Simplicity to Complexity

Posted by Duncan Brinsmead, 14 August 2011 12:00 pm

Simplicity to Complexity

I have put together a talk on emergent phenomena in Maya for Siggraph that one can currently view on the area:

Simplicity to Complexity (part 1)

Simplicity to Complexity (part 2)

I've included some of the scenefiles and scripts used below.


Reflection Fractals

One can create complex renders from very simple scenes using raytraced reflections. Here are some examples from my presentation. The scenefiles for these are included below. Much of the work is to get good specular color values. In some cases values greater than 1 are useful where one can increase brightness each bounce rather than simply always getting darker.



Sphere inside tetrahedron (click to enlarge)



Sphere inside sphere (click to enlarge)


Setup used for tetraSphere (below)


tetraSphere (click to enlarge)



Four spheres at cube vertices inside cube with 3 cylinders


Dynamic Soap Bubble Film

One can easily simulate the effect of swirling colors on a soap bubble film with a 2d fluid texture. By controlling specular color with texture density one can also simulate the way variation in film thickness results in rainbow colors due to constructive and destructive interference of light from reflections from the inner and outer membrane. (scene file included below)


Obital Debris Chain Reaction


The Kessler Syndrome is an effect where collisions between orbiting debris can cause a runaway chain reaction where in the end all bodies are broken into fine debris and it becomes impossible for man to launch into space. This is simulated here with colliding nParticle systems. (scene included below)


MakeLoopy MEL Script

MakeLoopy applied to a poly torus with smoothing applied.

MakeLoopy is a fun little script that can generate random tubes using the bridge tool. Put makeLoopy.mel in your scripts folder. Then select an object(s) and type makeLoopy with a desired number of iterations, for example "makeLoopy 20". It will then run the bridge tool on random pairs of faces. The result looks best when smoothing the mesh (3 key).




Many of the scenefiles from my talk are included here. The mandelbrot ones are all available in the previous Mandelbrot Madness post.






Posted 14 August 2011 6:07 am

You're a great scientist , and you created a time ; but now , Maya is falling.


Posted 15 August 2011 4:31 pm

far from falling.


Posted 16 August 2011 4:27 pm

This really impressed me at SIGGRAPH. Thanks for posting it up here so we can all play around with it.


Posted 1 September 2011 5:49 pm

Hi Duncan,

Thanks ever so much for continuing to upload these and the fantastic videos and lectures !
I've been longing for someone (clever) to create a 3d Mandelbrot type of plug in for Maya ever since watching 'The Secret Life of Chaos'.
Very intriguing.

Duncan Brinsmead

Posted 2 September 2011 1:59 pm

I've uploaded the Eye of Sauron scene for you (see above) along with the drawing machine scene.

Brad Stilwell

Posted 3 September 2011 1:23 am

Ah Duncan you're a star thanks mate!


Posted 25 July 2012 2:50 pm

This stuff is pure genius! It illustrates not only a few more specific effects, it shows an entirely new way of thinking about creating visuals.

It would have never occurred to me to use reflection and fluids to achieve depth, let alone pfx toon to create the geometry.

I love procedural stuff of any kind, as well as abstract art, so this entire blog post just made my day!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


Posted 5 November 2012 2:21 pm

Really interresting article. Lots of tricks. Thanks for this.


Posted 28 December 2012 10:20 am

hello Drea Duncan
please I need you help
When I use 2D container and 3D container
i mean things
Thank you very much

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