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Earth-mars Cut Scenes


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#1 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:15 PM

As promised, here is the first of the movies for submission.

This zip file conains 2 divx encoded files. Watch the Earth one first and then the Mars one.

I will be uploading a wmv for those peeps that can't use divx as soon as I've re-encoded the file. Watch this space.

These aren't yet ready for external viewing, well not until the music is added anyway :)

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:53 AM.


#2 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:30 PM

Looks pretty good. Where is this going to be in the game? Personally I would love to see it as the cut scene when you launch the mission to Cydonia but I guess it doesn't really matter at this current minute :) I like tho.

#3 mamutas

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:39 PM

Why, oh, why you did not posted wmv version first? <_<

I agree with Jim that it should be a cut scene before Cydonia (from what i have heard about the movie).
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#4 Cmdr. Luke

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:45 PM

I tried it in Windows Media Player and it said that "The file may be formatted with an unsupported codec." :cussing: Too bad that I can't watch it. Sounds cool though. <_<

#5 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:48 PM

You need the DivX decoders. Do a search on Google.

#6 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:50 PM

Mammy, I'm trying to upload the wmv now but the forums are being a bit of a pain.

Jim, oops I forgot to say yes indeedy it is the Cydonia mission launch movie, hence my request for the music by Holst :)

Commander, its divx 5.05 encoded you need the divx5 codec pack from divx.com :)

#7 Cmdr. Luke

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:52 PM

Did the search, found it, but I don't have $80-90 off hand. Oh well. :sly:

#8 Cmdr. Luke

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:55 PM

Commander, its divx 5.05 encoded you need the divx5 codec pack from divx.com :)

Thanks man, I'm downloading it. :D

#9 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:00 PM

Did the search, found it, but I don't have $80-90 off hand.  Oh well. :sly:

?? http://www.divx.com/...ort/newbies.php
http://www.divx.com/divx/
All you need is the codec which is free. No cash involved.

#10 Cmdr. Luke

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:01 PM

:wub: Great movie. Perfect for the trip to Mars. Liked the way the camera didn't stick to one position on the craft(Avenger), and that it moved around it. Earth looks good too. :D

#11 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:05 PM

for now I can't get the zip or rar with the wmv uploaded (for whatever reason) sorry Mammy. I'll try again soon.

To whet everyone's appitite that can't download the movie here are some screenshots from it.

First up (and sorry to the 56kers) is the 3rd or 4th frame.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:55 AM.


#12 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:10 PM

The starfield is based off the tycho starfield maps from Nasa's jpl so they are pretty accurate. As you can see in this frame inbetween the Earth and the Avenger is the constellation Orion (my fave)

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:55 AM.


#13 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:13 PM

I must say that you have outdone yourself, Deimos.

Just one [minor] quibble though, Could you somehow indicate that the avenger is landing at cydonia? Maby have a faint outline of a face? Just an idea.

Further than that, it looks great.
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#14 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:15 PM

Thanks Commander, its good to know the months of research, actually learning to use the software and tweaking the maps has paid off :) I felt the camera had to move around otherwise it would look like a cheap computer animation, I wanted a more organic feel to the camera work. It wasn't easy to pull it off either, on Sunday I blew 8hrs of work because I messed up some settings and had to start again :cussing:

Next frame, I thought there should be some gratuitous sun flares in shot :) I kinda like the way the sun disapears behind the Avenger.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:55 AM.


#15 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:19 PM

Heh, Cpl F. I've been toying with the idea of having the Avenger do a pass of the cydonia site :) so I might well put it into a later revision after all.

Main engine burn for slingshot around the moon. Next stop, mars orbit :D

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:56 AM.


#16 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:21 PM

Lets get ready to ruuuuumble.

Deimos gets a flyby.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:56 AM.


#17 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:27 PM

Someone a while ago complained that in one of the Mars renders there was no sense of scale.

Another shot of the Avenger passing over Deimos. Yes that is the Avenger's shadow so you can guess how close it is :D

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:56 AM.


#18 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:31 PM

Phobos gets the barrel roll treatment.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:56 AM.


#19 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:33 PM

I'm gonna stick that Avenger where the sun don't shine ;)

Going down on Phobos

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:57 AM.


#20 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:35 PM

Oh did I forget to mention?

Iridium sheen in da house. Expect beauty passes of both the Avenger and Firestorm showing the effect off to the max. Coming to a forum near you soon.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:57 AM.


#21 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:42 PM

And finally for now "Mission to Mars".

Dunno why the Mars map looks pixillated. Just another of those annoying things to put in the fix list.

Before anyone says anything, I know Cydonia isn't anywhere near the canals but if you look on the movie the avenger ends up heading towards Olympia Mons with the intention of pulling the view round the dark side of Mars and going down near cydonia. See Cpl F I did toy with the idea :)

Next step will be to do a flyby of the Cydonia site, you made my mind up Cpl F. I'm sure we can spare an extra 15 seconds of animation.

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:57 AM.


#22 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:43 PM

I think I will notice the sheen once I actually see the avenger moving. (I probably didn't notice it the first time I looked. ^_^)
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#23 j'ordos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:45 PM

Sweet :)

Are Phobos and Deimos ( :rolleyes: ) that close together though? Seems like they're only 100 metres apart here? (ah, the eternal strugle between 'realism' and 'coolness' ^_^ )
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#24 Vaaish

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:47 PM

looking good, got that atmosphere effect down I see. suggestion would be to slow down some of the camera movement because it looks kinda like the camera is attached to a rubber band behind the avenger

#25 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:47 PM

Coolness wins everytime.
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#26 Cmdr. Luke

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:55 PM

looking good, got that atmosphere effect down I see. suggestion would  be to slow down some of the camera movement because it looks kinda like the camera is attached to a rubber band behind the avenger

What are you talking about? The camera work is great, I love how the sun dissapears behind the Avenger, and hello hello! The SHADOW of the Avenger just makes it look even more real. I also love how fast the Avenger is (Very realistic to X-COM 1) It proves that the Avenger can cross continents in seconds. You blink and it's gone! :blink: Great work.

#27 Deimos

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:01 PM

Vaaish, yeah I finally got it nailed :) The camera work will get damped somewhat as I've just found a way of doing just that. The toruble is that the camera target object at the moment is fixed but some more tweaking and I'm sure I can set up its own path and get the camera looking more 'steadycam' like.

Jordos, I'm afraid its the 'coolness' factor I've gone for as the distances between Deimos and Phobos are quite large and not really suitable for a 15 second anim. Though the Avenger is shifting pretty fast between the two they are indeed closer than 'real life'. Same for the distance between Phobos and Mars but again if I'd have used realistic distances over the timeframe of the anim, you wouldn't have seen either of the moons as the Avenger would have moved past waaay too quickly :)

#28 Vaaish

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 05:56 PM

Vaaish, yeah I finally got it nailed :) The camera work will get damped somewhat as I've just found a way of doing just that. The toruble is that the camera target object at the moment is fixed but some more tweaking and I'm sure I can set up its own path and get the camera looking more 'steadycam' like.

Jordos, I'm afraid its the 'coolness' factor I've gone for as the distances between Deimos and Phobos are quite large and not really suitable for a 15 second anim. Though the Avenger is shifting pretty fast between the two they are indeed closer than 'real life'. Same for the distance between Phobos and Mars but again if I'd have used realistic distances over the timeframe of the anim, you wouldn't have seen either of the moons as the Avenger would have moved past waaay too quickly :)

yeah if you do a spline based camera path and set up a camera target on a locator or nul object that is at the same place as the avenger it should help somewhat. Of course the only real final solution is to tweak it till it does exactally what you want. Another option is a multiple camera setup and the cut together the various camera views to make a seamless movie.

Edited by Vaaish, 14 October 2003 - 05:57 PM.


#29 fux0r666

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 08:17 PM

I like it. I like the size of the planets you portray. The dust being kicked off of phobos and the deimos were also nice touches.

I have a couple of points of constructive criticism I would like for you to hear out.

Have you played with differing amounts of ambient light? I think the smaller the more realistic for these purposes, but that is not necessarily better. Still, those scenes is 2001 where the dark portions of jupiter and other objects were invisible were very otherworldly and the contrast was quite visually stunning.

In frames where the avenger eclipses the sun I think it would be more dramatic if the avenger was silouetted- and the corona shone through or around it somehow... or the less oblique angles glinted from the sun behind it.

Some of the camera moves suggest that the avenger is rapidly changing speed, first slowing down dramatically and then speeding up. I gather it's to suggest the Avenger is powering up and then sprinting forward. Without debris or particle effects to make it seem like the avenger is still moving forward at a constant speed, one gets the slight impression that it's actually stalling out slightly.

I really like the frenetic camera moves when the avenger is seemingly narrowly missing phobos, but one gets the impression that phobos is quite small and that the moons are very close together. Astronomical distances and sizes and speeds are difficult to capture on film. I sympathize with you.

I kind of got the impression that I was watching it in fast forward aswell- not so much in the forward flight but in some of the camera moves. Maybe winamp speeds up the DiVX codec a bit. The way the camera moved around the avenger made me nauseous... and I'm not being critical or making some kind of hurtful metaphor. It actually gave me a bit of a headache and made me feel sick to my stomache. I'm not a squeemish guy, either. I used to fly small civil airplanes in my youth and negative g's are nothing to scoff at. I see that you are addressing this issue but I wanted to let you know just the same- incase others were experiencing or would experience the same physical effects.

Perhaps these things can't helped. I hope that in these criticisms you find the underlying courteousy and as respect that was intended.

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#30 Micah

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 09:51 PM

Nice job, Deimos. I agree with Fux about the avenger eclipsing the sun and making some kind of corona visible. The first time I watched it, I wasn't sure what happened to the sun :P

I don't know about it making you nauseous... I am terribly ill with a bad fever right now, puking my guts up all day and night, and it didn't make ME nauseous. Everybody's different, I guess :)

#31 Deimos

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 06:03 AM

Thanks for the indepth review Fux. The lighting as I'm sure you'll agree is probably one of the hardest things to get right. Not enough ambient illumination and all the detail is lost, too much and it looks washed out. I have played around with the lighting quite a bit, I thought (though not uber realistic) that as the Avenger is the centre of focus it should be well lit.

For the sun, which incidentally nearly caused more trouble than it was worth ;) I planned originally to have a sunflares visible as the craft went past like you guys said giving an eclipsing effect but as I still haven't got the lighting working as I would like its still w.i.p.

Another aspect of the lighting that hasn't been finished is the running lights. I haven't been able to animate the red and green wing lights yet either but I will address these when I figure it all out.

The early camera movement was indeed meant to signify that the Avenger was 'boosting' and snapping away to get the kind of speed needed for the (normally 9 months) journey to Mars. But like Fux says without something to show the movement, it would be difficult to believe the movement. I guess the problem for any space based movement is the lack of referencing to either a static object or some other means of showing the movement. Think maybe increasing the speed at which the Avenger goes away from the camera and past the moon will help there.

The Mars section of the movie also still needs quite a bit of tweaking and things adding in that I haven't included yet. Like the fact that the Avenger would be decellerating like a bullet hitting a wall and I wanted to place in the rear firing of the engines but that opened a whole new can of worms. Also as its slowing down so quickly I wanted to physically portray it having a tough time and the airframe shaking under the stresses to scrub off the enormous velocities.

Other than that the only thing I'm not 100% happy about is the final camera movement to show off the iridium sheen. Other than that I'm quite happy with the Mars side of the anim.

Possible things to add would be a takeoff sequence and of course the Cydonia landing. Maybe its possible (if in doubt ask a programmer) to have the music continuing onto the Equip screen after the cutscene has finished just to reinoforce that sense of impending doom the Mars music has? Maybe play the music track as a seperate item to the vid?

#32 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 07:18 AM

The early camera movement was indeed meant to signify that the Avenger was 'boosting' and snapping away to get the kind of speed needed for the (normally 9 months) journey to Mars.

The best way to go about this is to have the Avenger hang for a milisecond and then have a sound effect tht signifys it boosting, I don't think it is possible to do it realistically using just camera effects but with sound effects a lot more of what is going on will be obvious.

Edited by Jim69, 15 October 2003 - 07:21 AM.


#33 Breunor

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 09:04 AM

Deimos, let me know if you need the music, I have Holst's The Planets on CD. "Mars-Bringer of War" would be perfect!

#34 red knight

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 06:35 PM

I dont know, I find it way too fast and the glow of the sun should create a siluette of lighting. Did you try using volumetric light? maybe that can help... I like the idea of a very fast travel, as mentioned before you can add more particle effects. Excelent work overall...

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#35 fux0r666

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 08:50 PM

My monitor is really big and is very clear and at my eye level, about at just less than an arm's reach from my face(not bragging, it has a curviture like the edge of the earth). Maybe that had something to do with it.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#36 Deimos

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 08:50 AM

Breu, check out the music thread. Great minds think alike.

RK that is volumetric lighting. Particle effects are a p.i.t.a. as I'm still learning the program but I am trying.

#37 Deimos

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 09:39 AM

I've been working on tweaking the animation as suggested and woring on including the cydonia pass but there is still something missing from the movie.

I got to toying around with ideas again and I'm thinking that what's missing is a Earth based launch sequence and something to represent better the speed and distance the Avenger travels.

For the Earth based launch sequence the biggest question is where to launch from. Everybody has bases where they feel they have the best effect so having a set launch place would be difficult. The best way I've thought of is for every member interested to list where their main base resides and I'll use the location that gets the most votes. http://www.xcomufo.c...t=ST&f=3&t=2707 is the poll.

For the transition to Mars, I thought to represent the speed best and easiest would be to have the Avenger flash past the Asteroid belt. What do you guys think?

#38 j'ordos

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 10:14 AM

Launching: will the Avenger be seen taking off from the hangar? If so I think the safest terrain to use for around the base is temperate hilly/mountainous, as that sort of terrain exists both in North America and Europe, even Asia.
And since I think we can assume a large majority puts their first base in either NA or Europe, the easiest solution could be to show it taking off, and the next shot shows the earth as seen from Australia/South Pole or something like that, so you can't see Europe nor North America. Since spaceships always take off in the same direction of the earth's rotation to take advantage of it, the Avenger would appear on the same side of the globe whether it took off in NA or in Europe, so you don't have to show the player the exact location the Avenger takes off... if I am making any sense here :blink:
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#39 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 11:16 AM

I've been working on tweaking the animation as suggested and woring on including the cydonia pass but there is still something missing from the movie.

I got to toying around with ideas again and I'm thinking that what's missing is a Earth based launch sequence and something to represent better the speed and distance the Avenger travels.

For the Earth based launch sequence the biggest question is where to launch from. Everybody has bases where they feel they have the best effect so having a set launch place would be difficult. The best way I've thought of is for every member interested to list where their main base resides and I'll use the location that gets the most votes. http://www.xcomufo.c...t=ST&f=3&t=2707 is the poll.

For the transition to Mars, I thought to represent the speed best and easiest would be to have the Avenger flash past the Asteroid belt. What do you guys think?

Avenger trails should take their likeness from Homeworld, they look good even at distance ( and especially up close ) and are reletively easy to recreate I think.

#40 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 12:30 PM

I like the ones in homeworld 2. Those are really nice, but hw1's are good too. But would look good when applied to our avenger? I don't know...
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#41 Deimos

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 04:24 PM

Ok guys you've lost me on Homeworld can you point me to a site that shows what you're on about?

#42 j'ordos

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 04:25 PM

I think a google search will bring up more than enough material ^_^

trails like this:

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#43 Deimos

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 04:57 PM

Ah interesting. But aren't we using elerium powered ion style engines for our craft? They wouldn't leave a chemical trail like that. Don't worry about leaving trails I'm getting the camera work sorted now to better represent movement at speed. I won't need trails to show movement.

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 05:14 PM

Trails still look cool and that's all I care about :) Doesn't need explination, never seen any other game/film attempt to justify it in any way. Eye candy above comman sense I say.

#45 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 19 October 2003 - 07:11 PM

We could just say that the trails are gravity waves from the avenger's ion engines that are interacting with something (like space radiation or something) Just trying to justify why we could include nice engine trails.
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#46 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:05 AM

You could use the matrix/max payne bullet time effect coming out the engines, that would look cool and fit with that.

#47 Deimos

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 09:34 AM

Bloody heck, you don't want much do ya. :D

Matrix bullet trails aren't easy to do, I saw a tutorial on how to do them a few months ago, the process is quite a long one and the accompanying vid that went with it didn't look anywhere as good as the matrix or max payne ones. I think there's either a lot of post prod editing going on or that have access to some very custom plugins to make the game and movie ones look that good.

There are some very cool plugins that would very easily give rocket motor effects with smoke trails which could be converted to the above pic but and I guess its a big but, they cost arond $100 per plugin.

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:13 PM

A 3D cylinder that is translucient with a water type effect would work fine I think, add some glossyness to it and I think it would be what I am talking about. I guess I need a pic to show you what I mean.

#49 Breunor

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 01:45 PM

The Killer Bean has matrix shock waves in it, and is very fun/good to boot. jefflew.com has info on how he created the effect. You could have the craft shoot past the camera, and as the camera follows have a mirage/blur from the heated exhaust. True, there is no air to warp, but it still looks nice. :D I posted some other thoughts in your poll thread, it's much easier to say "do this" than to actually do it! We need to break into Universal Studios and get their opening animation scene for Star TrekTNG... cut and paste our craft in their... :devillaugh:

#50 Deimos

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 04:25 PM

The final sections of the animation are in post production :)

What that means is I have some more pics for you guys. This is all still WIP but I thought I'd fire some new ones up to show I am still doing something.

First up is a sort of overview pic. You won't see this in the final animation but I like it so I figured show it anyway.

EDIT: I've lightened the images a bit for viewing after Vaaish's worry that they were too dark. It is menat to be a night scene but for seeing the detail on the white background of the forum I've lightenend it :)

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Edited by Deimos, 13 March 2004 - 11:58 AM.