The Tower: Class 4

I’ve been fighting for my life trying to get caught up with my ceramics class (and have almost succeeded!) so a lot of my work on this project is going to be pushed to this weekend. In the last few days, I’ve gotten the beginnings of a block-out on the tower.

The cobblestone tower is created by copying flattened spheres of randomized sizes to points that have been scattered onto a tube. They start far from each other (see left) and are keyframed to get closer together.

A Vellum simulation is set up with a soft pin-to-target-animation constraint, which creates the look of well-fitted stones (see right).

Merging this output with the original tube creates a base for the mortar, as seen at left.

Moss is created by a denser scattering of points over the base tube. A small-radius attribute transfer from the stones removes the points in the cobblestones and VDB from particles & convert VDB give volume to the points. Point jitter and a mountain SOP add noise at different points in the workflow.

Stairs, at this early stage, are just a cube copied around in a spiral. Since I don’t animate and have to rely on Mixamo animations, the dimensions of the stairs have to be built around the animation, rather than vice versa.

This is the basic blocking for the tower, including the character for scale.

A closer view of the block-out. I do plan to bring it into Maya to do more with the modeling, but I started it in Houdini for the Vellum cobblestones and discovered that I currently have no Houdini license (apparently, the education licensing is down) and while I can work with Apprentice, it does not permit me to export geometry. So, over the weekend, I will do more of the modeling for the tower, as well as getting the basic animation and camera work laid in so that I can submit a sequence on Tuesday.

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