Leviathan – a teaser directed by academy award nominated Ruairi Robinson scored huge success with more than 2.5 mil views in social media channels for the first 2 days of its release, as well as lots of positive reviews and comments. Bottleship’s involvement in the show was to simulate large alien cloudscapes and the hero explosion of the spacecraft in the last part of the movie.
The action in the Leviathan takes place on alien planet with vast skyscapes very high into its atmosphere. As the main environment element we had to realize the importance the cloud assets role in the short.
Ruairi contacted Bottleship with an unorthodox task of developing a custom pipeline and scripted tools for cloud manipulation, enabling him to arrange and place them himself, remaining in the driver's seat. This made the task even more challenging as we had to create custom tools which were both easy to use by a non-technical person, as well as providing enough variation and control for a for each individual cloud, both in the viewport and in the render.
The main part of the task was done with FumeFX. Thanks to Sitni Sati's help and some custom scripting we developed a tool which was able to switch between more than 30 custom clouds with variations from realistic looking clouds, to alien, swirling, puffy or wispy. For ease of use we also created sprites / render cards of each cloud which were then linked to the actual cloud, giving the ability to have render quality clouds in the viewport and some large stacks for the director to layout vast sets of cloudscapes himself.
Rigid body dynamics were created used Thinking Particles, which is very helpful for both small debris, to large metal sheet bending and ship hull tearing.
It was a great experience for us with lots of challenges, but due to Ruairi's previous experience as a CG artist, the whole process was really smooth and easy, and at the end it exceeded our highest expectations.
Thanks to Ruari for his dedication and efforts, and giving us the chance to be a part of this exciting project! Having the success it had – we can’t wait to see the feature film!