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Old August 20th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #1
kageryu
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Default Colonial Space Marines - or not

A couple of semi-finished clips from a project I am working on. Setting these up was very time involved. Both of these short clips use figures, meshes, and props from various Daz3D sets.

This first one was compiled and layed out in Poser 4 Pro-Pack, and rendered out in Lightwave 7.5b via the Pro-Pack Lightwave module. This entire project was created, composed, and rendered on a Celeron 833 (yes, you read that right...did I mention it had only 512mb ram?).


This next one was composed and compiled initially in Poser 4 Pro-pack, then imported into Poser 7 for aditional fine tuning and rendering. Iy was rendered on a Celeron 2.86ghz machine (one of two that serve as my primary render farm...I will happily accept donations for newer equipment ) This one is unfinished, I still need to patch some pokethrough, and create some insignias and "armor fatigue" for his armor and pads.



and thanks again Fretslayer for showing me how to embed videos.

Last edited by kageryu; August 22nd, 2009 at 02:20 PM..
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

it looks awesome .. movement look smooth .. fretslayer would be a better judge than me.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Fretslayer is a jerk.
I wouldn't listen to anything that fool has to say.
Oh wait.
LOL!

O.K.
They look good to me.
I watched them a few times over at YouTube so I could go full screen on 'em.

I like the reflection in the chest armour of the 2nd guy and also the blinking lights off in the background. Its small details like that which bring a sense of 'life' to a scene and really sell it. IMO anyway.

The first one, the one rendered in Lightwave is really nice.
The camera work in that one rocks.
Plus you can see the difference in the render engines - There is something about the 1st clip that screams 'bad@ss with a gun!'

I have a question for you now.
I have Lightwave 9.3 and 9.6 (I still have my v.8 install somewhere in case I ever need it again) and I have Poser Pro & Poser Fusion. I'm supposed to be able to use my Poser/Daz content in Lightwave but I can't seem to figure out how. Since you obviously did, would you mind sharing that info with me? The closest I've gotten is I can make my P/D figures work in Max but all things being equal - I'd LOVE to be able to use my P/D content in Lightwave.

Nothing aginst 3DsMax but IMO Lightwave eats Max's render engine alive, spits it out, feeds it back to Max and then eats Max. :laugh:


Thanks Ger for the vote of confidence.
I'm not sure I deserve it though. LOL!
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Old August 21st, 2009, 08:00 PM   #4
kageryu
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretslayer View Post
I have a question for you now.
I have Lightwave 9.3 and 9.6 (I still have my v.8 install somewhere in case I ever need it again) and I have Poser Pro & Poser Fusion. I'm supposed to be able to use my Poser/Daz content in Lightwave but I can't seem to figure out how. Since you obviously did, would you mind sharing that info with me? The closest I've gotten is I can make my P/D figures work in Max but all things being equal - I'd LOVE to be able to use my P/D content in Lightwave.

Nothing aginst 3DsMax but IMO Lightwave eats Max's render engine alive, spits it out, feeds it back to Max and then eats Max. :laugh:


Thanks Ger for the vote of confidence.
I'm not sure I deserve it though. LOL!
Thank you for the kind words. I hope to have more to piece with these soon, though setting up the animation is painfully slow.

With Lightwave 9.6 and Poser Fusion I am honestly not certain. Though I will have Lightwave 9.6 within the next month, it will be some time before I have Poser Pro with Poser Fusion yet (several months at least). I can share what I did use though.

I am still clinging to an older version of Poser primarily for the Lightwave support. I still mainly use Poser 4 (aka Poser artist), with the Poser 4 Pro Pack extension. The Lightwave side of this set is a Lightwave Layout plugin (written for Lightwave 6, but it works 75% of the time in Lightwave 7.5). This plugin allows me to host a Poser .pz3 scene in Lightwave, and take full advantage of Lightwave render engine, texturing, lighting, and speed (it is much faster than the best of Raytrace settings on P7). The down side, is the PZ3 must be created in Poser first, and the movement of the figures, and morphs planned out in Poser. Once the PZ3 is ready, it can be loaded into Lightwave, where you will lose all Lighting information (may or may not be a big deal, once you realize not to waste time setting up lights in the Poser scene), as well as all camera movement (same as with the lighting). So once in Lightwave you will need to set up lights, camera movement and angles (which Lightwave has a far better camera system IMHO). The other downside is that you can not directly use .cr2, pz2, pp2, or other poser files in lightwave (you need to create PZ3 scenes).

The upside...and I think it is a fairly big upside in some respects, is that you can host multiple PZ3 files in lightwave simultaneously - thus combining several scenes/renders into a larger scene. Also Lightwave handles memory much better than any of the Posers I have used thus far, and can render far larger and more complex scenes.

It did take me a great deal of time to get Poser 4 Pro and Lightwave 7.5 working in harmony. Even now, occasionally, Lightwave will crash on load of a Poser scene (I believe it's the inherent instability in Poser personally). To add the Poser Lightwave plugin, simply open a new Lightwave session, select add plugins, and navigate to the location of this plugin. The Poser 4 Pro version is 1 file, and states "3 Plugins successfully added". I am not sure if it will work in Lightwave 9.x, but if Lightwave 9.x supports Legacy Plugins (Lightwave 6.5 and earlier) it should. Once the plugins are added, of course exit lightwave to save the cfg, then restart. Even now, though, to open a PZ3 file, when loading you must select "Show All File Types" or the pz3 files simply wont be listed as compatible. Once selected, it will take some time to process, load textures (some textures occasionally get lost or fail to load...another side effect), then everything will disply in Lightwave.

One very important note - Though Lightwave creates .lwo files in a directory for PZ3 scenes, and you can alter the textures and attributes of these figures in lightwave, do not save the .lwo objects back out. Instead set lightwave up to save surface attributes with the scene data on a surface by surface basis (instead of global surfacing). When lightwave saves the LWO files, it alters the point/polygon order, which causes the Poser deformation plugin to crash horribly.

Once I do have both Lightwave 9.x and Poser Fusion, I intend to devote a great deal of time to getting them to work together, and then I should have some very specific answers on how that is done. I also intend to test the P4 Pro plugin in Lightwave 9.x as sonn as 9.x arrives here. In any event I hope this information is somewhat helpful.

Last edited by kageryu; August 21st, 2009 at 08:05 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Ok, this isn't exactly directly related to this project, but it is an effects test for a large space battle sequence this project will involve. I am experimenting with using After Effects more heavily, not just for compositing, but for animation and effects.

This is a test of a series of post-production compositing effects in Adobe Premiere 6. I have combined numerous effects available in various tutorials, customized many to work with AE6, and added my own enhancements and flourishes. This sequence is in the style of classic '70s and '80s TV when lasers would explode in the distance. The only 3D Rendered element is the Starfighter, the fragments and all effects are done with AE6. Draconian Marauder courtesy of Vanishing Point, Explosions courtesy of Detonation Films. I can still add a few enhancements to this yet, but feel this is a great first run test.

Thinking of doing a Cyclon/Viper dogfight with these effects and posting at Colonnial Fleets.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
Fretslayer
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

There is only one thing I can think of that I'd do differently... On the background/starfield I'd set a position & scale point for the 1st frame. Then on the final frame I'd move the background over a bit to the right and scale it up just a bit.

This will give the illusion that ship is moving through space and also making a hard turn to the left. I used a similar effect in my Trek warp engine scene.

I love the AE shatter you have on it. Bonus points!
I have such a difficult time getting that effect to work that most of the time I just use a 'mesh bomb' on the model and use that for my ship explosions.

Speaking of explosions - check out www.artbeats.com - they have some really cool explosions there too. Plus, there's a 30 day demo for 'Particle Illusion' available as well. http://www.wondertouch.com/ I use the PI explosions along with real ones and I get some pretty solid results. PI isn't all that great on it's own but it makes a fantastic sweetener for explosions.


Since you have After Effects, I'll tell ya this much - you can never (ever) go wrong with Andrew Kramer's 'Action Essentials' and 'Action Essentials 2' available over at http://www.videocopilot.net/ <--- they also have some excellent video tuts on AE effects.

All in all I think its nice job!

:thumbup:
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 02:18 PM   #7
kageryu
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

I am glad you like it. The next test will involve several fighters in a dogfight...Top Gun style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretslayer View Post
There is only one thing I can think of that I'd do differently... On the background/starfield I'd set a position & scale point for the 1st frame. Then on the final frame I'd move the background over a bit to the right and scale it up just a bit.
I was actually planning something like this for the next revision, along with adding light to the lasers and explosions, etc. I was just in a hurry to compile a preview for now :laugh:


Quote:
I love the AE shatter you have on it. Bonus points!
I have such a difficult time getting that effect to work that most of the time I just use a 'mesh bomb' on the model and use that for my ship explosions.
It's actual a double layer with 2 different sets of shatters. One larger with more extrusion using the glass texture, and a smaller one with little extrusion using the Triangle and Squares textures. This gives a more uneven breakup to the debris, and a wider range of parts. I needed a faster way to produce shatters than to make mesh fragments for all the different ships I want, and by changing a few parameters and the explosion footage in a project like this I can make hundreads of varried ship explosions.
If I were any good at making youtube tutorials I'd make one for this once it's done.

Quote:
Since you have After Effects, I'll tell ya this much - you can never (ever) go wrong with Andrew Kramer's 'Action Essentials' and 'Action Essentials 2' available over at http://www.videocopilot.net/ <--- they also have some excellent video tuts on AE effects.
Yup, I used a few of the tutorials there for inspiration (particularly the dead planet explosion).
The lasers were really tricky, as all of the tutorials used plugins from CS3 and up, which I do not have (no cyclinders for me). I am still not happy with their shape, but they work for now.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 02:44 PM   #8
Fretslayer
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

I cheat on my lasers. LOL!
I use Andrew Kramer's lightsaber v.2 and just change their color perspective settings.
LOL!

One big question on the shatter (by the way, I like the 2nd layer of triangles it adds a lot to the glass shatter) - how in the heck do you get it to wait until frame X to shatter?

I can't seem to figure that out.
It's one of the reasons I don't use it as often as I should.
Oh, and really - check out the Particle Illusion stuff. I'm sure you'll find some uses for it.
In fact, on the computer screens I'm doing for that Trek conversion... Some of the them are made with PI. They also have fantastic Trek 'beaming' effects.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:45 PM   #9
kageryu
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretslayer View Post
One big question on the shatter (by the way, I like the 2nd layer of triangles it adds a lot to the glass shatter) - how in the heck do you get it to wait until frame X to shatter?

I can't seem to figure that out.
It's one of the reasons I don't use it as often as I should.
Ah, I was having trouble with this too at first (I kept adjusting the forces, strengths, etc, and none of that worked). I had to watch that "dead planet" tutorial a few times before I actually caught what I missed -
In the shatter effect, animate the Radius of the effect, set keyframes with 0 radius up until the frame you want it to start. Then ramp the radius up to what you need.

I am also thinking of generating some "Random Debris Clouds" for my matted stock footage effects library, and mixing a layer of them in some of these explosions. It's pretty easy to model extruded aircraft style frameworks and panneling in Lightwave, and hoses, egine bits, etc... (I am already amassing a library of Sky Backgrounds, Overlays, HUD effects, and I am starting work on a variety of digitally generated explosion sequences). This is all groundwork for so many projects I have planned.

Quote:
Oh, and really - check out the Particle Illusion stuff. I'm sure you'll find some uses for it.
In fact, on the computer screens I'm doing for that Trek conversion... Some of the them are made with PI. They also have fantastic Trek 'beaming' effects.
Given my finances were just exhausted on LW 9.6 and a whole lot of Daz3D content for this project I am hoping to get backed, It will be some time before I can hope to pick up any plugins or additional programs.

Last edited by kageryu; August 22nd, 2009 at 09:51 PM..
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 10:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

I know how the finances thing goes. LOL!
I killed my wallet getting my hands on my Adobe Master Collection.

That thing with the shatter makes a ton of sense.
I had planned (and still do) on watching the dead planet tut but just haven't gotten around to it.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 10:16 PM   #11
kageryu
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretslayer View Post
I know how the finances thing goes. LOL!
I killed my wallet getting my hands on my Adobe Master Collection.

That thing with the shatter makes a ton of sense.
I had planned (and still do) on watching the dead planet tut but just haven't gotten around to it.
It was among the first I watched, as I not only have been looking for faster ways to create numerous animated planets, but very much plan for a planet to "die" in this marine project - Only when watching it to find out it uses a plugin not included in my version of After Effects (I might be able to fudge something together the way I am doing with the lasers).
After I acquire Poser Pro (probably around cristmas time the way things are going), an update to After Effects is next on my list - some of the new effects and tools I simply must have.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 03:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Ok, revised starfighter pass:
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

The shatter effect is pure evil!
Nice engine glow too.

I might have a solution for your dying planet.
Over at www.foundation3d.com there is an awesome ViperMK1 available for download.
It comes with a planet that seems to be more of a strange lighting effect than a solid sphere. Maybe it can help you with the planet effect you're going for.

Here's the link.
http://www.foundation3d.com/index.ph...&p13_fileid=98

You have to be a member there (its free) to download though.
I figure that since you use LWO you already know this. LOL!
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 05:20 PM   #14
kageryu
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretslayer View Post
The shatter effect is pure evil!
Nice engine glow too.

I might have a solution for your dying planet.
Over at www.foundation3d.com there is an awesome ViperMK1 available for download.
It comes with a planet that seems to be more of a strange lighting effect than a solid sphere. Maybe it can help you with the planet effect you're going for.

Here's the link.
http://www.foundation3d.com/index.ph...&p13_fileid=98

You have to be a member there (its free) to download though.
I figure that since you use LWO you already know this. LOL!
I used to be a member when they were Lightwave Groups, but never switched when they moved to foundation. Though about it a few times, but every time I visit the new site, it feels so...sterile. Something about it's layout and organisation just disagree with me for some reason. I'll check it out again though.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 06:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

I know what you mean.
I too am a hold over from the LWG website.

Although, I must say this... If you do go there and prowl the forums you're going to see more than a few familiar names.

I've posted some stuff there and the ppl are way cool and really helpful.
I'd give it another go.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Yup, I miss LWG. I signed up for Foundation though, gotta have that Landmaster mesh )

I am hoping to have enough clips to compile a short demo sequence in AMV format soon (I am setting it to Queen's "Hammer to fall").
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Watching the fighter fly-by I could hear the "blaster" sound effect so often used in Glen Larson productions (BSG:TOS, Buck Rogers). Smooth animation.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Colonial Space Marines - or not

Welcome aboard Cougashika
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