The Freezer Incident: Part II (short animation)

After completing “The Freezer Incident” posted here, I wanted to do a more complicated 3D/live action animation. In “Part II” I used the same concept of finding something crazy or surprising in the freezer. I decided to make it more realistic and simulated a few gallons of water pouring out of the freezer.

Video link at end of post.
Click the above link to view a frame of “The Freezer Incident: Part II.”

This project turned out to require much more masking and took a good amount of time. I made one version with vector blur on the water, but decided it looked better without.

The hardest part was masking the hand so it showed up in front of the water and still looked good. The problem was, there were several frames in the original footage where his hand blurs quite a bit. Masking some of these frames would have looked like a strange, blurry cutout. I was quite proud of my solution: I masked the hand as usual, but applied a vector blur to the hand’s alpha mask and then mixed the hand with the water animation. The resulting blurred frames matched nearly perfectly the original footage. So it blurred the mask only when I needed it to. When the hand did not move, it wouldn’t blur the mask. It was a huge difference.

Masking the pants, freezer door, and sides of the fridge weren’t bad. Although it took a while to create a water material that looked like water and blended in reasonably well with the video.

Sound effects were created by dumping a few gallons of water from a bucket onto my sidewalk outside - hehe. Then edited in Audacity.

The fluid sim was created by placing the fluid in a cube and animating a hinged front face of the cube with shape keys, matched with the movement of the real door in the video.

Comments and critique are welcome! This was a more serious project than “Part I,” and I’d like to know what you think of it.

Download the video here. (XVid avi, ~3.80 MB)

EDIT: I’ve added an attachment so you can see the image rather than just the link above. They’re the same image though.
EDIT: A link to the video on Vimeo has been added if you prefer:



The timing is everything is good. And the masking looks fine to me (nothing stood out as wierd).

2 things I thought needed some adjustment:

  1. The water looks too “big”. For example when some of it forms into droplets they are very large, much larger than water would create.

  2. The acting needs improvement. I think the guy should have jumped back a bit more, maybe just his legs at least, like he was really surprised and didn’t want his pants to get wet, but he was a second late in doing so. That’s the kind of reaction he should have.

Good work though, not many people use blender anymore to do video stuff, so it’s nice to see it.


Thanks for your critique niko.

I agree with the droplets. I think the size might be able to be changed in the particle options. I’d have to check.

I also see what you mean with the actor’s surprise. Although the thing is, I only told him to be surprised of what he saw in the freezer. So he didn’t know there was going to be water rushing out at him. So this is partly my fault I guess, in choosing what to put in the freezer, but I really wanted to try the water idea.

I was about to write about the same things nikolatesla wrote but I think there’s no need to tell them twice. Just wanted you to know I agree with the comment above.

When he closes the door there should still be some water dropping from the gap (that is about to close) between the fridge walls and the door.

Anyway, well done.

Thank you, Porzi.

I know what you mean about the water when the door is closing. You also may notice some of those last drops are kind of large when the door closes. You would expect to see a finer stream or drip. This is due to a couple of things: the water fluid setting was used as provided with Blender (maybe these could be tweaked a bit?), and the resolution for the fluid sim was set to 200. That resolution is relatively high I think, and it did take several hours to bake the fluid sim (~8 hrs?). So increasing the resolution may have helped, but it would have taken much more time and space. The fluid sim files took up maybe 4.3 GB.

Also, there’s one thing I didn’t do that I’m waiting to see if people catch.

You didn’t add a shadow to the fridge?

Nuntius, if by that you mean the water did not cast a shadow on the fridge, then yes - you are right. But if you mean the fridge is not casting its own shadow, then, well the fridge is real.