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Create a realistic looking oil spill

Author: Moerse

Tools Needed

* Bryce 5


Ever wanted to make some deserted space complex or an industrial harbor? But once you have placed all your objects and characters, it still seems like something is missing. This tutorial is going to help you give your picture a bit more character by placing in an oil spill in your scene, or if you are talking about the future some weird alien liquid, even blood.' There's an idea.


Step 1: Create Metaballs

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make an oil spill. I will be using five Metaballs but you can take how many you want, although you should never be using only one, because that will make it look too simple. On the object pallet, press the Metaball icon five times.


Step 2: Resize objects

Switch to ~From Top' view. Take one of your Metaballs and drag it a little away from its original position. Be careful to not drag it too far away from the others, or otherwise it won't connect with the rest in your final render. Repeat this process with three more Metaballs. Your scene should now look something like this.


You can make your outer Metaballs a little bigger or smaller to make the oil spill look more random.


Switch to ~From Left' view. Select all Metaballs and open the Attributes window. In the y-size box, enter '2'.


Step 3: Position spill

Floating puddles don't look too good, so let's put them on the ground. Still in ~From Left' view modus, select one of your Metaballs. Notice how a line separates the top half from the bottom half. Align this line with the ground plate. Zoom in to get more accurate results. Do this with the rest of the Metaballs too.


Step 4: Add texture

The final step is to add some texture. I used ~Oil slick' form the texture library but you can use whatever you want. Get in the ~Director's view' and do your final render. And voila, one slimy looking oil spill.


Now just add some other objects and you have one nice looking picture.


Step 5: Final hint

Different liquids have different properties. While oil is a pretty thick liquid, water is rather thin and can therefore easily spread out over a larger area. This is important for choosing the thickness of the Metaballs.

Have fun and happy rendering J !!!

Sorry if the English isn't so good.