Triem 23's "Hey, I'm Working on THIS!" page (Update: Eagle Transporter Flyby Test Jan 31, 2018)

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  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Does the depth matte work if you put in some subtle atmospheric particles floating in the air? That'd make the camera move a bit nicer, if it was flying through some dust.


    Well, I added another two particle systems for dust and floaties; One filling the entire environment, and a second clustered around the portal area.
    I added two more forces--a detract and a turbulence. These are keyframed to follow the Entity as it emerges from the portal,so, as it flies around the room it swirls up those additional particles. Think it works pretty well.
    For this particular shot the depth mask z-pass isn't quite isolating the areas as well as I'd hoped--I'll have to do a bit more roto work to clean up a couple of seams in the setup, but, conceptually, the Depth Fog Z-pass IS working. The few bits of roto left can be sloppy, garbage mattes, not detailed masking. The depth fog z-pass has mostly automated what would be a tedious roto job.
    So: version 5.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrgRLx6Vdlo
    I have another animation rendering now which uses the Depth Fog Z-pass in a different way.....

  • That is one filthy looking atmosphere!
    One thing to look into are the particles which are positioned in 3D space below where the floor plane should be.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    I'm not certain if there are any. The dust cloud (Honestly, it's kinda looks like leaves to me. I think this is an arcade, not a dungeon, after all!) emitter is entirely inside the walls and floor, and there are deflectors set up against walls and floor, BUT, they're zero friction.
    Still, I'll check it out. Maybe I got the emitter out of position.
    Speaking of particle clouds:
    To try something different, I used depth fog on a model and used that luma matte to subtract from the particle clouds to get a volumetric look. This is just a s single particle system with two large sphere emitters making a cloud and a quick environment map and planet.
    http://youtu.be/V0-WCOZP7q4
  • I wasn't too sure of this while watching the model emerge of the smoke for the first few seconds but then quickly changed my mind! Once the front of the ship is out of the smoke, it adds an amazing crisp perspective. I felt like I had to back up in my chair when I maximised it - as if it was going to poke me in the eye ;)
    I understand that this is a first draft and you were just trying a concept so I'm sure you know of the general things which don't work quite with the scene e.g. the lighting of the model etc. but I can see a LOT of potential with this. 
    Awesome :)

  • Speaking of particle clouds:
    To try something different, I used depth fog on a model and used that luma matte to subtract from the particle clouds to get a volumetric look. This is just a s single particle system with two large sphere emitters making a cloud and a quick environment map and planet.
     


    There's so many tutorials from you that I want to see ..... lol
    This is great!  From 8s onwards I really felt the depth of the shot well done!
     

  • Yup, that works nicely. Time to have another go at that Voyager opening shot...... ;)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Pass two--adjusting camera/model move and lighting. NEXT, really building many layers of nebulae and volume.
    http://youtu.be/WUlqfuaQy7o
  • I love the end of the shot - the composition of the planets and stars and ship are great. I'm not so keen on the first half. Technical demo aside, the floaty orange SPACE SMOKE just doesn't work for me. It looks like it's there solely to show off the depth technique, and so feels a bit forced. Does that make sense? I wonder whether you could go with something a bit more like OP's Debris Field look and feel, where the space atmosphere is justified by the debris from a previous battle.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I love the end of the shot - the composition of the planets and stars and ship are great. I'm not so keen on the first half. Technical demo aside, the floaty orange SPACE SMOKE just doesn't work for me. It looks like it's there solely to show off the depth technique, and so feels a bit forced. Does that make sense? I wonder whether you could go with something a bit more like OP's Debris Field look and feel, where the space atmosphere is justified by the debris from a previous battle.


    Oh, no, that makes perfect sense, since the floaty orange SPACE SMOKE totally exists only for the tech demo purposes.
    Actually, this Star Wars shot is being left in an orphaned state for the moment. There's a different sci-fi franchise famous for a certain battle in a nebula.
    Yup, it's a Star Trek shot now. A Constitution Class cruiser and a Klingon D7 it shall be...
    (yeah, with the Star Destroyer, I also like the end of the shot from when the camera starts panning to the end of the scene.)
    Oh, another thing of potential note in the Star Destroyer shot is how I set my camera up:
    Cg cameras, by default, move and rotate around the nodal point of the lens. Most camera setups (unless you're shooting spherical panoramas) do NOT rotate around the nodal point.
    For this shot, my camera has three points chained together.
    POSTITION POINT represents a dolly. Position point exists (assuming a default camera at 0,0,-1866.67) at the same X and Z position as the camera, but about - 50 pixels Y position.
    PAN POINT is parented to POSTITION POINT. Pan point is located 25 pixels below (-Y) and 25 pixels behind (-Z) the camera. PAN POINT controls Y rotation of the camera and represents the pan axis of a tripod head.
    TILT POINT is parented to PAN POINT and is 10 pixels below (-Y) and 25 pixels behind (-Z) the camera. TILT POINT controls X-axis rotation, and represent the Tilt axis of a tripod head.
    CAMERA is parented to TILT POINT.
    By staggering the points away from the camera position, my camera behaves correctly for being mounted on a tripod head. By virtually shifting the pivot points away from the nodal point of the lens, I get the parallax one gets from a camera lens being inches above and forward of a tripod head, and, by seperating axis of rotation to different points, I get away from Hitfilm's XYZ rotation order. My camera behaves correctly as I am used to shooting in the real world.
  • edited March 2014
    Eh- once again I've run out of likes for the day. I'll have to catch this tomorrow.
    Neat stuff, T23! Regarding the Dungeon Portal, I can't wait for a tutorial in which I hope you cover the process a little more in depth. Some of this is still a little just beyond my grasp of understanding i.e. the use of luma mattes.
    Nice edit on the SW music. Can't wait to see the Trek!
  • Mm, nice techniques for the camera. Subtle, but probably help. Add in some of Rody's handheld tracking technique and you'd have a really natural CG camera.
  • Any luck with the latest render? 
    Side note:  PM'd you back hopefully it helps! 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014

    Any luck with the latest render?
    Side note: PM'd you back hopefully it helps!
    I got the PM and should have acknowledged it.
    I'm not at a render stage yet. Moving from Star Wars to Star Trek, and taking Simon's comment about a "Motivated" nebula rather than "orange SPACE SMOKE" into account has lead to a much more complicated shot: a Constitution-Class cruiser pursuing a Klingon D7, which, in turn is doing an attack run on a Regula-Class station all INSIDE a nebula means this one might take awhile before it's ready to go. (Besides, the portal and Star Destroyer shots already prove the basic concept of using Depth Fog to fake a Z-pass works, so I don't feel a need to rush out a proof-of-concept test to get feedback on the idea)
    Right now, I am tweaking the actual movements of objects and cameras: there are Particle emitters on both battlecruisers for Photon Torpedos, adjusting the flight paths of the ships and particle speeds so the photons actually intersect their targets. Deflector planes for deflector shields, mobile emitters to spawn shield effects when photons impact, creating animations for texture sources (again, photons... I want more of the Star Trek 1&2 look that ILM got from shining a laser into a spinning hunk of crystal in a smoke-filled room look, not the really boring photons of Next-Gen.). Then the setup for PHASERS (lightning generators). And let me say that I am using the phaser banks on the dorsal side of the saucer section as indicated on the original Franz Joseph blueprints, and shown in use on Star Trek: the Animated Series. I note this because a buddy looking over my shoulder as I set up the phasers said I was incorrect using dorsal emitters--after an argument about the Federation not being stupid enough to design a battle cruiser incapable of firing above its own midline, I had to prove it with an internet search.
    But I digress.
    I am not yet happy with the look of my nebula, either (there may be more PM's, OP), although it's better than the Star destroyer one. I am trying many emitters using differing textures and differing colors trying to build up something very dynamic--think the Mutara Nebula from Wrath of Khan, which has rich blues, bright yellows, deep reds, light purples, and pretty much every kind of color that wasn't green!
    Then, just to really make life complicated, I want to steal a page from mark_e's test with the White Star fighter pushing through a gas cloud, so now I get to do deflector/detractor/attractor turbulence arrays for both cruisers...
    Aaaaaand, because why in the hell not, let's Particle Clone some asteroids in there as well!
    Oh, yes, and Depth Fog Z-pass!
    And then, once it's all done, I need to force myself to stop playing with techniques and do the tutorials, since I know some people are eager for details on Particle Cloning and Depth Fog Z-pass! And, maybe Crystalline Text, 3D Text Bevels, some Advanced Camera tricks, a few Mocha tips, Masking/Matte/Keying tricks, and some interesting things involving Shatter.
  • Export time: 4 months, 23 days, 17 hours, 51 minutes and 48 seconds. ;)
     Good luck!
  • Man, so looking forward to this,
    The mobile emitters to spawn shield events is a great idea!  Also the move to a more "motivated" nebula is definitely a good call. 
    It'll be great to see a lot of your recent techniques and ideas all come together into one project here, as Stormy says, 4 months render sounds about right lol....
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Just a quick draft render of one segment: In this case, most of the scene lights are off, and my nebulae are off.
    I had the idea of using mobile emitters to do weapons fire way back when I did that "shuttle pursuit: animation one page one of this thread (the cannon fire from the Starfury is a particle emitter) At the time, I intended to expand that pursuit (and the crash) shots into a full sequence (which I will--but that's custom modeling I'm still doing). I figured while doing that I would try attaching some deflector planes to that shuttle to try to get weapons fire to intersect the deflector and spawn impact animations, but this Trek animation is the first time I've tried it.
    So, there's a particle emitter attached to the front of the Federation Cruiser, set to a cone trajectory with a spread of about 1.5 degrees. This particle emitter is firing off mobile emitters that are textured with the photon animation.
    There is a deflector cube attached to the D7. The deflector kills the Mobile Emitter which is set to activate on death. This spawns the shield hit, which is, again, just an animated texture on the spawned particle.
    The intention at this point is that photon 5 collapses the shields on the D7, with photon 6 barely missing the hull. There will need to be ancillary animation of the entire shield futzing out.
    This was kind of fun to set up--since the photon emitter is attached to the Fed cruiser, I ended up adjusting the motion paths of the ships, and tweaking the timing of when the photons fire quite a lot before I got the first 5 to hit the deflector and #6 to barely miss.
    http://youtu.be/N962qAkLArA
  • That's a very cool effect, and a great way to get the torpedoes firing. I've used particles for phasers, but cheated and used light flares for my torpedoes.
    Nice work!
  • edited March 2014
    Can't wait to see it all put together! The sound on the computer was up too high and the torpedo sound made me jump! At first I thought I was actually getting shot at through some new 3D process you came up with! Then the vid concluded. Whew! :D/
      rtrowbridge- I used a particle system AND light rays to get my ionic torpedo effect. The particle system is small enough to not see the individual particles and the light rays effect makes them look like they're sparkling a little.....and helps sell the motion to them, at least I think it does. I used them in my "Renegade" vid. 
  • Love the shield reactions!
    I also used the particle sim mixed with a bunch of the different light effects to do photon-esque energy blasts.
  • Awesome!!!  :) 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Thanks, guys!
    The Photon animation for the texture source WAS based around a Lens Flare--Modified "Spiked Star."
    The shield impact is a copy of the Photon Flare, but changed to a brighter orange and fading to 0 over 3 frames. The rest of it is using a lightning generator to make the energy arcs. The "Start Point Growth." Is animated from 0% to 100% over 15 frames (this is a 24fps timeline) to get the energy to dissipate. Finally, there's a radial blur of 30 degrees and a negative bulge to kind of make it look like it's wrapped around the back side of a sphere.
    For this version, I re-did the photon texture source, and I think this is much much closer to the correct look for ST: TMP/Wrath of Khan.
    New Photon Texture created this way:
    (Texture comp size 800x800)
    I created seven 3D points. One is at 0,0,0, the others are spread out in 3D space around 0,0,0. The six "Orbit Points" are parented to the Center Point.
    I created a grade layer and created six instances of lightning. Core and Glow are set to near-pure reds (core 245,5,5. Glow 225,2,2) Twigs, Branches and Twitch all set to zero. Each instance of lightning starts at Center Point and Ends at an Orbit Point. Blend Mode is ADD. Width was adjusted to taste.
    Above this layer I created an 800x800 plane and applied a cloud texture (Color 1: 245,2,2. Color 2: 225,225,1), then applied a sphere effect with a radius of 200 and the Transform From set to Center Point. I added a little glow. Blend Mode is ADD.
    Then I spun the ever-loving crap out of Origin Point on the Y axis, and a little spin on Z.
    Add some texture angle variation in the particle sim so they don't all line up perfectly, and good to go!
    If you don't know, the original effect for the film was created by sticking a chunk of crystal atop a lucite rod in a smoked-out room and a laser directed up the rod. Then the rod was spun. This is what created that glowing core and those shafts of light. So, the sphere represents the crystal and the lightning is the refracted shafts.
    The photon particles also have the scale properties animated in the Lifetime property--starting a 0% at birth, growing to 100% over 3 frames.
    I'm not 100% on the photons yet--I think killing the Z rotation and adjusting the lightning width again will get this even closer, but, right now, this is pretty damn close to the ST:TMP look.
    rtrowbridge, I'm looking at you right now. ;-)
    *EDIT* Yeah, this was version 2.It has been replaced with version 4. Version 1 was light-flare based photons. Versions 2-4 developed the photons via a procedural sphere and lightning generator. Versions three and 4 maintain the photons as described in this post, with further development detailed below. Only version 1 remains for comparison.

    http://youtu.be/edGk4-FZl1c
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
      rtrowbridge- I used a particle system AND light rays to get my ionic torpedo effect. The particle system is small enough to not see the individual particles and the light rays effect makes them look like they're sparkling a little.....and helps sell the motion to them, at least I think it does. I used them in my "Renegade" vid. 


    Stormy, I'd not seen "Renegade" yet (how'd I miss it?). Your Ionic torpedoes look really good. Are they Hitfilm elements or did you set them up in Blender?

  • Those torpedoes look ENORMOUS compared to the ships. Currently they look like giant objects, whereas in the original movies I seem to recall them looking like fairly small objects but with lots of glow/lens flare.
    Love the shield technique.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited April 2014
    http://youtu.be/kbG3N51MEjM
    There's a bit earlier in the animation (not in the test renders) where the Klingon fires his torpedos. I just need to go to the first frame of Klingon fire and scale the torpedo texture until the central core is just a touch smaller than the torpedo. That will be the correct scale.
    Above is the scence I am using for primary reference for the torpedo. As you can see, the actual movie effect is a relatively small core with insanely long light shafts. I have chosen to go with a shorter shaft, but not as small as a "Next-Gen" torpedo (which is a tiny, sad little equilateral triangle of weak-sauce. 1988 Quantel just couldn't beat the glories of old-school opticals.
    I am also going to pull some screencaps from my ST: TMP Blu-ray to use the eyedropper to pull proper hull colors. I don't have the right gunmetal blue-grey look yet. Glad everyone likes the look of the shield impacts, because it took awhile to figure out how I wanted them to look. In the original crew movies there aren't really (m)any good shots of shield impacts, and I didn't want to go with the Next-Gen look of "green eggshell." I really wanted reds to pick up the color of the torpedos.
    Ok, so---Federation photon 5 collapses the Klingon's #5 shield. Thinking of parenting two 3D layers to the Klingon, one behind, one in front, again using lightning (but green) for the arcs of energy and animating some black and white clouds as a matte to collapse the energy field, then more bulge to get the oblong look. Sound good, or anyone else have an idea? Again, I am looking at you, rtrowbridge, since you have so many Trek animations.
    *Edit* Right, so scale of photons has been adjusted for correct size relative to ships. This meant I ended up shrinking the radius of the center sphere and decreasing the width of the spikes. I also moved the firing of the Federation photons to later in the animation, so now the impacts are happening just before the Klingon passes over the camera--By setting the photons and shield up as a particle system, it was very easy to do that, since I just dragged the start of the particle system later in the timeline and adjusted the emitter trajectory angle by about 2 degrees so that the photons intersect the shield---this was interesting, since now photons 1 and 6 miss entirely... Photon test 3 is rendering now. Curse you, Simon, for giving me another (correct) note.... ;-)
    **EDIT-EDIT** And, here's the render.... Just realized I forgot to shift the keyframes for the lights that track the torpedoes.
    *Edit-Edit-EDIT*  this was the version 3 animation when originally posted. Now it's version 4.
    http://youtu.be/edGk4-FZl1c
  • edited April 2014
    Stormy, I'd not seen "Renegade" yet (how'd I miss it?). Your Ionic torpedoes look really good. Are they Hitfilm elements or did you set them up in Blender?

    Thanks, T23. They were done in HF2U. I just decreased the particle size to where you can barely see them and changed the color. I don't think I adjusted the settings all that much. Then I added light rays and tweaked the settings for more rays and feathered the ends with a mask. Rather than a circular mask, next time, I may try a staggered, slightly spikey edge for more variance. Not sure if that will work. Probably would have to animate the mask rotating and changing size so the spikes aren't always in the same position. Or maybe randomising the size of the particles so there's more variance which would also vary the rays. Hmmmm. Rambling now.
    I exported the above to MP4 and just brought the MP4 back in to a composite of the ships and background objects to animate the torpedo's movement.
    I can't wait to recreate that vid with the new ship designs.
    AND- I can't wait to see your next completed project!


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Thanks, T23. They were done in HF2U. I just decreased the particle size to where you can barely see them and changed the color. I don't think I adjusted the settings all that much. Then I added light rays and tweaked the settings for more rays and feathered the ends with a mask..

    So basically the default emitter with teeny particles, maybe a higher particles per second, and light rays? Clever!
    With the photons I have now, I think I should duplicate the emitter/deflectors and just shoot some white particles with auto lens flares next. I have good rays, but I need to glare it up a bit.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    And, here's a v.4 with some lens flare. Again, no nebulae in this render, but these flares have been checked against 'em. basically creating an embedded composite shot with duplicates of the photon emitters, reset to basic white particles driving an auto lens flare.
    http://youtu.be/edGk4-FZl1c
  • I'd love to see that shield technique used with a more rapid-firing weapon, like something out of B5. ;)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    But who has shields in B5? ;-)

    I could do rapid-burst phasers, like Wrath of Khan, but I would have to upgrade the Federation cruiser to refit status.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    There's not too much going on with the particle sim itself. Two partIicle sims spitting a total of nine mobile emitter that spawn a single particle and die if they hit a deflector. The have animated textures, that's all. The torpedos and shield animations are lightning generators and blur, mostly.
    I have particle illusion. Love it! But Hitfilm lets me automate certain things PI makes you do manually.
    Once you play with the system in Hitfilm, it will click. I think Hitfilm's particle system is easier to use and more powerful than PI, although it's easier to set up certain types of effects is PI.
    But I hadn't thought of reverse-engineering particle illusion presets for Hitfilm yet! That's a great idea! And, of course, I can extract all the textures from the insanely large preset library!
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