The animation I'm planning involves zooming in on a stainless steel ruler all the way down to the atomic structure in a single shot which would involve passing through the following levels of detail:
- Shiny brushed stainless steel ruler with numbers and markings as additional texture (photo realistic).
- Etched depressions that make up the markings.
- Scratches / pitting that make up the brushed texture.
- Grain boundaries* (see note below).
- Packing of atoms within the crystal grain.
- Individual atom within a crystal grain (fuzzy ball of questions & confusion).
*note: steel at the atomic level consists of grains of crystal clumped together where the atoms that make up each grain are arranged in an orderly matrix, the grain boundaries are where the axis of the different grains don't line up.
So my question is what plugins and techniques can people suggest to accomplish this as painlessly as possible.
I'm thinking I may be able to approach it by modelling a large enough patch at each detail level to just fill up the camera and then somehow stealthily transition between the texture at the larger level and the detailed model at each stage as the magnification increases.
Alternately via the python API generating a dynamic texture dependent on the current zoom level of the camera something like a fractal texture [just spit-balling here - haven't even looked at the API yet].