The Martian,trailer, Ash Thorp X-Particles Case Study, INSYDIUM LTD

Case Studies

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ares: Our Greatest Adventure prologue

X-Particles was used in the production of a high profile piece, Ares: Our greatest Adventure, the third prologue short for Ridley Scott's film 'The Martian'.

Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ares: Our Greatest Adventure is an episode of StarTalk set in the future and highlights the upcoming Ares 3 mission to Mars.

Ash Thorp is a graphic designer, illustrator, artist, and creative director for a multitude of media, including feature films, commercial enterprises and print. In early 2015, Ash was contacted by 3AM to co-direct a very unique viral spot for the upcoming film 'The Martian'. Ash brought Michael Rigley on to head the design and animation of all UI and hologram elements throughout the piece.

X-Particles was used for the suit holograms to generate really fine point clouds on the mesh with a gradient texture emission. The solar system shot used the most XP, it was used to generate particles that would follow the orbital path of the planets and displace those in proximity to them. For the planets themselves, there are a few layers of XP. They generated point clouds, curl turbulence trails and trails with connections combined with hair spline dynamics. There’s also a burst of particles at the beginning of the shot that was a simple setup with a sphere emitter and speed modifier – so the particles would explode from the center and slow down as they reached the end of their life.

“XP makes it super easy to generate a lot of variations very quickly. During design I’ll do a ton of variations with one setup – changing emitter setting, swapping modifiers, altering trail parameters, etc, then doing current state to object and rendering out a bunch of passes. This allows me to not worry too much about the specifics of the system at the beginning stages and test various looks in comp.”
Michael Rigley





"X-Particles was used for the suit holograms to generate really fine point clouds on the mesh with a gradient texture emission."

Michael Rigley