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View Full Version : FXWars! THE OCEAN!: Colin Litster


cogfilms
02-10-2006, 09:46 AM
Hi all,

Well this is my first try at any of these challenges. I will be posting WIP from my website at www.cogfilms.com (http://www.cogfilms.com) and here of course.

http://www.cogfilms.com/images/new-ocean-daylight1.jpg

I will be using Blender for my entry.

The image above is from my tutorial on the subject.

As its my tutorial am I allowed to use any of it?

My entry will be at a different time of day (or night) than the above image however.

Colin

Dravenfr
02-11-2006, 08:06 AM
Good luck !

Your ocean picture is really cool , is it done with Blender ?

It's really nice !

cogfilms
02-12-2006, 10:45 AM
Good luck !

Your ocean picture is really cool , is it done with Blender ?

It's really nice !

Hi Dravenfr,

Yes it's done with Blender. The shader is my own but it only uses Blender inbuilt procedurals. I must say that this is a really challenging exercise. I suspect the real essence of it will be to produce something very real that dosen't also say its was made in so and so package.

I am doing the Open Ocean challenge but I want to attempt calm, rough and storm weather waves if possible.

Cog

cogfilms
02-19-2006, 10:06 PM
Hi all,

I have been developing concepts ready for render in this ocean challenge. I'm developing a little story that may eventually become a short.

http://www.cogfilms.com/images/mine-in-water-lg.jpg

The story has the ocean (of course), a warning buoy, and a sea mine as can be seen in the image. That picture is just a concept, but the mood and lighting are coming on nicely.

For this example I have used a paint package to help blend the mine into the sea. Harsh CGI transitions break the illusion. However, everything you see in the picture is produced in Blender.

Here's the mine ( if you click the image a short turnview animation will show the rust damage I'm trying to produce)http://www.cogfilms.com/images/mine.jpg. (http://www.cogfilms.com/movies/mine-06-rust.mov)


C&C on either of the concepts gratefully received.

Cog

RedSquirrel
02-19-2006, 10:20 PM
Its coming along Cog. Like I said before the foam looks really good, just keep it coming :D

DESPISTADO
02-20-2006, 04:01 AM
im agree with redsquirrel that foam its looking good

best regards

rquinn
02-20-2006, 02:03 PM
I like that a lot!
a Stylish render semi-real semi-cartoon!

cogfilms
02-21-2006, 09:46 AM
Hi all,

Just a little update and a concept movie. I call this the Cruel Sea after watching that film for inspiration last weekend.

http://www.cogfilms.com/images/mine-03-bw-sm.jpg (http://www.litster.nildram.co.uk/movies/mine-bw-03_423x180.mov)

If you click the heavily modified image above a short quicktime animation of the scene will be displayed in a separate window.

At the moment I have to do some work on the mine lighting and its interaction with the ocean. No inbuilt ocean modifiers in Blender as yet so a little careful hand animating is required.

Cog

rquinn
02-21-2006, 02:26 PM
hmmm feels more like a river than an ocean i dont know why..
but it looks splendid you really captured the feel

DESPISTADO
02-21-2006, 03:58 PM
hmmm feels more like a river than an ocean i dont know why..
but it looks splendid you really captured the feel

youre right, im feeling that too, maybe is because the waves are too fast and is running in the same direction

jussing
02-21-2006, 07:41 PM
Didn't feel the river thing, but the mine looks like a lightweight ball to me.

Splendid water and bounce animation, though. :)

Cheers,
- Jonas

cogfilms
02-22-2006, 11:00 AM
hmmm feels more like a river than an ocean i dont know why..
but it looks splendid you really captured the feel

Hi R.Quinn,

I agree and I need to do work on both the speed of the main waves and also the tiny waves on the surface. I'm also currently not puting the camera in motion which make it look as though the viewer is on a bank or solid surface just off screen.

I've done some tests of camera motion which I will post at some time but at the moment it's kind of concept work to show possible textures, interaction, lighting (most difficult as some shots will be low light and low contrast) and also FX.

Here's one I've been working on to test a mine surfacing. I have to add wake and some spay but it's begining to work I think?

http://www.cogfilms.com/images/mine-surfacing.jpg (http://www.cogfilms.com/movies/mine-surface_480x270.mov)

Click on the image to see a short concept of the mine surfacing. (QT 1.1Mb)

Cog
http://www.cogfilms.com/images/surface-05-0086.jpg

rquinn
02-22-2006, 12:55 PM
Good stuff! that is getting too close to real!
Only thing it might need is some particles dribbling down on the mine cause it sorta looks as if the water is going *through* the mine and not around it..
And the camera motion will help for sure!

Good stuff

StarsEnd
02-24-2006, 09:22 PM
Hi Cog! :)


hmmm feels more like a river than an ocean i dont know why..
but it looks splendid you really captured the feel

I agree. The CG is magnificent, but the waves all seem to be traveling toward the mine. From what I've observed, I've always felt waves in the ocean just bob up and down unless they've reached a certain size. You might need to do some research on that. Otherwise: Great work! Keep it up!

leojS
02-25-2006, 10:35 AM
I agree, it looks really realistic. Keep up the great work!

cogfilms
03-01-2006, 08:01 PM
Hi all,

Time for another update. I have been completing the modelling for the characters in my entry for the FXWars! The Ocean challenge. This is Buoy, based on that seen in the 1951 film 'The Cruel Sea'.
http://www.cogfilms.com/images/buoy17h.jpg

My short, also called the cruel sea, examines the struggle against the elements made worse by man, but all from the buoys perspective. I still have to rig the buoy and add further texturing to complete. However, I can start the animation process tomorrow which leaves 2 weeks before I need to worry about rendering. That's about 11 days for final render, post processing, compositing and editing. A tight schedule but I'm enjoying it.

I shall be using a 6 Linux PC render farm for final render probably working 24 hours a day.

I will try to keep this thread uptodate with progress.

Cog

leojS
03-02-2006, 11:25 AM
Wow! That's looking really good. The only thing is that the sea doesn't seem like it's splashing onto the buoy, but I'm guessing that you'll add that later. :)

cogfilms
03-03-2006, 08:11 PM
Wow! That's looking really good. The only thing is that the sea doesn't seem like it's splashing onto the buoy, but I'm guessing that you'll add that later. :)

Hi leojd,

Yes your right about the need for splashes and other interaction between the waves and the buoy. I've done some experimantation using blurred masks and particles of course. However, I've got to get on with the animation so that I have all the action required then worry about those compositing details as I come to final render. It's a tight schedule but I'm really enjoying it.

Cog

RobertoOrtiz
03-17-2006, 10:41 PM
Hope to see an update soon. The dateline is fast approaching, so you have enought time to render the final scene.


-R

cogfilms
03-20-2006, 11:06 PM
Hi all,

A final update before my entry is completed (only 6 days!!! Is it 12pm GMT?)

Here is my hero character, hero as in the Buoy is the hero in the story rather than this being a hero render. Just realised I'm going bonkers after that sentance.
http://www.cogfilms.com/images/buoy3a.jpg

Just too much to render now but I'm keen to finish.

Good luck to everyone entering.

Cog

DuttyFoot
03-21-2006, 04:18 AM
wow, I like what you got so far. looking forward to the final movie.

RobertoOrtiz
03-21-2006, 01:56 PM
Good Job so far.

Just a reminder that we will go live in 7 days.

-R

RobertoOrtiz
03-26-2006, 03:12 PM
Nice entry.

Dont forget to post it on the voting thread when you are done.

FXWARS: THE OCEAN: Post your Entry! (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=335246)

-R

cogfilms
03-27-2006, 10:26 PM
Hi all,

Well I only just managed to get my entry in. The seconds were literally ticking away.
www.litster.nildram.co.uk/movies/colin-litster_FXWARS(634x270).mov (http://www.litster.nildram.co.uk/movies/colin-litster_FXWARS%28634x270%29.mov)
(QT-Sorenson 634x270 19.7MB)

In my effort to make the post in time I mucked up the image that I was trying to attach. Now the entry is made I can't re-edit that post so here it is.

http://www.cogfilms.com/images/cruel-sea-picturepost.jpg

In actual fact that shot or title is used in the film although it's over far too quickly. You know in the last hour of editing Premiere kept crashing and as a result I was unable to do too many previews. I even had to curtail several more titles I wanted to put in. But rules are the rules so if I do so it will be another movie which I will post here.

Cog

PS Well done to all the other entries I know how hard you will have worked.

cogfilms
03-29-2006, 01:25 PM
Since I didn't give many details on the voting page I thought I should bring together the information here. Most of this is explained in earlier posts in this thread but time was only hinted at.

This has been an incredibly challenging exercise but very satisfying. All those that entered should be congratulated for the amount of time they all probably had to spend on it. Water is one of the most difficult things to simulate and I have learnt a great deal out of attempting it mostly to do with planning and time management.



All modelling and rendering was via the open source Blender 3D suite.



I also used PaintshopPro, Gimp, and Photoshop CS for some of the UV textures although the majority of materials, especially the water, were created with Blender procedural textures.



I used 3 PCs to spread the load of rendering. I had hoped to have a six PC linux render farm available but hardware failures and location difficulties became difficult in the time frame. I rendered to PNG sequential files that I had to convert to TGA in order to bring into Adobe Premiere v6.5 for editing. I could have used Blender for the edit but memory and speed constraints in current Blender version (solved in the latest CVS) made me nervous of using an untried new feature. Unfortunately Premiere became very flaky during the final edit which meat I couldnít see a preview whilst editing. The final render from premiere took over 30mins and the upload to the files location about 20mins literally within seconds of the deadline.



I spent many evenings and several weekends almost full-time on the project starting from 10th February. In the midst of this I had a conference to attend, that took up almost 5 days and several family events that subtracted from that available. That means that its difficult to give precise time spent but I would estimate about 164 hours.



60% of that was development of either models or materials.



40% was animating and rendering (although some of the rendering was started while the development and animating was progressing)



I unfortunately left most of the rendering far too late and as a result had to scrap some shots, that either had render errors, or were too complex to complete on time.



The glaring mistakes, and lessons, that I see in it now are:-



1. Grammatical error in the opening quote:-



..THIS IS THE STORY OF THE OCEANS AND THE BRAVE BUOYS WHO DEFEND (IT)..



Should have been THEM.



Lesson learned:-



Donít change the words at the last moment when you have other more pressing problems occupying your attention.





2. The first close-up of the Buoy looking at the ships has a normal problem with the neck mesh.

Lesson learned:-

Donít assume that remove doubles (vertices) will sort out a mesh in Blender. Sometimes it will produce odd faces that muck up normal mapping that not even CTRLN (force normals to outside will resolve.

Also if you test render do so at a resolution that will show such discrepancies. Leave more time to render at least 3 times longer than planned.

4. The shot of the mine surfacing has a texture map that scales too slowly just before the mine surfaces. That gives the impression that darkness descends on the mine.

Lessons learned:-

Monitor test animations on a good quality monitor. I used a LCD laptop for that shot and I just didnít see it.

I could have edited that out of the final movie but time ran out. Leave More Time to render.


5.In the same shot the ship textures, that are simple flat planes with a ship profile applied have a nasty black line at there top caused by not setting a switch in the blender texture buttons.

Lessons learned:-

LEAVE MORE TIME TO RENDER.

Planning is also vital because it should give a mechanism for estimating what can be achieved. I had 3 other shots that I would have loved to have included. One of these I called my complex shot.

It included a storm wave with both the mine and the buoy with; spray, mist, wake, splashes, and raytraced waves. I had 7 layers to makeup the final shot I was struggling to get the wake splashes looking right and it was just not worth fighting to fit it in when there were other effects to complete. So an overall lesson is to plan well and save wasted time.

Overall I am still quite pleased with the result. I believe it tells a story and makes a reasonable attempt at oceans using a 3D package that has none of these techniques built in. I will finish all the shots and the rest of the story for a short that I hope to enter into the Blender Conference Competition later this year. In anticipation here is a HERO render of the Buoy with toon shading that my final short will have.




http://www.cogfilms.com/images/BUOY-HERO-MODELmtoon.jpg


Cog

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