Last weekend I was thinking “Should I have a go at something seasonal?” and after thinking about it for a little while I still didn’t have any decent ideas, so instead I tried simulating *really* gentle snowfall with particles.

I threw a few brown cylinders on top of a white plane, stuck another plane above it and started playing with particle physics until I had what I thought was a fairly decent looking effect.

That was when things started to get interesting. I remembered I’d been talking with someone recently on G+ about Depth Of Field effects and, as I’d played with the effect previously, I thought I’d see how these particles looked when they were out of focus.

Hours passed really quickly, and before I knew it I’d textured and displaced the ground plane, done the same to the “trees” which were looking a bit more like trees (sans quotation marks), put a sky environment in, started building props, set up some other materials and stuff, parented the camera to an empty so I could have it track nicely, and was slinging a focus empty about like a madman.

The end result is shown below, and I think it looks pretty neat.

Now, there are bits of the story I’m missing out here. There was a point where I’d rendered over 30Gb worth of frames that were of little or no use whatsoever. There was another point where I left it rendering overnight, and ran out of disk space about half an hour in. There was the time I altered the camera path and effectively “re-shot” the whole thing really late at night and made an utter balls-up of it.

I won’t go into great detail about those times. Suffice it to say that it was still worth it IMHO.

I really like this little clip, and it makes me feel better to watch it and think about what I might make next.



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