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.
Earlier this week I decided to re imagine the model for the Dio Heavy Battlecruiser URS Anylise in Blender, having modeled the original in Rhino several months ago as a smaller variant on the original Eristala design from way back when. The meshes I’d haphazardly and irresponsibly cobbled together to make each ship have made the prospect of a 3d print based on the vessels unmanageable, so with the new Anylise I’ve box-modeled everything rather than rail revolving (some programs call it “spinning”), and it looks like the meshes are mostly manifold, so with a few tweaks I’ll be able to hold a physical model in my hands soon, which will be awesome. I may still want to use the original Anylise model as a different class of ship at some point, but this new one captures my original vision much more closely.
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…
Most of these were modeled in 2002 and 2003 when I knew even less(!) about what I was doing. I managed to render some pretty compelling concepts, though, and I’m pretty happy with some of the things I was able to do. Alas, many of the original models have been lost to the ages, although I suspect I’ll eventually come across an unmarked CD containing this long-lost treasure.