View Full Version : PA Challange - Vehicle and Landscape - Howard Day

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:07 PM
Yo! Wassup, all? Let me start out by saying that this is going to be a blast.

Anyhow, here's my first 3-d sketch of my vehicular entry. I've spent a bit of time on textures, too so you can get a feel for the final.
The story behind this is that once the nukes went off, dust covered the earth. This caused temps to fall and the icecaps to expand. They reached all the way to San Francisco. So long-range cold-weather transports became the norm. The fact that it can travel over thin ice and water is a plus, too. BTW - the alternative fuel system isn't being shown yet. Hate to give away a good idea this early. :)

Here's a gray-textured version:

Here's the prelim-textured version:
And the side view to show you the snow patterns on the sides... :)

So far, I'd say that I've spent about 4 hours on this. Tonight between 11pm and 6am.

Enjoy, and early comments are welcome!

02 February 2002, 07:37 PM
first render somehow reminds me of a shoe ;)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:41 PM
Ouch. Thanks alot. Now I'll never be able to get away from that. :)

02 February 2002, 08:53 PM
the "NIKE" A-h1B Troop Transport! :)

02 February 2002, 09:26 PM
LOOOOL, that was a low punch!
But then again hovercrafts always did look like shoes, don't they? ;)

No, honestly, I didn't really think of a shoe at all. I think it's cool actually and I like those huge fuel (?) intakes.
Though what about the alternative material point? It looks like it was manufactured quite professionally with good equipment, something you wouldn't expect from a civilisation that was just recently almost extinct by nuclear holocaust. I'd imagine a vehicle to be put together by lots of different materials with lots of loose parts and stuff sticking out. Though maybe I'm too much in Mad Max territory there :)

Keep it up!


02 February 2002, 10:16 AM
I like the textures, dont leave it out of the light, it looks great so far. I could see some machine guns and cannons on the top, maybe ann observation booth or something... yeah let the imagination run wild...

Adam Klein
02 February 2002, 01:33 PM
what, no windows???

nice work, fast at least.

Adam K.

02 February 2002, 10:45 PM
i think it looks cool so far

Jean Eric
02 February 2002, 11:06 PM
A shoe??? Naaaaah... Looks more like my TV Remote Control... :-) No seriously, nice job Howard.

Staffan Norling
02 February 2002, 01:07 AM
Aww...looks like it could survive another nuke. Allthough i wonder what the emp would do with the metallic shell...

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:33 PM
Ok, Thanks for all the comments!
Wiro: In the future as I've imagined it, nuclear bombs didn't fall on every counrty on earth. Pretty much just Asia and Europe, although two did get through to the U.S. - Striking Boston and a little known town in Oregon - Crow. :)
Factories and the like would still be in place, so a craft like this wouldn't be a problem to produce. In great number. I will throw some furs or something on there to make it look more "rustic", though.
Y-Guy: Turret commin right up! I was already planning to do one, but your post inspired me to get at least the base done...
Adam: There are windows. You just can't see them cause they're textured the same as everything else... :)
Staffan: Nukes are outlawed. (no, really) any populace that found out that their government was hiding or building nukes would tear them apart. :)

In other news, I've got a question for you guys. Which would you prefer?

I'm not sure which one I like more, so I'm handing it off to you!
And the HC as it looks now:

Enjoy, and comment!

02 February 2002, 02:32 PM
HHehe, you're right. I just got my mind too stuck in the MadMax look. Of course the whole world would't go back to the stone age. In fact I don't even think we'd lose all that much technology by a nuclear war. So keep that design, it's cool!

I like the hovercraft with the pillows better. It breaks up the design a bit (not only angular bits). Love the railings, neat touch :)


02 February 2002, 03:14 PM
yeah, the one with hovercraft pillows looks way better.

keep going!

Staffan Norling
02 February 2002, 03:18 PM
any populace that found out that their government was hiding or building nukes would tear them apart.

Soo....there are still countries and governments? If nukes stroke us, europe and asia, the emp shockwawes would kill every comunication system on the northern hemisphere. Not even the us would stick together without a decent infrastructure...

02 February 2002, 07:12 PM
Great work, I think I like the third version most. The girders let it seem bigger than the other ones - good for scaling (yes, my english is bad). I would like to see some technical details: pumps, tubes, tools like a shovel, eventually some vents or something like that.
Our state of the art military vehicles are a good source for that.

Ben Woodward
02 February 2002, 06:05 AM
Yey, I like the way you are developing it, keep refining the style and shape.

I agree with above, it would be cool to see more functional details, maybe a little man on deck!

The railings look good, get the details in the right place.

Hope that was constructive commentry, I'm still learning how to do that.


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:42 PM
Wiro: Thanks!
Staffan: I'm not looking at a future 10-20 years past the Apocalypse, but more like 80-160 years after. Civilization has settled down, and govenments are present. Most Big nations have been broken up, and some northern nations and locations no longer exist. No human or animal mutations have survived (true to science - 99.99% of mutations kill the organism) - so it's strictley the human race, folks.
MichaelHebel: Said details are on the way, and the tests I've run so far, rock!
Ben Woodward: If I have time I'll do a Character as well. Doubtfull, but considering how fast I work, it's a possiblity. :)

Alright - now to the updates!

And your first look at the landscape:

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

02 February 2002, 03:39 PM
Very beatifull!!! I wunna see the vehicle in the landscape :)) Just think the vehicle should be more textured (camouflaged) like the landscape... so more white :)

02 February 2002, 08:48 PM
hey man, i really love your landscape, is it max??

very beautiful....

One question for you, can i see a bigger version of the landscape in your max gallery, please??

i love it......

i am very interested in advancing my landscaping knowledge, and will be joining this challenge soon....... damn, i hope i'm good enough.....

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 02:27 AM
Error323: Ah - those are just different lighting setups. The final will blend very well into the landscape... :)
Kaos: Yup. Max 3. As for the larger picture of the landscape, which picture?? How large?

Adding gizmos:

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 12:25 PM
Okay - no replys. must be doing something right!
Added a lot of stuff - Fueltank - little details - etc. I'll post a larger (and textured) version tonight. Also note the FX smoke comin out of the exaust pipes. neat-o.
*Any* comments are, of course, welcome.

Facial Deluxe
02 February 2002, 12:49 PM
Damn cool, and fast too !!! I wish I could take a place in that challenge... :rolleyes:

02 February 2002, 02:14 PM
Impressive speed you are working at. I'm still doing conept sketches. You'll have a landscape, character and vehicle within a week if you keep this up :)

I'm looking forward to updates. Like the detail you've got going.

02 February 2002, 02:46 PM
What effect did you emply to get the smoke coming from the pipes? Particles?

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 03:25 PM
urgaffel: I doubt that very much!
alphatron: Yup - Facing particles - not too many of them either.

Lots of new stuff.
Textured version of the HC - Nice.

And a darker version of the snow scene - with texture improvements. Makes it more depressing. :(
Alrighty - Next up: Chaingun... :)


02 February 2002, 04:01 PM
sweet, wow man you are fast

02 February 2002, 07:02 PM
Only thing I'll bitch about (for now) is the hose on the left side of the hc, the one hanging out over the "pillow". It looks like it's about to fall off or get snagged on something when the HC is speeding past a tree or something... It's just annoying me. Other than that, nice job. The textures needs a little more work, but your well on your way to completness :D (I can spot the cellular btw ;))

Facial Deluxe
02 February 2002, 08:59 PM
The overcraft is Mamamiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ....

02 February 2002, 10:48 PM
very nice great texturing, i have some questions about that, how do you map such an object? Have you broken it up in bits? I always have troubles with such things.

02 February 2002, 01:17 AM

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 12:45 PM
Oky, Some of you might wonder where I've been, and the answer is this:
This is a single frame from the test animation. As you can see, these two models blend very well together... :)
On to the comments:
urgaffel: True - it does look out of place. But I kinda like it cause it gives the whole thing a sloppy look. :)
gladiool: The entire thing is procedurally mapped. No image map files were uses, save for the one that determins where the snow is on the skirt. As for your next question ( :) ) - it's a pluging called F-Edge. Do a search for it and you should come up with a demo copy good for 15 days. It's a blast!

pabbloz: Gezunhigt!

Enjoy, All - The anim will be up later tonight!

Marc Andreoli
02 February 2002, 02:15 PM
look forward to see the animation !
On the still, the hovercraft seems to, ehm...well, hover a little bit. I mean, I know it is what it is supposed to do, but a vehicle of that mass would probably create quite a wake, push some snow around. Especially in a mountainious environment where snow could accumulate on the slopes.

Hey, I don't know how to animate that, but it might be an idea if you are working on a still...;)


Staffan Norling
02 February 2002, 02:47 PM
It ain't an usual hovercraft...'cuz real hovercraft does'nt work in curvy terrain. I guess there's some anti-gravity device instead of a fan.

02 February 2002, 04:56 PM
You post that animation right now young man, or I will send you to bed without supper for the next 5 years! It's looking real good... Maybe lighten it up some so we can see all the details on the final pic.

Anim? Please?

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 05:06 PM
There's been a problem with the rendering - MAX froze and I lost it at 90%. So it'll be up tomorrow morning. night, all!

02 February 2002, 05:10 PM
you are NOT telling me you rendered to avi are ya :eek: :confused:

nah, you seem like a wise man, you rendered to tga or tiff or whatever image sequence.

it's lookin very good btw :D

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 11:49 PM
Okee - and here it is! - Divx 4.01, 427KB
I'm not entirely happy with it, but it still looks awesome!

Staffan Norling
02 February 2002, 12:55 AM
The motion of the smoke looks strange....but i could'nt have done it better myself. I'd really like to see what happens the second after the animation ends. It look like the hovercraft will tip over. :)

Marc Andreoli
02 February 2002, 02:55 AM
very nice, I like the fluffy snow on the sides, although it might be a bit thicker IMHO...the vehicle movement is really smooth.

the end is a real teaser, like in the TV series: are they going to survive ? Is the hovercraft going to spread its wings ? Did somebody pack a parchute ? Tune in next week, for a whole new episode of 'Gone with the Winter' :D


02 February 2002, 03:04 AM
Looks real nice. And now for the complaints ;)

The problem with the snow (that is thrown up by the hc) is that it's so obviously face mapped. It looks good, but the clipping and the distance between the particles is not as nice. The only way around that, that I can think of at least, would be some kind of volumetric smoke, or a good fake. Faking it can be done with spheres and faloff materials. Takes ages to render tho. Also, the smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes should stay alive longer and be torn apart by the wind. Which also is a bitch with face mapped particles :)

All in all it's looking real nice, so don't take my bitching too seriously. I can't just post ooohs and aaaahs, have to be something more ;)

The terrain is looking real good, very nice job on that. Procedurals on that too? How did you mask out the rocky parts?

02 February 2002, 11:49 AM
like it very much, the first frame looks very cool, might be cool if the camera stays there a bit longer

and I wanna see this thing make a huge jump,

02 February 2002, 03:31 PM
Really nice work Howard!

It looks cool!

I saw the HC intersects the mountain at one point, as I am sure
you already know. But instead of just moving the path, cant
you make it go "bump" like a bumper car?

Environment is cool too!!


02 February 2002, 06:09 PM
uau!! It's very cool!!
I think the animation needs sound and the environment needs red,... a red gamma I think.... the air is toxic. That will make the animation more dramatic.

P.S.: what's the meaning of Gezunhigt? :confused:

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:07 PM
Marc Andreoli: Heh - I'm currently rendering a update to this animation - the HC interacts with it's environment more and the snow is more realistic... And I had to end it *somewhere*... :)

urgaffel: You are quite right. One of the major problems with max is that it doesn't have agood native volumetric system. You have to cheat. I've changed over to spherical/falloff particles, and now I have to use less of them, makes it take about the same amount of time. The terrain texture uses 4 or 5 nested Top/Bottom maps to achive what you see. Surprisingly, it's not at all slow.

V3d: It will be done - the camera part, not the jump part...well, wait a minute....heh. Cool idea, and I think I know how to pull it off... :)

jimpajammer: Also done - the terain has changed slightly, but there is still a outcropping of rock that the HC hits and then bounces off of. Thanks for the idea!

pabbloz: Heh. I was thinking little patches of glowing green/yellow... :) as for Gezunhigt, I'm not sure I spelled it correctly, but it's what some would say after hearing you sneeze. aka "God bless you"... :)

As for the lack of updates, my power went out from about 2 in the afternoon to about 3 in the morning. So, I took a 12 hour nap. :)
The new anim will be up (hopefully) in the morning. Thanks all, for your comments!

Marc Andreoli
02 February 2002, 11:28 PM
'Gezunhigt' is spelled 'Gesundheit', and is the German word for 'health'. It is what you say in German when somebody sneezes. Much less dramatic than 'bless you' (is somebody gonna die or something ?).

See, you might even learn something on cgtalk...:D

-marc aka 'the translator' aka 'smartass'

02 February 2002, 01:02 AM
hahaha :D thanks!

02 February 2002, 01:51 AM
I think it could use a lot more texturing detail but I'm sure you know that and maybe just some defing modeled charcteristics (it is a hair bland) but I'm sure you know that two. Anyways great start Its good to see a wide varity of character and vehicles. (You live in Crow Oregon?)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 05:08 AM
Heh, no, but I used to. Now I live in Eugene. And You're right - the landscape is a bit bland. but so would a PA snow plain be.... There will be more detail! (Com'on, guys - this is me!)
Thanks Marc. :)
LAst animation for a while. I'm going back to building the HC, and altering the environment.

02 February 2002, 05:19 AM
!!!!!!!!! Very gooD!!! Very cool!!! nice work!!!

Just 1 critique: The dus/snow comming from the pillow of the hovercraft is a bit ****ed up... sprites?? Try to make it more realistic and it'll rock !!!

02 February 2002, 09:52 AM
Wow! The still image looked slightly disjointed, but the animation has a real sense of flow and motion to it. The hovercraft, although gliding over the terrain, still retains the idea that it is a heavy vehicle. I love it!

02 February 2002, 04:50 PM
Looking better and better! Now for the next complaint: the exhaust smoke. Where it is born from the pipes, you can almost see the separate particles :) It needs more particles... Don't remember if it's possible tho, it's been a while since I played with particles.

An idea that could be fun to do: have snow stick to the "pillow". You could use the particle paint material from Peter Watje for that, could look quite cool (could also look like shite), and it would probably be pretty processor intensive.

*sigh* I should really start on my character...

edit: I wonder if there's a way to stop the particles to stop intersecting with the pillow... Still, looks pretty nice. Maybe add some motion blur?

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:35 AM
BIG Jump! Heh - testing new snow effects and watching the olympics... :)


02 February 2002, 06:41 AM
It looks pretty good, but there should be some snow falling to the ground from the cliff after the HC jumps it

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:51 AM
Sigh. It's only a test. :) I'm just sharing it cause I thought you guys would enjoy it. It's not likely to be improved on... I've better things to do. (Like that bloody HC - can't seem to get anything new done on it!!!)
Sorry if I seem a bit snapish, I'm just tired...

02 February 2002, 07:01 AM
hehe... I'd like to see a real hovercraft do that :)

Go to bed and come back with a gattling gun and some more details ;)

big b
02 February 2002, 07:44 AM
Cool Dude.


Its chilly in here.

Nice Vehicle and snow. I look at your render and feel like I'm in the scene.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 09:55 PM
OK, I give in. Massive snowfall from the cliff and snow falling from the sky... and a different perspective. :) Enjoy, bic318. :)

I'll be back tonight with some weapon sketches...

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:48 AM
My, my. Talk about the comments dropping off! Do I smell funny? :)
Urgaffel has requested a wireframe of the terrain and a snapshot of the Snow texture tree. Well, I can do one better!
The material for the terrain: (MAX 3 format)
and the snapshot of the terrain:

I've also boned the main gun for animation - that's it rotated off to the side there. And you might notice the new additions on the side, those are Snowtorp launchers, 4 each. I see these as a sort of burrowing missile that is used to take out the underground bunkers that most people live in. Boom!
I'm slowly warming up to the chain gun, meanwhile I've not run out of ideas yet...

Please don't use that material I uploaded above for your own project - that would be cheating. :(
Enjoy, all!

02 February 2002, 08:13 AM
Well I like the animation:)
The snow fall looks great. I didnt mean anything bad just some crits and I didnt know it was just some playing around with the animation.. And I did enjoy the animations:)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 08:21 AM
Heh- that's just me being grumpy. ignore me. :)
Thanks for the comments!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:26 PM

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 03:01 PM
Testing Particle explosions... Done with the basic MAX 3 Particle system... :)

02 February 2002, 03:04 PM
you might want to use raytraced shadows there howard. it is obvious your using facing particles. the shadow is just plain wrong.

other than that, the explosion itself is excellent.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 03:34 PM
Yup, I know that the shadow's wrong... I've actually figured out a way to blend it more efficently into the terrain, and doing so, you can barely tell the difference. And raytraced shadows are way too slow for my machine... Add in motion blur, and boom-yah!

02 February 2002, 05:13 AM
Many thanks! I will use this for study purposes, I promise. As it is now, I probably won't enter this challenge due to lack of time and motivation. Too tired when I come home from work these days. It's enjoyment enogh to browse around here.

I like the explosion you've got going. Although the trails look not-so-nice when they disperse, looks like circular particles :/ Other than that, I want to see a chaingun. And maybe make those launchers rotateable. Not necessarily on all axis', one would be sufficient (so that you can rotate it up and down)

Keep it up!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 12:09 PM
Okay, Added the chaingun(s). More like chaincannons! Heh. As for the Snowtorp launchers being rotateable, they wouldn't need to be. The torps fire out and burrow benneath the snowpack. Think Loonytoons.


I also added a FLIR-esque system mounted right below the cockpit. And lights. Musn't forget the lights...

Here it is!

And the newest animation of the explosions - without any shadow problems. These things rock! just a little more tweaking...!.AVI (280KBU)

Alright, I'll be back with an anim of the snowtorps firing...hopefully.


02 February 2002, 01:07 PM
Holy farfignugen! nice work Howard.
The rubber surface looks a bit flat tho.

02 February 2002, 01:12 PM
Wow, pretty damn awesome.

02 February 2002, 01:32 PM
Very Nice explosions!!

Is this all done using MAX standard particle systems? Any special materials? Or all standard MAX????

Either way, it's very impressive....


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:40 PM
Sigma: Yup, it does seem a bit flat. Any ideas on how to fix that? I haven't a clue...
Jeron: Yup - standard max particles, and no, no specical materials were used. It's just masks and noise... :)

02 February 2002, 04:27 PM
To prevent the tires from looking flat you can add little ridges above where the smooth round part meets those flappy areas. More like buttons but that poke out. Also add a few taped patches, scratches, and stuff.

The body of the vehicle seems a bit dull to me due to the texture. Add something "glowing" in the engine that should make it more interesting ;)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:30 PM
And right you are.
Green goo!!

Heh. Enjoy.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:50 PM
Slight update...

02 February 2002, 01:33 AM
Stop working please!!!! :D :D

02 February 2002, 03:11 AM
I was thinking what was missing and it came to me like blood rushing into my head:


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:36 AM
Yesss!! Thank you! that's perfect!

02 February 2002, 05:10 AM
Glad to be of some help! Can't wait to see it now!

Is FLIR like rope pulling machine? That device seems odd, maybe it'd look better if it were wider or built in? The way it is, probably fits because of the PA subject.

Also, it looks to me as if the tubes were too too smooth... ;)

Those don't have to be changed; this way you are just about finished and can get some sleep XD.

02 February 2002, 06:31 AM

if it is what i think it is, then FLIR is a infrared camera used by the military airplanes.


Awsome work Howard. Cant wait to see you animate that turret :)

02 February 2002, 07:24 AM
FLIR=Forward Looking InfraRed

Nice work by the way. Even my wife likes it! :D

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:52 AM
polymath: Heh, I'd like to say that i'd've thought of it eventually, but I probably wouldn't've.
PedramK: The turret is pretty simple. it only swings side to side. I'm considering ading a bit of rocking motions, but that seems incredibly complex... maybe i'm just a n00b at boning. :)
Tin_Can: Yup, that's what I meant. Though it doesn't look much like one, right?

New stuff: Chutes and ladders...and icicles!
GI version: :)

Thanks all for the comments, and keep 'em comin' !

02 February 2002, 08:22 AM
If the environment you have is snowy, I think snow would build up on the panels ;) But its also smooth and somewhat fast so it might not.

polymath: Heh, I'd like to say that i'd've thought of it eventually, but I probably wouldn't've.

What do you mean? I'm confused about what you are speaking of here :(

Well, I'm fresh outta ideas for tonight. Good night everyone!

PS: what are you using to render in GI? Maybe you answered this already, if so I'm sorry. Just wondering, thanks!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 11:07 AM
Ploymath: What I meant is that I'd like to take credit for the idea, but can't, cause you came up with it first. :) I cheated on the GI - it's 5 really smooth shadowmapped lights.

OK, I'm sitting there, looking at this thing, and wondering - how the heck does it move?? Jets? What?
So I added thrust! :)

This is really startin to look cool. :)

02 February 2002, 12:22 PM
Looks cool, nice design. What you need to do now is revamp your textures. You need to paint in more color variation, and more texture in the texture :] In that blue there should be green and yellow and red and everything else - if you lean it toward blue enough it'll look blue, but a really realistic blue instead of a flat computer style blue. See what I mean?

02 February 2002, 04:58 PM
The procedural textures really work here. Great work. I didn't think you could go that far with proc. textures.

Might try it for myself on mine :D

02 February 2002, 08:26 AM
Howard, your FLIR doesn't look 'exactly' like what I've seen on military helo's but it does have the same concept. That's the key though right? Same concept but different design....your design.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:15 PM
Anthony: You've got a good point. However, I can't add too much color in there or it'll go bad. Best I can do is some light grayish blues.
ByteHawk: You'd be amazed how far you can go with proc textures. I grew up using Pov-Ray, one of the most advance proc texture renderers out there. I felt a bit stifled when I came to MAX...
Tin_Can: You've got it. That's the idea. Well, that and I couldn't remember what an actual FLIR looked like!

New pictures from the next animation - note the better backwash and snow. Also look at the indented trail that this thing leaves behind!

It'll be up sometime tomorrow.

Night, all!

02 February 2002, 01:27 AM
That's alot of work so far. I enjot the fact that it looks totally functional and believable. Something that would take it to the next level would be to bend some of the railins and stuff on the front and maybe the sides of the craft. You know, to give it that wreckess driver and used feel. Make it subtle and people will sence it even if they don't neccisarily notice it.

Just my 2 cents.
Keep up the amazing work.
PS I love the smoke and snow wake trailing behind the craft.

02 February 2002, 01:31 AM
If you want, Howie (;P), I can add sound effects to it for you...

Just message me if you see me. Make it more fun ;) Probably could get some music in there too ;) But if you want the depth of the sound that'd be different, I'd have to use Foley Studio MAX from inside max. From there you could probably even have 5.1 surround sound ;)

Looking great, when are you gonna describe the power?

02 February 2002, 01:54 AM
Man! Awesome work!!!!

I haven't seen your progress since someone (I forget who) said it looked like a shoe. It's come a long way. Great work on details and environment. I love the look of the snow dirt on the inflatable thingie (I know... not very technical... it's late here).

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:56 AM
KOryH: Another good point! It won't be much of course, but it will add character...
polymath: I'm pretty sure I can do sound and the like on my own, when the final few animations come out. Don't believe me? check this out... (look out, it's 21 MB)
Okay, the new stuff - there are some problems with the wake. For some reason it looks like it's boiling. Also, the lights seem to shine through the smoke when there's an entire hovercraft blocking them... And Divx acted up and compressed the into a 2 meg file, instead of the 400-500K one I was expecting. Oh well.

Other than that, it's sweet.

Enjoy, all!

02 February 2002, 05:06 AM

Just take a careful, pensive look at that.... :-P

hehehe is the right address ;)

Silly Howard.

02 February 2002, 05:24 AM
Nice clip - also the mesh is a hard piece of work !
Why donīt you add some sound-fx and combine some clips to a little music-video ? I think of some heavy metal guitars ;)

Awesome model !!

02 February 2002, 06:48 AM
great anim

the only remark I have is the lens flares on the exhaust. I would kill them. ruins the black smoke effect. Maybe let the black smoke particles die out a little slower too

all round great stuff !!!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 08:15 PM
This is a qiuck Motion Test:

Just the first explosion part...

BTW, any chance of me getting on the front CGChannel page? No? Aw. :(

Well, Enjoy all! This final will hopefully be up tonight. It's SAAweet!

02 February 2002, 08:25 PM
This defenitly deserves front-page!

Been following this thread and it just gets better and better, truly amazing stuff!

Howard, you are my god :D


keep it up!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:19 PM
Heh - thanks! I'm nowhere near a deity, though. Barely human, in fact. :)
OK - here's the thing...My DNS is dead, at least for now. Do I'm sorry to all those who are just now visiting this thread, hopefully the server will be back up soon. In other news, that animation I was planning on posting died...mainly cause I was using my brand new GEForcece4 for display - and the bugger froze up. That's fixed now, I hope.

Once again, Thanks for all the comments!

02 February 2002, 09:34 PM
I'll give you space to upload Mr. Day. Very reliable...

Just ask for help!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 02:33 AM
Thanks for the offer, polymath. I doubt that your servers could handle the 3+ gigs of datatrnsfer mine were hitting a day. No I'm not kidding, and yes, it is pathetic. :)
In any case, I do have some space to put things temporarily. and here it is, with sound!!!!!!



I think the music goes great with the action. Kudos to whomever can guess the artist's name!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

02 February 2002, 03:09 AM
Actually, it can... and No I'm not kidding either ;)
I'm running on the same host as cgchannel itself ;)

I'm holding 4 domains, with unlimited space, and unmonitored bandwitdh ;)


Also, that link isn't working... Anyone else with a problem? Typo perhaps?

02 February 2002, 05:13 AM
Howard, stop teasing us with broken links ;) I really like the explosion. I'd sure like to know a little about it... The billowing main part, is it spheres or facing? How did you get the shadows to work if you used facing etc... Any info at all is appreciated :)

02 February 2002, 05:21 AM
if somehow you could remove the first 10 frames of the explosion, it would have a better impact.. for now the explosion comes out too slowly.. remember jampanese style: thre or 5 frames for the explosion to reach full size then 2 seconds of slow growing.... booomm.. cool scene anyway ;)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 03:26 PM
<<<<--- Is the correct link. Sorry bout that guys.
As for the server problems - they'll be fixed within the next 2-3 days. Until then you and I will just have to suffer. :)

urgaffel: Heh. Good question. Here's the answer:
The explosion is made up of 4 different particle systems. the first is a "complex" particle system, not facing - and the shadowcasting has been turned off. the shadows are coming from an invisible set of sphere particles that have the same seed number as the last. these fade out in size, rather than opacity - in other words, I cheated!!

Pascal: Thanks. I'm well aware of the anime style of explosions (sometimes nothing but glowing spheres....) and I deliberatly decided not to go that way. However, I do agree that it could spout" faster. in the meantime, enjoy it with sound!!!

Be back!

02 February 2002, 04:15 PM
Make a tutorial of the animation or i will... i will... -Damn! There is nothing i can threat you with.. ;)

02 February 2002, 05:07 PM
Hell yeah!!! Awesome work. Great animation too. What music is that. It really fits. Specially the anticipation of the tank coming over the hill. Love it...cant get enough of it...I got it on loop. Maybe work more on the rocks that fall. The anim on them stops abruptly

02 February 2002, 05:13 PM
i think it would look nice if the rocks would roll down the hill but would understand if that would be way tooo much to do... the explosion is very nice done... the only thing that looks strange is when the explosion blend out.... i dont know... mabye turn first the hole thing into black and then a fade out...

02 February 2002, 06:22 PM
i cannot see your images and videos :P

02 February 2002, 07:13 PM
Add some 18-wheeler type sounds to your HC. Smoke billowing, the combustion from the diesel(good sound to have, would fit well if used well). The sound you have is good but doesn't seem enough.

Otherwise, good stuff! ;)

02 February 2002, 08:53 PM
Great work, but I don't suppose you could post a non-DivX avi.....

Please..... it's just these damn uni computers don't allow us to install DivX codec. :(


02 February 2002, 12:55 AM
really nice work, the sound and musik are really adding a lot to the scene :D :D

02 February 2002, 04:00 AM
That is a great way to cheat :) It's looking mighty fine... Maybe a little deeper trail in the snow though. And the lensflares are visible when the hc is speeding away from you :)

But I like it lots. Really well done. I want to see more! Always more!

02 February 2002, 04:13 AM
Great stuff, I can almost see a headbanger on top wav'n his mop around :cool: Reminds me of the ending to the russian guy in Tekken. Any thoughts about cutting to a second shot to hightlight the details on the hovercraft? [edit: damn, servers down now:mad:]

see you,


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 08:16 AM
Hey gang!
All the data and files on my old server have been lost, so I'll have to upload them again! :( :( :( Meanwhile, here's the latest version. As you can see, I've modified the texture, and the area above the fueltank. It's going to be a sort of luggage rack, with lots of random stuff thrown in there.


02 February 2002, 08:33 AM
Holy crap4crap. That's nice :D

02 February 2002, 08:37 AM
Now that is a hovercraft I'd like to use. Sure as hell beats skiing :) Sorry to hear about your server. If you need any space or something, don't hesitate to ask. I haven't got as fancy equipment as polymath, but still...

When can we expect more cool animations?

02 February 2002, 08:52 AM
wow my prefer ,i likes it alot ,good idea !!!:D

Adam Klein
02 February 2002, 09:29 AM
I'm impressed Howard, I really like how this thing developed, that fluid tank looks schweet


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 09:59 AM
Thanks guys!
urgaffel:Darn straight. For one, Skis don't have twin 80mm cannon. When you say "gang way!!!!" you really mean it. :P
As for new animations, anyone have any ideas? I have a few, but I'd like to get some input from you all.
Adam: Yeah, that fue tank is going to change shortly - for one thing, the fuel is supposed to be some sort of phosphorent gel and only ignites when zapped with a electrical current. It's not flamible, or radioactive. Perhaps a color change? And I will be adding some bars on the gel tank's windows.

Once again, thanks, all!!

02 February 2002, 10:12 AM
damn!!....that's pretty damn impressiv.

02 February 2002, 11:56 AM
Five stars.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:17 PM
Here's the new stuff:
I've started working on the packages...


02 February 2002, 04:18 PM
Add some crates near those bags. Light, wooden crates full of um... weapons? Something like that. Also, it looks like the bags need straps of their own. They look like fat, tan blobs.

Urgaffel: no one cares about my "fancy equipment" so don't worry. Just stare into my splash page for a few minutes... ;)

02 February 2002, 05:35 PM
Superb! Just replace those fuel cans with rusty Russian "Jerry" cans and thatīs it!

02 February 2002, 05:41 PM
i think something like a snow-mobile that can be released to discover the surrounding would be nice... with a escelator or something like that...

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 08:17 PM
polymath - Yeah - they look undetailed close up, but they're not meant to be seen close up. See below!

tkay - Whoa! Too shiny! :)

dot - good idea, but where to put it? There's no room. :)

New Stuff:

02 February 2002, 08:24 PM
mighty fine.

Howard, how did you model the hovercraft, even on closeup it looks real smooth. (the fillets) Is it box-modeling with chamfered edges and meshsmooth? How heavy in polycount is the craft?

more movies more movies!

*edit oh damn i remember that's f-edge* :)

02 February 2002, 08:43 PM
wow, it keeps getting better and better!

i'd like to see a wireframe :D

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 09:11 PM
Polycount currectly stands at 150K. In the environment it jumps up to 200K. Add in 3 or 4 explosions? 800+K. Sucks to be me!

Added icicles all over the craft! Dang this looks good!
And a wireframe - w/o ice


02 February 2002, 09:15 PM
add another emphatic...crap4crap that is COOL. :D

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 11:11 PM
So, moderators, when am I gonna get to be on the front page? No bigger draw to the forums than a massive gun-totin' hovercraft! Pleassssseeee? I'll love you forever! Aww, heck. I love you now!
Ahem. Well, now that I've gotten that bit of dumbness out of my system, I've got a question for y'all!

Who wants to see this thing fire??

02 February 2002, 11:49 PM
me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me :D :D :D

02 February 2002, 12:12 AM
ME TOO !!!

02 February 2002, 01:30 AM
The icicles don't seem fitting. Rather than many many small ones, vary the size. There should be a few huge chunks of ice.

As for a snowmobile, you could hang one from the back by the railings. Just release the straps and ride on!

In the wireframe, there are a few boxes that don't yell out to me what they do. There is one under/in the fan, and another in front of the craft. At first seeing as it was near the fan, I thought it was a Particle System, but the one in the front as well as the one around the entire one. DOH! Those are icicles in bounding box mode aren't they!!! lol! answered my own question.

Woo hoo!!! Looking great ;)!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:25 PM
polymath: Good point. I'll make that modification.

Yay!!! My server's back up! Not all the stuff will be available right away - still have to find tome to upload 50+MB. :) Anyway, to celebrate, here's a anim of the hovercraft firing, and kickin the whup out of a wall. :)
It's got sound!!!
There's some problems with this anim though - the chaingun barrels don't rotate, and the elevation of the chaingun doesn't change, and it needs too. plue the environment is simplistic, and the explosions need work. But enough griping!

02 February 2002, 04:31 PM
Is that XSI???? I think its looking great. I think the textures on the haul of the craft are a little busy. Maybey blend them down a little. The detail is kinda lossing cause of that, thats my humble opinion. But it lookes awesome, love the details.


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:35 PM
Nope, that's 3DSMax R3. :)
Hm. Textures are a bit busy, true. But I like it. Gives it a really nice worn down look. I know exactly what to tone down, though.


02 February 2002, 04:36 PM
nice one... maybe a bit too yellow but comes nicely

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:38 PM
Heck - it's weapons fire!! Of course it's yellow/orange! Maybe it needs more orange? :)

02 February 2002, 04:40 PM
getting on the cover isnt up to us moderators but YOU got my vote if it helps:) i think its great man good work

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:45 PM
Heh. Don't worry bout it man. I was just playing around. :) It is a bit of a dream of mine...


And, thanks for the comment!

02 February 2002, 05:13 PM
the explosions are nice but i think if they wouldnt turn into grey at the end and more into black it would looks nicer and the shots from the machine-gun def need to be more white.

02 February 2002, 02:13 AM
Only one crit really and that is the mainguns flare. They are too small for the sound. If you go by the sounds, it would be a big flare and some recoil, but the flare in the anim is a puny little thing... Other than that, nothing to crit really... Just minor tweaks that have been pointed out already (heh... maybe this was too. Sorry if that's the case :))

When can we see a battle between 2 or 3 of these then?

02 February 2002, 03:41 AM
I'm building a vehicle, if I get anywhere NEAR done I'll post it for the challenge. It'll be really old and cruddy--most likely one weapon/cannon compared to your beastly war machine there ;)--, you can use it as enemies rather than your beautiful HC ;) But then again, you probably wouldn't want another person's craft(or work for that matter would you? :-P).
But really, the craft will look annoying and YOU WILL WANT TO SHOOT IT DOWN out of its misery.

I'm looking forward to more advanced landscaping!! Good luck!

Edit: As for the gunfire, if possible have it hovering and moving to and fro. That'd look cool ;) Therefore the effect of the blast(that was complained about being too loud) could be enough to push the HC back a bit giving it a bit more realism. As the cannon turns, the sharp break from the sound makes it seem funny ;) And the chaingun is so unrealistic because it is so still. Add some jolt in your keyframes. Or some actual spinning? lol And perhaps the engine would be on for all this to happen? I know this is just a simple animation but hey!

Hope any of those ideas help!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 05:17 AM
dot:Heh. I see what you mean. It's been fixed in the new version. Maybe the tracers need to be greenish?

urgaffel: WEll, it's not as small as it looks. It just happens that it is much longer than it is wide. You can see what I mean in the new version. As for the battle scene, I'm considering something new...stay tuned. :)

polymath: Wow - Thanks. This hovercraft isn't supposed to be a war machine - more like a mercenary/trader. I'm considering creating an actual war machine that would be the army/calvary/tanks of this future universe. :) Man do I have some cool ideas...I'll post sketches, maybe.

The cannon's been altered to move about more, and the barrels now rotate. Explosions are darker, and more realistic.

Enjoy, all!

02 February 2002, 05:58 AM
lol, I didn't really mean to say it was a "war machine" rather that:



What would you do without me? j/k

Definately can't wait!

Edit: The new anim looks much better. But the view seems cut off (target area).

Note: I did not mean to steal your avatar style, I trimmed my original cartoon and it turned out that way ;) Sorry.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:05 AM
Yeah, the target area is cut off because the focus is on the HC, not the target area. :)

And your avatar tooks nothing like mine. :D

02 February 2002, 06:36 AM
The target may be the HC, I don't know about everyone else, but my eye as the gun shoots follows the projectiles.

I meant the whole character upon white background, and 2d-shaded style. Of course, that in the avatar is in fact NOT me. lol. Do not be alarmed... hehe :cool:

Soeren Nielsen
02 February 2002, 07:18 AM
HALLELUJAH or something like that :D

Sweet love it, lets see the Chain"cannon" shoot down into the snow :)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 01:15 PM
Well, instead of sketches:
Heh. Enjoy!
And I am still working on the original HC. Let me know what you Think about the new one!

02 February 2002, 01:41 PM
Like the texturing better on this one, its cleaner. keep it up


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 02:54 PM
Thanks. I'm going for a used, yet somewhat "cared for" look on this one.

Quickie update:

At this rate I'll be done by tomorrow!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 04:14 PM
Heh. Well, it is a WIP, people. :)

02 February 2002, 04:27 PM
maybe other colors or other elements if it is from an opposite party...

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 05:59 PM
dot: Quite right - I'm considering adding banners and the like - sorta a dark-ages fiefdom feel. Maybe. As for different colors, anyone have any suggestions? :)

Well, I'm done for the night - 6 hours in and here you are - coming along nicely!

Now I'm going to bed. :)
Enjoy, and good morning, all!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 12:48 AM
Here's the new stuff- please note that the banner is not final - it needs to be more beat up, and less purple! :D
matching textures and lighting....


02 February 2002, 02:18 AM
You scare me. Don't you have a life or a job or something? Where dp you find the time?

And I must say I really like where you are going with this. Looks like we will have a showdown shortly :) As for different colouring... That might be hard since they are both supposed to blend in with the snow... Oh well, a solution will present itself I'm sure.

Great work. And fast!

btw, if/when you are going to do explosions that affect the ground, you could use the object deformer plugin from Peter Watje (I think...) which let you use objects to deform other objects. You could do craters with invisible objects. Kind of interactive non-destructive boolean. Might be useful :)

02 February 2002, 04:11 AM
hey man... when do you sleep? i like the banner... i think you could change the color to something blue/white... and i def have to see the showdown with the torps ;)

02 February 2002, 05:23 PM
Really cool design there. Where do you get the energy to do them so quick. I spend aboud 1.5 hrs a day on it and look where I am now !

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 05:37 PM
urgaffel: Heh. Do not be afraid! Nope, I don't have a job - I am looking though. Keep in mind here that I'm only 19. And as for sleep - Tonight I went to bed about 5:30 PM and got up at 2:00AM. I get plenty of sleep. :) Thanks for the tip on the object deformer!
dor: The banner's been changed.
Bytehawk: If you had something you really loved, wouldn't you do it as often as possible? It's the same with me and 3DMAX. :) Keep in mind though, It's not the only thing I really love. :D
No, not THAT!
New stuff: putting in the little details... Should this one have a chain-gun too? I don't know...

Enjoy! :)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:05 PM
Some logos I'm working on for this tank.

Any comments?

02 February 2002, 07:17 PM
hmm Howard that's an interesting design you have there :) mind where I ask you got the idea? cause I did one the exact same for a client a year ago ;)

Crisis averted.... continue of your regularly schedule programs ;)

02 February 2002, 07:38 PM
To be honest both of these logo's are have very strong Nazi influences.. I'd avoid them.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:42 PM
Wow. Heh. Wierd!

Well, I got it from a dingbats font - here it is:
I downloaded it off The font's name is:
The Devil Inside. I believe the letter used to call up this symbol is capital B,N,M - one of those three.
Here's a link to the site where I downloaded it:

The author is Freaky Fonts.

Do you want me to change it?

BTW - whasup with this??

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:45 PM
Rorschach: I see what you mean. It's gnna change. :) The old file's gonna be replaced.
Sorry bout that, guys!

02 February 2002, 07:47 PM
hmm wow, didn't know this was part of a font set :) at any rate, not mad or anything just was curious as to where you got the idea, maybe the client had the same thing in mind when he asked for it to be done, no harm, it's a free font set... carry on ;)


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 07:55 PM
Rorschach had a good point. I'm not probably going to be using that symbol. any ideas for new ones? :)

02 February 2002, 12:56 AM
That sign doesnt have anything to do with nazis. Its a biohazard sign.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 10:22 AM
AnimaLMotheR: The original wasn't a Biohazard sign - I changed over to that after Rorschach posted. It was originally an eagle of some sort - looked thike the thing the nazis put on the top of their flags.

Hopefully Anim you'll enjoy this as much as you did the last.

I've decked it out totally with craters on the walls, shell casings, improved explosions, better gunfire, better sounds...etc.
Anyhow, any thoughts on the new Hover Tank?


02 February 2002, 11:06 AM
No thoughts on the new hc, but the chaingun bullets look a little too green... Maybe more white/blue or white/pale yellow?

As for 19 and no job... You lucky bastard! I have to work 6 days a week... Ah yes, the good old days of 3d and sleep ;)

If you keep this up you should be able to get a job soonish.

Keep us posted!

02 February 2002, 11:06 AM
OH thaaaaats grooovy... d'love to see these hoowers to fight against each other... wooooow you are insaine man

02 February 2002, 07:09 PM
...good shots!;)

02 February 2002, 07:15 PM
Awesome Stuff Man !! I just spent the last 20min
reading through all the replies and looking
at your stuff, all I can say is.... enjoy working on
your own stuff, not gonna be long before you're
working for someone else, HE HE :D

Excellent Stuff.

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 08:05 PM
urgaffel: That would be my wish. While we're dreaming, anyone from Blizzard in here? :) I want a job. :)

Dave: Well, It's not like I haven't had a job, it's more like every job I've had has been temporary...I've worked for Adidas, Rotex, and a bunch of smaller companies no one has ever heard of. Speaking of which - The ad I did for adidas is coming out in Champs and Footlocker stores March 1st - go take a look! It's for the SL3 Runner, if your interested! :)

Thanks, All!

02 February 2002, 03:41 AM
Ok i understand about the sign. :)

Your stuff is great Howard, i am really impressed and every day hope that u post more renders.

Now these are the things that i think could be fixed if u want. :) Personally i would make it so only the guns move cos of the recoil and not the guns and the turret. Also it seems as tho the gatling gun is discharging too many cartridges. The last thing are the explosions. Usually they are not firey unless they hit something that is flammable. :) Explosions should just be a very short white flash (or no flash) followed by some smoke/dust/debris...

Hope this stuff helps in one way or another. :)

02 February 2002, 04:49 AM
Might be explosive shells ;)

02 February 2002, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by urgaffel
Might be explosive shells ;)

I know.. But it still wouldnt be this "firey". :) Maybe they were napalm high explosive shells? :D:D

02 February 2002, 05:44 PM
Your work is great !!! Hard to believe that you used procedurals. Would like to see your christmas special (the link doesn't work) ;-) I'm 17 for some days now. Well 2-3 years left to keep up with you...:rolleyes:

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 09:38 PM
AnimaLMotheR: Why'd you bold my name????? I'm not that important. :) And something to keep in mind - what you're seeing dischared from the gun are tracers - not the bullets. 1 tracer to 10 bullets, or something similar.

Cyberdodel: must find the time to upload 21MB. I'm still having server problems - I'm not going to upload it till they're resolved. :(
And about the age thing: Don't worry about it - you'll do fine. I've only been using MAX for 8 months, people! 3 years, and you'll be amazed at what you can do.

And did no one notice the goop in the tank sloshing around?? That was a sweet touch, I thought.

New stuff: I'm changing the colors and camo schemes. Also added those rocket packs, and got rid of the banner, for now. :)


02 February 2002, 10:48 PM
hey... someone give this man a stable server... i wanna see this anims !!!!!

02 February 2002, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Howard Day
AnimaLMotheR: Why'd you bold my name????? I'm not that important. :) And something to keep in mind - what you're seeing dischared from the gun are tracers - not the bullets. 1 tracer to 10 bullets, or something similar.


I make all names bold so ppl can easily spot when i talk to them/about them. ;)

I wasnt talking about tracers, but the cartridges that fall out the side of the gatling gun. It just seemed as tho it was spewing too many of them. :)

Keep up the extremely good work Howard. :D;)

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 02:48 AM
AnimaLMotheR: And the point I was trying to get across is that for every tracer you see 6-8 bullets are being shot out. If anything, there's too few shells being shot out the side of the gun. :)
Sorry if I wasn't clear!
And a quick test of the rocket packs firing:

Not perfect, I know. The flame and smoke need major work. also, need to add actual rockets in there. Those'll just be 8 sided altered cylinders. :) Why make it more difficult than need be? :D
And comments are really desired at this early stage!


02 February 2002, 04:00 AM
The bump maps (or displace [though I doubt they are displacement]) aren't large enough, perhaps tile a bit more?

You know I offered you some RELIABLE webspace ;)

Its fun watching it all get better and better :D

02 February 2002, 05:21 AM
I dont know man. I still think there are too many of them. ;)

The rockets are cool.

02 February 2002, 05:05 AM
men...i LOOOOOOVE the textures and the model, yeeeees i wanna know how to do a good texture :P

02 February 2002, 06:32 AM
Man! 8 months? What's your academic formation?
Are you currently studying? And how on earth did
you learn to do THAT in 8 months?!?

I wanna know because I dunno anything about MAX...
just installed it from a friend (who also doesn't know
anything about MAX)... I'd like to know how did you

What about photoshop? do you use it? How long?


Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:37 AM
Okay, I do believe that I'm done with these guys. If anyone has anything to add, now's the time. I'm quite satisfied as to how they turned out.

Heck. I love em both!

I am going to finish up the landscape next - so keep an eye out for that. Also, I am working on a short animation starring these two things, but any suggestions on scenes that you'd like to see are welcome at this point.
Once again, comments welcome!

Howard Day
02 February 2002, 06:51 AM
I'm a high school graduate. I was homeschooled, and opted not to go to college... For those interested, my SAT score was 1240, and my end of school achivement test ranked me in the 97th percentile. I just didn't see that I needed to do a four year school. Plus, I had no money. :)
Well, I've been doing 3d work for around 5 years - most of that using povray ( I guess it doesn't matter what program you use. :)

I've used photoshop for about 3 years.

02 February 2002, 10:21 AM

I have been viewing your work for a while now. Amazing stuff. I think Discreet should use your stuff as samples of what Max particles can do:-) Either way, I was thinking about your requests to show items in animation. I think what you have as far as the hovercraft is fine. Just have them engaging in a battle of some sort. But man, would I love to see 2 or 3 exterior troopers. Maybe even a rogue sniper. Wiro's character looks like he fits in the same world. Too bad there wasn't enough time to build an interior. Whatever you do, you've got my vote. Well done.


02 February 2002, 11:45 AM
give us a nice battle with a nice soundtrack and at the end the highlight and big explosions with the snowtorpedos. for adding stuff... maybe some crazy weapons for the second hoower ... maybe a particle gun that steams the snow emeadiatly or some ultra-audio-wave-laser for forcing avalanches...

02 February 2002, 03:24 PM
This has to rank as one of the best things i've seen done lately. Great work, I gotta say I really enjoied watching the WIP! Hope the animation will be great. I'd like to know where you get your ideas from. Best of luck in the contest.

02 February 2002, 04:13 PM
But the huge chunks of ice and snow are still no where to be seen :(

If you sent me the animations I'd upload em....

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 10:10 PM
Quick update -
Here's the latest version of the animations. I added a bit of film grain and scratches - which gives it a very unusual look. Let me know what you think!

Older version:
New version:


Daso Franke
03 March 2002, 10:25 PM
You made an / too much

corrected link

Older version:
New version:

great man has a lot of atmosphere and power

the dirty film thing is not so cool it looks wannabe

I know the max render is not good but try some lighting or correction to add more contrast and color to th scene

03 March 2002, 10:41 PM
Love the film grain, an obvious winner in the vehicle competition:) Good work.

03 March 2002, 12:36 AM
Daso Franke: Shame on you for putting the Max render down! :p It's all about what the artist does with it, not the tech behind it.

Howard: Looking good. I'm not a huge fan of the film grain either, but I love the landscape. How did you go about it? Modeling, texturing, etc.

P.S. Careful with your textures on top of the guard house, it looks like they sparkle a bit. Maybe lower the rez or hike up the blur a little.

03 March 2002, 01:19 AM
can i ask you about the polycount? :)

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 02:57 AM
it's at about 350K.
Thanks for the tip about the concrete textures - they've been fixed!

03 March 2002, 05:50 AM
(insert jaw-droping smiley here)

great stuff! :D

03 March 2002, 10:00 AM
I know the time is winding down for your submission. I think you've got a great chance to win this challenge While there are two entries that stand as good a shot as well, ( Koryh and the sicko holding the decapitated head:-) I'm much more fond of your hoverwar ap concept. It's like a movie or something. Really well thought out and stunning. Actually in some ways its very depressing . Unlike the "Madmax "apocalyptic motif that's rampant in this thread, your work seems very realistic in it's depiction of nuclear winter. I'd hope I'm not alive to see that world:-) Also everything you are trying to do with the grain is just a matter of artistic taste. Do whatever you like. Your work and efforts are just a joy to watch. Having said that, I feel like you need to add some soldiers/Characters to give your work a sense of scale(for example, how big are the sets/vehicles compared to humans?). When that hovercraft comes into the camp I'd expect to see armed guards ready and waiting. Or at the very least folks ready to refuel or store the craft? Even if they are just silhouettes. Here's an idea...Do the soldiers as silhouette 2d animations mapped to a flat polygon. Then you can place them in the scene with no serious rendering overhead. Just drop them in the shot. The piece needs that last tweak of realism to literally fire it over the hump. If you need help doing the 2d animation just let me know. That might be cheating though:-) Either way, don't stop!

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 01:03 PM
New stuff:

Tacumacah: Wow - thank you for your very detailed reply. I will try and answer the points you presented in the order you asked. :)
About the nuclear winter idea, I don't know. I think I look great in snowboarder gear and a ski mask. :D I did a whole lot of research on nuclear fallout and hovercraft. they'd be an excellent solution of transportation problems.

Looks like it turned out ok. :)

The grain is a valid point, as it distracts from the main action - the aproach of the trader/merchant/mercenary to the border checkpoint.

And here's the big one - I will be adding characters and soldiers to this animation - however, they will only be done after the challenge is over. There will be lots of people wandering around. This has turned into a longer range project than a simple challenge. And your point of scale is quite right. a human is just slightly taller than the skirt on the trader hovercraft. So these things are quite large. Right now they look like toys. :(
As for using rotoscoped sprites - good idea. I might just do that. It needs a lot of testing, though...

Well, enjoy the new one!

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 09:47 AM
What? No comments? :P

03 March 2002, 09:57 AM
What is there to say? Its freaking perfect. :D

03 March 2002, 05:03 PM
Dude It's perfect! Now all you got to do is make a longer animation, like 5mb (hehe, Its not about lenght, its about size for me) :) damn that sounds dirty :). But anyways, i am sure nobody will mind if you make a longer animation!


03 March 2002, 05:12 PM
yeah we wanna have a full length movie.. lets say 90 mins? no ? ok 1 min will do it also ;)

03 March 2002, 10:58 PM
Ok, so tell me you work in the games industry somewhere,.... come on you must.

Outstanding work.


Howard Day
03 March 2002, 02:03 AM
Thanks guys. There will be an update later today, which adds in people for scale. The animation on the peeps is somewhat jerky, but it's the best I could do in 30 mins... I'll spend more time on it later.
The final length of this anim will be about a minute:30. (1:30) counting credits. So somewhere around 15MB. DIVX. :) And no, I don't work anywhere. I want a job!!! With Blizzard!! :D That part's not likely, I know... A man can dream....
Thanks, all!

The Librarian
03 March 2002, 02:27 AM
Oook? Eeek!!!

03 March 2002, 03:14 AM
More movies?!? :eek: Coool. :D

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 07:41 AM
It's not perfect. The peeps have something funky going on with their walks. Must fix that...

Enjoy, comments welcome.

03 March 2002, 07:53 AM
A job with Blizzard, eh? Isn't that what we all dream about? :D

Looks great so far, but I don't like the lensflares on the headlights. They're too... standard looking, particularily the blue color. I think regular glows would look better.

03 March 2002, 05:36 PM
Really good looking. And now for the crits :)

The people are stand-ins as you said, so I won't bitch about them :)

The concrete texture on the bunker on the right sparkles, and I'm with paradox/tim on the lensflares, they seem a little over the top.

I'd also suggest trying a straight camera path, it's a little too curvy at the moment. It doesn't feel right. Partly because I have never seen the like in a "real" movie. And that is what this feels like. The intro to a "real" movie. As an example, the directors of Shrek (I think it was...) said that they mimicked a regular camera setup in their scenes so that the audience wouldn't react at any crazy camera movements etc. I think your short would benefit from that too. It has the potential to look like an actual movie. Go for it! :)

Btw, the red flares on the hcs to the left flickers some.

You've got a great feeling in the scene. I'm very eager to see more! Good that you got rid of the blue sparkles on the fence, they didn't really fit imo.

Keep it up. You've got my vote for vehicle/env!

03 March 2002, 06:19 PM

Looks good to me. I love the camera work. It shows everything about the environment then focuses in on the Action. At the exact end it slows almost to a stop then drifts a bit. Just like a real cameraman imho. Priceless. The lense flares could be less although it adequately mimics real cameras. Perhaps reduce the number of flares (Building lights) or eliminate them all. I don't know, this is all so subjective. Maybe rent "The Eiger Sanction" or "The Empire Strikes Back " and see how the camera reacts in that environment. The only thing I can say for certain is to fix the character walks (which you said you were doing). Also, not everyone has to walk. They can hold rifles or be gathered into a crowd. Answer this question...What are they doing? Why are they doing it? Put the same level of thought into what the inhabitants are doing that you put into the design of the hovercrafts. You're right from your earlier post, you may have to wait till after the challenge. Although I want to see your piece yesterday:-)

In the end once all of this stuff is put together folks will be into the story. Add grain, add flares, add particles? I think you've done virtually enough from what I can see. Sometimes you've just gotta let that bird fly you know? I'm already convinced of the "plausibility" of this world. This for me was solid from the concept stage. The efx work you have just seals it. The visuals are just eye candy really. Even after you tweak your settings, everything will be effected by your final edit. Who is in this hovercraft? Why are they firing on each other? How do they survive in this environment? Do I give a damn about those people walking in the snow. Its your chance to remake your movie. I can already say that my interest is perked. Now tell me a good story. Regards

03 March 2002, 01:18 AM

Technically, Mr. Day, if this is going to be film-like, it would probably be right using lens flares to fake as if you were using a real camera. Only if the camera wasn't moving, then I think the lens flare could be removed. But wow the flicker is uncool.

The environment is really cool ;) Instead of all three guys walking, have a few as guards standing watch next to a little toll booth thingy. The electric fence looks silly that way, flickering. I'd suggest having signs, but that's all up to you. Either way its still great ;)

As for camera movement, its great, but I suggest you lower the camera a bit more and aim up to suggest scale and etc.

Looks better and better every time ;) Keep it up.

03 March 2002, 05:10 AM
There actually shouldnt be any lens flares. Think about it : Your shot is in daylight, or somewhat lit conditions. If you look at car with its headlights on full in daylight, they dont produce much glow, right? So in order to see those flares there would have to be a very, very powerful lightbulb there, or a mini nuclear explosion :). But otherwise damn great work, I am sure you'll be atleast in top 3 !

03 March 2002, 06:43 AM
Really great work Howard.

Don't forget to let us know where we can see the final AVI once this challange has ended.

03 March 2002, 01:43 AM
Keyword Icarus: LOOK

Lensflare is created by the camera lens. Even in broad daylight there can be flares. Anamorphic lens, I believe, create the most visible streaks. Besides, its a blizzardic (lol! blizzard, for Blizzard get it? Nevermind...) environment, you'll probably need super strong lights to see through it anyway :p

Collection of all the .avi's I could get my hands on.

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 05:56 AM
Thanks, polymath.
Here's another one to add to your collection... :)

Awww, yeah. This thing is looking fine. I really love that bridge and the shadow it casts over the checkpoint.
Enjoy, and as always, comments are welcome!

03 March 2002, 06:15 AM

Damn. Well I don't know what to say. Brilliant. Wow. You know even with the camera doing the swoop from above one could arguably say that that shot was gratuitous. But the bridge solution just made my jaw drop to the floor. You have that eye sir. And believe me, not everyone has that, no matter how young or old. Its a very very rare trait. Don't take it for granted. I'd say start editing, if you haven't already. If Blizzard doesn't hire you, someone else will...maybe me:-) Absolutely stunning.

I'd be condemed to hell if I didn't give you my vote. Regards

Ps. Last little thing, tighten the walks. The easiest way to do it quickly is via character studio in footstep mode. Amazing.

03 March 2002, 06:23 AM
Damn, when is this coming out in cinemas :)

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 06:28 AM
Thank you, sir. As for the character walks, I didn't use CS to make them. Those are just simple mesh animations that loop. Having aprox 12 different bone configs/setups around can be cluttered - so I went another way. :)
As for the vote thing - How do you think that'll work? 3 different categories? One overall? Heh - I don't know it it matters... I doubt that I'll grab first or second in either case. :(

Thanks for all the comments - 210+ so far! I'm honored!

03 March 2002, 06:32 AM
Very sweet Howard ... looks like you are going to have a very nice animation short on your hands. I'm trying to pull one off too so I know how much pain, suffering, and tweaking goes into getting the shots right.

Unfortunately mine isn't going to be near as clean as yours but I'm gonna try to wrap it anyway (to at least a semi-acceptable level of satisfaction). My only comfort comes from the fact that you will soon HAVE a job and therefore will not be able to spend so much time on the next challenge. :D

BTW, have you got any info on the drop dead deadline, formats, resolutions, etc. for the turn ins? Thanks ... look forward to seeing the edited piece.

03 March 2002, 07:01 AM
damn you're good. Don't think I'll have the final anim ready for mine. Real life (work) got in the way :D

03 March 2002, 07:05 AM
wow incredible

ur self-taught also?
amazing work

03 March 2002, 07:07 AM

I understand about the mesh animations. I also realize this is not the final although it's about 98 percent. I was referring to the sliding. The walks/runs move fine they just need to be insync with the ground. 30 minute job tops. I imagine you're exhausted and burnt out but still, respectfully, do it. I'll explain why... From my standpoint everything you've done is a perfect balance of clarity and economy. You've got this really epic piece but its not overblown or overdone. Elegant is the word that comes to mind. However, the only thing that calls attention to itself as being out of place is the sliding (the ground runs/walks, not on the bridge). Take a deep breath and go into the valley one more time. That last tweak. Then let it fly. Trust me, you will be rewarded because you'll know you pushed the piece beyond what it was supposed to be and into something far greater. Most importantly, your future employers will know it.

As far as the voting goes I don't know that it matters really. When you look at the sheer number of posts, and the traffic that comes through this place i'd say your piece, whatever it's called, has attracted attention. That attention comes not just from fans of your work, such as myself, but industry people as well. If by some miracle you are not hired within the next few months (don't want to get your hopes up high but I really believe this won't be the case imho) I'd say get your thing done and produce your reel. There are a ton of options open to you. What you do after this point, very simply, is totally up to you.

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 12:46 PM
YemYam: Thanks. As for the deadline stuff, I haven't a clue. Sorry.

psumo: Yup. Self taught. :)

Tacumacah: Good point about the sliding. I don't know if you realize this, but this animation is in fact around 9% complete. I'm just getting started. :) This is the first of (counts on fingers...) 10 shots. They will include sound in the finals. I'm going for a little longer haul than you might think. :) And I'm not tired of this at all. I'm havin' a blast.

thanks for all your comments!!!

03 March 2002, 04:31 PM
Truely excelent.

I think the guys walking along the bridge are great. I wont go into all the other great things that you have going on that others have mentioned, you'll only get big headed :D

A couple things that caught my eye on repeated viewings are :
The red barrel blow from the hover up on the bridge seems a bit over powering, possibly reduce it in size.
Whilst the guy in the watch tower is a great touch, I don't like the guys on top of the other buildings, they seem pointless and out of place. If they were guards they wouldn't be so exposed.

I like the guys running about the ground. How about the guy at the base of the watch tower putting his arms up to shield his face when the hover tank comes in with it's trailing cloud of snow.

Don't forget to let us know where we can find links to your continuing WIP's and the final project.

Hey, perhaps we can make the next contest "Hover tanks in snow scenes", that way we could continue watching your progress :D

03 March 2002, 05:25 PM
Oh my... You'd better not quit now or you'll have a riot in your hands :D Great stuff and I want more. Always more! Keep at it and you'll have a job in no-time :)

03 March 2002, 09:55 PM
Really great (except for the humen :D )

But one BIG question:

I really like your participles and would like to know how you learnt that. Well I know: participles, set Values, Add wind/noise, facing, mask: radial falloff, Diffuse=Noise and that's it, or ? But how do I get a good movement ? I mean: half an hour for rendering, Oh no !!! Again, Oh no !!! again, Some days Later: Nice Smoke + Fire. Is there any other way or some good tutorials ??? Or how did you creat the parciciples behind the hovercraft (avi with music) ? Would be happy about a (short) answer.

I also started a vehicle some days ago. I won't finish in time...

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 12:02 AM

yog: The topmost laser has been toned down by half.

urgaffel: Heh. I doubt that you'd riot.

Cyberdodel: I set up test scenes where I create my particle f/x. Therefore, the renderings can take only 30 seconds, not 30 minutes. In 30 minutes, I'll be done. :) Tell you what - I'll post the sourcecode for the trails later, OK? The next update. :)

Here's what is, in my opinion the final version of this shot. BTW - I kept a bit of the sliding - after all they are walking on ice, snow and mud. :)

Oh, yeah - most of the concerns presented here have at least been noted, if not acted upon. :) Ad you'll see that I've changed the canyon texture to give it a more wintery feel. More snow and drifts, and the like. Thanks all!

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 12:06 AM
Oh, yeah - I wann be on the front page!!!!! I think I've earned it, right? :)

03 March 2002, 12:13 AM

Well done. So when do you estimate you'll be done with a full edit? I'm anxious to see this thing. The scene looks and feel frozen and iradiated. I love it. Particles an timing are good I think. However, would it be too much to either 1. delete the front left walker from the scene or 2. speed him up. Looks like he's walking in slow motion. If you can't, then its cool. Regards

Howard Day
03 March 2002, 12:19 AM
Oh, I don't know - at least a month. Keep in mind that the longer it takes, the better the final product will be. And if this thing is going on my demo-reel it'd better be GOOD! :) Good eyes on that close peep. I'll fix it strait-away.

03 March 2002, 01:11 AM
Oh, yeah - I wann be on the front page!!!!! I think I've earned it, right?

Uh-oh, we better slow down on comments, I think its going to his head... lol

03 March 2002, 01:26 AM
Spectacular imagery. I love the world you have created. The camera work could be better, however. My suggestion would be to tone the swing to the right WAY down. This shot is simulating a crane shot in the real world. That would be too fast for practicle shooting. Try starting with the camera further to the right, and tilted up to the left like you have now. then move down diagonaly to the lower left and tilt the camera back to the right to focus on the Hovercraft. This will include all the same things you have in your current shot, but simplify the movement. It will be much easier on the eyes and make it feel more cinematic. If you have any questions or need clarification feel free to e-mail me. Maybe I can draw you a diagram or something.
Once again, really bang up work. I wish you luck with your reel.


PS add a little settle and hip in to your walk cycles, they seem a little floaty right now. I think those minor changes will really take this to the level you want!

03 March 2002, 06:13 AM
Don't tempt me ;) Anyway, it's looking great, and by placing the left bunker in shadow, you've gotten rid of the sparkling texture (don't remember if you fixed it earlier, but still :))

Only one crit actually. I think you should go for a more cinematic camera style... It would give the shot a sense of polish that is missing. It's like the last 0.001%. You've got a great shot and great start on a short, and it's just that last little detail. Make us proud :D

03 March 2002, 11:48 AM
Looking better and better! I'd agree with Koryh on the camera movent, maybe some dolly movments too ? Also the whole set up could be a litle longer. And one nitpick on that guy running, try having him kinda react to the impending hovercraft, he speeds up and looks at and then get's out of the way ?

Hope I helped,

see you,


Howard Day
03 March 2002, 10:21 PM
Here're my final images for this contest!

03 March 2002, 10:29 PM
The picture doesn't seem to be of anything..

03 March 2002, 10:51 PM
Lovely :) No shots of the environment?

03 March 2002, 08:13 AM
Howard ma man - You are a machine!
Came back to catch up on the haps here and spent the entire time checking your progress. :wip: and some progress it was!

I would like to put in a guess for the sounds - was it metalica, something old, four horsemen? ??
I am going to have to dig into my collection later and check. :rolleyes:

Keep it up man, you are hammering for that front page spot if you post one REAL nice pic of it on location! :D


03 March 2002, 01:04 PM
Good Work:applause:

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