You might not be aware of the fact that you most likely have been using the algorithm we’re discussing here – at least if you’ve ever worked in 3D. Quadtrees (and their relatives, KD-Trees and Octrees) are used to accelerate point queries (ever used pcfind() or nearpoints() in Houdini?), make rendering faster (ever waited for “building raycast accelerator” to finish?) or to compress images. Also they are mesmerizing to look at.
Branching growth is fascinating as it has a lot of hidden structure to it and is very intricate. Many methods have been proposed over the years to model branching structures, like trees. One algorithm that is particularly beautiful and simple is the “Space Colonization” algorithm, that Adam Runions proposed in 2007. It models branches by looking at their competition for space. The space that contains the branches is filled with points that serve as attractors […]
The past decade has seen a wealth of data visualization elements in UI design, movie sets and motion graphics. When it comes to creating these elements you’re left with two approaches: faking it vs. the real thing. In this quicktip we’re doing the real thing when it comes to flight data. We’re taking publicly available airport and route data and model the (usually) invisible lines that connect our world by air travel.
When we saw Andy Lomas’ “Aggregation” series a few years back we were struck. How could you generate those intricate particle sculptures? The series’ title hinted at one possible solution: Diffusion limited aggregation or DLA. In this tutorial we’ll build a basic DLA setup using VEX and volumes. Also we’ll talk a bit about rendering our result in Mantra and Redshift.
When testing out a new render engine (or any tool that can do rendering), one of the typical objects I try to get a decent image of is a quartz crystal. In order to get that right, a rendering needs to contain effects such as dispersion, proper refractions and SSS. In this tutorial I’ll walk you through my first attempt to render a Quartz in Mantra in H16.