10 February 2014

Rain, Rain Go Away......

Hi, I know... it's been a while hasn't it.... have you missed me?

I was hoping to have something super awesome to present for the start of 2014, something that would reflect a new beginning, the journey into the unknown....... something to inspire my creative practice for the coming twelve months.....

Rain.... that's what you're getting, just rain..... well procedural rain, but rain nonetheless.

I think I've been inspired by the weather over the past few months, I don't know what it's been like in whichever country you're reading this in but here in the UK it's not been too pleasant.... rain, floods, weather warnings, the whole bag!

So what's this all about then, procedural rain.... how does that work and why have I bothered?

Well, it's a technical exercise really... another one that I will develop further and one day hopefully use in my creative practice. I wanted to find a solution to making rain in Maya that didn't look like it belongs in a computer game, not that there's anything wrong with rain in games.... 

"The rain in games falls mainly on the planes" see what I did there... heh heh.

Anyway, like I said I wanted to find a solution to particle based rain that looked cool with splashes and ripples and other rainy stuff and the solution is presented in the video above.

The splash geometry was made using Realflow, imported into the scene as a .bin and then converted to a geometry sequence. When the falling rain particle hits the ground it triggers a collision event that plays the RF geometry sequence through a particle instance, the secondary particle is set to live for the duration of the geometry sequence.

The ripples were created by calculating the collision point of the rain particle on the ground and then applying density to the equivalent point on a 2D fluid container. The resulting texture has been used as a displacement map on the ground geometry, a single face polygon plane.

There's plenty of scope for development in this technique, here's a couple of avenues I intend investigating....

  • transferring colour from the rain particles to the instanced splash
  • transferring colour from the rain particle to the fluid container
  • multiple versions of splash instance
Stay tuned for updates :)