My Battlestar Project

nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

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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Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    At about 4:00 through this video, you can see my use of Starry Sky and engine glows.

  • Steve KSteve K Posts: 926
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • Steve KSteve K Posts: 926
    edited December 1969

    Woops, I posted before I saw Dartanbeck's posts, they look good, too.

    B-}

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    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!

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    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.

  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    nDelphi said:
    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.

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    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)?

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited July 2013

    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.

    Post edited by nDelphi on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    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!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    nDelphi said:
    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.

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited July 2013

    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.

    Post edited by nDelphi on
  • Steve KSteve K Posts: 926
    edited July 2013

    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.

    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.

    Post edited by Steve K on
  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited July 2013


    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.

    Exhaust_3.jpg
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    Exhaust_2.jpg
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    Exhaust_1.jpg
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    Post edited by nDelphi on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    Cool! The flames (in the download) where blue though, right?

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    Cool! The flames (in the download) where blue though, right?

    Yes, they are. I was just messing with the colors trying to get that bright spark, Battlestar Galactica look.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    Looks great!
    My buddy Garstor gives me crap 'cause I'm a huge BSG fan of that newer era - where he is still true to his roots with the Lorne Green series. I do like them both! Not like I have too much Space sagas for me to watch! But I really love the four season set with the supporting movies. And then to find out that Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix are really Cylons! Okay - kinda kidding about that last - but it sure seems that way, since they both did versions of the song that awakened the final models.
    Okay - that's it. Tonight I'm starting with the two-part pilot and watching that series again!

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited July 2013


    Okay - that's it. Tonight I'm starting with the two-part pilot and watching that series again!

    Hey, you should look into Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012), if you haven't seen it. Master Chief is bad-ass and they show him as a soldier that hasn't lost any of his humanity, and you see this more so by the way he treats the Cadets. If they ever continue live action movies I hope they never change his character. I have watched it about four-times already. :)

    Post edited by nDelphi on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    Sounds like this is a Movie? A Halo Movie?
    Never played the game - 'cause I don't game much at all. But I love watching stuff! Now I have yet another reason to go shopping at Amazon!
    Say, have you seen the new BSG? "Blood and Chrome" I think it's called?
    I saw a few samples online - looks cool! It's during the big Cylon War with humanity back when Adama (Will) was a young pilot!

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    Sounds like this is a Movie? A Halo Movie?
    Never played the game - 'cause I don't game much at all. But I love watching stuff! Now I have yet another reason to go shopping at Amazon!
    Say, have you seen the new BSG? "Blood and Chrome" I think it's called?
    I saw a few samples online - looks cool! It's during the big Cylon War with humanity back when Adama (Will) was a young pilot!

    Yes, it's a Halo live action movie (well, the last half is action, the beginning is character development), it was a web-cast as was Blood and Chrome, which I have also seen. I enjoyed that, too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_4:_Forward_Unto_Dawn

  • shumphryshumphry Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    nDelphi said:

    Okay - that's it. Tonight I'm starting with the two-part pilot and watching that series again!

    Hey, you should look into Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012), if you haven't seen it. Master Chief is bad-ass and doesn't loose any of his humanity, and you see this more so by the way he treats the Cadets. If they ever continue live action movies I hope they never change his character. I have watched it about four-times already. :)

    Great movie, I've watched it twice and now that it's been mentioned I might need to watch it again.

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    This is what I finally decided to keep them at. What do you think?

    Exhaust_4.jpg
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    Exhaust_3.jpg
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    Exhaust_2.jpg
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    Exhaust_1.jpg
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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    Very cool. I can add it to my Amazon cloud for only 5.99! Still have to wait as I've just spent my allowance on those face morphs

    Say, on the subject of watching movies, have you seen the Ultramarines movie for Warhammer 40k? I think they did an outstanding job - and is kind of like the resolution of realism that I'm going for in my movie series.
    Aside from that, I am an avid Star Wars - The Clone Wars fan. It's an animated series which is now coming to its close soon on Cartoon Network. It's a bummer that it has to end - but George gave us every bit plus more than what he initially promised - and then some. The news of the end of Clone Wars was softened by the news that full production movies for Episodes 7, 8, and 9 are under way. But still... I like the animated half hour series almost better than the movies as it can span over much greater distance - and it's darker and less family-oriented, it seems. Well I've just seen an update that the Clone Wars Director and his team was just given a new job: Rebels. Rebels is going to be a new animated series, I think for Cartoon Network again(?), which takes place between episodes III and IV - so that will be seeing the life and times of Darth Vader, probably, as well as some of what Obi Wan has been up to while in exile. The Dark Times, as Obi Wan calls it in episode IV.

    The Clone Wars, if you haven't seen it, looks to be really low res at first glance. But they really pull of a great show. The textures on the models has a dirty, hand-painted 'washed' and 'stroked' appearance that I really like - which is one of my big reasons for picking up Project Dogwaffle Pro: Howler. I'm thinking of possibly using the templates for the various figures I use and hand painting the textures in Dogwaffle. I may also then render out the very outer surroundings of my many scenes that I have saved, and hand-painting on those to make 360 degree background maps with a soft, hand painted and somewhat washed out look to them - which will really aid in giving depth and distance to my films. I have come such a long way since I've made the test render movie that I linked to in that first post I made in this thread. I'm really getting the urge to just dive in and start production. But alas. I must fight that urge and continue preparing my assets. I am also going to be composing the score for the series. I have made what I think might be the main title theme - which will have underlying hints of throughout much of the rest of the score. Like there's this really intense drum part that signifies action of the bad guys, but can also work well as a dramatic lead into for intense action from the heroes as well - just a blurt of the drums once - then stop. When the action truly takes off, then lead in from the jamming violin section will build quickly, while this screaming electric guitar riff rocks the very beginning of the actual theme - which then takes over - but has elements from all of those within it at times. I'm really quite happy with the music so far.

    The latest animations have really been nice, too. Nobody, not even my wife, has seen those yet. So, again... I'm really excited to get the production under way - which will begin with my Wife and I recording our voices acting out the script. I have a few people lined up if I need them - but I'm hoping that this is something that Rosie and I can handle on our own.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited December 1969

    nDelphi said:
    This is what I finally decided to keep them at. What do you think?
    Wow! I'm typing away... all that junk above, and look what I see after hitting the 'Submit' button!!!
    That's Perfect! Don't you think?

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    nDelphi said:
    This is what I finally decided to keep them at. What do you think?
    Wow! I'm typing away... all that junk above, and look what I see after hitting the 'Submit' button!!!
    That's Perfect! Don't you think?

    Yeah, I liked it more than my previous settings attempts. I think I will leave it there. Thanks for the prop!

    I lost track of the Clone Wars when I canceled my Cable. I should look into it again.

    I haven't seen Ultramarines for Warhammer 40K. I will look it up and see what it is all about.

    No.not junk. I am hooked. Your project sounds awesome. I can only hope I can start working on something like that one of these days. You seem to be really putting a lot into it, musical scores and all. I too have been working on a graphic novel, you can see some of the characters in it as toon renders on my blog, but I still have a lot to do.

    Characters like this one:

    Cyborg_Model_4_-_Cartoon_2.jpg
    900 x 900 - 57K
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,942
    edited July 2013

    That is SO Cool!! I love that character image!
    The "WTF?!!!" pose and the excellent setting on the render is outstanding work!
    Ultramarines is a representation of a very sinister plot revolving around a squad of tough Space Marines from the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop miniatures war game. "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!" by Games Workshop. Don't know if you're familiar. Not happy with their new "Finecast" models with multitudes of imperfection at a high price, I've been modeling my own Eldar force using their "Green Stuff" epoxy putty and some of their plastic Eldar models to build off of and use for enhancement parts. My Swooping Hawks, Striking Scorpions, Farseer/Warlock six man HQ squad EDIT: on jetbikes!!! are all allowed as 'playable as official models' due to them looking so much like they're supposed to. Modeling with my hands has been something I've always been good at - especially female humans and dragons. I never keep any though. Eventually some deserving soul comes along and I give it to them. Nearing 50, I think I'll start asking for a trade for the most part.

    I began playing drums for money in bars when I was 14. Never stopped. Just a hobby, it's a passion that I'll likely never shake. I'm invited into a nearby city's symphonic orchestra as a drummer/percussionist, but I can't find the time due to my rock and roll band - so there might be a slight change in how I fulfill that part of my destiny remains uncertain. Cloudy by the Dark Side, uncertain, the future is.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,576
    edited December 1969

    Here's a link to engines firing on the Cygnus from the movie, The Black Hole.
    http://youtu.be/_SAQReh0ZYk

    To answer your question/concern about the lens flares not scaling down as the ship moves away from the camera, you can keyframe the scale. In the first frame, go into the lens flare control panel and adjust the the scale of the effect to where you want it. Click Okay. Go to the end of the timeline and edit the lens flare to reduce the effect's scale. To see a bigger preview in the edit window, drag the lower right corner of the window out to increase the size and refresh the preview.

  • nDelphinDelphi Posts: 826
    edited December 1969

    Hmmm.... never thought about reducing the lens flare as the ship moves away. I wouldn't have known how to do that anyway. Thanks for the tip.

  • RichardChaosRichardChaos Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    you may find my F4 After burner EXHAUST interesting. here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq7Faq6mMtc

    No reason one could not alter the color to give one an outer-space look!

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