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Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes
Posted: 14 December 2012 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Thanks! They are fun to make, but the whole process is a little time consuming… so I’m *really* glad when anyone reads them…

A couple more pages for additional effects using LENS FLARE:

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Posted: 15 December 2012 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Ooh, NERDALERT!!! I put it up on my site in the flipbook format.

http://www.3d.wetcircuit.com/wp-content/plugins/page-flip-image-gallery/popup.php?book_id=2

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Posted: 15 December 2012 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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That is awesome Holly! I’ve been on a mad rendering spree with a project I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, so I haven’t had time to do the tutorial yet, but I’ve bookmarked the site and DLed the pages. I have a few ideas for using your technique. Do you think it would render fast in an animation?

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Posted: 15 December 2012 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Basic procedurals are very fast… Faster than acceptable-sized bitmaps. and they can be animated of course….

But you can slow down procedural shaders when there is geometry involved ( some of the DCG shaders become slower because they have to calculate based on the geometry of the object…, like AnythingGoos, WireframePro, etc). In most cases I’ve found this to be a one-time calculation then it goes faster after that, but if your object morphs or animates by rig the geo-calculation happens at every frame. (Plus most procedural patterns are world-based and the model passes through them like a dancer walking through a slide projection….)

I want to update my “window” tutorial to comicbook… I think I will make it for space scenes…

And I have a simple beginner’s tutorial for Primivol to use as an atmosphere, which it is very good at but the interface is so intimidating that’s why no one uses it….

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Posted: 15 December 2012 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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That ISS animation and the two Trek-style images are all amazing…! YAY! I love SPACE!

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Posted: 15 December 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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evilproducer - 12 December 2012 10:18 PM

The image with the more modern ship is just the standard renderer with no bells and whistles.

A point I’m beginning to feel real value in. During many of my action-based animations, with a camera in motion, I’m finding that some of the higher res clarity using more time-consuming setting on each render isn’t really worth the cost of time. If I compare a rendered animation with the same that took four times as long to render, I really do notice a big difference. I wouldn’t want to mix and match. But Carrara does such a great job of raytracing - without using the global illum and other higher end settings that I’m debating the trade off. I don’t mind waiting for higher quality shots - I truly don’t. But there are plenty of way to improve a render without going for the gusto at the expense of time.

BTW, Great, great work you guys. I love reading this thread!

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Posted: 15 December 2012 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Good to see you in this thread Dartanbeck.


The render I’m working on now is only three lights. It’s based on the scheme I used in my first post in this thread, except one of the lights is attached to a sun I made using Holly’s awesome tutorial.

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Posted: 15 December 2012 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Right,
Holly… I wish you could get a contract to and “Pro Tips & Tricks” sections to the mythical updated manual.
I love your style! I could get into those on subjects I don’t need any help in… even though I need help in EVERYTHING right now! lol
Very entertaining AND informative. Thanks for taking the time.

Evil, I love the job you do with lights. I’ve been treated to your sample and final shots for some time now. You certainly are gifted with and in Carrara. Love your work. Good eye. You too, Holly. That goes for many others here as well.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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So here’s the image I’ve been building using Holly’s sun tutorial.


For the ring on the planet I created a torus in the Spline modeler and asteroids in the Metaball modeler. I then used a surface replicator on the torus to place the asteroids on the torus. I then made the torus invisible. I had tried the alpha channel on the torus, but the depth pass doesn’t respect transparencies.


I’m still building the scene. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. Rather, I have an idea of what I want to do, I’m just not sure yet how I’m getting there.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Evil, when I saw your rings I couldn’t figure out exactly what was bugging me about the perspective and sense of scale and distance. And then I realized, it’s the perspective and sense of scale and distance…  smile

Seriously, keep in mind that generally in viewing space-y images people’s brains are wired to see things based on great distances. And when I saw your rings, with all of the particles about the same size from right to left, I immediately got the sense that the ring was real, real small. Not thousands of miles across or larger like you might expect. And I’ll let our resident astrophysicist discuss the shape of the rings, but anyway…

I tried to do a quick render using the built in Saturn scene, and adding a replicator set to max, and distributed a bunch of spheres on the included ring disc to show the variation of apparent size of the objects as they are farther away. Closer objects should be bigger, and farther away should be smaller. And closer should be spaced further apart, and far away should be scrunched together. 

And this example really isn’t even close, because I didn’t scale it up to realistic thousands of miles in scale. But I think it should get the point across.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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They have to be flat. smile

and the planetary body needs to have sufficient gravity to keep them in orbit, so…. gas giant.

Gotta give that one to Joe.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Thanks for the comments guys!

You’re right about the rings. I was more interested in seeing if it would work. I used a torus, but it wasn’t flat, more oval. The size of the rocks is supposed to be randomized in the replicator, and when I look closely at them, they are many different sizes. I think what Joe is seeing is because the replicator is a tube, it lacks the perspective of a flat disk looked at slightly on edge. The ring I’m going for is more rocky than dusty which is probably wrong, but I like the idea of the texture, if that makes sense. Joe, your rings look very good.


A couple questions to RoguePilot, would be, Saturn’s rings have depth as well as width, but how much? A few miles? A few hundred miles? Wouldn’t it be possible for a rocky planet to acquire rings, even temporarily? I thought the theory of planetary formation was that they formed from an accretion disc, wouldn’t a satellite form the same way, or is the theory that our moon was a captured body? I have read a theory of a planetary collision with the earth either contributing to the formation of the moon, or blasting away the surface of the moon, if this is the case, wouldn’t there be an orbiting ring of debris until the gravity of the earth and the orbiting moon took care of it?

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Posted: 16 December 2012 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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The theory of planetary ring formation is still in flux but it’s clear that you need a few things to combine to produce the right conditions. A key thing is the right gravitational conditions and these exist far away from the suns influence around the substantial bodies of the gas giants.

At the scale necessary to get the planet in view you can forget about the ring thickness. (It’s between 10m and 1000m)

You’re right that in a young system you would have orbiting debris around a smaller planet. That would be a very unstable situation though and would rapidly fall into chaos, either throwing it out of orbit or down onto the planet. The chunks would be pretty small and far apart. If enough debris did cluster together to achieve a high enough gravitational influence and it’s at the right speed and distance from the planet it could form a moon. A moon is more likely to be formed from a body that is already substantial that gets captured though.

It can go the other way too, a small moon could break up due to tidal forces but the ring formed would be very short lived due to those forces and would make barely any visual impact.

I was being flippant when I said that the planet needs to be big. A newly formed planet would be a good thing to render, I’d want to see it as glowing red with massive flows of magma. How about a nice planetary impact?

(You can get rings of very, very fine invisible dust in orbit)

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Posted: 16 December 2012 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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evilproducer - 16 December 2012 09:35 AM

  I think what Joe is seeing is because the replicator is a tube, it lacks the perspective of a flat disk looked at slightly on edge.

I don’t think so, at least that wasn’t the point I was trying to make….

It’s about a sense of distance and relative size. In order for your rocks to appear, as they do, relatively the same size (going from left to right in your render), the ring would have to be very small. Whether it’s a torus or a disc or whatever, doesn’t really matter. It’s about the apparent size of the rocks as they get farther away from you. And when those distances are very large, the difference in apparent sizes should be much greater.

Consider this…

Let’s say the planet was 1,000 miles in diameter. Heck, I dunno, pick a number. Which means that the rings have a lot bigger diameter than that. Let’s call it 2,000 miles in diameter. That’s about 2/3 the distance from NY to Los Angeles. Big. 

Now, if you had big rocks floating around in that 2,000 mile diameter ring, there would be huge distances between them. And if you pulled up in a spaceship and saw them, it would be kinda like you standing on your roof in Wisconsin (?) and looking at a house in Chicago.It would look a whole lot tinier than your house looks.

Bad example, but maybe you get the point. My initial impression was that it was a really small ring around a really tiny planet, so much so that it looked, well, wrong. Not consistent with planets and vast distances and space stuff.

Like I tried to mention in another post, the biggest challenge, IMO, with space images is trying to convince the viewer of size and distance. To show big planets and relatively small space ships and huge distances you need to give the viewer some perspective. Just having a spaceship next to a planet doesn’t give them any clue about how big stuff is. However, as RoguePilot so clearly illustrated in a couple of his images, when you insert some additional ships that are tiny specks in the distance, the viewer immediately gains a sense of perspective and distance. Otherwise people are searching for clues, and subconsciously get confused and unsatisfied.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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I don’t think I’m explaining it real well, so let me try it from another angle….

In the image I posted, how large do the “rocks” in the rings appear? Small, right? Like little dots. But when you consider how big the rings really are (thousands of miles across or whatever) you suddenly realize that to see that entire section of the ring, the rocks themselves would have to be MASSIVE to even appear in the image. It’s like you’re standing hundreds of miles above LA and seeing across to Chicago, and you actually see a bunch of rocks? Wow, the rocks would have to be massive to even appear. But in the image they appear relatively tiny.

That’s my point. To see a good portion of the rings, which are thousands of miles across, from a position that is hundreds or thousands of miles away, you’d expect rocks and stuff to be almost invisibly tiny.

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