View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Brian Linwell

10 October 2004, 05:11 AM
Brian Linwell has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Final jpeg (

Okay, here\'s the final jpeg.

10 October 2004, 05:27 AM (

The space exploring planet of Narkion was being attack by invisibly cloaked
alien ships. Untill finally the Battleship Hekion arrived with the new Ultraviolet Hypervoxel Beam. The attacking armada was revealed and so valiantly hammered by the Hekion that they limped away forever! Hail Hekion!
Well okay it's a start!

10 October 2004, 05:38 PM
The story- Brian Linwell (c) 2004 all rights reserved

The Senorians' invisibly cloaked ships had been harassing the planet Narkion for many centuries.
Then they escalated into war. No longer satisfied with abductions and mind control, they started attacking cities with their ship's torpedoes. The situation on Narkion appeared hopeless. Not a single enemy ship could be hit, not even seen! But a lonely art couple on a distant orbit was experimenting with space art, projecting particle beams and trying out different color filters and light wavelengths when...WHOA! A horrendously frightening Alien spaceship suddenly appeared in their beam right in front of them! The aliens appeared stunned for a moment, then fired on the Hekion art ship, disabling the Hekion's communications equipment. Brian, on the Hekion, immediately fired a low pulse lazer cannon at the attackers. Amazingly, The alien ship's controls were flamed and the attackers tried to send a surrender message but the Hekion, of course, couldn't hear it because the enemy had just destroyed the Hekion's radios! The enemy ship, out of control, continued on a frightening crash ram course on the Hekion! Brian, in a sudden panic, forgot to turn off the lazer cannon, which continued to fire on the alien ship.
To Be Continued...

I'm getting lots of ideas, another concept sketch i'm working on shows a city below the ships, and Brian's wife tapping him on the shoulder as he admires the art in space, with her jaw falling in amazement as the alien fighter ship appears out of the fog would be another.

This is my first challenge and I'll learn a lot.

10 October 2004, 05:58 PM
Different color filters..sounds like this is going to be a brilliantly lit scene.
Sounds promising.
Good luck

10 October 2004, 02:59 AM
Thanks Arsyn. Yes it will be brilliantly lit. These two crippled ships will engage in a battle within the enormous space art maze while their respective space colonizing empires ramp up their battles! Sure the art gets torn up, but Brian and his wife Beverly outwit the warship within the
maze of art, using the map to the fog of war which they created. The enemy ship has a secret they carry of the evil of their empire. Of the secret light within the dark.

10 October 2004, 03:04 AM
Sounds like a good idea...but you need to create some sketches that show the sense of something where the planets all in smokes and flames from the constant attacks and all the ships are on fire including the one with the purple lights and it's only in the last second that they finally see the enemy ship and at that moment they know they are saved!! - just my 2 cents

10 October 2004, 09:31 AM (

This is an alternate view, with a city,under attack. The Herkion has lit up the enemy's invisible ship so a friendly fighter can attack the alien. I may put other ships dogfighting thru the space art, tearing it up.

HieSpike- Thanks. I am planning to make the city look alien, this is just a rough. I hope the perspective I made is somewhat original in this challenge.
I'm wondering if a destroyed city looks grand. Hmm...Lots to consider in this challenge. I may add a person or too in the foreground too, if it's not too confusing, i'll see.
I'm not satisfied with the colors of the space artwork,seems a bit much, what do you guys think?
How about a guy singing opera in the foreground? Joke.

10 October 2004, 09:48 AM
guy singing opera in the foreground? :D dude if you're not using that idea, may i? hehehe

your story seems to be action-packed.. the idea having 'space art' in the background is quite nice i think
i much prefer your second layout .. it definitely has more dynamic than the first one, with burning city underneath and spaceships dogfighting up above.. its does have an epic feeling to it.
you might want to look into the perspective, because right now it's a bit difficult to see where the horizon is

10 October 2004, 10:04 AM
I agree that the second, more dynamic, version is messed up a little. It looks like opened space above but those buildings make the contrary expression that it's on planet surface. The sky doesn't fit. Maybe because of the perspective.
Since it's not your final work you can give it more design.

10 October 2004, 11:44 AM

it's deffinetly coming along, and you should deffinetly put the opera guy in the foreground (Am I kidding?..I'm not sure really!) Anyway, You might want to try a landscape version. Make the city (which looks great in my oppinion) much lower, maybe the city and horizon only come up and inch. then you can make the rest gadiate from stary sky to space. And in the sky you could put maybe 5-10 ships that are on fire as well...maybe even a ship that's crashed into the buildings below. Then I would make the invisible ship more menacing, maybe have it coming towards the camera from above looking down on us. And finally, you could put the alien ship with the lights coming in from off screen, above the invisible ship shinning it's light. Hope that confused you enough!!! Have fun!

10 October 2004, 04:56 AM
Andrey_SE - Yes,I figure I'll fix the horizon when I make the buildings more alien.

HieSpike - I do plan to do a concept with the opera singer and see how it works.
Was checking out some opera biography books at a bookstore today
and i'm getting some ideas...hahaha.
Going to keep the view vertical like a bookcover, it's a challenge!

10 October 2004, 06:23 AM
All the opera singer jokes are making me think of the blue singer in The Fifth Element. All the space art talk is making me think of a laser rock show! Trippy man. I guess the art is serving to reveal the otherwise invisible bad guy, right? To me that's the crux of your visual concept (so far) -- how to make an empty space the main focus of an image. Interesting challenge. You mentioned some 3d models were in progress?

10 October 2004, 06:55 PM
markw7- Yes, the planets have become increasingly attacked by these invisible spaceships. Just by "accident" a couple creating space art discovered a way to see the ships, and this is the crucial changing moment that saves the galaxies.
I've been working on the 3D ship models, especially trying to make the evil guy's ship super bad. Hope I pull this off. :eek:

10 October 2004, 11:39 AM (

These are the wings, or arms to you opera scientists,of one of the attacking enemy ships. This is a straight render.

10 October 2004, 11:42 AM (

Here are the same wings in a volumetric light. Now I've got to work on the body. It's 4:45 A.M. again!

10 October 2004, 12:01 PM (

This is the image with anti-aliasing.
Theattacking alien ship.

10 October 2004, 09:15 PM
nice design, let's see the body!!! :)

10 October 2004, 03:23 AM
HieSpike- Yeah I'm sketching various body ideas. I also did a pencil
sketch of an opera singer, overweight, in a space costume...hmm
can't be anything but an entirely original dude, so I guess doing a
cartoon of Luciano Pavarotti howling bigtime in space boots and
blaster at his belt, while very funny, will have to be changed to
some imaginary alien wanna be! I plan to put that original concept
in for laughs though.

10 October 2004, 04:24 PM
Cool entry... :buttrock:

I like specially the second POV, the one right down in the city. Way more dramatic.


10 October 2004, 04:33 PM
I'm using Lightwave too, HieSpike. I did the Photoshop sketch at a coffee
shop on my laptop, moving my dongle from my Dell 3ghz desktop at home.
Now it's back on my laptop and off to work for an hour or more in a
coffee shop. I use an Intuos tablet, the cool translucent black special
edition. I plan to work on the spaceship body. Been trying to do edging
grooves using a wedge I made to Boolean subtract the gouge lines on the
ship wings but it didn't work too well so i'll try knifing new polygons and
pulling them up or down. Is that what you do?

10 October 2004, 04:37 PM
Thanks Doublecrash. As I mentioned in your entry I really got a kick
out of your concept! Made me really laugh, first in this contest, Because
it is so original! I'll be keeping an eye on it!

11 November 2004, 07:44 AM (

Here's a body idea i've got. I may
change it. It needs details yet.

11 November 2004, 07:25 AM (

Worked some more on the attacking alien
ship. I also started working on the buildings and I'll probably do more of that next. Then I gotta start on the defending cruiser.

11 November 2004, 11:47 PM
Good work so far, but try to give the ship more datail and for now concentrate on modeling not texturing. I think you will get better results!

Keep on!

11 November 2004, 04:34 AM
high- Yes I plan to give this ship more detail and rework the nose
because I feel it's too skinny. But I want to get the buildings
fermenting in my head too, so I can decide on the look and feel.
So i've been messing with that. I guess I can mix the building
styles, like here in San Francisco you have old victorians to strange
metal buildings to a pyramid skyscraper, so i'll do something like that,
so look out...:)

11 November 2004, 06:20 AM
great idea work on the ships and especialy textures since your viewing the ships so close

11 November 2004, 05:40 AM
I seem to be working all over the place right now. I did an insignia
texture for the red fighter, worked more on the buildings, and started
the big defender ship on the left, made a nozzle for it. I'm gonna make
this ship the HUGE one. Maybe i'll work out a collage of these elements
To see if it helps. Maybe i'll post that in a couple days. This challenge
is a blast.

11 November 2004, 08:55 AM (

OK here's my start on the Opera Singer
for the foreground. Hope you like it so
far.He's going to be really houling out
a Space Opera. Any comments?

11 November 2004, 11:23 PM
hi Brian, it's hard to comment right now. I'd like to wait till you post some more of that character. Ship looks fine. keep going

11 November 2004, 12:09 AM (

Here is the Space Opera Singer, without his head. Did it get blasted off? No, that's still on the drawing board. He'll also have stylish armor,
heck I might even give him medals and a space gun. What do you think so far?
Any crits welcome.

11 November 2004, 02:02 AM
Any ideas for his head? Should he be human?
Is it too much to have eggs thrown on him?

11 November 2004, 02:08 AM
the eggs may be a bit out there =) not sure why you went off concept with this one but im sure you know what your doing.. and would probably be cool having him be human...

11 November 2004, 02:21 AM
:) vrhead- Okay I'll make a human head...hmm, I think I'll make him
sorta serious, about his art, I mean.
As to why I got off concept---yeah, I just got this funny idea
and I want to see if I can work it in. Maybe he won't be too big,
like he's just part of the madness. Of course if he really doesn't
fit I can drop him. We'll see when I start to put togeter a 3D
composition. Let the people vote on this one!


11 November 2004, 03:19 AM
Turbinea- Thanks for the motivational words. I've added some more of his body,
well I just need his head, then I have to tweek it and add the accessories, of course.
I hope I get in the mood tonight, I just saw your post now. That helps! Now what will
I work on tonight? The face, or more of the crazy Ivan Nuclear Bomb piston engines?
Ahhh yes, dees iz a beeeeeeg ship....
Ahhh yes, how do you use pistons in space? Isn't that to turn somethink like a Tire,
dumkoph? You have a superhighway in deez space?
Reply to Super Commander Kauff: No. The pistons are necessary to contain the highly
toxic exhaust. Please review the top secret documents. Of course, then we will have to
shoot you. Any more questions? Ahhhh... I theeenk not.

11 November 2004, 03:25 AM
hmm...his right arm looks a little long right now. If you're going for a human type of physique then perhaps you should check out some anatomy reference? Reference would be good for proportions.

Keep going man!

11 November 2004, 03:55 AM
keetmun- Very much my concern reply is. As I decided wiyh vrhead, I'll make the
head human. So I should make the body human. But this charekter is supposed
to have short legs. It is this very Napoleonic Complex that led him to be the greatest
Opera singer in all the known galaxies. What he lost in leg size he made up in inter-
galactic performances. A special lightspeed engine was developed just to transport
him to his galaxy hopping performances. He is actually responsible for personally
developing the largest and fastest ship in the universe, to transport his huge sets
and entourage. You can read all about him in the Daily Galaxy News.

11 November 2004, 04:24 AM
About the red ship, I was thinking of him as the Space Fokker.
But I think I will really ellongate the gun barrel in the front and
blow up the "mouth" area and name him also known as the
Death Spitter.

11 November 2004, 04:54 AM
keetmun- I actually modelled this character with his arms down
so that I could get his hands to mid thigh, then i rotated them
up to position. That is why his right elbow is a ball, which I will
need to tweek into an armpit. It was originally a ball socket type
design, just a ball I pulled and knifed and pulled and knifed and
shaped the crossections from. So there is a kind of anatomoicalally
correct "error" in this character.

11 November 2004, 05:04 AM
I also made his torso relatively larger and red because he eats a lot
of tomatoes, his favorite dishes are Italian pasta and spagetti sauces.

11 November 2004, 05:10 AM
Brian, the head has *got* to be Kevin Spacey's! :-) No doubt you will win some sort of special prize for taking this contest literally.

11 November 2004, 01:11 AM
nuclearman- O.K. then, Kevin Spacey is inspiring the forehead as I model, I've
only got the top of the scull so far. But I can't make the model look like
anybody because that's the contest rules. But like I said, I think I may use
a large forehead. Thanks for my preciousssss prizesssss idea, but I'm one of
those guys just expecting to learn from this, which I am, and having a lot of fun.

11 November 2004, 02:24 AM
Ok thats's one crazy story! Keep going... :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 09:42 PM (

This is the Grand Space Opera Singer WIP. Just showing my continuing work on the head now. Any comments appreciated.

11 November 2004, 02:57 PM

First of all; Weird story.

As for the opera singer, I think you need to work on some things;

1) his arms seems too long.
2) The mucles on the arm are a little to defined for this fat guy.
3) The Head doesn┤t match the character; too thin and long neck. In my opinion you shouldn┤t see his neck at all(covered in fat...:)). The Lower part of the head itself should be wider that the uper part due to his fatness.
4) Tits of fat?....

Things I like about the opera singer;

1) his legs are promissing. Also these leather boots are great/funny
2) his mouth is a real opera singers, pointing downvards at the sides.
3) That his stumick is wider than his butt. He has jumped into a pair of too small space suit pants.

Overall Original Story. Would like to say, as others has said, wait with the texturing until you have a more clean concept to work with.

Keep going

11 November 2004, 04:45 PM
I just got up and saw your post, it is really funny
to me, you are so right! I may post a wireframe
when I get back from work as I probably need to.
It is that this guy (what should I name him?) has such
a huge wardrobe (haha) that I am stunned thinking
of what he should wear today. The foot-wide space-
time jump medallion, where people can push their heads
into whatever time and place they are thinking of? Or the
Levatiutian boa constrictor chameleon-snake he wore
arround his neck in his last three galaxy venues?
Well I'm off to work, I'll think about this...Thanks!


Help! Somebody save me!

11 November 2004, 06:32 AM (

Here's my first wireframe. I made him basically by knifing slices and pulling them out and shaping them. Then I would build more polygons wherever I needed them. I'll post more wireframes later, as the design evolves.

11 November 2004, 03:53 AM
I've decided to definitely put The Space Opera Singer in my
challenge. Now I think I need to make two new spaceships,
the paperatzi ships that follow the huge main show ship, and
the space mafia ships that protect the main ship. Maybe Mr.
Copolla will make me an offer I can't refuse to produce my movie!
So I just renten a couple DVD's for inspiration, Mozart's Don
Giovanni, a film by Joseph Losey, and Casino, with Robert De Niro
and Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. Ya this challenge is fun!
Got comments? We need to talk.....

11 November 2004, 08:42 PM (

Here's the nozzles for the main planet defender ship.

11 November 2004, 09:33 PM
Ya, what in the world is happening with my concept/storyline?
Well, as I see it developing, the planet of the galaxy being attacked
is also the planet that the Grand Space Opera Singer happens to be
performing in. Lucky for that planet. Because the Don does not like
his performances disturbed. It is also of great coincidence that the
technique to decloke and reveal the invisible attackers has been reached
by the art ship. This art ship is actually a huge ship full of art students
from various Universities and colleges. They are on six month space art
challenges. The huge ammount of space art led to the decloaking of the
attackers, attackers which were in the midst of burning the Don's sets!
The protective space mafia ships were not going to take this, and along
with the planets, and later the Galaxies' defenses, counterattecked.
Inspite of the confusing paperatzie ships.

11 November 2004, 10:10 PM
Your story is totally off the chart, dude! :D Hilarious! A ship full of art students gets me a bit worried... thinking about what happened to 'Ark B' in the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy... 'twas not pretty :scream:

11 November 2004, 01:25 AM
I want to see this finished.......
keep it up.....

11 November 2004, 09:04 AM (

This is a test of the composition to see if the Grand Space Opera Singer fits into the picture ok. It's a concept sketch and of course there's a lot more to add and change untill I feel satisfied with it. Right now it looks pretty clashy and I really need to refine it. Please offer any help you think of.

11 November 2004, 10:41 AM
JamesMK- Great to have you on my thread! I'm relly enjoying yours.
Yes my thread's story seems wild, so I am taking a hint from you
and doing a composition test. That would be the one above. I'm soo
ooo glad I did because now I can start to get it together. I hope I
balance out my colors too. The nozzles will go on the big ship on the
left, which I will reposition so it fits better. I put the building in front
of it to make the ship look bigger. Without the building the ship looked
like a small one. So like you said, the composition stage is very important.
Thanks for helping me to step on it!

WazaR- Thanks for the enthusiasm. The composition sketch above will
help us both try to get an idea of what the heck is going on here.
Let me know if anything jars off key...the singer is on a rooftop of a building
that is burning. He wanted this setting at night because the stars were
so bright. I think he is trying to remember if this space battle was in the
opera, but when his feet get real hot he will probably catch on that this
is for real.

11 November 2004, 08:55 AM (

As Kragh suggested here are the "tits of fat". And I made his neck and forehead thicker. Still working on it.
Been working on other ship and building too.

11 November 2004, 03:29 AM
this is just too much :D :scream: right on!

11 November 2004, 05:20 AM
Thanks HieSpike, I worked on his face yesterday and he's going
a little alien, I didn't post it yet. I didn't get any done today
just checking out all the
cool threads! But I plan to change the gloves too, they are too
plain looking. Like dishwashing gloves.

11 November 2004, 08:51 AM
hahah great!

crazy idea, crazy modeling... crazy colors especially...


11 November 2004, 09:16 PM
hi Brian..
this is fantastic man! i love your story ! the singer guy is simply crashing! i like him a lot as well! i may suggest you just do what you have i mind.. and as WasaR said would be great to see this work finished..
keep it up mate and best of luck!

11 November 2004, 08:26 PM
lehmi- Thanks, those colors have almost a funky retro quality
to me... i guess I have to stick to a slightly humorous
angle so slightly funny colors seem to fit. Then again if
I made it sombre with storm cloud moonlight it could be
a hilarious contrast to the singers body language....
greentek- Thank you! Yes that is how I usually work, using ideas that pop
into my mind when I am wondering if they will fit in, and
finding they do later down the road. I'm starting on the
3D scene with all of the available elements in the 3D
render now and that will help me to focus a lot! Time to
focus! That's the second fun stage!

11 November 2004, 08:45 AM (

I'm messing with the composition with
some of the early objects in a scene and some lighting. The background sky isn't here yet or the fire or the volumetric lights. I'll add those later.The models aren't finished. Any advice welcome.

11 November 2004, 09:48 AM
The most important thing when lighting stuff is to think about what kinds of lights there could possibly be in the scene at hand, if it was real.

It seems to me you're going for a night setting here, so you would pretty much be limited to artificial lights - in this case I see before me some strong searchlights, think 'Batman the movie' here...

First rule: avoid lights that appear to come straight from the camera position. It makes everything look flat and kinda boring. So, I would start by placing some spotlights on the roofs of some of the buildings, and aim them towards the ships in the air. You can also include imaginary buildings off-screen so to speak... the row of houses probably continues way behind the camera as well. Lights coming from hard left and right in relation to the camera.

The singer here would probably have brought his own light rig (or he might have some roadies handling that)... I'd try a theatrical light for him, strong spots placed on the surface he is standing on (I presume it's the roof of a building)... so he would be dramatically lit from below....

Keep working now :wip:

11 November 2004, 11:06 AM
Hi again

Great progress on your entry.

I enjoy watching his deep, giant belly button, deforming the spacesuit...great detail:)


Keep going

11 November 2004, 04:30 PM (

This is a screengrab of the layout from the side. The light on the singer is encircled. The ships each have a light too as do the buildings. critiques or comments welcome.

11 November 2004, 04:46 PM
I've got only five usual spotlights so far. Three for the three ships,
one on the singer, and one on the ball building. And 15 % ambient.
JamesMK- Thanks for the lighting ideas. I like the Batman searchlight
idea and placing searchlights on the roofs. I'll have to experiment with
that! I'll probably change next to work some more on the large opera
ship then get back to the lights. Then I have to do the background
stars and volumetric lights.
Kragh- Thank you. About the detail, I did my first test render at 2700
by 3700 and it was a cool surprise to see all the detail! Yeah I want to
add more, it's a lot of fun! The singer will get some weird "jewelry".

11 November 2004, 12:12 AM
REALLY lookin foreward to the final image here

keep it up

12 December 2004, 07:03 AM
Thanks Angelbait. But this is a real learning experience for me,
I hope I can put enough time into it.

12 December 2004, 10:30 AM (

Switched positions of the two top ships so I could emphasize the Space Fokker ship, making it bigger. Working on the lights some more. I think this looks better.

12 December 2004, 05:35 PM
Hope that u will add some details to your models.
And a background is missing.

Keep digging! Best of luck!

12 December 2004, 05:12 AM
Andrey_SE- Sorry to read in your thread that you don't think
you'll find the time to finish. This is my first challenge and I do
find that it does take longer to do the composition and other
steps than I may realize yet! I'm just getting over a cold and I
stayed up too late working on my entry last night, so I am too
pooped to do anything tonight after work. Glad to see your entry
in my thread, thanks, always exciting to find a reply to my thread!
I enjoy seeing the number of hits I got, which I can check after
I post this reply. I feel I really must finish, and I will, it is only a
matter of how much I will have to quickly polish up in Photoshop
on my Wacom tablet on those last few days on my 2700 by 3700

12 December 2004, 01:40 PM (

I remodelled the wings of the Space Fokker using rib crossections to make a better model. It's much cleaner. Also worked a bit on the opera ship,the Defender with lots of windows.
Gotta get texturing.

12 December 2004, 02:27 AM
Well i dont know about my background, think i'll squeeze a tiny view
of the vast grand panoramics between these in your face boxy skyskrapers.
Well, I just don't think a major war looks right on these sublime panoramic
backgrounds with beautiful sunsets. And these floating cities. Yah, chrome plate them.... jeeeezzz. OK it was a dark night, smoky, yeah, gotta get back to the volumetrics.
And why did my space fokker turn chinese? She musta warped my mind...ok maybe my
viking ship is now the Yamamoto. But these Goldfish missiles? Whoosh, I get there fast...
wherever. These missiles, well I was talking to a real U.S. Army Patriot missile data
analist (thats a job) and I suggested a missile that as it approaches it's target it fires
a secondary missile from the rear and that missile is a point blank heat seeker. It
was fired from it's suddenly point blank location. And he said it was a good idea.
Sooooo if it helps, this ORIGINAL galaxy wars idea was launched here, well, the 3rd
Of December 2004. Well, how long for this to occur in the Future? Launching point blank
platform missiles? Ahhh ,,, that is Soooooooo to happen... so? Any comments on how and when to rear fire a heat seeker rearwards from a Patriot missile? Comments welcome. Now to
design this Goldfish missile. On the wings of the Space Fokker. And I want to add some
asian characters that say "Damn Bloody Lucky Dragon"....I'm gonna add more, It's an international slogan, American, English, Asian. I need to add some more countries, and
texture map it to the wings of the Space Fokker. Any one want to show the asian characters? Thanks!

12 December 2004, 02:55 AM
Oh.. That big gap in the Defender Opera ship's center bay is there because
the Huge center piece of the ship has been separated to ward of any
deep space re-inforcements by the enemy.

12 December 2004, 04:11 AM
Please submit your Goldfish misslie algorythmic equations to me,
not the Army, thank you, at

12 December 2004, 10:36 AM
I think you might want to try to realign those ships a bit to make it look like they are actually headed somewhere... right now it seems like they had some sort of engine malfunction and ended up hanging randomly in front of the camera, if you follow me...

Goldfish, as far as I know, obey the general ballistic rules as applied to other types of projectiles :D

12 December 2004, 07:14 PM
mesMK- Yes, the Space Fokker is actually dissabled and
falling onto the planet. That is supposed to be the epic
moment, when the invisible ships are destroyed, this is
the first one, it is stopped and about to crash. If I don't
actually make it crashing on a building. But the art student
ship is going to get engine fire, thanks for pointing that out,
or yes it will continue to look like a real opera set with big
plastic models...another thought I happily decided against!
So I need to put lots of burning holes on the Space Fokker.
As for the Opera ship, It is a floating opera house, with
anti-gravity engines...and is
actually just floating above the opera singer, protecting him
by shooting down the Space Fokker.
As for the Goldfish missile, I was just wondering when it
would be best for it to fire a secondary, rearwards shooting
missile, in order to target and follow the heat signal of the
target missile from behind. That is after the Goldfish passes
and if it misses its target, or just before it reaches its target.
Other than that, yes if flies like any other missile. Anyway
this has to be determined with trial and error tests.

12 December 2004, 01:46 AM (

Started to destroy the Space Fokker so
that it reads like it is stopped and
only falling, but I need to add more details. Maybe I'll add them in post.
I like the way this volumetric blue light looks like a wormhole start.

12 December 2004, 11:44 PM (

I added the volumetric blue light on the Space Fokker into the scene setup.
I re-arranged some of the pieces too.
To balance the composition (Ha!The stomach) I moved the Ball Building towards the front. I am going to boolean subtract some shapes into it too. And other stuff. I'm not sure about the big Opera
Ship on top. Should I move it back? And I still resist to add the background yet because I don't want to focus on that, I need to model more, and someday I hope to texture. Got any ideas, help wanted...

12 December 2004, 02:08 AM
Hello friend! thanks for a helpful comment on my scene!

Nice work you have here. Move this big opera ship back, it takes too much space of the picture. Try to make also something with the feeling of distance. Now it looks like all the elements were on the one level, all in the front. Maybe make your scene bigger, so that these elements are smaller, but placed farther from themselves. With some atmospere very gently fog it can work well. Now I advice to stop modeling and to do some textures, because than we could give more suggestions. We would clearly see where are you going with your style.
good luck man! see you soon:)

12 December 2004, 02:39 AM
Thanks arturro, that's what I will try to do. Move that opera
ship back, add some depth, maybe put some bluish mountains
in the distance, with bluish fog between the new buildings in
the distance. Hey, I got another idea, make the opera ship
faded in the blue fog, to give it distance. That way it won't
compete so directly with the other ships, which will be on
another plain, as you say, closer to the front. Cool.

12 December 2004, 04:36 AM
Hi. I want to be honest with you, I like your idea, your concept is really cool. but I feel that you have some problems with the modeling. I will tell you what i think you could better in your image.
First: You need to add some details in your models, the windows of the starship and the buildins are too simple, you need to draw the border with a different material and add a glass whit reflects on it. Not all the ligths are always turn on, specialy when the building are under an attack.

Second: Try to find a better angle for your camera, You have a lot of elements and all of them are in the same plane of focus, You should play whit the distances between the differents objets, use differents planes, it't ok that some of your spaceships look distants, becouse you give the sensation of far and near, and the scale also is very important.

Finaly: Look for good textures for those starships and your character.

Keep working hard. And sorry if I botter you with my coments.

12 December 2004, 05:37 AM
Snake Farlow- Thanks, those things are what I am going
to get to soon, Some of the models are in a simple stage
because I'm working on all of them at once, so to speak,
none are finished. This is my first challenge. I tried different
camera angles and lenses and got some more dramatic
views, and thanks for the inspiration to try it again, I'll
try to do that. As for the textures, I'm pretty new to
texturing, I just finishred painting a texture for the opera
ship in Photoshop and am in the process of putting it
on the ship. Maybe a better way to get more crits is to
completely finish and texture an object at a time. Maybe
that is how I will do my next challenge. Anyway thank you
for your helpful ideas. I guess I should texture the whole
opera ship now, and stop jumping arround. Then finish
modeling the same ship, and or course there will probably
be final touch up textures. Funny how I'm learning so
much with this challenge! It's something else!:wip:

12 December 2004, 07:50 AM (

Added a reflection of a maze texture I drew in Photoshop to the Ball Building.
I'm working on other textures and will probably post one tomorrow.

12 December 2004, 08:02 AM
Yeah, SnakeFarlow said it for me. You should check out Arild Wiro's tutorials on texturing, great stuff there. I learnt how to texture from him. And for modellign you can check out Michel Roger's website, great way of modelling.

Arild Wiro's Site (

Michel Roger's Site ( )

It's really great stuff, learnt a lot from them...

Oh and just in case you didn't read my reply about the artwork thing, let me assure you those paintings were pictures I took in my local chinatown, probably painted by some old guy living in the area. I don't think he minds, and anyway that particular texture can't really be seen in my final scene at all. Hope to ahve cleared your doubts!


12 December 2004, 08:17 AM
Keetmun- thanks for the links, the sites look very good.
I'll study them more later as I'm gonna hit the sack now
so I can be more alert at work tommorrow. Yeah I'm following
advice and studying texturing which is new to me. This will
be a lot of fun!

12 December 2004, 10:56 AM (

Started texturing on the Defender Opera Ship. It's 3 a.m. so I've
posted this and I'm off to sleep.

12 December 2004, 09:28 AM
Hi there Brian!
Ok, gonna be fair on You now. The big ship looks much better with textures, but they need to be bigger. Dont paint just color maps, modify them and apply as bump, specular and diffuse maps.
Read these tutorials about texturing, should jelp:

About the composition, everything is in the middle nad thats not good. Think on what you want the viewer to focus.
Hope i'm not to criticising about this...

12 December 2004, 10:59 AM
nice color Brian....good luck...:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 10:10 PM
Kaksht- Thanks. Great links, I'll read them. Very helpful, Leigh is.
Yes, I've yet to try my first specular or bump hand drawn texture.
Hope I get to try it here. Yes, all the stuff is still way too much in
the middle ground. I plan to fog or Volume light the opera ship back
by fading it. Have to change that clunky engine box, and add engine
flame and guns firing at the space fokker ship.Also I need to add a
ground plane! Can't get proper reflections without one. I plan to add
a street and street lamps,etc.
gulliver3- That's a relief! Though I have to adjust the colors to add
depth. Think I'll add blue to the Space Fokker, or extend the volumetric
light on it. Sorry to read you need to adjust your concept for the rules.
It's so cool as it is. Maybe just change the spaceships and the color of
the aliens, which will lose the retro style, but put you in the direction
of the challenge.

12 December 2004, 06:30 AM (

I lowered the opera singer from a rooftop to the ground because I think that will help separate the objects into greater depth areas. Also now I can do the ground level better. I can add a street and sidewalk. Oh, I also just added the ground itself! I was wondering why the bottom of the ball building had no shadding! Then while reading one of Leighs texturing tutorials that Kaksht gave me a link to on my entry thread, I saw a ball she lit and immediately I remembered I had to add a ground! Whew...

12 December 2004, 06:53 AM
So which camera level is better? From the rooftop
or the street level? Gotta make those windows glass,
not putty! HaHa! Lots to go, any comments welcome
as they really help me! Thanks .

12 December 2004, 05:50 PM
Streetlevel looks much much better, the picture isn't quite so cramped and jumbled, you ought to experiment with different aspect ratios, like widescreen or even tall. It will give you alot more room to work with and allow you to spread things out a bit more and keep things from being cluttered in the middle...

Best of luck, my 2 cents,

12 December 2004, 07:28 PM
Halfling85- Thanks. Yes I also think the street level is better. I really think
I need to add street depth and buildings. I was suposedly going to stay
focused on the Defender Opera Ship, but again I jumped to something else.
Just couldn't resist seeing that street! Now to make it look like a street, so
I'll probably jump to the building's windows! Anybody got any enlightenment
about these styles of work? Which is better for you and why? To stay on
one object until it is perfect, or to jump arround? I come from a traditional
painting background, and we seem to always jump arround, detailing is the
last step. I can't imagine an oil painter start a painting by completely finishing
a truck, then a barn, then a person, then the ground, and then the sky and be
finished! That feels so odd to me. The medium has a big influence I guess. What
are your views on this, should I try to change? All comments welcome...

12 December 2004, 08:16 PM
Hi there! Nice update, it's looks much better! I only think that the big opera ship is placed to high. It should be a little bit lower. The two other shpis also may go a little bit lower. Do some tests and see how it looks! good luck!

12 December 2004, 11:09 PM
arturro- Thanks. So I will stay with a street level view. Yes, the ships do need
to be lowered. And separated with fog or something. I'll get rid of those silly rocks
on top of the Ball Building, they probably just add to the "cramped and jumbled" look,
as Halfling85 said. I've been working on the windows of the rectangular building and
adding lights, so I will post that "soon", whenever that can be, these tweeks take
their time!

12 December 2004, 02:02 AM (

kay then,cough, I crashed the Space Fokker into the skyscraper.Ah, I think that's my excuse to add an explosion,
perhaps? And pieces of the building and ship falling onto the street,yes?
And also I worked some more on the side of the skyscraper, the many windows. Got rid of the silly stones on top of the Ball Building. You like?
What say you aboutsa dee crash? Me likes.

12 December 2004, 05:51 AM
Yup as mentioned by the others street level looks better. It'll be great if you could put in detail for the background, give us all and idea of where this is taking place, maybe later on.


12 December 2004, 09:08 AM
Thanks Keetmun, great to hear you suggest I go to the area I am
actually feeling like going to! I also feel I need to finish off the Space

12 December 2004, 08:48 AM (

I changed the windows on the Defender Opera Ship in the scene so this is a pure render.

12 December 2004, 07:24 AM
interesting entry dude, I like the literal approach..

suggestion, add more variation to the lights on the building, ie some off some on, like you have on your spaceship flying above

12 December 2004, 09:21 AM (

Was reading Leighs tutorials on texturing and there was this debate about proceedurals, I decided to add some gold fractal noise to the ground and it turned out better than the plain grey. I also did that with red fractal noise to the Space Fokker's wings and I like the way it removed the too pinkish color the lights gave them, and I like the fractal noise break up of the too even color. I also colored all of the skyscrapers ledges black. Not much today, but maybe I'll do better tomorrow.

12 December 2004, 09:50 AM
Im realy digging the idea of the opera singer in front. I think it is a great idea. I think, though, that there is a lot of visual compatition in you piece so far. They say that you should light in planes meaning that the central part of your composition should be the most well lit. Then were ever you want the persons eye to go next you light slightly less and so on in the order of interest you decide. also you incorporate color and value contrast in the same maner, leading the audiences eye were you want them to look. Keep on goin man your doin great.:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 10:34 AM
Versiden-- Thanks! I hope to make it more interesting with the background and
fires and explosion. But I'll have to read some tutorials or add it in post in photoshop.
Hope I can find out how to do it in Lightwave. And I'll add more modeling details and
background. I will add the variety to the front of the buildings windows. And a front
door and awning. Hope to make an update every day now.
scottamis_prime-- Great!Thank you. I'm glad the opera singer is making sense. I was
wondering about that. I'm going for some dry humor with a touch of surrealism. I like
your suggestion about lighting in layers. I planned to fog out the Defender Opera Ship
at the top. That will be the least lit plane, least contrast and color saturation. The Opera
Singer will be the front layer with the harsh, contrasty flood lighting him up. And in between
will be the middle layer. With middle value lighting and contrast and saturation. Thanks!

12 December 2004, 02:31 PM
Interesting so far. I love the shapes created on the floor by the reflections. keep at it.

12 December 2004, 02:54 PM
Wow, I can't believe you actually put an opera singer there! :D
After reading the posts about the lasts updates I came up with an idea. Since your ships are taking a lot of space how about you make a "widescreen" version? Surely you can make the sky look less "overcrowded" that way (and even add more fighters than what would fit in the current image).

Just my two cents
Keep working, Johnny Worker :beer:

12 December 2004, 08:00 PM
Hi userBrian]Brian Linwell

Thats one crazy design, almost salvador Dali like, interesting thanks for your comments
on my reptile, yes I agree I could do more distressing, but the thing is My Rodent characters are in the background of the composition, and Im more of a lighting man, so Im not sure how much detail will be visible at the end, its a bit like shooting a movie with extras.

I would suggest with your design perhaps using bitmap textures other than shaders as it will give it more of that surreal feel, Im using a mixture of both in my composition.

all the Best


12 December 2004, 08:47 PM
yes it does look a little over crowded... but other than that your making good progress

12 December 2004, 09:07 AM
ll) lvl l^l -Thanks. I added some fractal noise. I may texture it with a photo of
some street, but probably won't get arround to it. I'm working on separating
the layers for distance effect now. Hope I can get a post up tonight.
nemirc- Yep, I hardly believe it myself, thought I'd take him down, but decided
it's fun. As for the widescreen idea, I've got no time to change it, gotta try to
get this one right. Anyway I wanted to try the book cover/ poster format.
patina-Thanks, yes I am interested in a little surrealism here, not pure realism.
I'm new to painting textures, so I may not get enough in this challenge. I'm
really just learning here.
vrhead- Yeah, I'ts still all on one level. I've been trying to separate the background
level with a volumetric fog, hope to post whatever just rendered and get to sleep!

12 December 2004, 10:52 AM (

I am experimenting with ways to separate the pieces into depth layers. Here I am trying to use a volumetric light, but as you can see so far it's too blue. Still trying. Any suggestions?

12 December 2004, 12:43 PM
The best and quickest way to separate elements is to render z-depth picture from your scene. I think that each software has this option. Set the distance options as your scene requires, and go to photoshop. Add a leyer with single color(color of your fog or vol. light), and use a inverted z-depth picture as a mask for this single color layer. You will see that it works perfectly. than change the color of this leyer, and play with contrast of the mask to change the density of the fog.

12 December 2004, 01:19 AM
The program I use has the ability of starting the fog at a certain distance from the camera and then a depth of that fog.. So in my experience I'd start the fog later/farther
Your screaming/singing guy seems a bit malformed... though I understand that heads can be hard... hence wy I'm giving my people helmets when I get to it.

12 December 2004, 01:46 AM
The best and quickest way to separate elements is to render z-depth picture from your scene. I think that each software has this option. Set the distance options as your scene requires, and go to photoshop. Add a leyer with single color(color of your fog or vol. light), and use a inverted z-depth picture as a mask for this single color layer. You will see that it works perfectly. than change the color of this leyer, and play with contrast of the mask to change the density of the fog.

Wo that's really cool but I'm quite sure I got it. Is there any explaination in depth about this some where?

12 December 2004, 03:21 AM
arturro- That sounds good. Right now I'm still trying countless volumetric
light settings to see if I can get it, I'ts hard but maybe it will be real cool.
I'm also working on a drawing for a client as I wait for the renders. What I
get from your suggestion is to import the level render to Photoshop and add a
transparent fog layer, which I may end up doing. I don't get what you mean
by invert the render and use it as a mask. But when I try it I suppose I will
see what you mean.
Radulan- yes, my version of Lightwave has a simple fog option which I may end
up using...first I'm trying it the hard way. Yup, the Singer's head isn't shaped
right yet! And he has no ears. He is a cross between an Earthling and a Shxzklwhgqkh.
Warit- Yeah:shrug:

12 December 2004, 06:44 AM (

Finnaly deletted the Volumetrics Doubler! That got rid of a big white burnout center! Whatever that doubler is for, i'm not sure yet. But here is a post that shows what I am headed for, a volumetric fog distancing of a layer. But I need to tweek it, make it bigger. Then I don't need to do it in post, and it may be cooler.

12 December 2004, 06:47 AM
wow, this post is bad. Lost the volumetrics from the Art Ship, and I need to make
the volumetric fog bigger. Dunno, but soon I may need to try a simpler method. And what
are doze friggin horizontal lines? To make it bigger I can just increase the light cone angle ( next post?) but I have to remember why the other volumetric light dissapears...I thought
I figured that out during countless mind numbing renders...What was It? And why do the gold
fractals on the floor and the red fractals on the Space Fokker wings dissappear when I aim the
Level creating volumetric fog at the camera? The floor is grey again and I didn't change it.It's countless things like this why ders no time to give him ears.

12 December 2004, 02:40 PM
humm, are you rendering in segments? If so that might be the reason you are getting the horizontal lines...

12 December 2004, 03:50 AM
I just have a little suggestion on your opera singer... I hope it's not too late yet :)
Regarding the pose, maybe you could bend the arm instead of keeping it on a completely stretched position. Besides you could maybe bend the spine backwards and raise the head. That would give the character a sense of "high-pitched singing".

Just my 3 and a half cents :D

12 December 2004, 05:46 AM (

Tried airbrushing the distance layer in photoshop. I'd have to do it again in the final resolution so this is to see if I like it. At least it's done.
Time is running out and I have to finish modeling. Do you think I'm ok with this kind of distancing? Then I need to try it on the middle level.

12 December 2004, 06:12 AM
SNoWs- No I wasn't rendering in segments. Actually that volumetric grey fog
in the previous post behind this one,
is coming from the Art student's ship. I seem to get one volum-light stealing
settings from the other, I may be doing something wrong. Spent enough time on
that for this challenge, gotta move on, so I just airbrushed the distance effect
in photoshop in the last post.. The correct blue volumetric light is now coming
from the Art ship. This also serves as the middle layer fog. So there are my 3
layers or levels.
Lightwave 5.6, about 7 years old, on a Win XP Pro Dell at 3 Ghz with 512 megs of
fast ram.
nemirc-Sounds like an idea but like you said I may not get arround to it because
there is so much else to do, but maybe. I am giving him a helmet.

12 December 2004, 11:21 AM (

So here are the three levels.The furthest away on top with the opera ship,midground with the Space Fokker,oops,I forgot to fade back the Art Ship. The third layer is the front with the singer, the Ball Building and the foremost part of the boxy building.
Am I on the right track?

12 December 2004, 11:33 AM
you're doing well, but make this fog on the opera ship everywhere in the background. If it's only on the ship it doesn't loko as fog. make whole background in the color of the fog.

12 December 2004, 11:36 AM
Arturro-Yeah, I guess I have to. I was just wondering if I wanted to lose the night dark sky.
But it does look odd like this. Thanks, I'll try it. And I am going to add stars and some
space art. Added a helmet, need to tweek the colors.

12 December 2004, 03:39 PM
looking good... nice helmet (how about adding horns to it and make him sing that Valkyrie song :cool: )

btw how about separate the singer on a fourth layer? I mean, for the building to look that small next to the guy it should be around 500 behind him

12 December 2004, 07:40 PM
nemirc- Thanks. The singer is part Italian part Galaxian so the helmet has a Roman
Legionair touch. I am adding some design wings to the sides in 3d. I need to color it
yet, in Layout. Yes the scale is odd there.I sat on a strret corner wathing
people walk up to me, and if he's right next to you the building accross a
large plaza looks small (although I just tested it with an intersection).
I have to establish the plaza somehow and just figure out what to do.
Yes, I like your suggestion, maybe a figure if not a statue or sculpture.
A regular guy would be best to establish scale, distance. Thanks.

12 December 2004, 07:04 AM (

I added the Grand Space Opera's gun. This rifle is a wip, which I put in to see how it fits the character and it's my bedtime too. I like the way it is so far. So I will only add some detail for the high res render. I need to add the shoulder strap. I think this may be a good position for it.

12 December 2004, 07:55 AM
Woops, I forgot to add the fade out to the top opera ship...oh well
next post I may add a better background too...And where did the fractal
noise on the Space Fokker go? Without it the color is too pink again!
You know what? I bet I forgot to save the Fokker model after adding
the colored fractal noise! That has to be it. Next time...

12 December 2004, 09:10 AM (

Fixed the last post error, this has the fog. The Grand Space Opera singer has his wip gun. What do you think?

12 December 2004, 04:15 AM

I think the gun is ok for something like an m16.for some kind of a death-ray gun add a coil,maybe something like a reflector and a little wiring. that'll bring more of the classic flash gordon feeling to your scene (like the roman helmet).

and regarding the cloaked ship: does the rendering package you use support something like "render outlines" to give the silhoutte a kind of glow?
at the moment the discovered ship looks like being on the catwalk and spotlights covering it.
so maybe you could use a sophisticated texture effect on the uncloaked ship to make clear, that theres no spotlight on it but a mighty beam of truth bringing the darkest foes to light.
You know, some sprinkling fancy sparks or somewhat. or thunderbolts covering the hull.
Very original concept indeed! Great singer :)

12 December 2004, 12:02 AM
Wow! I started writing a script/story today about the S.O.S. "The Space Opera Singer" (tm)
and I got a lot of ideas flowing! And cgtalk/Networks just started up two film writing
forums! Waycool! I'm in! Wow this singer "Tuto Spaziemodo" (tm) - is one crazy character
for me to write! It starts...well you'll have to see the movie!
onethread- The gun is developing into a colectors item as it is the first gun employed
by the U.S. army to have fully programmable (thus those clunky cpu units) and creatable
(thus those clunky assembly boxes) bullets. This seemingly inoccuous gun can analize the
target and create a special bullet that can steer itself to the target with uncanny results,
as it actually transcribes the targets logical actions and defenses and resources and fires
bullets that attack unpredictably.
As far as all those effects,I am using Lightwave 5.6, a 7 year old package, and I haven't
gotten into downloading any plug ins, so I don't think I'll find that in time for this challenge.
But theres always post! I will add some stuff (?). I do most certaily get what you mean,
and will keep it in mind, as it definitely is not "just an ordinary spotlight" so to speak!

12 December 2004, 06:37 AM (

I increased the length of the Art Ship's volumetric fog so the Ball Building is separated from the Space
Opera Singer and I put him on a couple steps up from the plaza, like on a sidewalk. Also I made the volu-light a darker blue to try and increase the separation effect. Added little details to his rifle. Any better?

12 December 2004, 07:22 AM
ok, maybe that was too much volume fog >______<
or maybe it is just too saturated?

and btw, the second position for the rifle looks ok to me

and yet another btw... that fog around the big ship was a really neat idea.

12 December 2004, 07:47 AM
nemirc- Good! I agree, that is too much volumetric blue. It actually is
distracting. I'll just lighten the blue hue. Back to what it was. No more time on
the volumetric light!
The fog and stars
are placeholders, I'll have to do a final size in photoshop, so some edge clutzyness
will be corrected. Now to add more buildings in the background. And think of
what to add to make the plaza a bit realistic. That reflection on the ground
must be breaking the illusion of reality a lot, after all it is not wet. Maybe add a
sidewalk on the other side.

12 December 2004, 12:23 AM (

This is by start on the cone building.

12 December 2004, 12:32 AM (

This is the castlebank building, so far it has a linear light in it, this may change.

12 December 2004, 12:38 AM (

This is the wip of the singers rifle.

12 December 2004, 12:49 AM (

This is a wire of the Space Fokker with somw damage.

12 December 2004, 03:38 AM (

Got the volumetric light where I want it so I won't spend more time there. Added a new building, the Castle Bank.
I am happy wiyh the way it looks in the center. I also added a copy of it behind the singer. That will be modified I think.It's nice to have the image at this stage, where I can just improve it steadily. I don't need any major changes I think, just to try and finish up.I'll see what I can do. Any crits welcome.

12 December 2004, 03:50 AM
I like what I see funny concept. Have you though of using toon shading for the characters?

12 December 2004, 04:41 AM
Thank you OvidsMuse, I actually finally got it where I like it too. I won't use toon
shading here, I like this look so far but I hope to add some realism to the singer with
textures. So far he looks like a toy. I need to learn how to texture his clothes so they
look real. I'm new at that. The Opera ship is my first texture painted for whole object

12 December 2004, 11:48 AM
Well when you texture the clothers you can probably lay of the specular for the most part. Have you thought of putting a symbol on his shirt?

12 December 2004, 07:28 PM
Thanks for helping simplify that, I am thinking for the red torso area I can just apply a
spherical wrap of a cloth texture I either paint or photograph.Next challenge I should buy
a digital camera to help with deadlines. The plan I have is to place a large medalion like
thing hanging arround his neck on straps. This object will be something tactical, like a
battlefield control center. I'm getting away from my old idea of a magical medalion, or?
I don't want a symbol on his shirt because
that is the superhero thing and would take him out of character, He is playing a General
in an opera as a real battle suddenly happens above him by coincidence. He will
take some prisoners from the Space Fokker...if a movie gets made, ha ha. As he happens
to collect real, advanced weapons. Some character development that is. He should get
some medals on his chest too. Maybe a pistol belt...I need to add something out of
camera to reflect off his helmet so it doesn't look like potato soup on his head.

12 December 2004, 11:53 PM
hey brian, yeah oshiroii seems to be napping -- life got in the way no doubt.

Your piece has become quite surreal. Reminds me of some collage work I've seen from the early 70s. Not a bad thing, particularly since you have a traditional painting background, right?

I think the surrealism is due to the 1-point perspective. The buildings angle towards the center, as does the steps the singer is standing on, causing the singer to look almost as big as the buildings. In fact, are they? I haven't read all your descriptions but shouldn't the singer be half the height of one of your building's windows? If you do end up shrinking him down, then you would have to change the camera angle to get him back to the filling the frame as he does now, and then the scene might look more "real". The ship and ther space art also look too big.

On the other hand, you could also manipulate the perspective even more to make it more surreal by rendering all the objects separately, compositing in photoshop or whatever and manipulating their scale more.

What about the singer's adoring audience?

And what's a "fokker"?

12 December 2004, 12:38 AM
That sounds like it should work. I can't wait to see the texture. As for the reflection, you can use hdri, it works well for reflections.

12 December 2004, 01:38 AM
markw7- Hmm, very interesting idea about actually placing the singer in the
actual scene to scale! I hadn't thought about that. Thought I'd get the same
end result with a bigger singer as with a really up close camera, but now I'm
curious! I may experiment. As for the perspective, that's up to the camera,
but as you say maybe a to scale singer would get the many-point perspective
appearance going. Cool. I should try that, thanks! As far as the red Space
Fokker ship goes, that is to scale, crashed right into the building. The singers
audience is in front of him and out of camera view. This outdoors act is being
filmed. A Fokker is a famous German WW1 airplane. The German's biggest ace,
The Red Barron flew an all red tri wing Fokker. He had over 80 kills. You can
do a search on Fokker and see pictures of this beautiful plane, which inspired
my 3 wing Space Fokker. Thanks for your help.
wow, thinking more about the perspective, I really like your idea of manually
shrinking the perspective! This surrealistic touch could be really nice. Gotta try both.
Got some work cut out here...
OvidsMuse- Thanks. What is hdri ? I plan to just put some walls with windows
to his side, off camera, for some reflections. Something real simple.

12 December 2004, 02:04 AM
Hmm, very interesting idea about actually placing the singer in the
actual scene to scale!
Cool. Hope it helps. :thumbsup:

As for the perspective, that's up to the camera,
but as you say maybe a to scale singer would get the many-point perspective
appearance going.
Once you get the singer to scale and then drop the camera down to street level you may have a difficult time framing everything with the default camera values, but you can select the camera and change it's Focal Length to widen the field of view.

A Fokker is a famous German WW1 airplane.
All this time I thought it was a modified curse word!

12 December 2004, 02:13 AM
markw7- We'll see which method works best with my scene and
software and time. There is actually a TV show comming out about an imaginary
family in the US called the Fockers. Slightly different spelling, a c is used. The
t.v. station said if there actually is a Focker family in the U.S. we can use that name.
They found one so the show is a go.

12 December 2004, 11:02 AM
Great work on your scene, I'm liking how your setting your scene up so far. Can't wait to see the final textures your going to add, it will surely bring out your scene even more. Good job on the atmosphere. I hate dealing with atmosphere, can never get it right. :)

12 December 2004, 02:08 PM
Hey Brian,
Your story is definitely unique, I like the feel of the image it too , it grows on you after a while. Keep at this.

12 December 2004, 07:45 AM
marcw7- I tried putting the singer in the scene to scale but If I place him
a reasonable distance from the buildings the shot doesn't seem to work.If I
then close in with a normal lens so he is as big in the scene as I want, the
buidings are too close, you only see a section of a wall. If I use wide angle
here, to get him this size the buildings are reduced too much. The only way
I got a close to what I want shot was to place him VERY far from the scene,
which in itself is not to scale, and use a longer lens, or was it a normal lens...
whatever it was putting him so far away was out of scale to the scene anyway.
And here the angles of the buildings were exactly the same as my original setup.
I don't know if I should bother putting up the renders. Anyway cameras are just
not capable of getting this shot with everything to scale, as they do not function
like the human eye in the extremes of my experiments. I think the way I set up
my scene actually is fine. I should do the texturing. By the way, Rick Fichter,
the director of photography in Top Gun and many other films, taught me how to
light and shoot miniatures. He also shot the Robo-Cop movie. The wide angle is
used precisely because it artificially distorts backgronds and shrinks them. Even
parts of a close up model get distorted this way, giving them a larger than they
are illusion. Stuff behind the model shrinks tremendously. So I bet a building is
composited in post. Not very to scale of a set...haha. The working alternative I
tested, involving placing the singer way,way away from the set and using a regular
(or was it telephoto) lens, is like I said not to set scale anyway and produces
the exact same building perspectives I did by instinctively enlarging the singer.
Whew...Maybe the human brain does some fancy post compositing of it's own,
maybe this is a clue we are in a matrix. Maybe tricks.

12 December 2004, 06:16 PM
You learned that lighting thing??? wow! :applause:

12 December 2004, 06:46 PM
The only lighting he talked about was that with a wide angle lens you need
(and here we are talking real world cameras and lights)
to increase the depth of focus to create the illusion that the model is big
but right here. To do that you need a tiny aperture. But with a tiny apperture
you need a lot of light to get a well lit scene. Just discussing a tie in with
wide angle perspective distortion. I might experiment with it some more after
the challenge though. Maybe I missed something. I just ran a few tests. Not shure
which camera angles I used because the software used numbers like 3.2 or 9.2
which relate to camera angles.Need the time to find some reference chart or
where it is explained.
These wide angle lens tricks could make a spaceship model look bigger.
But the singer is a normal sized person standing. So the wide angle lens would
only make the background buildings artificially distorted and smaller.
For instance take my Opera ship. I just shot it with whatever camera angle
was set up in my software at the time. Not to smart. If I was to do it again,
I would use a wide angle camera on the model to fake converging parallel
lines over a long HUGE distance, that of the huge spaceship. This should make
the ship appear huge. I'll try it next time, don't think I got time in this challenge.
This is why I like these challenges. Challenging me to try new stuff. By the way,
Rick also shot the movie, "The Right Stuff". Director of photography. I haven't
checked lately though.

01 January 2005, 08:25 AM (

Put a texture on the helmet. Texture was painted in photoshop. I think I will just use it.I also did a test render on the red shirt, need to change it. Looks like I still got a few things to finish. And I have to touch up his face.And and and...

01 January 2005, 09:37 PM
comming along nicly Brian...... have you considered adding some procedural layers over your painted textures to "dirty" things up a bit.....keep them at a minimun though...this my look good on your characters...Happy new year and ....back to worK.. :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 08:27 PM
hi there! nice work done here since my last visit. It's looking better and better! Maybe try to cover the starfield with some gradient. so that less stars is visible in the bottom(and more of some color there).

01 January 2005, 12:30 AM
yep Brian , it looking better and better , the rendering and textures are great !


01 January 2005, 02:55 AM
essencedesign- Happy New Year! Yes, I may add more proceedural textures...I should
have upgraded Lightwave instead of buying a $1000.00 Warwick Corvette Bass guitar,
but I'll upgrade soon. I'll be using the Bass and my Warlock six electric too to record my
GSO theme, after the challenge though, for my animation. That heavy growling German
Bass (especially down tuned) should go good with the Big, Heavy theme.
arturro- Thanks. I actually was coloring stars on the final big size image last night. The
render shown here is the smaller render with stand in stars. And thet are clunky!
gulliver3- Thanks. I really am new to texturing, so I appreciate that! I was actually
surprised when the helmet texture could be positioned perfectly with a "V" arround the
top, so it's balanced perfectly on both sides of the helmet. but the singers angle only shows one side. That was only a 100 by 100 pixel texture, to get it sized right.
at 300 dpi, and it looks even better in the final resolution. I'm gonna really like getting into
textures. Gotta get Leighs book when I upgrade. My final size render at 32 bit Tiff for some
reason makes the backgroung clear. When I add a black base background in photoshop
the blue volumetric light looks ok but doesn't blend quite as well as with the background
rendered at the same time. Not quite the delicate blending of light. So i'm trying to find
out why my black background isn't rendering!

01 January 2005, 04:58 AM
Still working on the background post.

01 January 2005, 12:43 AM (

The model of the skyscraper building now shows some damage from the Space Fokker Ship which crashed into it. And I tested the Opera Singer at a smaller size. Do you think it looks better with him smaller? Can't believe I somehow missplaced the full size star background I was working on and have to start again! Not that big a deal.

01 January 2005, 01:08 AM
looking good brian the fog does nicly add depth to your image....maybe some more "pieces" comming off of the building,,,,some smaller,,,some larger... :shrug: ....keep on going,,,you are a new friend to many of us here.... :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 09:34 AM
Looking nice. The debris adds a nice touch. Keep at it brian.

01 January 2005, 05:07 PM
Debris and building damage add a nice touch to the image.
There's something that's bothering me though. Would it be possible to fill the empty space behind the yellow building? Right now it feels more like "old western style movies" where all you see are the hollow fašades along the main (and only) street, lol.

Good luck man. In the meantime I am taking a 2 day break and I will return to my image on monday :buttrock:

01 January 2005, 09:10 PM (

Here is a pure render. Took about four and a half hours on my Dell Pentium 4 ,3 ghz. to do a 2700 pixel by 3700 Tiff and this is a jpeg reduction to 432 by 614 pixels. None of the post work is included for this milestone. Here I did add some more pieces flying off the building, about to hit Tutov, the Space Opera Singer, in his helmet.I pronounc his first name "Toot-of". Tutov is bigger in this render too. Which size Tutov is better? Thanks for your helpful comments.

01 January 2005, 09:22 AM (

Here is a view of my latest. The Opera Ship is flying thru some space art. Added a belt and gun to Tutov, but the pistol looks kinda big. Added a strap to the rifle, but may need to lower the rifle. What do you think?

01 January 2005, 09:38 AM
essencedesign- Thanks, it is fun to work with good friends like you.
I added more fog, some yellow fog in the bottom and purple space art
fog. And more pieces coming off the building too.
||) |V| |^| - Thanks, My last post is pretty close to what my final will
probably look like. Can't believe this will soon be over. What an experience!
And still so much more to learn...and I think your GSO theme music is great.
nemirc - Thanks, I like the way the building came out too. About adding another
building to the left, in that empty space...I know what you mean...I hope I get to
that! Thanks for the push! It helps a lot.

01 January 2005, 04:49 PM (

This is the lighting without the opera ship, which is way out there, so you can see the details of the main group lighting.

01 January 2005, 04:40 AM
Outstanding piece of work :thumbsup:

That ship flying through the wormhole kind of thing adds a very nice touch :bounce:

BTW I think the rifle should be lowered. The straps are usually longer than that.

Keep up the good work! Only four and something days. Keep it coming! :buttrock:

My entry is finished ( :deal:

01 January 2005, 04:52 AM
nemirc - Thanks. Glad the Opera ship going thru the space art looks ok.
Thanks for pointing out the rifle strap. I noticed it was short but might not
have fixed it, now I will. I'm working in photoshop to add engine glows to
the two biggest ships right now, just took a break. I think the glows on the Opera
ship are looking ok so far. I'll post it tonight or tomorrow with the rifle strap fix
(tomorrow night). Gotta run to check your entry!

01 January 2005, 06:58 AM (

Working on the engine glow in photoshop, not yet finished. Added some buildings to the left. And the double laser fire from the Opera ship to the invader.

01 January 2005, 03:52 PM
nice progress since the last time I took a look at your piece. :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 03:18 AM
Hey Brian,

This does have a more theatrical feel to it than the last time I looked at your image. Good job,

01 January 2005, 06:03 AM
SNoWs - Thank you. Guess i'm just touching up in post now. Today I just checked out
other peoples entries and did nothing new- feels strange, but I get that "It's finished"
feeling...All the 3d stuff is done in one render, and the photoshop post effects are in a
bunch of layers. So there's no need to just muck it up with overworking and there's no
time to learn anything new now...
mmoir - Yes, I usually use a surrealist angle in my work. And I seem to like to combine
different styles and feelings. I like the idea that this could be a theatrical set...or part of it,
and part is real. The laser beams amuse me because they "cannot" be depicted like this, to me
it is as if someone in the past was told about laser weapons and he painted a flashlight
beam cutting thru steel. A wistful fantasy touch. At the Academy of Art here in San Francisco an illustration assignment was to immitate an artists style.
I combined two different artists
styles and came up with a new one..."THat's exactly what you are not supposed to do"
exclaimed the professor. Then years later I heard that the new assignment it that same class
was to combine two artists styles. Like my character being too big here. I guess I am combining two different object scales in one scene, Like Magrittes train coming out of
a fireplace. Hey! That fireplace is way too big! Or the train is way too small! Anyway that is
sorta the style I am interested in developing...but with my own weird twists.

01 January 2005, 03:21 PM
outstanding work :thumbsup:

turn up those glows! :buttrock:

01 January 2005, 06:00 AM (

Okay, here\'s the final jpeg.

01 January 2005, 09:00 AM
congratulations mate! I think you have learned a lot here, and had a good time. And of course will take part in the next challenge:)

01 January 2005, 12:49 PM
Hey congrats on the final man, you've learnt much from this challenge, and it shows in your work. Keep it up, and we'll see greater stuff from you!

:beer: :buttrock:

01 January 2005, 04:43 AM
Congrats Brian!
You made it!
This was my first time on a cgtalk-contest, and though i came in too late to finish (in fact real life demanded its tribute....I had to work) it was a great fun.
thank you for giving me a nice welcome here.

I'm looking forward to the next challenge!

btw I'm using lightwave, too. :)



01 January 2005, 05:52 AM
Yeah! I am soooo glad to see you have finished! (actually I saw your "finished" question on the FAQ forum but I'd also mention it here ;) ).

Good luck with the challenge man :buttrock:
With so many good entries we are going to need it :cry:

01 January 2005, 10:44 AM
Okay! I entered the final tiff zip!

It's almost 6 a.m. here. Thank you to all the people who participated and
gave me helpful advice. Kept me going. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it
and you all were really fun.:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 10:31 AM
Great to see you've got the final image up, Brian :thumbsup:

Hope we'll see you around for the next challenge as well!

01 January 2005, 04:24 AM
Wow. I just can't believe it. The wabbit finished. And what a fantastic final! It is not
too dark, it is perfect! Just the right drama above the Fluffians!:scream: :thumbsup:
And the potato dust is awesome! That's real Hollywoodian of the wabbit, gettin done
in the last seconds...and here I was at work, writin' the GSO beer drinkin' song,
and havin' to include me beloved Fluffians of the unfinished entry...hey, that woulda
been a real cryin' in yer beer best seller! :scream: Well, thank goodness he finished! Soooo...

"The GSO Beer Drinking Song" By Brian Linwell (c) 2005 All Rights Reserved

This one goes out to
The Grand Space Opera
And the toughest epic moments
in the Big, BIG,BIG
Cuz you gotta be tuff to put on
your space pants (ouch)
put on your space boots (ugh!)
And squeeze into your crazy space helmet
And fight the BIG,BIG,BIG
challenges out THERE!
To enter the battles
with warriors riding monsters
bigger than houses
or fight with surrounded soldiers
with blinding dazzle camouflage
engulfed in laser fire.
There are stories of a daring battle
against hi-tech robots to rescue
one little girl
Of a nation built into a huge
Asteroid-gouged moon
fighting the good fight
And of newly discovered paradise planets
with vast virgin beaches
And dark battles over
huge mining platform cities
extracting vast wealth
From extravagant resources.
Of a Queen's son's unspeakable
Betrayal, harming a dozen
intergalactic species.
And of space cultures so
Intertwined into deep maze cities
That battlelines can only pass by
And of helpless potato-farmers
Plowed-under huge
Anchoring space fleets.

Well, I plan to add more....what do you think so far?

01 January 2005, 06:22 AM
HEY DUDE.........

very great this piece.
I like it.
good LOOK...........
good luck............

01 January 2005, 07:04 AM
MWAAaahaahaaa! :D

The best effing GSO beer drinking song ever written as far as I can tell :thumbsup:

I particularly like the passage with "harming a dozen intergalactic species".... You managed to capture all the important elements of a grand space opera here.

01 January 2005, 07:13 AM
Somehow you manage to make that line so funny I gotta drink another beer!

01 January 2005, 07:17 AM
Always room for another beer, righto! Besides, any particular melody that you've had in mind for that one? It's a bit choppy no matter what I try... but I get the feeling it should be sung with a very deep voice, like an old time cowboy TV-show theme or something

01 January 2005, 07:26 AM
Actually that is what I am trying to figure out myself....None yet.

But I plan to play guitar and bass and sing it and record it....
Yes, I like your idea for a deep voice. I hope when I get to playing
music for it I'll work that out. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow...I just
started on this song today.
Next day, Having some hardware problems on the music

01 January 2005, 02:41 AM
Small update added to,
"The GSO Beer Drinking Song" By Brian Linwell (c) 2005 All Rights Reserved

This one goes out to
The Grand Space Opera
And the toughest epic moments
in the Big, BIG,BIG
Cuz you gotta be tuff to put on
your space pants (ouch)
put on your space boots (ugh!)
And squeeze into your crazy space helmet
And fight the BIG,BIG,BIG
challenges out THERE!

Full Thruster Rush
To destroy the invisible enemy
Just exposed.
To enter the battles
with warriors riding monsters
bigger than houses
or fight with surrounded soldiers
with blinding dazzle camouflage
engulfed in laser fire.
There are stories of a daring battle
against hi-tech robots to rescue
one little girl.
Of a nation built into a huge
Asteroid-gouged moon
fighting the good fight.
And of newly discovered paradise planets
with vast virgin beaches.
And dark battles over
huge mining platform cities
extracting vast wealth
From extravagant resources.
Of a Queen's son's unspeakable
Betrayal, harming a dozen
intergalactic species.
And of space cultures so
Intertwined into deep maze cities
That battlelines can only pass by
And of helpless potato-farmers
Plowed-under huge
Anchoring space fleets.

01 January 2005, 02:43 AM
good luck

01 January 2005, 02:55 AM
I'm drinking a beer right now...Oak Aged IPA ....rather tasty..I will drink it for your song then Brian,,, :twisted: :buttrock:

01 January 2005, 02:57 AM
Congrats to finishing, Brian. Hope to see you at the next Challenge. :)

01 January 2005, 03:30 AM
essenceDesign- Thanks Jeremy, I had just finished an IPA before I got your
post, having another to your entry now! Now I need to download some drivers
to get my m-audio box on WinXP as my laptop is getting flakey. So don't know
if I'll get the music recorded in time (?) but maybe somewhere later. Got an
idea of what to play (mostly heavy Bass guitar and Guitar tracks , moody(?) readings
between effects ambience,experimental). If I don't do the music then just
call it "The Grand Space Opera Poem".

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