptops is they are not very powerful, and they tend to heat up under hard use. But if that is what you have, use it! Create small scenes and blow the cat hair out of the fan once in a while.(4 votes)
- I Just went from "wow pixar seems so simple" to..."what the heck??"
(LOL...upvote if you agree!!)(5 votes)
- This program is just for creating water. Is there another program for other types of effects and animations?(3 votes)
- Do you need a high end computer to render all these particles? What kind of ram and motherboard if so?(3 votes)
- How powerful do these computers have to be in order to handle billions of particles? Wouldn't the computer have lag?(2 votes)
- Depends on how many particles you want to simulate. This is actually one of the ways they test the speed of new computers or benchmark them as it is called. Faster, more powerful computer the more particles!(3 votes)
- What About Under water? I am a lighting Artist but i want to do a underwater scene and I want to make it as believable as possibe(3 votes)
- Wow! How do they manage to figure out all the physics rules for the particles? And, who does it? Is there a team of scientists who work on creating the rules for particle animation?(1 vote)
- Hi, I'm Matt Wong, an Effects Technical Director here at Pixar. I work with Sara Beth and Eric who you met in the previous video and this is the pool they were in, the Pixar Pool, which is one of the nice perks of working here at Pixar. We don't just use the pool for recreation, we sometimes use it for work, too like in this reference video we shot for Finding Dory. We wanted to see what it would look like underwater when large objects like this pumpkin hit the water. In the previous video you learned that water and other physically phenomena like smoke, dust, and fire can be simulated using lots and lots of individual particles. Using particles is a simplification of real physics but it's an effective tool for artists. The more particles you use the closer you get to real physics. Most of our simulations require millions and millions of particles to create believable water. Keeping track of that many particles would take too long for humans to do. Even computers have trouble with large particle counts but we've developed some practical methods that you'll learn about in this lesson. One of the most power techniques we use is called a particle system. Particle systems were first invented by an effects artist named Bill Reeves to create a shot for the movie Start Trek Two back in 1982. The shot was called the Genesis Effect and it blew people away. It was a real milestone in computer graphics. At the time Bill was working for a group that eventually became Pixar. And you know what, he still works here. Hey Bill. - Hey. - Can you tell us a little bit more about the Genesis Effect? Like what was the story point? - Well the Genesis Effect was this device that could turn a living planet into a dead planet or a dead planet into a living planet and I used particle systems to do the transformational fire element at that. - And today we still use particles for lots of different effects. In the rest of the lesson you'll learn how we use particles to simulate the motion of water and you'll create a fireworks show.