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August 26, 2016


Welcome to my thesis blog everyone! It’s going to be an awesome time sharing my progress and ideas through this website and I hope you all enjoy following along! As I start out my thesis for my final year here at Rochester Institute of Technology, the first thing I needed was an idea! Here were three that I’d been contemplating heavily over the summer and as I thought about it there were some pros and cons to all of them which helped my finalize my decision.

1. Create an abstract music video or visual using houdini to a song of choice. I would love to play with the effects of motion capture to overtake the form of a human body like has been done in the past. I want the goal of this abstract project to look visually interesting, and not just focus on things that you can see all the time anywhere. Not your typical explosion or waterfall, but something you look at and you are like, woah! That’s different. I want to show and broadcast my effects skills while being able to show someone content that’s different, not predictable and visually interesting.
My Thoughts: While this might be a cool idea, I think it’s a little too open in terms of plot. I have to think about what my underlying drive for making my thesis and actually have a good reason for why I’m showing the Houdini effects I’m showing.

2. The idea is to work with live action VFX in order to create a person, sleeping in their bedroom and the room slowly transforms from the bedroom into the environment surrounding the dream. I am going for aspects of nature growing out of things and overtaking the initial bedroom environment. I really like the idea of playing with bioluminescence and channeling a more mystical environment type vibe. Animating plants and being able to produce cool procedural organic effects could be super interesting.
My Thoughts: This was actually my first idea over the summer which I planned on sticking with. While I really loved this idea I got some great feedback about working with live action VFX in my thesis. I want to be able to show off my skills using Houdini, and while I love working with compositing such elements into live action footage it would add an extra layer of complications that wouldn’t help me focus on actually working with the Houdini effects I want to show off. I also think this has been a little done before as an idea and I want to stay away from the idea of working in just a single room for visuals. I don’t want things to get stagnant in any way.

3. Create a story around my robot fly, and it’s interactions with the environment and it’s special abilities. There would be a voice over explaining why these robots were a good product with the visuals to boot. I want to work with re-designing portions of the robot to be more visually functional. It would be interesting to think about how the fly could be shown in it’s outdoor environment and be able to go underwater, lift heavy objects, produce types of corrosive acids and really focus on the fly interactions being visual effects related content.
My Thoughts: While this could be cool, I don’t want to re-use content I’ve previously made. It could be build upon yeah, but it would really have so much less focus on my Houdini effects that I could show off.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion to my Thesis Idea more fleshed out

All three of these ideas helped me be able to further piece and flesh out my idea. I want to do an animation using my Houdini effects, all in 3D with no live action film. I want the animation to have an underlying theme/idea which drives the animation. I want it to be abstract so I can have creative freedom to represent the topic I choose in whatever way I want.
One huge thing for me is that I don’t just want to create a basic explosion, fire, waterfall or splash. I want to be able to show off my skills to tell a story and convey an idea more abstractly because I think it’s way more impressive to show people visual effects that they can’t necessarily see in real life. Having abstract dynamic ideas drive the story conflict can really be a challenge that I want to face. I think it would be a real fun adventure to tell a story abstractly.
One thing to help me brain storm what I want to have as my topic at the moment is by driving the story based on dependency. I thought to myself “______ aids _______ and this is an issue in this case because _______” I made a chart filling in these blanks to help me think about which underlying storyline I liked the most and could then visually represent those ideas in a more abstract manner. See attachment below.

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