Star Wars 9 VFX (Zach Alan's Productions: Nov/17/2019)



  • @Triem23 that method for glowing parts on the model would really help me out with this shot. I'm using glow effects on one model, but this also effects the specular highlights.

    If you want I could send you the Voyager model I've already fixed up? I have the original text document for credit and what not...

  • You could always render a specular pass of the model along with your diffuse pass to eliminate the spec pass from the glow effect

  • @ZachAlan_productions Yes no problem, I'm posting everything that I do cgi related, from building a mesh to compositing it in HitFilm. Although I'm not sure I could screencap myself texture painting at 16K because I let Krita hog all of my machines resources. Not sure how that would go during screen recording. I might attempt it when I texture my next model so we'll see. :)

    Bear in mind that I'm not actually a vfx guy or anything like that, and I've simplified everything for myself so I'm sure things are a bit different. I don't know if different is good or bad in this case because I don't imitate whatever the standard way is to do this cgi stuff as I found that it is imaginatively constricting, overcomplicated and it takes way too long to do it using the same method that everyone else follows. That aint for me, I don't like to copy or imitate anyone else because it is really Cheezie but you should definitely listen to the other guys tips and stuff as they actually know what they're talking about and I just enjoy sketching and painting.      

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @GrayMotion these are pure Hitfilm renders Zach is doing, I think....

    Zach I'd take the model you've modded. See how that compares to the other version. :-) Yeah, Simon'd tutorial was helpful. It's interesting, really, because rendering difference passes goes pack to old-school model techniques. The studio model of Voyager would have been shot with a motion control camera several times: once for the model, once for the windows, once for the running lights, once for impulse engines, once for warp engines, etc, so all the passes would be comped as layers... And Voyager (or any ship from that era of Trek) jumping into warp would be optical slit-scan!

  • @Triem23 I've been playing around with materials on some basic shapes as you suggested. I think I have the general idea of what the settings do. I feel like to get a nice material for Voyager I would need textures. The 24 hour Star Trek challenge by @NXVisualStudio had some really nice textures/materials.

  • edited July 2018

    "these are pure Hitfilm renders Zach is doing, I think"

    Um, Im confused @Triem23......I think. I use 3 instances of the a model in Hitfilm . A diffuse, spec and a light render if needed. I find by using a model with just a spec map and then setting the model layer to add gives me a lot of control over the specular. Might be unorthodox but it works well and models don't look to they? 

    Edit - I re- read your post above. I guess I do it the old school way because what you describe is how I do most of my animations minus the studio model

  • Not much progress on the materials, but here's another angle put into the sequence:

    The second shot is a placeholder as I have added volumetrics to the illuminated parts of the model same as the first shot.

    @NXVisualStudio I don't think I'm free on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday for sure), but if there is any other time you are free for a one to one again let me know :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I really like that top angle.  It's a nice move and it shows off your particle wrap nicely.

    The quality you're getting now already exceeds the original show, btw. Probably 9 of 10 users would call what you've already got "done," so I really look forward to your future refinements. Impressive stuff, Zach.

  • @Triem23 "we still have that time tunnel tutorial to finish so maybe we can get to that at some point for HFU channel?"
    Only your channel my dude for the Tom Baker version, the official one for the HitFilm channel would cover slit scan in general :)

    @GrayMotion I do a lot of multi passes, you're not alone ;) 

    @ZachAlan_Productions Just let me know when you're free and we'll see what we can do :) 
    The other angle is on point and Mike is right most would consider this done!  Also myself and @spydurhank ;have very close work flows in regard to lighting and texturing so if he catches you first you're in for a treat..Very clever chap  

    Both shots are stunning my dude :) 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @GrayMotion sorry, Greg, I think @spydurhank is combining passes from Blender with Hitfilm and multi pass renders are more common in pure 3D apps. I'd forgotten you'd been turned on to doing multiple passes in Hitfilm. Mea Culpa. :) 

    On an unrelated note, last night I finished a rebranding that was in progress so long the base Hit-U logo went through an unused iteration! 

  • Thanks again everyone! I am also very happy with the shot so far.

    The only thing I'd really like to see changed is possibly improving the Voyager materials, hopefully with textures. I'm sure both @spydurhank's website and the chat with @NXVisualStudio will help with that. :)

    Time to move on to another shot. I'm thinking of doing the opening shot with the sun. HitFilm already did a tutorial about that, so it shouldn't be to hard. I'm hoping @NXVisualStudio may share some secrets on how he did that epic shot with all the solar flares? ;)

  • @Triem23 said... "The quality you're getting now already exceeds the original show, btw. Probably 9 of 10 users would call what you've already got "done," so I really look forward to your future refinements. Impressive stuff, Zach."

    I totally agree. The original show's special effects were impressive for the time and still stand up fairly well today, but this surpasses it for sure.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @ZachAlan_Productions I've been waiting YEARS for @NxVisualStudio to post his solar flare tutorial. Chop-chop, Tony! ;) 

  • @NXVisualStudio both tomorrow and Monday should work well for me. I believe our first chat was on a Monday? 

  • Here's the latest update:

    Most of the video doesn't exist because this is to show the sound track I've been working on! I found some sheet music online and created the theme song using Cubase Elements. I also used Cubase and Audacity to recreate the sound effects from the original to the best of my ability. 

    Hope you enjoy :)

  • Wow, that was awesome! :)

  • edited July 2018

    @ZachAlan_Productions ; A very good recreation of the theme!  And your particle flow is looking really nice.

  • Friggin wicked!

  • Looking pretty cool! The one thing that I gotta admit bugs me about the particle flow around the ship is that it's all so contained.  This is really obvious in the top view, and also in the rear angle view starting at about 0:41.  The wave of particles flowing around the ship is all contained in a defined wedge that follows a very prescribed path. The color and texture is awesome, but just not the path along which they move. Not having used particles much, I can't offer any tips on how to fix it, but I'd like to think there's gotta be a way to make that feel more organic.

  • Just listened to it again, pretty awesome. :)

  • @jsbarrett You're absolutely on point, due to the nature of the effect and limitations, as of now the path is physically locked to the shape of the hull, once past the point of the nacelles it's programmed to curve/dissipate, there are ways around it to create random flow but Zach already went past four hours and we was getting tired by that point, from what I can see he hasn't gone through the multi pass method to create small and subtle charges in the plasmas but I only briefly described to him what to do :)  

    @ZachAlan_Productions We'll try sorting that on Monday my dude. 

  • @spydurhank glad you like it! :)

    @jsbarrett I see where you're coming from. Someone else pointed that out to me as well, so I'll do my best to fix it.

    @NXVisualStudio cool, hopefully it works out for you okay for tomorrow. I'll try making the particles look more random and dynamic as they pass the nacelles. My idea was that they get more spread out and maybe even "charged", becoming more bright and energetic. I'll have to play around with the multi pass method. :) I'll see what I can come up with before our chat...

  • @NXVisualStudio I guess it didn't work out for today then. My schedule is really flexible so let me know when works the best for you. I really appreciate your interest in teaching me this stuff! :)

  • @ZachAlan_Productions Sorry about that lad we had a local outage for over two days, are you on today? 

  • edited July 2018

    @NXVisualStudio no worries! :) Yes I am online today. 

  • Here's the next update after my second live chat session with @NXVisualStudio!

    The Voyager is sporting some fancy new materials and lighting, and the particles have more interaction with the ship. Any suggestions or feedback are always welcome! :)

  • @ZachAlan_Productions ; First off, this looks awesome!  You are making great progress and every iteration looks better than the last.

    My take on the shot is that it is starting to look like a cruise ship on the water (at least at this angle).  Remember you're in 3D space, so the particle fog (or nebulae dust) would be passing by the ship not only at the sides but all the way around the hull.

    So to use the water analogy, Voyager is traveling through and immersed in a medium just like a submarine is traveling inside the ocean.   Eddys would form top, bottom, sides, etc. 

    Just my $0.02.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    To agree and disagree with @Stargazer54, he's correct about space being a 3D medium and that gas would deflect over and under Voyager.

    But, of course, you're doing a take on the Voyager titles and THEY only break the gas around the sides. 

    The one thing I want to see is some adjustments to the wake. Particles should be collapsing into the spacebbehind Voyager. I'm not certain how you're wrapping the particles around the ship,but a cubic attraction force behind Voyager will do it. 

  • For me, it's up to the artist to determine the actions and interactions of items when creating a space scene.     What many artists do similar to ZachAlan and Main steam Hollywood is to create a simulation of a laminar airflow.   We've all seen it in wind tunnel tests.   However there is no air in space.   We can create our own reasons for particle attraction to a hull and since it will be science fiction all is good.      Every space movie that I have seen has "sound" from passing items as well as explosive sounds.   So  in essence it's all good.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @BobDiMarzio never seen 2001? One of the rare exceptions for having no sound in space. 

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