Did this movie’s effects build off work you’d done before?
The waterfall lookdev was developed in Flowline in tandem with Tomb Raider, which also had a large waterfall sequence. Our shading and rendering workflow built off our experience from our previous movies as we use V-Ray for 3ds Max for all our rendering.
How did you turn a pond into a waterfall?
The ponds had three different types of situations: waterfall shots, very close up detailed simulations and medium distance ones.
This required a simulation rig that allowed us to obtain a very realistic water look and flexibility in choosing the directionality and depth of the water. Early on in the game, we had some reference from the ponds, and we matched it to the level that you couldn't realize what was 3D or real. At that point we didn’t actually know that we would have to replace all the pond's water in the show. Later on as the artistic view of the director became more clear, we realized that we would need to put more work into the ponds.
Here we came up with an even more complex representation of the Multishot tool. We actually used it for simulation purposes for the 70 or so high-resolution pond shots, automatically replacing characters and their respective animation, cameras, simulation areas, and technical simulation details (voxel size, solver proprieties, velocities) in one single master file. In order to create close up details we made some tweaks in Flowline’s solver capabilities, and we had to introduce more details into secondary elements like realistic ripples from splashes. Once this file was set up, any feedback we needed to address would be easy to achieve.