TDDavis' Li'l Projects thread - Dragon Action Cam 3 test footage In Pool - 8/9/2020



  • Nicely done! I especially like the black smoke particle effect.

  • @BobDiMarzio ; Thanks.  But I can only wish that was particle smoke.  That and the smoke skull are VFX from FootageCrate they gave away free a month or two back called the Harry Potter death Eater Pack. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Really like the smoke trails!   And thanks for the well wishes.  Have a safe Halloween too, sir!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Fun, fun, Terry! 

  • Fun stuff indeed!

  • @Stargazer54 @Triem23 @jsbarrett ; Thank you to the three of you.

  • Nice one!

  • @Aladdin4d ; And thanks to you also, sir.

  • edited January 2018

    So, I've been learning more and more about Blender and I have made some progress in texturing just today.  This is a little clip I made with 2 stills and a mask path key frame to show the difference in my old J2 Desert crash with a new PBR texture.  It might be a little too intense and needs taming down, I think. Shader PBR comparison.mp4?dl=0


  • I agree maybe dial it back a bit, but otherwise it looks pretty good and a big improvement in my opinion

  • Definitely an improvement, but also definitely a +1 to dial it down a notch.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Agreed. Dial down your improvement. 


    Wait, what? 

  • edited January 2018

      I used the same texture on the rocks and it seems to be better suited to them then the up close foreground dunes.  I glad the consensus agrees and it wasn't just my view of it.  I'll have a play with the settings and see if I truly understood the lesson.

  • Okay, tamed the beast some. sand shader from lesson 3 final.png?dl=0

    This is just a single frame cause I didn't want to bore you guys with another video clip.  I'm working on render the entire scene again. But, man, this new PBR really ramped up the render times.  Each frame is taking about 14 minutes, so it will be a few days...

  • Looks much better. As for the render the shader a cycles render or blender? If cycles with GPU rendering set the tiles to 512 with the samples around 200 with denoise activated. That should greatly decrease render times. Just a thought.

  • Looking better, but now it feels dialed back a bit too much. Some of that fine detail should remain, maybe 5-10%, but probably not much more than that.

    Balancing texture detail is tricky.  One thing that might help is looking at reference of similar scenes, either from actual films, or from live photography of similar terrain.  Reference is a great resource when you're trying to create a specific look. You spend a lot less time guessing and trying to match a possibly-nebulous look in your head, and you can get more focused with the changes you apply.

  • @tddavis That's looking pretty good!   Personally, I wouldn't labor too much more on the texture and start dialing in the lighting.   Everything looks kinda flat.  But you're making good progress.

  • getting better all the time... (better,better,better) *sings Beatles song*

  • Thanks, guys, and thank you @JMcAllister now that song is stuck in my head trying desperately to recall the name of of it!  I can hear the tune in my brain but the lyrics escape me except for that part.   Hey Jude!!  I cheated and googled.

  • @tddavis

    I was thinking of "Getting Better" from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

  • @JMcAllister ; Ah, man.  I thought I had nailed it... that refrain just kept running through my head.  I actually don't think I have heard the one from Sgt. Pepper, but then I probably have and just never knew the title of it.  

  • @jsbarrett ; I thought it lost the grittiness of sand too.  I have retweaked it to add some back into the surface.   I've got a render going on adding the smoke and I hope particles from a tutorial @GrayMotion shared with me.  It is a cycles render.  I did drop the denoise as you suggested and (I think) I dropped the tiles from 1024 to 512 if I got the right setting, that is.   It started out cutting the render time to 3 minutes per but at about frame 80 it was running back up there around 8 which is still a reduction, but I need to recheck my settings again, I think.

  • @Tddavis - comment from a newbie.

    The asteroid field looks great!

    I wonder if the next step might be to decide on a focus point, depth of focus and so on and to defocus specific elements by carefully judged amounts.

    Naturally being a video newbie I have no practical experience on how to actually achieve this although I would suspect it might be easier to achieve in the 3D render process rather than with masks in 2D.

    If you could arrange for a small asteroid to pass infront of the large foreground asteroid and cast a shadow onto it that might be cool.

    If you are using blender for rendering you might like to take a look a Mitsuba if you have not already done so.

    It is very fast and I believe it can be used as a plugin in Blender - it is/was a research project so the interface takes a little time and I expect that support will not be forthcoming. I have found it takes more time to get used to Mitsuba but there is serious power hidden in there, especially if material textures and material optical properties are important.

  • edited February 2018

    @Jonnie45 ;  Some interesting suggestions on the asteroids field.  Also, in light your suggestion and of the Tesla in Space conversation and reading I did on why it looks fake, I am now curious if the lack of "atmospheric occlusion" (as Elon put it) would have an effect on DOF?  I'm not sure what affects more it lens/camera aperture or the stuff in the air. Something to think about for sure.

    And I had never heard of the Mitsuba render so I'll be sure and look into it. Thanks for the tip.

    PS Glad you liked the asteroids.  It was a test and definitely needs some refinement.


  • being in space shouldn't have any noticeable effect on DOF

  • edited February 2018


    I would have to disagree DOF is an artifact of lenses, also film makers have taken liberties with physics for a long time

    I suppose an argument in the other direction might be that after a certain distance there is not much difference between a few kilometres and infinity.

    I was thinking along the lines of an in focus asteroid perhaps passing dangerously close to the viewer, a sense of scale and sheer mass then focusing back out to more distant asteriods to give a sense of foreground and background.

    Thinking doom laden cable documentaries on planet killer asteroids passing close to the camera before hurtling with speed into the distance, mass, size scale speed and ominous deep rumble sound track.

    Physics comfortably on back seat?  It seems no-one can hear you scream in space but the sub woofer rumble of asteroids is another matter 


  • @Jonnie45 I think there has been some misunderstanding here?

    I was referring to what @tddavis said about being "...curious if the lack of "atmospheric occlusion" (as Elon put it) would have an effect on DOF?  I'm not sure what affects more it lens/camera aperture or the stuff in the air...".

    As you correctly pointed out, depth of field is an artefact of a camera's lenses. I therefore reason that the same camera, with the same lens set to the same focal length, would have the same depth of field in space as it would in Earth's atmosphere.

    Hence my comment that "being in space shouldn't have any noticeable effect on DOF"

    Having said that, I take your point that filmmakers have (always?) taken liberties with physics. Often amusingly so.  

  • edited February 2018


    Oh yes - sorry my mistake.

    "that filmmakers have (always?) taken liberties with physics"

    And lighting conditions !

    Edit: I meant lighting conditions in deep space - would we really waste precious energy floodlighting the whole ship?

  • So, I've been spending a lot of time taking Blender courses; modeled a medieval cottage which I haven't come up with anything to do, but then I found this space station tutorial by Mr Sorbias

    And thought I'd give it a whirl.  It was a lot easier than I thought (or I am finally getting the hang of modeling in Blender), so I wanted to use it for the trusty Jupiter 2 somehow.  I did a double render in Blender; one with the whole station and the dome and then one with just the hub and no dome and with a little fiddly bits with masks and glow in Hitfilm I added the background and managed a zoom in to showcase the J2 more.  I would like for the transition with the masks to be smoother but I ran oout of patience with my poor skills.  So here it is:

    Reference to the discussion about lighting.  I only used one source of light (A sun set far off (I thought) and then window light and the nav beacon on bottom.  I kept trying to figure out why it was so brightly lit until I had turned them down so low I couldn't figure out where the light  is coming from?


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