Another sneak preview

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Here’s another sneak preview on a big update coming up soon. The surfacing part of the DEFBreakingWave HDA is all but at version 1.0 (at least at beta level). I’m doing the ‘final’ touches on the UI to make it more streamlined and logical.

It is basically following a left to right workflow: you just move from the left-most tab to the right and at the end you’ve got a completed and renderable breaking wave on a ocean surface.

But before I get ahead of myself, I wanted to quickly post some pictures of a new ‘in-view-port’ UI control for defining the ocean surface waves (the Gerstner waves) and a latest render.

Screen-shot-2010-04-02-at-1.23.39-PM

Here you see three controls with which you can set the direction of each of the three ‘levels’ of Gerstner waves. Each control shows a rotation handle and a number of blue wave forms that represent the octaves of wave forms. These blue bars show the direction of each octave and a live preview of its wave shape contribution to the surface. The wave preview shows two complete wave lengths of each octave. The yellow ‘pie slice’ shapes show the ‘angle spread’ as was specified for the octaves. The rotation of the octaves in relation to the general wave direction is always within this ‘pie slice’. The ‘angle seed’ determines the random distribution within this spread. This way it is easy to see what each octaves is contributing to the end result. It quickly shows choppyness of the wave as well.

In addition to further visualise in the viewport what the effect is of the ocean wave displacement the tool now has live preview of the Gerstner waves on the wave surface. Preview of each of the 3 wave ‘levels’ can be turned off and on independently. All this really helps get a good feel for the end result before having to fire of a render. These improvements make it really easy to setup the ocean surface to get the intended results. In fact, it makes it a lot of fun :).

What this image doesn’t show are the improvements in setting up ‘lip curl’, but that’s for a following post…

Last but now least, here’s a render result of a test I did on these new tools:

Screen-shot-2010-04-02-at-1.07.01-PM

Cheers,

Erik

ps: without going into details at this point, I’m happy to mention that the DEFBreakingWave HDA is being demoed by a few parties as a showcase of tool development and general power of Houdini. So maybe a live demo is coming your way soon. In addition to this, I’m planning to make a series of screen casts that show me building a wave animation from start to finish.