Whats your favorite method of animating water if you want a realistic watereffect? Clear hairgel, glass sheet, thin plastic sheets or anything else? :)
Depends on whether it is a flowing river, waterfall, still pond with ripples, choppy water in a busy swimming pool, the ocean, waves on a beach...
Hair gel on perspex, with cellophane on top, worked well for swimming pool water in this film by Anthony Lawrence. The fingers could stroke the cellophane surface every frame, and not get all gooey. It looked just as good looking up at the sky from under the water, as you can see on this page. http://www.graceunderwater.com/home.html
For a waterfall or fast flowing stream, a long strip of cling wrap being pulled down frame by frame looks good. It could be a continuous loop with a drum at trop and bottom. Possibly putting some hair gel on top of it, as well, would add to the effect by refracting the water in a way a thin film would not.
I've mostly cheated and composited cgi waves or footage of real water in, but I would like to do something more in-camera.
I always wanted to ask you Nick, how in the world did you do the water in your beach rat scene on youtube (great scene by the way). It looks real but very stopmo at the same time, confused the hell out of me O_o
Thank you so much for your reply Nick! Helpful as always :) Im animating a creature emerging from a pocket of quicksand in the forest. I have created a mixture of corn startch, sand and oil that has claylike abilitys and looks a bit like wet sand, but I need it to look more wet. Like waterpuddles on top. I also want more wet overall look in the forest, and some waterpuddles here and there, to create a more swamplike atmosphere. But the quicksand is the most important part :)
I do still pools or puddles with a little wallpaper paste. It comes a a sachet of powder, you mix little in with some water. It looks lumpy and whiteish at first but goes clear after an hour or so. You may find you have too much powder in, and need to add water. It can be any thickness but i mostly use it as a thick syrupy liquid. I used it in pools because with plain water, I would always get a few floating particles, and every time I reached in to animate the puppet wading in the water they would skate around unpredictably on the surface. Thickening the water made them stay in place. I last used the wallpaper paste in the pond in L'Animteur.
oh. amazing tip! And I love this short of yours. It´s wonderful.
For the little puddles thats not supposed to be animated im thinking of using clear resin instead. But this would be awesome for the water in the quicksand. Purhaps it would dry up to fast when the sand mixes together with it during animation though.
I´ll do some tests :)