View Full Version : CgTalk:FXWars! Roller Coaster Challenge:3

10 October 2004, 02:06 PM
OK Guys, post a link to your thread with your FINAL entry.


Looking for a team?
Click >>Here<< (

CgTalk:FXWars! Roller Coaster!

\Roller coaster\

An amusement railroad in which cars coast by gravity over a
long winding track, with steep pitches and ascents.

Create a working modern Roller Coaster (made out of wood or steel) that should be gravity based. For added effect the cars coaster should have at least two vagons. The launching can be high speed or a more traditional slow speed climb.

The best animation will be selected by an open vote
for these categories:

Best Simulation
Best Animation
Best Trill Ride (NEW!)
Best Design (NEW!)
Best Overall Entry

The winner will get bragging rights and a small banner
designed by me.

DATELINE: Monday December 6th 12:00 PM

YOU HAVE One month and two weeks to do the challenge.


No Keyframes, they can only be used for the initial trigger events. But please feel free to use dynamic simulations to your hearts content. (Baked simulations are allowed).
No work taken DIRECTLY from an exiting tutorial. You may use an existing tutorial only for reference.
You may use a pre exiting models, and you may base your coaster on existing coasters, as long as you give credit to the creator. If you cant model, use simple shapes, since we are interested in the simulation. (But teams are encouraged, and if you are a modeller, you can make your model available). But creativity will be rewarded on the design of the coaster.
You may provide a heavily edited animation with all the trimmings (hell add live action if you want), as long a you provide another PLAIN wireframe animation of the simulation at work.

The animation and simulation must have been done AFTER the topic has been
WIP are encouraged if they are posted in ANOTHER
thread. Please provide a link to them on this thread.
WIP thread should be posted on the FXWARS Forum ( forum and should follow
the following naming convention:
FXWars! Roller Coaster!: MY NAME
It is Recomended that Final movies should be rendered at 320 x 240 or 640 x 480 in Quicktime* format (Sorenson Compression), but other resolutions and formats are allowed. * The animation format is open for discussion.
The animation should follow the following naming convention:
MYNAME_FXWARS(RESOLUTION).mov. And please add your name at the beginning and end of the animation, and if you can, also add a small non disruptive watermark during the animation.
If for some reason, you can't host movies, sequential images (Thumbnails size 160 x 120 ) are accepted.
Please add a brief text description about your piece.
The artist also has to post total length of time it took and program used.
Collaborative pieces are accepted and encouraged, but Teams entries must have a identifying banner and a name. Shot lists should be included with the entry.
Individuals participating in a team CAN have their own individual entries.
The topics will be picked at random from the list on
this >>thread << ( (The author will be given credit). So
guys keep them coming.
Post on this thread your link to your WIP thread and your FINAL piece.
You can add multiple entries, as long as they have different WIP threads.
Only participants who follow the rules and submit a final entry will be elegible for the voting process.
Any piece caught breaking the rules will be taken
off the thread.
Reference: ( ( ( ( (

Videos ( ( (

Top 10 coasters ( (

Rollercoaster Construction (

History ( ( ( (


10 October 2004, 02:55 PM
I am in!
This time for sure you will all see the power of HOUDINI.....

10 October 2004, 03:19 PM
very very cool idea.....imo

good luck all

10 October 2004, 03:25 PM

The deadline is incorrect. It should be Dec. 6th.

10 October 2004, 03:36 PM


10 October 2004, 04:03 PM
I love watching roller coasters. This should be exciting. Good luck to everyone who plans on entering.

10 October 2004, 04:30 PM
"No Keyframes"

So the driving of the wagons itself need to be also done just with dynamics. No path animation?


Joel Hooks
10 October 2004, 05:06 PM

My son is all about designing roller coasters, so maybe I can recruit him to help on this one.

10 October 2004, 06:11 PM
one question, you said no keyframes, so if I am max user i should use Reactor?

This will be great

10 October 2004, 06:23 PM
YES! no keyframes at all

All dynamically simulated!
But I guess there must be some sort of forces initially to get the simulation going.

10 October 2004, 06:34 PM
This is gonna kick butt! I love coasters. I can't wait to see all the cool entries. Good luck to everyone! :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 06:42 PM
haha this ones going to be awsome!!

Triple G
10 October 2004, 06:46 PM
What's the obsession with not allowing keyframes for these challenges? I just don't see the point of this stipulation. In a production situation, no supervisor is going to say "make this scene look really cool, but the director doesn't want ANY keyframes". The objective should be to make the shot look you get there shouldn't matter.

10 October 2004, 06:52 PM
Any rule is open for discussion.

You make a good argument against one, and Ill consider it.

Belive it or not, the no keyframes rules is mostly to make people
get very familiar with the simulation engines (and the event tiggers)
of their apps.


10 October 2004, 06:53 PM
Can you use expressions for things such as keeping the wheels on the track?

10 October 2004, 07:02 PM
Can you use expressions for things such as keeping the wheels on the track?I see no problem with that.
Actually it is the kind of thing I am aiming for.


10 October 2004, 08:27 PM
I completely agree with the "no keys" rule. This is an FX challenge, and to make a simulated rollercoaster actually work is pretty cool. Keying it could "look" cool, but it wouldn't be as impressive...y'know...metaphysically or somthing.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

10 October 2004, 10:32 PM
Ok, if the rule says no keyframes, i accept this.

But imagine! You´ll have to develop a COMPLETE WORKING rollercoaster! I don´t know how much time the engineers need to develop one that really works (enough velocity for the looping, then the 360° spin and again up a hill...).
Hehe, this will be a good challenge! :)
I´ll have to check if I can join again.


10 October 2004, 10:34 PM
The other thing about No Keyframes is that it actually can be very beneficial in a production keeps things procedural and very flexible. And believe it or not its very common. Since shots are always changing (its so common for a director to say...hmmm...lets make that like this instead)...and if you have keyed everything that can often mean starting from scratch....but if on the other hand it was procedural/rule/event based then you can often make the change and everthing adjusts itself. Of course good keyframing on top of that can never hurt.

As to the question about what to do in Max without using keyframes there are a lot of options: Reactor, particles, or scripting...are the most obvious.

10 October 2004, 10:43 PM
Sure, rule based simulations have immense advantages. They´re very flexible and I like to use them, too.

But often the director says:"Ok, it´s physical correct but... I want more action at this point. The "reality" is too boring. Can´t you make the rollercoaster spinning two times when it is flying off the track?" Or somthing like this.
So you have to think about: Do you want a physical correct simulation or something which is just looking good (but also beliveable)? If you want both, then the trouble starts :)


10 October 2004, 11:27 PM
i can use path folow ¨? and particle flow ? or ... please helpme with a tutorial for reactor lol

10 October 2004, 01:11 AM
Guess us poor Blender users can't enter this one. But roller coasters are cool; I suppose I can d/l a trial version of something and do the animation in that...

10 October 2004, 06:46 PM
any software ... im max user but reactor give me some problems... can i use a roller coaster maker program ???

10 October 2004, 08:18 PM
hehe, very good subject..
many things to think about, many problems to resolves..
ok, will be in, and start at the beginning this time :) .. so many things to do..
at work men! :D

10 October 2004, 08:42 PM
Question here... must the track be traditional, or is it open to change? I mean, every type of track that can be built in real life is allowed?

I've got some cool idea for a very nice looking track, you see :)

10 October 2004, 12:56 AM
Ok first thing first.
Guys remember to do some research on real life
coasters before you start building the coaster.
I cannot stress this enough, check the reference.

There are some really wild real word designs out there.

Ok ill go question by question:

The Parrot
The track can be any way you want, (wood or steel) as long as
it is gravity based, like all real life coasters.

In order to keep things fair, I would prefer it if you did not use a rollercoaster generation software. Remember the key of the challenge is the simulation.


10 October 2004, 04:14 AM
This sounds super awesome!!

I'm understanding everything so far, but my question:

Is this supposed to be real-world simulation as well as physics simulation (i.e. wheels and tracks), or can it be more sci-fi style (like an anti-gravity track of sorts, like magnetic field type thing, or other sci-fi like idea), as long as it's actual gravity-based and non-keyframed?

The reason I ask is that i'm having a HUGE amoung of trouble building a realistic rollercoaster system in Maya. I've been working on this for a few hours now, and anything I can think to try just turns out to not work.

Alternatively, can anyone suggest what FX systems in Maya I should spend time learning in order to get this right? I'm reasonably familiar with real physics, maya's dynamics, and modeling and animation... and these "make rollercoaster" concepts are pretty ambiguous. I can't exactly look up in Maya Help "How to build a roller coaster" ... Again, could someone suggest what features in Maya I should look into further?

Thanks in advance


10 October 2004, 07:04 AM
Forget the space opera... I am stink to this shit ;)

10 October 2004, 03:11 PM
This should be fun, I'm on it.

My WIP Page

10 October 2004, 08:39 PM
Hopefully I find the time for this challenge. SOunds so cool.

10 October 2004, 09:38 PM
I am using Maya and new to dynamics, brand new. I just played with applying a gravity field to a cube and have no clue how to attach, or get this to follow a path dynamically. Any links tutorials or quick pointers appreciated. And yes I'm new to Maya in general. Thank you in advance.

10 October 2004, 10:56 PM
I guess this is the wrong forum for such questions. And maybe you should consult the help first.

(Make your cube a active rigid body. Select it, and create a gravity under fields. It gets connected automatically. Hit play. It should fall down.)

10 October 2004, 04:55 AM
good call... This should all go into the Maya help threads. :P :thumbsup:

edit: ps - colt: nice avatar! (and nice metallica reference :buttrock: )


10 October 2004, 06:33 AM
[snip] Belive it or not, the no keyframes rules is mostly to make people
get very familiar with the simulation engines (and the event tiggers)
of their apps.

Actually a very good incentive to participate.


10 October 2004, 06:03 PM
One piece of advice while doing your animation.

If there is something I learned from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
Mine car sequence (Boy that mine car would make a sweet rollercoaster)
is that you need:
A horizon in order to give a sence of scale and movement. For the movie they
faked it with shatfs of light

Good POV shots intercut with the animation. You can intercut them with the
animation if you have the time.

If you have the DVD it might be a good idea to watch it, to get an idea
on how to edit your animation for max effect.


10 October 2004, 06:08 PM

Are we working under the same rules as the other challenges in that the animation can be made up of a series of shots instead on a single continuous simulation as long as the dynamics are driving each shot?

10 October 2004, 06:14 PM
Same rules.


10 October 2004, 08:55 PM
That mine car was exactly my idea .. damnit, now it looks I just do what you proposed here. :D I hope two linked mine cars qualify as a rollercoaster.

And to coryc quesion, does that mean i can set up different simulations for every cut? Because getting a stable simulation over a complete ride .... a lot of frames .. is on of the big problems in this challenge. And fine tuning the track is complicated and time consuming when the simulation times are so long.

10 October 2004, 09:32 PM
does that mean i can set up different simulations for every cut?
Yes. Since we have the same rules as the previous challenges, look through the Avalanche and Trebuchet threads for more details. The goal is to make a cool animation of a roller coaster with dynamics, not a dynamic simulation of a roller coaster so I wouldn't get hung up on making sure it works like a real roller coaster 100% from start to finish in a single cut.

10 October 2004, 06:25 PM
but if we pull it off, it's just that much more cool, right? :D

10 October 2004, 04:27 AM
There's a whole 12 part video tutorial on how to do a rollercoaster in Houdini here:

Not sure how developed it is though as I never went through it.

11 November 2004, 12:38 PM
Hello Roberto Ortiz!

Maybe, one day, the challenges should be sorted by the topics. "Avalanche" for the avalanches, "Rollercoaster" for the current threads ...

What do you think about that?


11 November 2004, 05:24 PM
Do you think that we could have another award, for "most realistic desgin"? For someone who creates a coaster that would most likely work in real-life, for smoothness, G's, supports, track desgin, etc.?

11 November 2004, 11:49 PM
Wow Roberto, U're really rocking cgtalk with those challenges. I'll try to find the time to make a great simulation for this.

-D ;)

12 December 2004, 12:36 AM
I think we're supposed to link to our finals here. Well, here it is.

It was a lot of fun. Good luck to everyone.

12 December 2004, 12:09 PM
Yeah, I almost forgot to link my entry. So here it is:

And to say it with the words of my previous poster: It was really a lot of fun :bounce:

12 December 2004, 01:20 PM
Yes, The link, I should put that up for people.

Here it is, link to my page:
just scroll down and you'll find the link to my coaster movie

12 December 2004, 11:51 PM
I think we're supposed to link to our finals here. Well, here it is.

It was a lot of fun. Good luck to everyone.

To.ta.lly.awe.some ! :eek:

12 December 2004, 03:00 PM
hehe, so, no time for me to finish this contest. i just have some preview, so dont think its enought to show it for vote.. :)
anyway, have saw some of the final animation.. good works for all. it was not an easy subject for sure.waiting to see the result :)

12 December 2004, 03:07 PM
I think we're supposed to link to our finals here. Well, here it is.

It was a lot of fun. Good luck to everyone.
well done dude! what an awesome ride!

soundtrack fits in really well too.

nice one!

12 December 2004, 04:19 PM
hehe, so, no time for me to finish this contest. i just have some preview, so dont think its enought to show it for vote.. :)
anyway, have saw some of the final animation.. good works for all. it was not an easy subject for sure.waiting to see the result :)
The preview seems ok.
I would post it anyway.


12 December 2004, 12:46 PM
hehe ok roberto, i post it.. :)

so heres is my post

12 December 2004, 08:15 AM
I think we're supposed to link to our finals here. Well, here it is.

It was a lot of fun. Good luck to everyone. Amazing ride..

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