Stephen Tucker © 2012
This animation of blood cells traveling through an artery was worked up entirely in Escape, which provided CG artist Stephen Tucker with some fun challenges.
The movement of the cells down and around the artery as well as the inward an outward movement as it pulses was done with a combination of the creep, and ray SOPS as well as a VOP SOP to help ensure that there was no interpenetration between artery and blood cells.
Rotational animation was added so that the cells would rotate faster during diastole and slower during systole and had to be done by recursively adding rotations to the previous frame's rotation. Fun without either POPS or a SOP solver! Delayed load rendering was done to make the memory manageable since the leukocytes in particular had lots of polygons on them. Procedural modelling was very handy with being able to scatter the small bits over the leukocytes as well as getting the thrombocyte's snaky tendrils. AOV's were included in the render for position so that the depth of field and atmospheric fog could be added easily in the Houdini compositing network. Also a slight bit of distortion was layered on top using a vop cop to help give the feeling that the camera is in liquid... it's subtle, but there.