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3DStar Wars Animation and VFX experiments!

Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
edited November 2017 in Work in Progress #1
Hey, guys! Long time, etc, etc. For a while now I've sort of promised myself that I'd not do any star wars work, after a series of...bad interactions with Lucasfilm. All well and good to say that you'll ignore one of your favorite IPs, but following through? Nah.
So, that leads us to this thread. I've got some render tests of an animation I'm working on in the little free time I have. Comments, suggestions, and mockery are welcome!
First up - an animation, lighting, materials, and vfx test done with Ansel's gracefully donated TIE Mangler model...

And now the more WIP shots - For the first two of these, I was using 3dsMax and Mental ray. I've since moved to VRay, as its massively faster with much better quality, especially when rendered on my GPUs using CUDA. Here's potential scenes 1, 2 and 3...
[video]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75poHUDj4VkLWdIcjJJTXBacVU/view?usp=sharing[/video]
And a further on combat test, still using Mental Ray:
[video]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75poHUDj4VkMnhjUEJQZ1BPTjg/view?usp=sharing[/video]
And now - a much improved actual combat clip from even further down the line of the short, now using VRay:
[video]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75poHUDj4VkeTRlNkpqMkVSNTQ/view?usp=sharing[/video]
Now, the action in this needs a bit of embellishment as it drags abit in the last 2/3rds - and I need to add the laser blast hits on the X-Wing, and the two Mangler Turbolasers going off, missing the first shot, and blowing new holes in the BFF-1 Freighter.
Speaking of Blowing new holes - I've also been working with VRay's Phoenix FD simulator for explosions. Here're some of those tests!
The first, laaaame one:
explosion_test.gif
And now some better ones:
explosion_test3.gif
explosion_test4.gif
And then I started playing with...slightly large scale explosions. :D
explosion_test7.gif
explosion_test8.gif
Before finally getting to something I really quite like!
explosion_test10.gif
Yes! Feeling a bit more ANH-y with the blueish explosions. I still needed to work a bit harder on this, though... So I started working on just a recreation of a famous TIE Fighter Death...You know the one:
explosion_test11.gif
And then went some revisions, adding back in some orange:
explosion_test13.gif
explosion_test14.gif

Annnnd then we reach tonight...where I've got the result I'm most proud of! Check this out. :D
explosion_test15.gif
Anyhow - I'll keep posting updates. hope you guys enjoy this crap. :D
Post edited by Howard Day on
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Posts

  • BlobVanDamBlobVanDam0 Posts: 0Member
    Very cool work! My only feedback is in that third google drive vid, XWing_Hunt-11.mp4, the ship closest to the camera appears to have a minor rendering issue on the back of the wings, like there are two surfaces at the same spot causing some flickering. Aside from that, looking great so far.
    I really need to update my V-Ray so I can use the CUDA rendering. It seems to crash when I try it in my version.
  • ComcoComco292 Posts: 1,263Administrator
    Inspiring stuff, as always, Howard. :cool:

    I'm interested in how do you animate the ships? I've used spline path constraints as the primary method for doing this for some time, but I've found that if I have very specific movement in mind, this can be a real paint to achieve this way. This is more apparent when trying to animate a real-world aircraft realistically, mind you. Just interested to know if you've got a better way.
  • IRMLIRML232 Posts: 1,980Member
    great work

    funny about the blue/white explosions, I thought they looked more authentic before I read your comment, but I never consciously noticed them that colour in the film before
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    BlobVanDam: Thanks! Yes! that video has *flipped* faces on those wings - I've since fixed the model, and those won't be an issue in the future. Thanks for pointing them out!
    Comco: Thank you, sir. :D Yes! I'm using the spline method - however, it's modified, as regular spline path movement with follow and bank checked tends to be..really oddly jerky at times. To get around that, I use a position list for the Dummy that I link the ship to, that includes 3 different spline path followers - each at like .5 - 1% offset from each other. I do *Not* check the follow or bank options, and instead, make the rotation a lookat the position of another dummy (with also 3 averaged spline path constraints, just 2-3% further down the line), and control the Axis-of-travel roll by linking another dummy to that primary dummy and spinning that. You can get some really cool movement - especially if you've got the lookat dummy aways out - you get anticipation in the angle of rotation, before the position follows. It's cool. :D
    IRML: Right? You kinda gotta frame by frame it like a completely obsessive nutter. :P Also, ANH is distinctly different at various points, and very different from ESB and ROTJ. It's fun to sorta find the ones that look...the most Star Warsy. :D
  • ComcoComco292 Posts: 1,263Administrator
    Howard Day wrote: »
    Comco: Thank you, sir. :D Yes! I'm using the spline method - however, it's modified, as regular spline path movement with follow and bank checked tends to be..really oddly jerky at times. To get around that, I use a position list for the Dummy that I link the ship to, that includes 3 different spline path followers - each at like .5 - 1% offset from each other. I do *Not* check the follow or bank options, and instead, make the rotation a lookat the position of another dummy (with also 3 averaged spline path constraints, just 2-3% further down the line), and control the Axis-of-travel roll by linking another dummy to that primary dummy and spinning that. You can get some really cool movement - especially if you've got the lookat dummy aways out - you get anticipation in the angle of rotation, before the position follows. It's cool. :D

    I understand most of what you're saying, and it makes a whole lot of sense. And yeah - the jerkiness thing has driven me crazy in the past.

    I really like the lookat constraint looking at a position slightly in front of the ship's path. What I'm not following is the '3 different spline path followers - each at like .5 -1% offset from each other'. Can you post a pic? Or even better, a max file with an example? I'm very interested to understand this setup better...
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla426 HelsinkiPosts: 2,498Administrator
    Very cool. I was just looking at your pixelated shader stuff the other day and thinking "Howard should post more often". :)

    The corvette explosion is kinda bugging me, because the simulation volume is obviously following the model at a constant speed, but I'm thinking that's probably more authentic (Star Warsy) way of doing it than simulating some kind of drag. I never noticed the color thing either, but it's obvious now that you brought it up. :D
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
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  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    Why does it mangle pies?

    Great stuff as always, Howard, it's great to see you back around these parts. Sorry to hear you had some bad interactions with LucasFilm. Might we know at least what that was in reference to? (IE: one of your projects) Of course, if you don't want to talk about it, then that's cool, it's none of my business, really. I hear you on being "done" with your favorite IP. I don't know how many times I've told myself I was "done" doing Star Trek. I finally stopped lying to myself a few years ago. ;)

    The ships look fantastic. I love that Mon Cal flyby. I'm sorry, but whoever disliked that on YouTube is just plain wrong. The ship looks like a real model. The explosions look really good. I've always liked how much time and work you put into your explosions, rather than just slapping something together. That last TIE explosion at the end of the post is just gorgeous. The only thing bugging me about the Blockade Runner explosion is that it seems like the engines should fly off with an explosion that big. :o
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    Comco: Whyyyy yes I can! Here's an earlierish version of that X-Wing Hunt animation, with a regular tie fighter instead of a TIE Mangler! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75poHUDj4VkemV3aDVSUDRWeFk/view?usp=sharing
    Any missing plugins just ignore, it's likely it's just VRay crap.
    Guerrilla: Yeah! That pixel art stuff keeps popping up - I really should try and get that into a shippable plugin/method. :/ And yeah - Drag is... it doesn't look right. either the explosion continues with the ship it's exploding off of, or the explosion is completely stationary and stopped when the ship's destroyed. A¯_(ツ)_/A¯
    evil_genius_180: Pentagonal Ion Engine. :P Just screwing around, basically. My bad interactions go alll the way back to the release of episode 3...basically I did some fan artwork some rube publicity ad guy at Lucasfilm mistook for the real ILM thing, stuck it on a bunch of posters, and then threatened me with legal action for mentioning it. At the time I didn't have a tenth of the resources I have now, so I just dropped it, but that "**** you!!!!!" attitude really did not sit well with me.
    On the youtube dislikes - every one of them is a friend who is just picking on me for funsies. :P And yeah - that explosion might be a little overdone for the rear end to stay attached...but if you're going to overdo anything, it should be explosions!
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    WIP update, different angle.
    explosion_test16.gif
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    Working on flame dispersion and smoke dissipation.
    explosion_test17.gif
  • rojrenrojren352 Louisville, Kentucky USAPosts: 1,485Member
    Pretty damn cool.
    "...Journeys require endpoints, otherwise you're not Frodo, you're just some homeless guy wandering around with stolen jewelry."
    -The Oatmeal
  • ST-OneST-One187 Posts: 293Member
    Yeah, it certainly is cool!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    Yeah, that is cool. It looks like how an explosion would actually act in space.
  • markmasseymarkmassey176 Posts: 285Member
    Awesome, it first i'd say they look bit bright.. but then you look t some of the old shows with explosions filmed on the practice models and it looks pretty spot on,,
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    Thanks guys!
    explosion_test20.gif
  • nightfevernightfever212 Posts: 530Member
    Very nice.

    What I've always asked me is, how exploding fire and smoke look like in vacuum and zero gravity for real. Is there any reference?
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    Looking pretty sweet, Howard.
    nightfever wrote: »
    What I've always asked me is, how exploding fire and smoke look like in vacuum and zero gravity for real. Is there any reference?

    Very little. Mostly, it's just NASA that's done experiments with fire in space. I watched a video last year showing a flame in zero gravity, and it was perfectly round. In a vacuum, I don't believe there is smoke, but then he also was creating an explosion that would have consumed fuel and oxygen. I don't know if an explosion in space has ever been recorded that closely. I do know anything and everything dissipates quickly, pretty much once it consumes all of its fuel, because there's nothing in space to fuel it.
  • nightfevernightfever212 Posts: 530Member
    Yeah, I supposed that explosions look very poor in vacuum, mostly debris and very less or short fire.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    Yeah, I highly doubt space explosions would be as thrilling in real life as they are in movies and TV shows. Probably a quick flash and a pop, then it's done. Nothing but debris left.

    I think Howard has a nice compromise here, between a fiery explosion and what one would probably be like it space. At least it dies quickly.
  • oldmangregoldmangreg130 Woodland Hills, CAPosts: 1,332Member
    I think the explosions during the battle of Scarif would be pretty close to realistic.
    Your father called the future - "the undiscovered country". People can be very frightened of change.
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  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    Bit of another thing update:
    divebomb_test08.gif
    << super fast version

    divebomb_test09.gif
    span>
    << slow-moooooo version
    And a muuuuch earlier version:
    divebomb_test07.gif
    Even earlier!
    divebomb_test01.gif

    Yeah, yeah. I know. Work in progress. I'm trying to iron out the kinks.
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    divebomb_test10.gif
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    That's really cool, dude.
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    Thanks! Here's a more musical 1080p update of it.
  • Howard DayHoward Day354 Posts: 377Member
    explosion_test21.gif
    explosion_test22.gif
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180916 Posts: 8,941Member
    Howard Day wrote: »
    Thanks! Here's a more musical 1080p update of it.

    That's awesome, dude. :thumb:

    I like the latest iteration of the explosion too. :)
  • CoolhandCoolhand241 PhobosPosts: 1,273Member
    Amazing shots Howard!
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