This is my first serious attempt at animation: The brief is my youngest needs a film clip which has never been set to music for part of his Music Degree, he has to dub it with his own music and include sampling techniques. Most of the students are going for silent films but we hit on the idea of making our own and using an existing program to give us a good sample base for themes and sound effects.
The original idea was Stingray, but the under water scenes proved too complex for my setup to render. So we switched to UFO, still Gerry Anderson, although we still have water as a component the scenes can be darker and simpler. I have until Christmas, I will be interspersing short animation clips with talking heads, courtesy of his student buddies.
Here is the mother ship of Skydiver on the blocks....
I have some sample clips but will have to figure out some way to host them as they are too big to upload.
He has a special dispensation on any visual work, but thanks for the suggestion.
Throwing the model in front of a brightly lit contrasting background does two things. It makes artifacts on the edges of your mesh when downsampled for the internet, and is at the same time very, very distracting.
Consider how you light it as well. A simple 3 point light rig is a very quick way to display the curves and panel designs on shapes like this. Actual 3 point light set-ups are considered standard in photography for this very reason. There should be plenty of tutorials on this set-up in max just a google search away.
Your material work on the vessel is very flat, and needs a good specular component in order to make it appear dimensional.
I hope I didn't come off too rude, this looks like a very interesting design, but the presentation hurts it currently.
Just kidding. Skydiver is part of S.H.A.D.O's UFO monitoring network. It is a submarine in that it travels under water, but the front part that looks like a fighter jet, is just that. Skydiver would rotate in an upward angle and then the 'jet' part would disconnect from the sub and launch into the air. Derek Meddings, IMHO, was a true genius when it came to designs, models and special effects.
Wait a minute. I might be showing my age again. UFO was shown in the late 70's I believe. So, if you were born after 1980, chances are you may never of heard of it. This show was before Space 1999 and had its own moonbase.
It was actually early 70s but if your as old as I am what does a few years matter?
here is a link to additional info that includes links to HULU viewing if you would like to see any of the episodes:
Ask me again in 20 years when I am 78!
Ahh damn! Now I am depressed...
I agree it is impractical, of course it is, an aircraft on the nose of a sub? the conflicting requirements of air and water dynamics would be a nightmare. BUT, it has been done, submarines have carried aircraft, some U-Boats deployed gyro-coptors and the French, British and Japanese Navies all built submarines with hangers for aircraft, but the big hanger doors proved a massive Achilles heel.
I don't know the dates but I would guess Skydiver came to drawing board about the time that ballistic missiles started appearing on submarines, I suppose a manned jet was not that big a jump for the UFO writers.
I'm a big fan of the show and, so far, you're doing it justice. Keep it up.
Here I have dropped Skydiver into a test tank to work out a wake, I will add waves next.
Technical stuff: the surface of the water is a mesh with a Flex modifier, I have attached a UDeflector to the ship to push the water away, unfortunately that sent the render time ballistic so I shadowed (he he, get it?) a simpler model of the ship to push the particles around and hid it. The U type Deflector has the advantage of using the shape of the object so I could tune the shape to get a nice ripple effect down the side of the hull. A very useful tip is to use a POINT CACHE modifier, that was way cool as it allowed me to get the wave effects working in real time, no need to render the whole scene after every little change.
Next to ponder is some spray, I am thinking some sort of particle fountain for that.
Adding waves that would interact with the wake proved horribly difficult, I decided to try a plugin, my first attempt at such. I tried HOT Ocean first, but for the life of me could not get the hang of it, could not even produce foam! Next was Phoenix Fluid Dynamics, what a toy this is proving to be!! Superb, but horribly complicated and greedy on memory and CPU. Taken me a week to get the basics and now working on my first animated sequence with it, here is the construct for surfacing, I have cheated and nicked a tutorial file and substituted my own model and sea state.
I have added a green-blue self illumination to the body of the sea and increased the ambient and Omni light sources targeting the spray and foam.
Time to render the animation now, this could take a while!
The first part was not too bad, an overnight render, but the second clip took a staggering week! Third clip now on hold while I look at reducing the load. I pasted the two clips together with Pinnacle video editor and slowed them down to half speed to give me this forty second cut. Not brilliant, particularly as the shape of the effects rectangle is pretty obvious in places, but I think it is usable. Taking a break now to get some work done on the fighter in the air.
To me, the water dynamics action was very cool. I wouldnt even know where to begin on
that, if I were to make it myself.
I have swapped out my Neolithic Pentium duo for an i5 quad which has hugely increased Render performance, but puzzlingly has not effected the pre-render (or simulation to give it the proper name) for Phoenix FD. Making this clip it took me far longer to run the pre-render than the actual render, not sure why, no obvious bottle neck in task manager.
Anyway, stayed with Phoenix to try and re-create the cool Firefox effect of an aircraft throwing up a wake and appropriately used Chaos Afterburn plug-in to generate the glow in the smoke particles for the engines.
The wake was made with a wedge shape in the "water" linked to the aircraft and hidden for render. I had to tone down the effect as it rapidly went nuclear in particle generation. Phoenix is very nice, but even a tiny change the complex controls can send your computer circling down to hang hell.
My last for a bit, back under the knife next week, if I am spared will work on the underwater sequence of the launch next.
I am re-visiting the scenes though I intend to use some of the dark clips still, first a glimpse of the revised moon...