It may be the biggest breakthrough since flush toilets …. fluidly speaking.
Fusion CI Studios has developed a breakthrough technology that completely revolutionizes the potential of cg fluids. The gorgeous splashes, streams, and swaths of fluid that are so popular now in everything from beer to body lotion ads have only been achievable through a deft combination of cg effects, high-speed photography and brilliant compositing. Now, cg fluids alone can create this look & behavior, achieving outstanding, photo-real results.
Using a new technology they're calling ‘smorganic’ (smooth and organic), the artists at Fusion CI Studios, Los Angeles, are creating breathtaking, photo-real splashes that can be spread a delicate 1-particle thin without breaking-up into the characteristic cg fluid 'webbing.' And the fluid is completely controllable, therefore art-directable. "So now we're only limited by the imaginations of our creative directors," says Lauren Millar, partner and executive producer at Fusion CI Studios. "We specialize exclusively in dynamic fx, so this has been an incredible breakthrough for us. We receive countless requests from vfx studios and agencies to create smooth, flowing, photo-real splashes and thin delicate streams. While we've achieved results that are outstanding for cg fluids, there were still limitations with the technology resulting in a less than stellar photo-real look. Now with ‘smorganic,’ the sky's the limit."
Developed by Mark Stasiuk, co-founder and head of vfx at Fusion Studios, ’smorganic,‘ solves a long-standing problem for fluid FX. "When creating thin sheets or splashes of liquid, CG fluids break apart immediately, forming really unattractive, distinctly ‘cheese-like’ holes or webbing, never holding together in thin sheets," says Stasiuk. "This has been a serious limitation of CG fluid applications, and has resulted in studios preferring expensive table-top practical shoots to achieve the look"
The image below is a render of a simulation of a liquid honey pour where Fusion artists used ‘smorganic’ to disallow any holes in the fluid. The results show the smoothness of the resulting meshes despite the high-spec, high-refractive nature of the shader and lighting, and despite a hard impact with a rigid body.
Without ‘smorganic’, the cg honey pour would have broken into thousands of filaments on impact. And that's if the fluid stayed intact for the whole pour before it even got to the ball.
The technology that Stasiuk developed hunts for holes as they form during the fluid simulation process, and immediately fills-in the gaps with new fluid. The key is that the fluid insertion is done very precisely, so the simulation stays extremely stable. "The fluid stays as a fully coherent sheet for as long as we want," says Stasiuk, "It’s remarkable; we tried to break it. We simulated a fluid sheet being bashed violently by noise forces and it still ran entirely stably with no holes."
"We’re incredibly excited about what this means for our clients. Now they have options and don’t have to rely on a lengthy, expensive process combing practical shoots with cg effects," says Lauren. "Already we've created some absolutely gorgeous effects with swirling liquid-chocolate, water tornados, and fruit-juice crown splashes."
"Right now we’re working on tests that combine smorganic with our recently developed fluid morphing technology http://www.fusioncis.com/pr_whole.html . That’s going to be an exciting combination," adds Stasiuk.
For more info about smorganic + ‘with & without smorganic’ visuals go to: http://www.fusioncis.com/pr_smorganic.html
Fusion CI Studios specializes exclusively in photo-real dynamic effects (fluid, particles, and fire), providing their clients with fluid FX team supervision, tool & pipeline development, fluid assets and/or rendered images for commercials and film. Fusion collaborates with vfx studios around the world to create the fluid assets they need for their commercial or film projects. And in these tough economic times, that makes great fiscal sense for studios that want to offer their clients outstanding fluid & particle effects, but don't want to invest in the talent and complex infrastructure required to do so.