Message in a Bottle

A message in a bottle bobs along in the ocean waves. What could be more evocative? Castaways throw them, poets and songwriters write about them, and we all hope to find one someday. But filming such a scene is problematic, as I found when I tried to shoot one not long ago. The bottle goes where it wants […]

Glass vs. plastic

One of the first challenges a CG artist faces is making a 3D model look like glass instead of plastic. Your audience can tell the difference, even if they can’t tell you exactly why. There are a few important differences in the way glass and plastic look. One of the major distinctions between them is […]

Slow Motion Water Splashes

In researching Physics for Animators, I came across the Splash Lab at Utah State University. In the Splash Lab, students are encouraged to drop things in liquids and photograph them in extreme slow motion. Watching videos like the one below can go a long way towards gaining an understanding of how liquid behaves during a […]