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My Battlestar Project
Posted: 02 July 2013 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been working on converting tan.j’s Battlestars to Carrara for awhile now, and I have one fully re-textured for Carrara. This project started in DAZ Studio but several limitations forced me to move it to Carrara, I even purchased Carrara 8 for this project.

I need help with several items, hopefully I can be pointed towards tutorials on how to accomplish these in Carrara:

1) Simple outer space animation, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0llEL_5fvYw

I have never done animation, this will be my first time.

2) Engine exhaust that look like this: http://www.foundation3d.com/forums/showpost.php?p=148908&postcount=98

I am using Starry Sky for Carrara for my outer space environment.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Very cool!
I have a short tutorial regarding the ship animation within the ReadMe that comes with Starry Sky. I think that it will give you the effect you’re looking for - if not… I’d be happy to help further.

For the engine glow, I like to use a bulb light scaled down really, Really small and placed inside the cavity in the rear. (do this whole thing with just one, then test it. Once you get it the way you like it, you can duplicate it and place them in the rest of the engines)
Now set the color the light blue - slightly toward green. Leave the brightness at 100 and set the range to a decent distance, like 20 or 40. perhaps more or less - to your taste. Now go into the effects tab and give it a subtle use of the (short-term memory is keeping the tem from me right now… it’s not glow but enables a visible sphere from the light) and you might also want to try a lens flare. I often use the ‘Glint’ preset - tweaked slightly from there.

I also like to use the Fire primitive - change the coloring to more bluish hues and mess around with the speed and other parameters.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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At about 4:00 through this video, you can see my use of Starry Sky and engine glows.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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These suggestions for Carrara animation may be too simple, but since you’ve never done animation ...

1) Simple outer space animation, like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0llEL_5fvYw

Select the Camera (normally Camera 1) and then the “Modifiers” tab.  Select “Point At”, then choose the ship as the item pointed at.  This will rotate the camera as the ship passes, keeping the ship in the middle of the frame. 

Place the ship where you want it to start and set a key frame in the Sequencer.  Then move the time slider in the Sequencer to the end time of the animation (you also need to move the litlle yellow marker that sets the overall animation time).  Move the ship to where you want it to stop and set another key frame.  Still in the Assemble window, rewind the time slider to the beginning and hit play to see a preview of you animation.

2) Engine exhaust that look like this: http://www.foundation3d.com/forums/showpost.php?p=148908&postcount=98

There are various ways to do this, you might try positioning some bulb lights at the engine exhaust, then selecting the bulb and playing with the Effects Tab.  E,g, Enable the “Light Sphere” then hit the Edit button and play with the various parameters.  Some of the other Light Effects might help also.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Woops, I posted before I saw Dartanbeck’s posts, they look good, too. 

B-}

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Posted: 02 July 2013 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Light Sphere! That’s what it’s called!
Note that you’ll likely want to bring the size way down and keep this effect very subtle.
Some of the products I’ve purchased (Starship Products) came with cool engine flame props that I added to my browser, so I can re-use them on other ships that don’t have them.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Steve K does very cool Carrara animations. When I get out of this stonework season a bit more - I’m planning a spotlight on some of his works. Carrara is an excellent animation tool. That’s what I bought it for. It’s a lot more fun than what I was anticipating!

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Posted: 02 July 2013 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks a lot guys.

Dartanbeck, I know what you mean, I have used the jet exhausts from some of the models I have purchased here on models that don’t bring one. Like for my Shuttlestars. But I want something different, something that looks like the type of exhaust shown in the Battlestar Galactica series. I believe the technique you guys explain here are what I am after.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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nDelphi - 02 July 2013 01:42 PM

Thanks a lot guys.

Dartanbeck, I know what you mean, I have used the jet exhausts from some of the models I have purchased here on models that don’t bring one. Like for my Shuttlestars. But I want something different, something that looks like the type of exhaust shown in the Battlestar Galactica series. I believe the technique you guys explain here are what I am after.

Save them. For things I use a lot; candle flames, lamps with bulbs, car exhaust smoke. I save them separate to My Presets folder in a folder I have named scene parts. I’ve done the same thing with some scene parts from DAZsets. If there is something I use a lot, I get it all preset so I can just drop it in scene.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dartanbeck - 02 July 2013 12:46 PM

Very cool!
I have a short tutorial regarding the ship animation within the ReadMe that comes with Starry Sky. I think that it will give you the effect you’re looking for - if not… I’d be happy to help further.

It’s not in the readme it is in the PDF manual with explanations and images to along with them. A 30-page manual overall.

I will not be able to start animating just yet, but I did read your tutorial and learned that you parented the lights to the ship. I would have thought that the distant light remains in place so that shadows can change as the ship maneuvers in space (from different angles)?

 

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Posted: 02 July 2013 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dartanbeck,

I can’t get the exhaust anywhere near what you have in that fun video of yours.

Can you dump one of those exhaust lights into a separate .car file so that I can download it and see what you have done settings wise?

Update:

It looks like I was following your instructions correctly. I bought the Destroyer HMS August just so that I could see what the modeler did with the engines and it is exactly what your settings are. The problem that I see is that the farther away the model is rendered from the camera the more pronounced the lens flare gets and it ends-up looking like a star. I don’t see this happening in your video animation.

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Posted: 02 July 2013 11:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Sorry for the delay - I don’t get as much internet time as I’d like this time of year.
I saw that Thorne and Handspan Studios released a face morphing kit for Genesis 2 Female - and it has just what I need for my character, so I jumped online to buy it - and saw your posts here.

First of all, I’d like to just try to say to you to please not look at animation as a scary thing. It can be as easy as setting the timeline ahead and moving the camera around and rendering. Granted, to make really great animated shot of character expressions and such - you need patience and practice. Okay… enough about that… lets get some acceleration on your ship.

I’ve made this for the Vanguard model by Kibarreto that will go with a shader and lighting kit I’m making - but haven’t finished yet.
It’s a Carrara Fire primitive with a light bulb. If you act soon, you can download it here. It will not stay in that location for download for lond - so go ahead and grab it soon.

All it is is a specially tweaked Fire primitive all set up for animation. It has a spin modifier and flames are animated. I’ll have to look at it again to find pout how long the flames animation runs… but it’s likely far longer than any normal animation I’d make. I’ll often use an oscillation tweener off in the distance… like ten or twelve seconds… and then set that as the completion for the flames. Then put in a sawtooth oscillating tweener so it repeats.
The bulb is nothing special and is only intended to add illumination surrounding the flame.
The ships I’ve purchased all have some sort of modeling for the engine - that is recessed.
I stick the bulb into that recessed area to illuminate the inside of that geometry.
By using the above download:
Use the whole group as a single entity.
For ease of explanation, I’ve parented a camera to the group.
The bulb is on the right side, when looking through the camera, and the rest of the group projects from that to the left of it.
The right side, where the bulb is, is the origin of the flame and the engine blows out to the left - so use the bulb and the boundary of the group to place the effect where it belongs. Once you like where it’s positioned, performing a few test renders along the way, duplicate the whole group. To duplicate, either use: Edit > Duplicate, or Cntrl D
Move the duplicated group to the next engine. Rinse and repeat!

Start with that and I’ll try and check back tomorrow (Wed) to see what you have posted. I’m really excited about your project and hope that this helps - at least in some small way.

I couldn’t give you what I used in that video because that uses props from a product I bought - and then I added a glow channel to its shader. I think this fire should work for you though. If you don’t want as much flame, try scaling it down or vice versa if you need it bigger.
Cheers!

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Posted: 02 July 2013 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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nDelphi - 02 July 2013 01:42 PM

Thanks a lot guys.

Dartanbeck, I know what you mean, I have used the jet exhausts from some of the models I have purchased here on models that don’t bring one. Like for my Shuttlestars. But I want something different, something that looks like the type of exhaust shown in the Battlestar Galactica series. I believe the technique you guys explain here are what I am after.

Okay, after reading this, if you don’t like the flames in there, try just using the bulb. I removed any lens flare (from the download, above) so you won’t have that to contend with. Use the brightness of the bulb to create the effect simply by making a super-bright glow inside the output shroud of the engine.

Another technique is to use two bulbs next to each other in the same group with a spin modifier on the group. One bulb is super bright white and the other is super bright blue. The spin simply adds enough movement to the glow to make it appear as of the ejection is hot and searing.

If you need an example, or anything else… just say the word.

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Posted: 03 July 2013 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dartanbeck,

Thanks for all your help. When I get a chance myself I will jump back in and see how far I can get with the engines.

I downloaded the EngineGlow.car file.

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Posted: 03 July 2013 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Dartanbeck - 02 July 2013 01:08 PM

Steve K does very cool Carrara animations. When I get out of this stonework season a bit more - I’m planning a spotlight on some of his works. Carrara is an excellent animation tool. That’s what I bought it for. It’s a lot more fun than what I was anticipating!

EDITED - Had the wrong YouTube link.

<blush>  Thanks, Dartanbeck, and I agree animation in Carrara is a lot of fun.  Probably the most engrossing hobby I can imagine.

The original question about engine glow reminded me of a test I had made.  Here is a short video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUAB60jZGy0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUlMEK10oWdfqx6NaNAGJtFA

The YouTube video can look fuzzy for some reason, not sure if its my upload or web lag.  If you play it twice, it can look better.

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Posted: 03 July 2013 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Dartanbeck - 02 July 2013 11:14 PM

Start with that and I’ll try and check back tomorrow (Wed) to see what you have posted. I’m really excited about your project and hope that this helps - at least in some small way.

I played with them and got these results. This is what I am looking for, so they did the trick. All I have to do is figure out the best settings and colors to use.

 

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