View Full Version : Alexander/Clarkestown
27th February 2012, 04:20 PM
I've been getting a bit run down with 3d lately so I thought I'd do a relatively simple project that I'd be able to finish in a shortish amount of time to a reasonable standard. As such I'm recreating the shot from the Severed Dreams episode of B5 where the Clarkestown is chasing the Alexander. So far I've spent a couple of hours putting the ships in, lighting and doing what little animation there is in that shot. The animation of the "swooping" thunderbolt needs changing radically and I need to add the weapons effects. Still, I'm quite happy with it so far. One question though, do you guys think the rim light is too strong? I can't decide.
The render settings are pretty low here for the sake of speed while testing:
27th February 2012, 05:20 PM
It could be a result of the render settings you mentioned but it looks like the Omega is lacking spec and maybe bump maps? The spec rolloff is particularly flat.
Lighting strength works for me though :)
27th February 2012, 05:40 PM
The motion path on the starfury near the end needs some tweaking; it drops in really quick, stops way too quickly, then backs up before speeding off. The backing up is adjusting the motion path at the key frame or setting it to linear.
28th February 2012, 04:30 PM
Meurig: Well spotted thanks. I had palletized files using linear colour space when they should have been sRGB. Fixed that but obviously it then threw all the lighting values out so I've had to redo them.
Rigel: Yeah, thatís the thunderbolt I meant although swooping wasn't the word I was looking for.
So for v0.2 I've fixed the colour space problem. I've also improved the thunderbolt but it isn't quite right yet.
The main new addition is the pulse bolts from the Clarkestown's main guns. The bolts are each parented to their own null which is located between the barrels of the main guns. This allows me to animate the bolts in just one axis and makes aiming them simpler. I've used a null for each double-barrelled shot so that I can aim the next shot without affecting the last one. One problem I've had here is that in my shot the Clarkestown is a lot further away from the Alexander than in the original. This was a deliberate choice on my part. The problem is that the shots have much further to travel in the same time. This means that they travel faster and so spend less time on screen. I've tried overlapping the shots to reduce their speed. This works but I don't think I went far enough so that will be one of the things I fix for the next version. These probably won't be the pulse bolts for the final shot. I think I'll eventually replace them with a thin marker image and make them look right in post.
The next big thing to do is get the thunderbolts shooting back. I think I'll use particle emitters and instancing but I'm not sure yet. I won't be able to get anything done tomorrow or Thursday so the next update will probably be the weekend.
29th February 2012, 10:39 AM
Go have a look at my Animation 101 (http://www.foundation3d.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1907) tutorials, specifically post #5, the lesson on editing motion paths. That explains how to work with the edit motion path tool and the Incoming Curve settings to get that motion smoothed out and to eliminate the "backing up" problem.
11th March 2012, 05:36 PM
Rigel: thatís a cool tutorial, thanks. I knew about the graph editor but not the motion path controls.
I've slowed the pulses from the Clarkestown down even more and tweaked the thunderbolt again, although itís still not quite right as it accelerates too fast now. I've also started experimenting with the return fire from the thunderbolts. Instancing works well but doesn't seem to do anything that FxLinker didn't do. YouTube also seems to be adding a colour cast to these videos for some reason as they all look a bit green which they don't when I view them locally.
12th March 2012, 09:20 AM
Looking better. But now you have a fighter near the end that suddenly spews out a line of particles(?), weapons fire(?).
9th June 2012, 08:42 AM
Yes that's supposed to be weapons fire although it was more of an experiment to see how instancing works than anything else.
I've got back to this again. Added more weapons effects and turned off the moving thunderbolt's thrusters after it stops accelerating. The thruster timings need altering and I think some of the fighters returning fire at the end need to be firing before they are on screen. At the moment it looks like they are waiting for the camera.