Lost Creek Productions Thread- [Deflectors Test]



  • Remastered Star Trek stuff is Netflix and it looks pretty good aside from everyone having the same skin tone. The Enterprise looks awesome, the new 3D planets and Nebulae are pretty fantastic too. :)

    Just re-watched season 2 of Discovery. It is pretty damned cool. :)


  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited January 11

    Thanks for the feedback, fellas.  As @Triem23 mentions, the remastered series (done by CBS btw) pumped up the space scenes enough to make them look more "modern", but not so much that it spoils the feel of the original.  The TOS version running on NetFlix is (I believe)  the same set of shots.

    I have purposely tried to emulate the CBS remaster look, without going overboard with nurnies and textures. 

    Also, I really racked my brain on how to paint the panels for the saucer section.  I had a 2D nice panels texture that I tried to manipulate in Photoshop but couldn't get it to come out right. The light bulb finally went on.  I read the texture into HF and used Polar Warp to 180 degrees.  Saved that and flipped it again in PS.  Combined the two and walla  . . . a circular specular texture with panels.

    I need to quite fiddling with this and move on to shields, phasers and photon torpedos.  Will be pouring over Mike's excellent tutorials on those.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Stargazer54 one more hour in Bermuda before off the grid again... 

    Talking with another artist on YouTube we have determined that if you use the same point rig as my photon tutorial, but use Animated Laser for the spikes instead of Lightning or Lightsword (and a little Flicker) it looks even better. 

  • @Triem23 ; Cool!   Thanks for the tip.

  • Working on the deflectors . . .


  • Very nice. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Fractal Noise on a Sphere Layer/Model? Always my starting point for Deflectors....

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 6

    Pretty much.

    3D model of a spheroid shape to surround the ship.  Replacing its texture map with Override Materials using  a comp shot with rotating fractals.   Let it be illuminated by the light in the scene and key out the darker areas.  Add a glow to what's left.  Keyframe opacity to turn on when the phaser hits.

    Blue phaser is just a modified Lightsword effect with the Tip position keyframed to track the ship.  Add an Led flare for good measure. 

  • @Stargazer54 I have dreamed of pulling off that effect, but haven't ever actually tried it.  You made it look so sweet.  I'm going to copy your recipe for sure.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Stargazer54 @tddavis as stated in my prior post, I've done deflectors before using fractal noise on a sphere layer.

    In this use case I can't think of any advantages to using a 3D model with Override Materials. A Sphere effect will cheerfully squash to a flatter shape, respond to scene lights, be textured by a comp shot and can have opacity keyframed. I think a Sphere will also be faster than Override Materials.

    Lightsword does make a good Phaser. Used to use Lightning before Lightsword got added, but, with Lightning you have to keyframe the width for each end. 

    Actually, in the next livestream I do with Sensei I'll be starting setting up a Constitution as one of my demos. The particular model I'm using covers certain specific points of the chosen topic, but I'll show off the full version just to show how many points and lights are in the rig... Like points and lights rigged up for all the phaser banks and photon tubes...

    Aesthetic note. I assume the green deflector echos the green of the Klingon's warp drive? I dunno, I tinge my deflectors based on what's hitting it. The deflector remains invisible, the energy being deflected does not. So blue phaser generates a blue deflector hit. Red photons generate red hits. That's just how I look at it. It's your shot - go green if you want. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 6

    Another aesthetic note. Consider: Add some radio waves to your deflector texture. Quick, fast fade. The radio waves should line up with point of impact. You can even double up on the radio waves and give different speed/frequency.

    Did that in this series. 




    And this


    And this. 


  • @Triem23 Thanks for the links with your description too.  I added them to the doc I created.  I had seen your deflector video before I'm pretty sure and may even have it archived already.  I'll have to check.  In a little script I wrote about 16 years ago for a feature starring my grandkids at the time I had a scene where the Jupiter 2 suddenly developed shields but never got good enough to even begin to do the VFX work then...or now really! :)  Besides those grandkids are all pretty much college age now so that script needs serious reconditioning. 

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 8

    @Triem23 ; Thanks for the suggestions.   As usual, this was just a test. Not meant as to be cannon.  But the 3D model for the shape of the deflectors  was an attempt at an idea to show that the deflectors don't form an egg shape but rather several meters out from the profile of the hull shape.  I was thinking about having parts of the shields fail while other parts of the shields remained before an explosion, for example.  Just haven't gotten that far.

    I like the radio waves idea.  Will have to give that a whirl with the Override Materials comp.  I'm probably stuck on the Override Materials idea because it's so tempting - you can diddle with the underlying comp shot virtually on the fly and do a lot of "what happens if I do this? . . .".

    Problem is, my time is very limited, so when I hit on something workable, I tend to post it as a WIP.   Not necessarily as the "final" which I may never get to.  The point is, you can have a lot of fun just plinking around with HF (which is awesome).  And there are a multitude of ways to skin the cat.  Just not always time to do so.

    Edit: The Dr. Who escape sequence is one of my favorites!


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Ah, so, eventually this would use a copy of the D7 geometry with the Override Materials! That would look pretty damn sweet and would be different from how shields are usually done in Trek (which IS an egg shape).

    And now I'm thinking of a secondary explosion bouncing off the insides of the deflector grid before total failure of the grid and explosion of the vessel....

    As you say, multiple ways to approach most things in Hitfilm

  • Great idea, Mike.  Kind of like a feedback loop.  Then boom!.  Hmmm....

  • @Triem23 At the very beginning of this video, there are a few examples of the Star Trek "Tight to Hull" shielding like what @Stargazer54 is talking about. While they are not as common as the eggshell style, they do exist in the Star Trek universe.


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