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#1 Deimos

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 12:09 PM

This is my learning project for Blender or more possibly, Gmax.

This isn't something that's going to be released anytime soon, if at all. Consider it a pet project like Maverick's intro. I'll post models of the items involved if people like. I have concept drawings for the interception craft which would be similar to an avenger (only more sleek and contemporary) and I'm in the process of drawing up the ufo which will be a similar design to a small scout.

Anyway on with the show.

Fade to scene from black. Starfield twinkling nebulae clouds in the background. Hold for 1 second to draw in the beauty of the scene and then a lower mid left of screen a small flash as reflection from the sun catches an object moving very quickly.

Object gets closer to screen very quickly leaving no doubt that object is a ufo. The ufo flashes past the camera shaking it as it goes.

Camera pans round to catch a glimpse of the ufo and begins to follow it. As the camera pans around a resplendent view of the earth comes into view complete with cloud cover and atmosphere.

The ufo zooms towards the earth and the camera follows it in. The ufo shudders, starts to glow and gives off sparks and flames as it enters the atmosphere and the camera starts to judder and shake as it follows in. This continues until flame and the red glow envelop the camera.

Cut scene to a mountain range. Camera pans up to see a large cloud rapidly forming (ala ID4) and the ufo breaks through it at high speed and flies overhead.

Cut to a blank screen where a red flashing light goes off and is accompanied by a klaxon.

Cut back to the mountain scene again where the inteceptor craft flashes overhead.

Cut to an overflight of water and the ufo being chased low over the water with full reflections by the interceptor craft. Camera moves from left to right over the scene. The interceptor craft fires as the ufo just flies over land. The missile hits the ufo and it goes down. Cut to camera following ufo down complete with camera shake. Ufo hits the ground and a cloud of dirt is kicked up. The ufo bounces after the first impact and goes down again. This happens twice more before the ufo stops moving.

Cut to the front of the ufo as it's crashing and coming towards the camera (ala men in black). It fianlly stops and kicks up a dust cloud which covers the view. Which is when the title logo comes out of the clouds and fade to black.

I've no idea if this is possible but I'm going to have a go at it :)
For now though I'm posting the concept of the crewed interception craft based roughly on the Avenger.

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#2 Anthonius Runeblaze

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 03:01 PM

That interceptor actually looks a bit like the X-32/F-35 JSF, save for the cockpit width and the aircraft's overall size (as opposed to the traditional X-COM interceptor, which looks like a MiG-29.) Anyway, this sounds like a good idea for an intro, and I can actually picture it quite clearly in my mind. Sounds like it would be quite the feat to accomplish, though, and I'm sure it would take a lot of time and effort, but I'd say it would be well worth it in the end, as it does, indeed, strike me as an extremely cool concept.
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#3 Breunor

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 03:34 PM

Darth Vader: "Impressive. Most impressive!"

I can also picture this from your description very well. It sounds great. What about showing the the alien pilot's view as the ufo enters the atmosphere, maybe seeing just a little of the instrument panels but mostly the viewport and Earth beyond as the atmosphere starts burning up around it. There could be some alien chatter and the quiet chirping of instruments, then a little noise from the increasing atmosphere outside the ship. You could have the whole view start shaking from there. If not, it still sounds awesome, just my 2 cents worth.

You have a great concept there!

#4 red knight

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 04:23 PM

The idea of not explicitly see an Alien gives it more suspense. Just my 2 cents..

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#5 gangsta

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 05:11 PM

looks nice :)
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#6 Deimos

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 09:50 PM

Thanks so far for the encoraging comments :) I'm gonna need them if I intend to pull this off.

Anthonius the interceeption craft (I've no idea what to call it) was based on an original sketch for a sleek replacement to the avenger. The concept you see above has design elements based on the YF22, the SR71 Blackbird and believe it or not a C4 cargo plane. Oh and cool avatar btw :)

Once i'd finished it though it kind of reminded me of Thunderbird 2 especially from the front :)

The access hatch is supposed to open from the back and between the vertical stabilisers (can't think what they're called) and a small ramp down. It's a lot lower than the Avenger which had at least 6ft of clearance between it's landing struts and the ground. This is for aerodynamic purposes as the whole thing was designed with flight efficiency in mind.

Breunor, the way I figure, it would be very easy to have either version as I could do the cockpit as a composite image that could be put in afterward so it wouldn't be hard to implement to see how it looked. Maybe a cut scene between the quiet interior to an deafening exterior shot to show the differences? :)

RK we wouldn't need to see the aliens this keeping the suspense :) Ok so modelling the aliens would require a lot more effort as well so it's an easy get out for me :D

#7 Anthonius Runeblaze

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 11:05 PM

Well, I was looking at the way the wings were done in terms of the wings from the top. I see the resemblance of the SR-71 from the front, and the cargo plane from the side. The F/A-22 (the YF-22's designation (supposed to enter service in three years)) I can see from the top, in a way, but the reason I mention the X-32 and F-35 is that they're both fairly closely based on the F/A-22 (F-35 more so.) Either way, though, it looks great.

As for my avatar, thanks. I made it myself, from scratch. I used another sprite to guage the proportions for height, though. But that's off topic.

I think that the UFO should be completely encased as the X-COM UFOs were (how did they navigate? Well, probably via hyperwave signals painted sort of as waypoints, I suppose (hence how you can track their destinations,)) instead of the open-cockpit design that's implied by the ability to see the alien.
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#8 Deimos

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 03:26 AM

Having a look at the picture links I'd agree it does kind of have the x-32's influence though it was unintentional :)

I've got to learn time management better. I spent the last few hours when I should have been asleep modelling and skinning up the earth and starfield for this intro. I've still not figured out how to get a cloud map onto itso it moves independently. I've figured that modelling another geosphere that's slightly larger than the earth geosphere and map the nasa cloud texture is the way to start. But how I'm going to get the black areas of the map to become transparent so that the earth texture shows through underneath I haven't figured...yet. Any ideas, tell me how to in 3dsmax as I'm using gmax which is pretty much the same prog.

Anyway here it is.

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#9 Anthonius Runeblaze

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 08:43 AM

Looking good, if a little dark. I'm not familiar with any of the modelling programs (I've tried GMax, but it crashed my computer, and I'm reluctant to try it again,) so I'm not sure what to say about the clouds, but I wouldn't say you'd need them to move all that much. The second transparent Geoscape with the clouds seems like a logical solution, but we all know that things that should work rarely work in the world of computers.

Anyway, the Earth looks good, as I said, but it IS a bit dark. If you look at pictures of the Earth taken from space, it's actually much brighter, and not quite as shiny. Looks great so far, though.
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#10 Maverick

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 03:06 PM

Deimos, send me a PM, I have some artwork for earth that you might find extremely useful.

#11 Deimos

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 08:22 PM

I guess I should explain a little about the 'state' of the picture. The earth looks dark because of the spacial position of the camera in relation to the sun. Mid-day is somewhere in the Pacific ocean.

I have spent a lot of time at Nasa's blue marble site (which is where the texture maps come from and are huge). The typical view of the Earth as Anthonius explained is just that, something everyone sees.

The reflectivity you perceive is I think because the sphere isn't actually a sphere, it has a displacement map on it so each mountain is actually modelled into the structure of the model (should give you an idea of the poly count :)). The earth doesn't have any reflection mapping on it, It's a flat texture. I think you percieve 'shininess' you see is because of the coastline around the top of Africa. That's something that isn't really a prioity as it won't be seen as the final camera positioning in the clip won't be concentrating on such a strange camera position.

For the clouds I do want them moving and for what I'm planning they have to be on a seperate sphere as I want them to cast shadows as they move (hence the displacement mapping). Whether the viewer sees the detail I've put in is another matter. Heck, most people don't really realise the true genius of the Mona lisa or any other of the classical paintings. Please remember that this is the equivilant of the first brush strokes. :)

#12 Maverick

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 09:17 PM

Take into consideration that depending on how long this ship is on the screen or that you are looking at earth there would be no noticable change in postion or rotation of either. Especially in comparison to something so small compared to the earth.

#13 gangsta

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 09:41 PM

Out of curiosity is the nightview totally out of consideration now?
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#14 Deimos

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 10:22 PM

Mav, I'm planning on having the ship onscreen for several seconds (certainly long enough to see the clouds moving. I want it to be something you have to watch over and over to get all the details from it) and the zoom is going to be pretty close up (hence the need for such large maps :)) There will be cuts between the views but the main focus is the alien ship entering the atmosphere :)

Gangsta, this is an intro movie project I'm planning. I don't think I'll be using the night side of the planet as I want to capture all the detail with huge amounts of detail. Think of the Naboo ship in Star wars episode 1, I want to play with chrome effects and such. :) Ok so I'm being really ambitious with what I want to achieve but it's my typical learning curve. Throw me in at the deep end :D Most people start with basic modelling, not me.

It might not even get released as a movie for xenocide, especially if it turns out to be crap :alienlol:

With that in mind have a look at the following, the first image was pulled down from Nasa and the second is my model. I'm not adjusting my values to match the nasa pic but they will be adjusted slightly. I want to keep a similar 'dark' feel to the earth to keep within the theme of the game.

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#15 Deimos

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 10:27 PM

Second image my model. I'm hppy cause I found how to add the cloud layer in :D It was as I'd figured second sphere with an opacity map for anyone who's interested.

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#16 Breunor

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 12:31 AM

Those planet shots look great. I wasn't meaning that you would actually see the aliens, but rather what they would be seeing out the viewport, similar to FPS view. Going from inside to outside view would be cool.

I think the reasoning for not worrying about moving the clouds is that even if you were looking at the earth for 10 seconds, the clouds may move 1/4 mile within a hurricane, much less over land, and even zooming in you wouldn't see any movement. Now you may on other shots where the ships are passing through a cloud and their massive wake would cause the clouds to shift, but maybe that's a different modelling task than working on the entire globe. However, this is your idea and nobody's telling you how to fulfill it, it looks like you've got some nice material and making good progress on it. Good luck!

#17 Deimos

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 01:26 AM

Those planet shots look great. I wasn't meaning that you would actually see the aliens, but rather what they would be seeing out the viewport, similar to FPS view. Going from inside to outside view would be cool.

I think the reasoning for not worrying about moving the clouds is that even if you were looking at the earth for 10 seconds, the clouds may move 1/4 mile within a hurricane, much less over land, and even zooming in you wouldn't see any movement. Now you may on other shots where the ships are passing through a cloud and their massive wake would cause the clouds to shift, but maybe that's a different modelling task than working on the entire globe. However, this is your idea and nobody's telling you how to fulfill it, it looks like you've got some nice material and making good progress on it. Good luck!

Thanks for the compliments and even though it's my pet project, the reason I'm posting is so I can have feedback on it.

Don't stop giving me constructive critism or I won't be able to push myself that much harder to produce better stuff :) That's the way I've found works best for me.

I guess the cloud movement might not be so much of a hit. I'l have to see how it works out when I get to the animation stage.

I'll certainly be doing some cloud movement when the ship breaks through them in the mountain scene, though again I've no idea how, yet ;)

#18 obijuan

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 10:37 AM

think the idea looks great
what about having the ufo land somewhere( the movie goes as you told until the flashing night...)instead of lunching an interceptor you could show the scene were agents get their weapond and stuff....and get into the transport which later lands on the terror site....
but once again , its your movie....just shooting out some sugestions...

#19 LordT

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 01:42 PM

The clouds are a little too grey... what's the opacity of the cloud layer? Too much it seems.
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#20 Deimos

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 04:13 PM

After throwing gmax out the window I've been getting back to grips with my project. Here are a few new renders I've been playing with.
Keep it constructive please.

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Edited by Deimos, 28 April 2003 - 04:13 PM.


#21 Deimos

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 04:16 PM

View no.1 of Mars with Phobos in the distance and Deimos in forshot

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  • Attached File  Mars.jpg   189.11K   6 downloads


#22 Deimos

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 04:17 PM

Polar cap.

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#23 mamutas

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 06:47 PM

10 out of 10 for all 3 images. :)
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#24 red knight

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 09:41 AM

Looks pretty good....

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#25 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 10:12 AM

Garjus

The earth looks especially scrummy.

Is the cloud layer seperate?

#26 Deimos

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 10:34 AM

Garjus

The earth looks especially scrummy.

Is the cloud layer seperate?

The clouds are actually on a seprarate sphere so they can move independently of the earth and the atmosphere (bet you didn't spot that one :D)

It was a pain as in between losing my drive a while ago and getting back into modelling I'd forgotten how I'd done it, so frantic searching through my reference books and much banging of my head against the table. The earht is actually bump mapped too but it isn't noticable in those pics.

As for mars, its not really connected with my little project, but I figured that we are going to need models of mars eventually so why not cook them up. They're not in scale (the map is nowhere near big enough for that :)) but I'm sure when we do a mars cutscene way of in the future we can cross that hurdle then.

#27 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:33 PM

Funnily enough I did one of those last year for a pool game :D

Can we stick the cloud sphere on the geoscape globe?
(or is the the geoscape globe?)

BTW what are you modelling in?

#28 red knight

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 04:42 PM

Funnily enough I did one of those last year for a pool game :D

Can we stick the cloud sphere on the geoscape globe?
(or is the the geoscape globe?)

BTW what are you modelling in?

I dont think it will look cool if they dont move... remember that static clouds when time is passing wont look too cool... I can hack something with celular automata on the graphics card, but not for older cards thats for sure.... and i have to wait 2 week for the Radeon 9100 to arrive yet... and thats eye candy, would put it on the Wish list of the Milestone 1....

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#29 Cubik

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 03:37 AM

Move the texture on the astroid to the bump slot to create a little more "rockyness", else everything look fino.

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 05:24 AM

It would probably need a seperate texture for the craters to work properly, Probably worth trying though.

#31 Cubik

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 06:14 AM

Don't know what program you are using, Deimos, but copying the texture and using it as the bump too should work pretty well.

#32 Deimos

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:14 AM

Don't know what program you are using, Deimos, but copying the texture and using it as the bump too should work pretty well.

In the earlier earth models I did copy the texture into the bump mapping and it came out with a very strange 'embossed' look to the planet as you can see in some of the earlier pictures.

I'm using a bump map based on (is it DESGM) height data for the Earth which looks loads more accurate than the 'embossed' look I had before. There is also a specularity map and

The mars model has a bump map as do both Deimos and Phobos. I think why Deimos looks 'flat' (though I don't think so) is because of where the lightsource is. Have a look at the pic below.

Drewid I don't know how useful a cloud layer would actually be in the game as, looking at some of the Genesis geoscape screenshots it looks a little 'busy' if you get me. :) If it were implimented in game it'd have to not block any of the detail of the earth or we'd lose the 'clean' look. Maybe wispy 'old mens beards' clouds would look ok but not a skyfull of 'cottonballs' like in Genesis. :)

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#33 Deimos

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 10:20 AM

Another Mars view from a differnt angle, hopefully shows the craters on Deimos better :D

Still not 100% happy with the texture map though.

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  • Attached File  Mars.jpg   194.33K   6 downloads


#34 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:06 PM

Don't know what program you are using, Deimos, but copying the texture and using it as the bump too should work pretty well.

In the earlier earth models I did copy the texture into the bump mapping and it came out with a very strange 'embossed' look to the planet as you can see in some of the earlier pictures.

I'm using a bump map based on (is it DESGM) height data for the Earth which looks loads more accurate than the 'embossed' look I had before. There is also a specularity map and

The mars model has a bump map as do both Deimos and Phobos. I think why Deimos looks 'flat' (though I don't think so) is because of where the lightsource is. Have a look at the pic below.

Drewid I don't know how useful a cloud layer would actually be in the game as, looking at some of the Genesis geoscape screenshots it looks a little 'busy' if you get me. :) If it were implimented in game it'd have to not block any of the detail of the earth or we'd lose the 'clean' look. Maybe wispy 'old mens beards' clouds would look ok but not a skyfull of 'cottonballs' like in Genesis. :)

I agree with the wispy vs cotton stuff, and yes, it might hide stuff too much.

Maybe we could use a could layer burnt into the earth texture to try it out. Try a few different levles of wispyness and transparency to see if it works, just as a mockup.

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:13 PM

It might be that deimos (the moon) looks flat because the craters are dark on the texture map so its killing the "modelling light" from the key light. you could try lightening them a bit...

#36 Deimos

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 12:55 PM

You know that might just do the trick :) The craters are pretty much black in colour so maybe a few shades lighter might just bring out the required detail. Thanks Drewid :)

Ever notice that Deimos (the moon) looks like a potato? That goes a little way to explain my full nickname (explained in off topic area :))

Edited by Deimos, 30 April 2003 - 12:57 PM.


#37 Deimos

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 02:11 PM

Ok this as I said at the start of the thread is my ongoing quest. I've got some animations of the avenger coming past the earth and doing a flyby of the moon which cuts to Mars and the avenger coming into shot. You'll all have probably seen some of the renders I've posted up around the place.

Well all of these have been done with my low res maps (the ones that are freely available on the blue marble site) for the quickness of rendering. Well I've upped the detail to the my medium maps to see what it looks like.

All I can say is we need another Avenger. It looks like a toy. Now I'm not putting Vaaish's work down as the avenger model is top notch but for the high quality maps we're gonna need a higher poly model. Vaaish if its ok can Crix or someone do a high res version of your avenger for the movies?

Pic 1. Where's Willy? The res on the pic should be high enough to find the avenger in the pic :)

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#38 Deimos

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 02:16 PM

Heh ok so you'll have to take it off forum and zoom in but here's a clue.

Pic 2. Here's Avenger.

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#39 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 02:35 AM

I've been playing again, this time with shaders.
Which is better?

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#40 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:14 AM

Here's another shot using the older method with the shaders.

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#41 j'ordos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:17 AM

Well, I think I like this one more, as the green landmasses seemed a little too bright on the previous pics, IMHO.
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#42 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:19 AM

Another closer view.

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#43 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:24 AM

and another view. Maybe its a little on the dark side?

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#44 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:42 AM

One more for now.

I will add though that the zoom level for this map is just above its maximum as the land is starting to get blurry.

However I do have 2 higher quality maps, one at 4km resolution and one at 2km res. The minor problem with the 2km map is its 177mb. The Earth model uses 2 of these plus a bump map and a specularity map. As you can imagine at the 21600x10800 dpi resolution, even the bump and spec maps are quite large as well so I'm not firing up renders of these till I've finalised camera positions and so on. The render time for the utlra high maps is just too high for running tests on.

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#45 Vaaish

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 08:06 AM

I think that the colors need to be more vibrant. It looks a little cold and harsh with the map you are using right now.

#46 Deimos

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 09:13 AM

?? The maps are the same as the brighter ones above Vaaish. Its the technique that I used to get the atmosphere that makes it look colder. I'm working on a mix of the two with to get the brightness in between and still retain the atmoshperic glow.

#47 Vaaish

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:28 AM

hmm... you could try doing a freshnel falloff so that the planet is only bright on the lit side and use a glow for the atmosphere on the lit side. maybe similar to these. The maps I used are all procedual in 3dsMAX quite some time ago.

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#48 Vaaish

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:31 AM

and another idea

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#49 Ancalagon

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:07 AM

I know you are in deep discussion about making the movie, and I have no idea what you're talking about, but I think it's kind of weird that in this movie, all you know is that an alien spaceship comes down from mars, and that some guy with a plane shoots it down. This is ok for those of us who have played x-com many times and know what the game is about. But this intro is not going to convey the concept that the aliens are evil and they're sole purpose is to enslave humanity. Someone might interperet it as alien ambassadars coming down to talk to humanity but the army shoots the plane down and starts a giant war. I guess if it is only for x-com lovers than it's okay, I just don't think it's a good intro as far as telling you anything about the game other than that it might involve shooting down UFO's with planes.

In the original x-com they showed the aliens coming down and killing people, and then some soldiers assembled on to a plane, and got off and defeated the aliens, saving the city. This approach:
1) Leaves no question that the aliens are the bad guys.
2) Tells you that aliens are trying to kill people
3) Tells you that the game might involve ground combat
4) Tells you that you are trying to stop the aliens and possibly save humanity on the side

I guess what I'm saying is that a good intro(in my mind) should be a simple introduction to the plot of the game(x-com 1, alpha centauri, or starcraft. note that these games are fairly plot focused), or it should tell you what aspect the game focuses on in order to get you in the mood to play(sim city 4, the sims, civilization 3, any age of empire game etc. note that these games either have no plot or are based on multiple different plots)or it can do both. You may say that xcom focuses on shooting down UFO's and that that is the primary focus of the game, but remember that civ3 (if you've played it) did not use war as an intro, but rather, they used civilization building, which is what the game was primarily about. x-com is not primarily about shooting down UFO's, it's about killing aliens and saving humanity in the face of the overwhelming technology and skill that the aliens possess.

If I could only change one thing about the intro I would make sure that any idiot could tell that the aliens are evil. Because that adds a surprisingly large amount of information to the intro. All of a sudden, you know that the aliens are evil, that that there is an organization that you are most likely involved with which is trying to stop the aliens, and hopefully that it is imperative that this organization succeeds.

Edit: I took too long to say that, sorry :Blush:

Edited by Ancalagon, 03 October 2003 - 12:10 AM.


#50 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 03:07 AM

Arch is completely correct. I am no director but I know that all good movies ( this includes FMV's as well ) should have a purpose, and the purpose of this movie is to bring the user quickly up to date from the current time to the beginning of X-Corps. The best director's try not to waste a frame so director techniques should be taken into account, like single frame flashes etc.

I know this is Deimos' pet project, but have you got a storyboard you are working from? Could we see?

Edit: Ignore last line, you posted it in the first post of the topic :hammer:

Edited by Jim69, 03 October 2003 - 03:08 AM.