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 are a few rough drafts of one of the minor green sector worlds, Planet Donshu (all textured and rendered in Blender). A class P ice world, Donshu is home to an early industrial native population (Donshunans) and is used by Norva as a mining outpost and shipyard. The Donshunans have been occupied and enslaved by the Norvans for a century, but remain loyal to the nearly-extinct Coludabans, who had been their caretakers until their own fall. I’ve also thrown in an early concept sculpt of a Donshunan for good measure (done in Sculptris and Blender) .