The Wonder of Gold

Year: 2014 – Q1
Clients: The Pod

One of my most exciting projects at Reel Pictures has been our part in creating a large ‘Wonder of Gold‘ animation for the Perth Mint. We used RealFlow extensively for this project and it was the perfect opportunity to learn this extremely powerful software.

The Wonder of Gold Exhibition space
Above – The main Wonder of Gold exhibition space with 1 tonne gold coin.
Screenshot of the 'Big Bang' Sequence
Above – a screenshot from the ‘Big Bang’ Sequence.

This was created 100% in 3DS Max using Particle Flow. A big thanks goes to Allan McKay – as part of this explosion, we used one of his fantastic ‘Particle Flow Presets’ which have shipped free with 3ds Max for the past few years.

A screenshot of an Egyptian themed sequence using the D-Spline daemon to direct the fluid along a path.
Above – A screenshot of an Egyptian-themed sequence using the D-Spline daemon to direct the fluid along a path.
Gold nuggets glittering amongst the pebbles in a stream. Gold nuggets glittering amongst the pebbles in a stream. Gold nuggets glittering amongst the pebbles in a stream.
Above – Gold nuggets glittering amongst the pebbles in a stream.

This sequence was around 650 frames long and averaged about 4GB of data per frame. This data footprint includes the Realflow Sim data for Core fluid, foam, splash and Meshes, Rayfire Cache sim data and Open EXR renders. The Realflow simulation data filesize is definitely an issue that needs proper management on behalf of the FX artist! If you’re not careful, and accidentally enter the wrong setting when running a simulation, it’s easy to completely fill up a 4TB RAID drive overnight! Artists have written scripts to avoid just that!

Golden Artifacts circle liquid Gold that is frozen in time
Above – Golden Artifacts circle liquid Gold that is frozen in time
Golden Artifacts circle liquid Gold that is frozen in time Golden Artifacts circle liquid Gold that is frozen in time Golden Artifacts circle liquid Gold that is frozen in time
Above – Screenshots from scene 5 in the Wonder of Gold animation.

This sequence was the most technically challenging and took a lot of R&D as the entire planet earth was made up of a liquid golden ocean. We ended up using RealWave on a flat polygon plane and the realflow 2013 Graph feature to conform the Plane to a 3d sphere. Also extensively used the fantastic HOT4MAX plugin. There was a lot of steps and but the client was very happy with the final result and I would love to make a tutorial about it one day!