Sand Simulation
Project Overview
A young poet is driven insane by an hourglass that stops when he writes, forcing him to push away everyone he loves in favor of his art.
My Contributions
Throughout the entirety of this project, I had been working with the writer/director to create the vision. That vision consisted of the world this character lives in and how to execute the final push away from the poet's father. What was a feasible way in my capabilities to show the relationship between the poet's father and the falling of the hourglass? I had spent two months on R&D to ensure I could execute this very ambitious idea of the father turning into the sand as the poet punches him.
Storm to Blender - Workflow
Visual Effects Artist
January 2022 - March 2022
Jakob Dubin, the director, and writer of Hourglass, pitched me the idea of a poet being so obsessed with making art that they felt sucked in and could no longer entertain any crucial relationships in their life. Being able to show this to an audience had to be visual. Therefore we came up with the idea that the break of the character would be punching their father and turning them into the hourglass sand that was holding the character back, showing that their decision is now irreversible.

Doing something of this caliber was all new to me but an exciting journey. While researching for realistic sand simulators with a Blender workflow within our budget, I came across Storm. Storm was a confusing but exciting piece of software that got me to understand the movement and weight of sand particles, especially using the sandman from Spider-Man 3 as a reference. Despite the lack of footage of sand movement within the film, it was enough for me to understand how to get the sand to move in this scene. Multiple back and forths between the director and me took a month, yet once we got something of our liking, I rendered it out and started to move it into Blender.

Making each particle data into a position for each small sphere took a toll on my computer, yet through enough trials and errors, it was enough for me to progress on this shot. Once I finally matched the camera angle with the father's position and got the particles to look like sand, it was finally time to composite.