Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    de3an said:
    Flash Gordon punches his way through the ring-plane!
    Seems like Flash's solutions often involved punching.

    Five layers composited in Photoshop.
    One layer using Bullet physics to punch spaceship through the foreground ring objects.
    Second layer, background ring objects.
    Third layer, planet object.
    Fourth and fifth layers, star and nebula background images.

    Please click the image to see it full size.

    Perhaps some motion blur on the particles (a lot of it) and a tad on the ship might make things a bit more dynamic. Right now it looks very static.

    Flash is (was) all about OOMPH !! So I'd give it a lot more dynamism.

    Oh, and I just realized that what I thought was a long spaceship actually has a bunch of rocket exhaust behind it that seems at first glance like just an extension of the body. Maybe give it a bright orange glow, or if you want to make it like the old TV shows, maybe some transparent smoke with some depth to it. And of course you should add the thin wires holding the ship up....


    Well, if you're going by the old serials, then instead of a bright orange glow it should be a bright black and white glow! ;-)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    I was going to post this last night, but DAZ's website was acting up for me. Lots of script and preference error logs would come up.


    Anyway, it's sightly off topic, but since it's a satellite image I figured it was close enough.


    The first image is a satellite image of my place (via Google Maps) from a satellite pass overhead last fall, probably early October.


    The next image is my place from a satellite pass from Friday 12/21/2012 after the blizzard that swept the mid-west. I hope you can see the subtle details, what with the forum's image compression. ;-)

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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    :gulp: So opening a cross country ski resort then?

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Actually it wasn't that bad here, more south towards Madison, they had areas where they received 12" to 18" of snow. I figured I'd make a bad joke.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    It is 9 Celsius in Irving, TX and the high is forecast to be 19 -- which I will happily accept at the end of December after three decades in Canada... ;)

  • de3ande3an Posts: 783
    edited December 1969

    Here's a second version with a little motion blur and brighter exhaust smoke. Both effects can be hard to get right, so I'm not sure if I like this one better, or not.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    The first image is a satellite image of my place (via Google Maps) from a satellite pass overhead last fall, probably early October.


    The next image is my place from a satellite pass from Friday 12/21/2012 after the blizzard that swept the mid-west. I hope you can see the subtle details, what with the forum's image compression. ;-)


    ROTFFLMFAO!!!!
    That's awesome!
    Yeah, it's all white here, too!

    Also, that Flash Gordon sure is an animal, huh!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    It is 9 Celsius in Irving, TX and the high is forecast to be 19 -- which I will happily accept at the end of December after three decades in Canada... ;)


    You Canadians and your metrics... Hah!

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    It is 9 Celsius in Irving, TX and the high is forecast to be 19 -- which I will happily accept at the end of December after three decades in Canada... ;)


    You Canadians and your metrics... Hah!

    Being a stone's throw from Canada yourself, I would think that the metric system might have snuck into your world. :)

    Do you have any Tim Horton's coffee/doughnut shops around there? They have actually been an American company now for about 25 years.

    Okay...back on topic...space...it's big. Seriously; some decent pictures that might make for great backdrops are occasionally posted by Phil Plait at: Bad Astronomy

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for that link, I'm checking it out now!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 2012

    To return the favor to Garstor, here's a link that may be very helpful.

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/index.html


    I'm checking out the models and textures at the moment.


    Edited to add link to usage rights and restrictions:
    http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    To return the favor to Garstor, here's a link that may be very helpful.

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/index.html


    I'm checking out the models and textures at the moment.


    Edited to add link to usage rights and restrictions:
    http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html

    Bookmarked! Those are very cool! This is nudging me ever closer toward trying out a space scene of my own.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Hmmmm... The high res space shuttle model has some serious UV mapping issues. I'm going to have to work on that one for awhile. The launch gantry on the hand seems pretty straight forward. Haven't checked out the other ones yet.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Here's an updated picture I had done awhile ago. I've updated the lighting and the shaders. The criticism for the original image that I agreed with was the shading on the front dome. I've fixed the dome's shading by changing the color, translucency, noise, etc. etc. The other criticism was about the clouds and light falloff. While I can see the points made, I decided I liked what I had and decided not to mess with it.


    The image is of the Cygnus, the ship from the movie The Black Hole. The scene is supposed to be evocative of when the ship is entering the black hole or it's event horizon. The lower left corner I left pure black because that's supposed to signify the black hole's -umm- hole.


    I'm posting this one, because there's a couple things I wish to illustrate (however imperfectly):

    1) Just because it's in space, doesn't mean it has to be a static star field.

    2) Scene lights are important, but so are other lights. In this case, the lights on and in the ship provide drama.

    mealstrom.jpg
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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited January 2013

    Had to search to find this thread again....

    Been working on my planet's textures... It is suffering from "continentalism" (too much connected land), but I did so much work on it that I don't feel like tearing it apart just yet...

    Based on my earth reference a few pages back, I've added algae beds around the coasts, as well as variation in the brightness of the deep ocean... Most of the textures are based around DCG's Space3D shaders from EnhanceC. I like the way you can stack them up and they have a consistent pattern (as long as you keep them at the same scale), and you can add and take away detail.... So the cloud swirls actually follow the coastline....

    There are two temperate green belts, and a large desert around the equator... I didn't get very realistic with the bump, but I did attempt to put in some rivers using the Wires shader and Perturbance (from Veloute).... It sort of works, but I have some loop rivers (moats?) LOL.

    It's suppose to have a lot of storms... and I want it to look stylized, not entirely realistic, but leaning towards realistic...

    Anyway, about 3 days work and a LOT of experimenting, so next time I might know a little more and try to plan smarter as I go....

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    Post edited by wetcircuit on
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Been working on my planet's textures... It is suffering from "continentalism" (too much connected land), but I did so much work on it that I don't feel like tearing it apart just yet...

    Nice! I'm on the fence about the "continentalism." Yeah...I can see it; but on the other hand, I think the clouds can serve to break-up the land.

    Most of the textures are based around DCG's Space3D shaders from EnhanceC. I like the way you can stack them up and they have a consistent pattern (as long as you keep them at the same scale), and you can add and take away detail.... So the cloud swirls actually follow the coastline....

    Dang...I have got to buy me some DCG stuff soon. I actually found Carrara through a DCG banner ad...so I kinda owe him. ;)

    Looking really good though Holly. I'd be interested to see what you end up with.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Damn Holly... I mean... Damn!

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Posts: 365
    edited December 1969

    Why's everyone struggling to make rings? It's really easy man. Just open the Saturn scene in your Scenes tab! %-P

    Of course I'm sure you guys knew it was there but find it inferior for your purposes...

    (I'm kidding! Sheesh...)

    saturn.jpg
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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Well, I'm done tweaking and am officially walking away (for a while). I'm finally pretty happy with the quality of the clouds but I sort of want the planet to be "brighter"... Can't seem to get it any whiter though without blowing out the bump detail in the cloud layer....

    Clickity for bigbig

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Why's everyone struggling to make rings? It's really easy man. Just open the Saturn scene in your Scenes tab! %-P

    Of course I'm sure you guys knew it was there but find it inferior for your purposes...

    (I'm kidding! Sheesh...)


    Yep! New it was there. The problem with the Saturn model, is that if you want a ringed planet that's not Saturn, it won't work. ;-) It's just too recognizable.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Well, I'm done tweaking and am officially walking away (for a while). I'm finally pretty happy with the quality of the clouds but I sort of want the planet to be "brighter"... Can't seem to get it any whiter though without blowing out the bump detail in the cloud layer....

    Clickity for bigbig


    That looks really good Holly! I really like what you've done with the coastlines. If you decide to tackle fjords I think Slartibartfast may have some competition!

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Posts: 365
    edited December 1969

    Why's everyone struggling to make rings? It's really easy man. Just open the Saturn scene in your Scenes tab! %-P

    Of course I'm sure you guys knew it was there but find it inferior for your purposes...

    (I'm kidding! Sheesh...)


    Yep! New it was there. The problem with the Saturn model, is that if you want a ringed planet that's not Saturn, it won't work. ;-) It's just too recognizable.

    True, there can only be one Saturn. But I meant you could maybe look at it to see how they did it and then do the same. Or something. I need coffee! :smirk:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Why's everyone struggling to make rings? It's really easy man. Just open the Saturn scene in your Scenes tab! %-P

    Of course I'm sure you guys knew it was there but find it inferior for your purposes...

    (I'm kidding! Sheesh...)


    Yep! New it was there. The problem with the Saturn model, is that if you want a ringed planet that's not Saturn, it won't work. ;-) It's just too recognizable.

    True, there can only be one Saturn. But I meant you could maybe look at it to see how they did it and then do the same. Or something. I need coffee! :smirk:


    That's cool. I always tell people to pick apart the models and shaders they like to see how they're done. My idea was different. I wanted to get right into the rings and see what makes them.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    The saturn model has weird rings. Anyone figured out how they were mapped?

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited January 2013

    It's been awhile since I looked. I know the model's been included since C5, as that's when I migrated from Raydream to Carrara and one of my first attempts at an animated Carrara space scene used it.

    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Holly, I forgot to ask, what did you use for the background in your space scene? I feel that also goes a long way to the overall effect, and it's something I struggle with sometimes. Do I want to be lazy and use a basic star field, or do I want to try and get a more dynamic, Babylon 5 look, with nebulas and stuff? I tend to opt for the lazy in animations, as it renders pretty fast using a plain star field.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Holly, I forgot to ask, what did you use for the background in your space scene?

    It is a suite of space-themed photoshop plugins from Flaming Pear: Glitterato, Lunacel, and Solarcel. I was going to recommend them before in this thread, but hesitated because they aren't really "Carrara".

    Glitterato is a starfield/nebula generator:
    http://flamingpear.com/glitterato.html

    But Lunercel is actually REALLY amazing:
    http://flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html
    It can render out a full planet ready to composite, or all the maps (bump, spec, water/land) to build your planet in 3D.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Why's everyone struggling to make rings? It's really easy man. Just open the Saturn scene in your Scenes tab! %-P

    Of course I'm sure you guys knew it was there but find it inferior for your purposes...

    (I'm kidding! Sheesh...)

    That is actually a very high resolution image of Saturn, compared to anything you'll get from the ground. My little Criterion RV6 telescope gives a more pleasing view of Saturn than what one gets from our observatory's big 14", but I still don't get quite that good of res.... Blows me away to look at it though... I love my RV6!
    (but use it mostly for hunting deep sky objects, like nebulae, star clusters and galaxies)
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,900
    edited December 1969

    Holly, I forgot to ask, what did you use for the background in your space scene?

    It is a suite of space-themed photoshop plugins from Flaming Pear: Glitterato, Lunacel, and Solarcel. I was going to recommend them before in this thread, but hesitated because they aren't really "Carrara".

    Glitterato is a starfield/nebula generator:
    http://flamingpear.com/glitterato.html

    But Lunercel is actually REALLY amazing:
    http://flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html
    It can render out a full planet ready to composite, or all the maps (bump, spec, water/land) to build your planet in 3D.


    Thanks Holly. Those look pretty cool and seem reasonably priced in the bundles.

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Posts: 365
    edited December 1969

    Here's a render of earth I played with. I'm still trying to figure out what does what in Carrara but I think this came out decent. Sort of. Lol.

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