Here is the final set of orthos and specs for the Minotaur class Heavy Battlecruiser. She’s proven to be a fairly popular design, and I’ve had Kenneth Emerson of Bridge Commander 2 (an indie sequel to the Activision classic, based on the UE4 game engine) as well as Mike Bremer of the live action sim Starbase 400 approach me to use the design in their ship database.
FTL effect for Norvan Corvette spacecraft. Modeling, animation and rendering was done in Blender/Cycles, background is a cube map from Space Engine (awesome program) and the effects were all created in Adobe After Effects. This is a followup to a lo-qual test I did a few days ago. I might do one more re-render just to get rid of the aliased lines and cut back on the light noise, but overall I’m pretty happy with it.
This was surprisingly painless to set up and render, while simultaneously being fairly educational. The scene consists of linked instances (with the exception of the station, which was the basis for the original project). Lots of keyframing, path animation, time stretching and indirect lighting. I really wish Blender had a true radiosity function, but of course, that would mean this project would most likely still be rendering right now. All in all, it took about 18 hours to render at 720p, although that would probably be slashed in half if I’d skipped all the compositing (bokeh and haze effects were used). I heeded the advice I found on an online forum, and rather than go with compressed or raw video when exporting, I used still .PNG files, which turned out quite nicely. By the time I ran the still sequence through After Effects for color correction and additional effects, the lack of compression artifacts really paid off– it looks really great in its uncompressed form. I exported to .mov, because I found the h.264 that AE uses too lossy, but it’s still not quite to my liking. Gonna have to tweak it a bit. Still, I have a good pipeline going between Blender and CS4, so I’m looking forward to moving on to the next experiment. One thing I want to experiment with is concurrently exporting a depth map so that I would have more control over the effects in AE. If I can figure that one out, I can simply export clean frames from Blender and do all the effects work in CS4, which would yield much better results.
Okay, I’m at work, so I’ve gotta make this snappy. These are a couple stills and animations of Planet Coludaba VII, before it was bombed to glass by the Zynecherians. I’m going to follow up this post with shots of the ruined planet at a later date. I’m still trying to decide whether to add a ring (maybe that will come about as a result of the bombardment) Anyway, enjoy!
Here’s a short flyby clip of the heavy battlecruiser Anylise with a few of the SFX in place. I have quite a bit of art piled up at the moment, so I’ll probably be posting at least once a week for awhile, but this test looked so good I just had to share it. I was very happy with this video– it rendered overnight at 720p, which is very impressive, considering that I was using bokeh and glow effects (also, the materials were not baked so my poor i7 had to deal with shaders). I’m finally starting to become truly comfortable with Blender, though there’s still so much more to learn. The timing needs to be faster on the running lights, and I realized I need to add some sort of visible propulsion system (probably going to go with some sort of ion engine a la Star Wars, rather than Trek-ian glowing panels, since this is not an especially advanced ship). I’m also working on the windows. Not sure how they should be configured, and since this is basically a warship, it’ll have far fewer portals than, say, the Enterprise. I wish I would’ve thought to add a destination (maybe a gas giant planet or a barren asteroid) at the end of the clip. All in all, I just wish the shot was longer. I can’t wait to start working on a battle sequence!
It actually rendered much faster than I thought it would. At 1080p it only took like 15 mins. Usually you can expect a complex scene like that to take at least an hour or two. Granted, I used simple objects, simple materials and basic lighting, but that means the physics engine itself isn’t that resource-intensive. I’m going to start planning out some wacky Rube Goldberg devices so I can really put it to the test…
Kind of a low-action vanilla trailer for Last Age, which was more of an After Effects experiment. It’s in 480p, so make sure to bump up the quality for a slightly less-sucky viewing experience…