Having given it a bit more thought and time, here’s what I actually plan to accomplish this semester.
My design challenge is to create a procedurally modeled and shaded landscape with several different effect simulations. It will be a mountain scene: terrain, snow, rocks, and evergreen trees. There will be a bonfire with smoke rising into the sky, and snow – all of this affected by gusts of wind.
To break that down, there will be elements of:
– Procedural modeling: terrain, rocks;
– Procedural set dressing: trees, rocks;
– Shading: snow, ground; and
– Effects: fire, smoke, wind, snow.
All of this will be done in Houdini, which I will learn in the process. In other words, by the end of the semester I would like to be proficient in Houdini modeling, shading, and several different types of effects – in the form of a presentable (hopefully) project. We’ll see how far I can get! Here are some composition ideas I’m playing around with:
The fire in the second concept piece will definitely make its way into the final project. Ideally I would have multiple shots, but I’ll focus on just making one good 10-30 second shot.
Right now we are beginning week 4 out of 15 in our spring semester, and here is my plan of attack for the next three-something months:
Week 4: tutorials (modeling, particle effects), testing
Week 5: modeling the terrain (background), tutorials on shading
Week 6: modeling the terrain (background and foreground), tutorials on lighting
Week 7: modeling and set dressing the rocks and trees
Week 8: modeling and set dressing some more, tutorials on effects
Week 9: shading (terrain)
Week 10: shading (snow)
Week 11: lighting, effects (fire, smoke)
Week 12: effects (fire, smoke, snow, wind) <- in that order of priorities
Week 13: finish effects, render, composit
Week 14: render, composit
Week 15: (buffer week) render, composit
So uh… I start tomorrow.