Peter Hardie: UpDown Fall

  • ©,



    UpDown Fall



    3D computer animation


    44" x 24"


Artist Statement:

    The work is based on a visual reaction to waterfalls in Ingleton, Yorkshire, England. The sensation is essentially that of fast moving white water enclosed within a dark environment of rock and trees. Attributes of interest are the movement and intertwining patterns of water, and the water’s shape and passage defined by the underlying rock structure, seen or unseen.

    The images are primarily monochrome, reflecting the lack of any strong colours within the water, other than a yellowish peat staining. The play of light reaching the water is weak and changeable. The en­vironment of rocks and trees was a secondary influence compared with the water and has been negated in the image, the waterfall defining the underlying structure.

    The camera pans up the waterfall in the left side of the image and down the waterfall on the right side of the image. The focus is on the interaction of the water movement and the pattern and spaces between.

Technical Information:

    The scene consists of models of the underlying rock structure over which the waterfall flows. These models are not directly visible, being black in colour.

    The waterfall is simulated using a particle system. The workflow entailed creating the particle emitter and its settings (rate, spread, and speed), and creating the particle type and its characteristics (colour, transparency, size, mass, shader, shadowing, and noise). Particular use was made of the Perlin noise function. The basic 20 particle shader was used for both efficiency and versatility. The work also involved creating obstacles and natural forces. A number of hid­den obstacles were used to control the water flow. Then the waterfall was lit with spotlights, and a camera pan was defined from the lower to the upper falls and the upper to the lower falls. Finally, the two camera sequences (up the falls, down the falls) were rendered and composited into a final sequence.

    The primary software tool was Softimage XSI V4.0.