Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes

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  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,458
    edited December 1969

    Hey, you'd be surprised to learn that the tiny stuffs that make up light and other things actually cheat when we're not looking. We'll I'm twisting science a bit as it's seemingly only electrons that has this odd way of doing one thing when you look at it and doing another when you're not looking at it. By looking I mean recording data. But if you can't trust electrons you can't trust any of them I say. Hah, science is driving me mad trying to understand the concept of reality popping in and out of existence as needed. An illusion they say. It's all just smoke and mirrors. Kind of makes you giddy doesn't it? Lol.


    dragging quantum physics into the discussion? thats just playing dirty..

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Definitely an artist's impression. The very best we can do right now with our most powerful telescopes is detect tiny bobbles in a star's light when an orbiting planet passes in front of it. The next generation of space telescopes might be able to directly see a very large planet (much bigger than Jupiter) around a moderately close star, but actually imaging Earth-sized planets are definitely out for the foreseeable future.

    We'll just have to go there ourselves and look... ;-)

    Correct.
    Stars simply emit too much light - and most planets do not.
    As an experiment, use some sort of anti-gravity to hover a pea (no cheating and leaving it in the pod, either!) 2 to 4 inches away from a 120 watt incandescent light. Go several blocks away and turn around. Can you see the pea? If so, turn around and walk another mile.
    This isn't a fair experiment, because you would have to walk beyond the moon, perhaps beyond even Pluto before you'd be at the proper scale distance.

    While on the subject of light... I should probably keep this to myself, but...
    light does not, and can not bounce. Just sayin'.
    it reflects, refracts, travels, etc., but bouncing is one thing it cannot and will not do.
    Sorry. Just kick me later, okay?


    Bounced light is referring to reflected light and is just jargon, related to what we do here and photographic/video lighting. It's short hand, not physics.


    Now excuse me while I get my steel toed boots! They take a minute lace up.... :P

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I found this astrophysics forum which attempts to be purely science-based:
    http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    I've previously found some sci-fi astrophysics forums but they seem oddly biased towards a specific game or online world (so some made up science is allowed, while other made up science is frowned upon....). This one seems to be neutral -- although I found one scolding post when a person speculated about alien life and was told that was against their TOS, however many people stepped in to provide the best scientific answers they knew to try to keep it relevant for their forums.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    I found this astrophysics forum which attempts to be purely science-based:
    http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    I've previously found some sci-fi astrophysics forums but they seem oddly biased towards a specific game or online world (so some made up science is allowed, while other made up science is frowned upon....). This one seems to be neutral -- although I found one scolding post when a person speculated about alien life and was told that was against their TOS, however many people stepped in to provide the best scientific answers they knew to try to keep it relevant for their forums.


    Speculating about alien life would be against their TOS? That's weird. I can understand maybe if it's taken off into a UFO tangent, but with the recent articles speculating on the billions of probable planets in our galaxy alone, it makes more sense that there is life out there in some form than not.


    I feel a little guilty about not posting more space themed stuff recently, but my animation is taking longer than I thought due to the holidays, visiting family and subsequent flu.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,689
    edited December 1969

    Bounced light is referring to reflected light and is just jargon, related to what we do here and photographic/video lighting. It's short hand, not physics.


    Now excuse me while I get my steel toed boots! They take a minute lace up.... :P

    I know,
    Sometimes I listen to my retired astrophysicist friend too much.
    Here, I'll bend over while you kick! :shut:
  • CarltonMartinCarltonMartin Posts: 147
    edited December 1969

    I found this astrophysics forum which attempts to be purely science-based:
    http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    I've previously found some sci-fi astrophysics forums but they seem oddly biased towards a specific game or online world (so some made up science is allowed, while other made up science is frowned upon....). This one seems to be neutral -- although I found one scolding post when a person speculated about alien life and was told that was against their TOS, however many people stepped in to provide the best scientific answers they knew to try to keep it relevant for their forums.


    Speculating about alien life would be against their TOS? That's weird.

    Why? It's a physics form. Biology, xenobiology, would seem to be off-topic by definition, let alone TOS.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I found this astrophysics forum which attempts to be purely science-based:
    http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    I've previously found some sci-fi astrophysics forums but they seem oddly biased towards a specific game or online world (so some made up science is allowed, while other made up science is frowned upon....). This one seems to be neutral -- although I found one scolding post when a person speculated about alien life and was told that was against their TOS, however many people stepped in to provide the best scientific answers they knew to try to keep it relevant for their forums.


    Speculating about alien life would be against their TOS? That's weird.

    Why? It's a physics form. Biology, xenobiology, would seem to be off-topic by definition, let alone TOS.
    I didn't mean to make it sound like they are haters... Actually I liked it that they try to stay reality based....

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    I found this astrophysics forum which attempts to be purely science-based:
    http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    I've previously found some sci-fi astrophysics forums but they seem oddly biased towards a specific game or online world (so some made up science is allowed, while other made up science is frowned upon....). This one seems to be neutral -- although I found one scolding post when a person speculated about alien life and was told that was against their TOS, however many people stepped in to provide the best scientific answers they knew to try to keep it relevant for their forums.


    Speculating about alien life would be against their TOS? That's weird.

    Why? It's a physics form. Biology, xenobiology, would seem to be off-topic by definition, let alone TOS.


    I just meant that it's weird that it's actually written into the TOS. Admittedly it's all speculation when discussing alien life, but I would think physics would also play a role in what life would or could develop. Especially with the announcement of an exo-planet, larger- But not too much larger, orbiting in the so-called sweet spot around a stable star a "mere" twelve.something light years from earth.


    Remember, until this past year, the Higgs/Boson was also just speculation.


    Personally, I suspect it has more to do with keeping the tinfoil hat, UFO crowd at bay, than it does with xeno biology.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Holly, if you're still working on your space station concept that rings the Earth, I found and article that may be of interest. The first link has a cut-away image, the second has much more information:

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/01/international-space-station-set-to-receive-blow-up-extension/


    http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/nasa-drops-17-8-million-on-blowup-model-for-space-station/

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited January 2013

    I read inflatable and thought :bug: but I guess it is not necessarily "inflated" like a balloon without a frame or solid walls... It might be more like an expandable camper....

    Meanwhile, still working on my scifi epic...

    This is an animation test for one of my essential (to the plot) technologies: a "magnetic wave engine" for faster-than-light travel.... The electric halo is a Primivol cloud with a ripple modifier animated (and a taper modifier to shape it a little).... The ship was purchased on Rendo...

    I uploaded a video but it isn't playing smoothly for some reason... https://vimeo.com/57811249

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  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    This is an animation test for one of my essential (to the plot) technologies: a "magnetic wave engine" for faster-than-light travel.... The electric halo is a Primivol cloud with a ripple modifier animated (and a taper modifier to shape it a little).... The ship was purchased on Rendo...

    That is trippy! I really should check out Primivol - you definitely make it sing and dance!

    Besides my "Medusa At Sea" render (see "A New Hope" thread); I have been spending time in LightWave making a "sci-fi corridor." I'm kinda jazzed about that since it will be the first scene that is created entirely by yours truly.

    Gang, please don't hate me for not using Carrara! :coolcheese:

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Holly, that is pretty cool. I'll have to check out the animation later as I'm rendering and video gets very choppy when that happens.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I am finding this website to be very helpful. It has star maps that scale by order of magnitude (more or less)... My space opera hinges on an inequality of technology/resources, and I want the "geography" of the galaxy to be an interesting part of it (if it can be translated into a game, all the better).

    There are a lot of sub maps at different sizes hidden on the pages, with useful basic info like how many stars are within 50 light years of Earth, etc.

    ATLAS OF THE UNIVERSE
    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/index.html

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Watched your animation Holly. Very cool!


    Here's a test render I did after I installed lights in Shukky's space suit helmet for A3. Not a space scene as such, but an element I needed for an animation I'm working on.


    If interested, the whole suit is here:
    http://www.sharecg.com/v/32742/gallery/11/Poser/Shukkys-SpaceSuit-2-for-A3

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  • edited January 2013

    I read inflatable and thought :bug: but I guess it is not necessarily "inflated" like a balloon without a frame or solid walls... It might be more like an expandable camper....

    Actually it's more like a balloon than a camper. But it's not stretchy, so maybe more like a tire. The sides are layers of fabrics and membranes, and the air pressure provides all of the rigidity. (15 lbs per square inch makes it quite rigid.) The only truly rigid parts would be the docking adapters and central core.

    On some rockets, the limiting factor for this kind of cargo, (besides mass which gets rather expensive,) is the outside diameter of the rocket. The Bigelow module fixes that limit because it launches collapsed, maybe 8ft diameter to fit the rocket. Then release the air into the module, and it expands to 22ft diameter. So it can launch on a cheaper rocket. Also, it doesn't need to maintain it's tubular shape while supporting 5 times it's mass during launch.

    Once in space, air pressure provides all the compression strength it needs. The skin only needs to have tensile strength, insulation, and micrometeorite protection.

    Post edited by briandaz_3e696c2bd8 on
  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Micrometeorite and inflatable... Still gives me the willies....

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Maybe they use a Kevlar mesh for a layer? I used to work for a scissor company and we had a contract to produce scissors that could cut through Kevlar. Very specialized. We had to test cut every scissor on Kevlar.


    I later worked for a window and door manufacturer and one of my jobs was laying glass. I had to wear a Kevlar apron, Kevlar shoulder length gloves and sometimes Kevlar chaps. Very, very tough stuff. Pretty light as well. Not a very breathable fabric though. Didn't take long and the gloves would really turn on you. Phew!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Here's a sci-fi scene I did. It's not exactly in space, but I thought it might fit here. I need to work on the shaders for the pillars I think. They don't look weathered enough.


    I've uploaded the raw render, straight out of Carrara and a lightly post-worked render to add a DOF.

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  • edited December 1969

    Micrometeorite and inflatable... Still gives me the willies....

    Bigelow claims it's better at withstanding a micrometeorite than the "tin can" type space station. Maybe because it can give a little to absorb the impact? In any event, even a puncture would not cause a blow out. They would use materials that would not rip. So at most it should be a small hole that can be patched before all the air is lost. (unless the meteorite is big enough to lose the "micro" title, but you likely can see those coming, and dodge it.)
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I mentioned the Bad Astronomy blog here before as a source of incredible space images (often with excellent commentary on the astrophysics involved). But this particular link is great because I am pretty sure that we can see Dartanbeck and evil producer waving at us... :)

    Those cloud patterns might be interesting things to try to duplicate in Carrara...

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I mentioned the Bad Astronomy blog here before as a source of incredible space images (often with excellent commentary on the astrophysics involved). But this particular link is great because I am pretty sure that we can see Dartanbeck and evil producer waving at us... :)

    Those cloud patterns might be interesting things to try to duplicate in Carrara...


    Waves! Unfortunately the resolution isn't good enough to see me, so I marked off where I am (approximately).

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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    LOL!

    That cloud shot is AMAZING!!!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    Since the image is so hi-res, I've been contemplating an orbital rendering using it.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I am finally getting back into Carrara after an 8 month hiatus, and decided to finally grapple with some space scenes, when I saw this thread. I am building a number of fictional planets for a short film, and thought I should start by seeing how realistic an image of Earth I could create. (Logic being if I can create a decent Earth, other planets shouldn't be too hard!) Thought I'd share my progress.

    After a number of enhancements, I'm getting close. I build this Earth using 4 spheres: water as a base, land masses (land and night lights mixed) with water areas alpha'ed out, then atmosphere and clouds. I dug around on the internet to find the best images possible, and did some image editing to enhance the final render. I still have a few technical issues to work out with shading, but will begin working on several ideas for planets.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    JimDHart said:
    I am finally getting back into Carrara after an 8 month hiatus, and decided to finally grapple with some space scenes, when I saw this thread. I am building a number of fictional planets for a short film, and thought I should start by seeing how realistic an image of Earth I could create. (Logic being if I can create a decent Earth, other planets shouldn't be too hard!) Thought I'd share my progress.

    After a number of enhancements, I'm getting close. I build this Earth using 4 spheres: water as a base, land masses (land and night lights mixed) with water areas alpha'ed out, then atmosphere and clouds. I dug around on the internet to find the best images possible, and did some image editing to enhance the final render. I still have a few technical issues to work out with shading, but will begin working on several ideas for planets.


    It looks great so far. I wonder if you'd mind posting a closer render of a coastline if you have the time. I'm curious to see the effect of using separate layers/spheres for the water and land masses in a bit more detail.


    Nice lighting as well!

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    It looks great so far. I wonder if you'd mind posting a closer render of a coastline if you have the time. I'm curious to see the effect of using separate layers/spheres for the water and land masses in a bit more detail.


    Nice lighting as well!

    Sure.

    This image is over the East China sea, with Japan and Korea at the top, Vietnam/Cambodia peninsula in the bottom left. As you can see, while the landmass holds up well at this (and even closer) magnification, the clouds are at the limit before pixelation.

    Still working on ways to get more "fluff" in the clouds. Also, the coastline could be tweeked, but I refuse to spend the time fine tuning that (for now).

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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    JimDHart said:
    It looks great so far. I wonder if you'd mind posting a closer render of a coastline if you have the time. I'm curious to see the effect of using separate layers/spheres for the water and land masses in a bit more detail.


    Nice lighting as well!

    Sure.

    This image is over the East China sea, with Japan and Korea at the top, Vietnam/Cambodia peninsula in the bottom left. As you can see, while the landmass holds up well at this (and even closer) magnification, the clouds are at the limit before pixelation.

    Still working on ways to get more "fluff" in the clouds. Also, the coastline could be tweeked, but I refuse to spend the time fine tuning that (for now).
    I hit that issue too. The clouds max out at white and plateau....

    nice work! I think I would use a Multi shader mixer for land/ocean, but I read (from Fenric?) that multi-mixers take the longest to render because Carrara sends them through a series of steps... I don't remember the details but might be worth it for me to try separate land/ocean spheres, and see if it is much faster....

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,018
    edited December 1969

    I've been debating trying to come up with a displacement for the land masses. I was thinking it wouldn't be worth it from a whole world view, but maybe close-ups it could work.

  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I've been debating trying to come up with a displacement for the land masses. I was thinking it wouldn't be worth it from a whole world view, but maybe close-ups it could work.

    I'd be interested to hear how that goes. I didn't have much luck, but still learning.

    I made a number of tweaks to both clouds and landmass this morning. Here is the latest. Still lots to do to improve the model...

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  • FractalDimensiaFractalDimensia Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I hit that issue too. The clouds max out at white and plateau....

    nice work! I think I would use a Multi shader mixer for land/ocean, but I read (from Fenric?) that multi-mixers take the longest to render because Carrara sends them through a series of steps... I don't remember the details but might be worth it for me to try separate land/ocean spheres, and see if it is much faster....

    Holly, thanks for the feedback. I tried a multi-mixer but didn't find it any better than what I had already produced using the split method. Also, as I think ahead of creating liquid-based worlds, it seemed to split the objects, to give more flexibility in setting a "water level." I hope to have my first draft fictional planet sometime in the next week or so.

    Also, I came across an artist's rendering of a terra-formed Mars. I was also thinking about attempting that sometime soon....

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