Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Snow is Meant for Fighting

B3 SnowStorm from Brandon Ballschmidt on Vimeo.
Wanted to test out my new GoPro so a few friends and I got together and had some shenanigans.

Camera: GoPro Hero3 Black
Software: Premier, After Effects
Song: Inspire by: Throttle

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blender Physics Test from Brandon Ballschmidt on Vimeo.
A test of having multiple physics systems interact. This simulation shows a rigid body simulation interacting with both a particle and a smoke simulation.

Monday, April 8, 2013

3D Gunshot

  So I've been working around with smoke simulations more and in preparation for a project I'm working which will need a slow motion muzzle flash composited onto a moving live action shot.

   Whats nice about using the smoke engine in blender is that it allows me to be able sculpt the flames through invisible meshes interacting with the fire. In this particular example there is actually an "bullet" mesh that is shot out from the barrel. While this bullet interacts with smoke it remains unrendered in the final scene.

     The other benefit of using a full simulation is that this muzzle flash is in full 3D allowing me to move around it at any angle and even inside it if desired.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

False Colors and Nukes.

Me and a friend of mine were watching a documentary on a series of nuclear test done called "Operation Crossroads" I went to Wikipedia to do some additional reading and the article had an incredible black and white photo of the Baker test which was a nuclear device detonated underwater. I've read and seen a number of articles on adding color to black and white images so I decided to give it a try. This is the result of about an hour and a half of work of painting in the color into the image. I really enjoyed this project and will probably do some more false color pictures in the future. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Independent Study for College

     So this semester I will be doing an independent study for college credit in simulation based visual effects. The main goal and emphasis of this will be on creating near photo realistic fluid simulation that are composited on live action footage. Most of this will be done using the open source tool Blender

These are the tentative goals for the course this semester:


  • Research  the mesh based Lattice Boltzmann Method used in the Blender fluid tools.
  • Research the use of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics. 
  • Find any other potential methods to be used (Rigid Body surfaces/Smoke Simulation)
  • Research/develop techniques for combining multiple simulation methods for better results.
  • Composite a large scale flood scene into an interior of a building.


  • Study rigid body setups and how to create convincing destruction using voronoi fracture tools.
  • Smoke/Fire simulations interacting with lighting in live action shots.
  • A full integrated visual effects sequence using a number of various simulation effects.
     While it's unlikely I will get through all of these the goal is to get through as much as I can but the main focus of this study will be on fluid sims. I'll have at least weekly updates this semester on my progress.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cyclic Images

Cyclic Images Trailer from Brandon Ballschmidt on Vimeo.

A trailer for the gallery of "Cyclic Images". A series of seven projects were created to be displayed in a gallery. The eternally looping images are meant to be studied and viewed repeatedly not only to encapsulate a mood but also to allow our selves to notice what we saw or didn't see the time before. This was made by me and Jordan for our Senior film project.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Solar Array -Outpost-

Got a second model finished for the game tentatively titled "Outpost". This one is one of solar array types you can use to gather energy on a planet.

Water Filtration Plant Model -Outpost-

     So I finally finished my first full UV unwrapped model in Blender. It was a fantastic experience because it was the first time I really got to learn how to properly UV unwrap and texture (which yes in fact is an absolute pain). But what is also cool is I feel like I've really completed the first step in a small game I'm working on in my free time as I now have my first completed asset! Dozens more to go but hey, a starts a start.

What's Normal?

        So in computer graphics there is a texturing method of adding lighting geometry detail with a texture. This is called a normal map.

       Now I've tried creating these maps before using a lot of different methods but thanks to a wonderful little tip that I found over at CG Textures which has some great tutorials along with being a fantastic texture resource. Using this new layering technique I've been able to create much higher quality normal maps for my textures. This was my first test trying out this new method.

       Also this test was done inside After Effects using the fantastic plugin Normality which is totally available for free and allows normal based lighting in After Effects.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

./print "Hello World"

Hey all I'm going to be using this blog to update projects I'm working on whether film,CG, or music. And I'll probably take a decent amount of time to just ramble on about my life as well. Welcome welcome.