View Full Version : FXWars! Roller Coaster!: colt

10 October 2004, 07:31 PM

Here we go:

Coaster Hellride. (very strongly inspired by Indy :) )

Edited and rendered with all the bells and whistles: (Quicktime, 19 Mbyte)

Coaster Final (

A plain shaded animation: (Quicktime, 11 Mbyte)

Coaster plain (

See second page for details.

That topic got me interested and so I played the afternoon with maya and it's dynamics.

Somehow it seems, that creating the track will be much harder, than getting the wagons to roll. Example needed?

Wrong curvature (

We should create a video of the best rc-crashes at the end. :p

10 October 2004, 09:31 PM
hehehe pretty cool. Have you thought about putting retaining wheels on the cars to help keep them on the track. They'd be just like the real ones. See about the middle of the page for a pipc:

10 October 2004, 10:02 PM
Well, I had the idea of a jump or two in my ride .. and that won't work with those retaining wheels. Another trick would be to put the center of mass between the tracks, that elimates nearly all sideward force, but I think that's cheating ... sort of. :argh:

But at the moment I'm stuck with another problem:

crash (

Somehow the collision simulation produces sometimes an error when the "wheels" slide over an mesh edge. It seems to happen without any reason, I just can't find a cure for it.
Anybody encoutered that problem before? Something sliding over a mesh, and at an edge it suddly jumps up, as if stumbles over the edge. It even occours on completely straight geometry.

10 October 2004, 10:07 AM
eh, you car is sliding so good, mine in reactor doesn't slide :D

i encountred problems with crashing like that, try to make more substeps, in max's reactor you can

10 October 2004, 11:40 AM
start good, your spring set up seems really promising.

10 October 2004, 10:57 PM
I love the crash, perfect camera angle. Anyways, did you try banking the rails some more so theres not so much lateral forces. I hope yer putting seatbelts in... :)

10 October 2004, 11:05 PM
Oh man, I have seen so many crashes, I'm getting sick of it. I tried everything, really everything, but mayas collide is just to unstable. It's given me a lot of grey hairs these last two days.

At the moment I'm trying a different approch, through scripting. Much like Lalunevertes.

10 October 2004, 12:27 AM
Don't get disheartened, You should try and use Lightwaves HardFX, you'd be completely grey after one evening !

10 October 2004, 07:37 AM
just don't give up, i really like what you got there!

10 October 2004, 12:23 PM
Ok, I understand the first crash, its just getting thrown off to the side. But the second one makes no sence at all. Maybe the edges are catching on eachother, have you tried rounding the corners on the car? (I dont know how much it will help) You could also try boxing the rail in.
. ___________
. _ | |_ _| |_
. | __ | | __ |
. | |O| | | |O||
. |____| |____|

But I think the best thing would be wheels that roll over the rail. Or does that cause problems too?

10 October 2004, 10:52 PM
Believe me, I tried everything. The funny thing is the more I tesselate the geometry, the more frequent those errors are.

Anyways, I read we don't need to use one sinulation for the whole ride. ANd thanks to mayas stubborness I have come up with 2 different ways to simulate my rc. One stable, for long normal rides, and a freaky one for the special parts.

Now if I get to attach a second car to both sims, prepare for the ride of your life. Maybe the last one. Haven't devided if my passengers make it alive to the end :twisted:

Here are some tests for the fun parts.

Hell_on_wheels_717kb (

10 October 2004, 12:59 AM
Very cool colt! Keep going with that. You always draw bigger crowds when something crashes or looks like it might.

10 October 2004, 05:07 PM
Interesting (cool) idea but impossible to make (safely) in real life. The weight of passengers (or lack thereof), plus the weather (wind and stuff) would make it impossible to grant the safety of the passengers (the jumps). Butit's perfect for the guys that don't feel like going to hell for suicide, and would also like your family to get millions from the lawsuit.


10 October 2004, 11:40 PM

Looks really good so far. How do you get your car to slide so good in maya? I have zero static and dynamic friction, but still does not slide as smoothly as yours. I also was thinking of using retaining wheels on the side to keep it on track, seems like it would work.

Cool crash too :)

Oh yeah, what do the bones do? I see them on your car and wasn't sure.

10 October 2004, 08:04 AM
Wow! Really nice sim there. Reminds me of the good ol' Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom days. For coolness factor, I would keep the "risky" parts in. I'm really impressed that you got the cart to jump off AND land and keep it going.

Keep up the great work!



10 October 2004, 07:38 PM
Can You explain how achieved this camera setup?
This what we see in plablast.


10 October 2004, 08:35 PM
Thanks for your comments guys. It's a bit busy here these days, but I hope to squeeze in some FX-time now and then.

alvinkanarbik: I'm not going for a realistic approach. Realistic in terms of doable or save in real life. That gives me so much more freedom when designing the track. And I think it's more fun to look at.

alexgk: I use no damping and friction and it slides just fine. No special tricks there. Don't use too much geometry for the simulation, only whats absolutely neccessary. It'll speed up things and make them more predictable. Delete every unneccessary face, you can even let only edges collide. So don't build wheels, but just a face or edge in their place and add the wheel later, just for rendering.
Mhh, no bones there. Maybe you mean the springs I use?

Baq: Some are constrained to the car, and the "cool" ones just use a low focal length.

10 October 2004, 02:01 AM
lol I like the part of the jumping car!

Maybe you do something fancy with this! What about a spin so the waggon turns around 360 degree and lands on the track again? :buttrock:


10 October 2004, 08:14 PM
Ah, damping...I'll play with those settings and see if it helps. Thanks. Also after reading other posts I realized those were springs you were using. Looks great, can't wait to see the finished result!

11 November 2004, 12:03 PM
Some are constrained to the car, and the "cool" ones just use a low focal length.
Yeah, I understand this part :) but I wanna know somethin' else. This movie: is playblast right? So, how You made camera change from one view to other, or maybe there are few plyblast composited???

I ask coz I wanna make somethin' similar and don't know how. I wanna make camera change from one to other through the animation.


11 November 2004, 12:53 PM
Bag: I used premiere to edit some playblasts together.

A little update from here. Getting it to work with two cars was much harder than I thought. But it seems to work now, at least for my stable simulation. Will try the other one later, I expect a lot of headaches.
I'm starting to hate mayas dynamics. :argh:

smooth ride (

Oh, yeah, ignore the beginning. I let the wagons drop onto the track and give them a little shove, so it might look strange.

11 November 2004, 12:19 AM
I think I finished my setup. The second sim works now too. It's entirely gravity and collision based, so I can do whatever would work in reality. But because of the two cars attached to each other it is really unpredictable sometimes.
I took out the suspension, to keep calculation time at a minimum and because it looked wrong on a mine car.

test drive (

Now it's time to design the track. :twisted:

11 November 2004, 12:14 PM
That look very awseome! I love the mine cart style trains! Good luck on making a full coaster track! I wish i couyld how to use reactor to do that

11 November 2004, 04:52 PM
Looking real nice. Just one question...When can I ride it?

11 November 2004, 09:47 PM
Are you sure you wanna ride it? But only at your own risk. :twisted:

I did a "little" modelling and track designing these days. This is taking much more time than expected. I hope to finish it in time.

11 November 2004, 10:17 PM
Nice track design. And great idea to place it inside a cave. This reminds me to do a little bit of track and wagon design on my own.


11 November 2004, 09:45 AM
Wow! This bumping-system is a great idea. Good work!
The cave thing reminds me a lot of indiana jones, aswell as the jumps and stuff.
I guess that#s where your inspiration came from.

12 December 2004, 11:50 PM
ups, double post

12 December 2004, 12:25 AM
Here we go:

Coaster Hellride. (very strongly inspired by Indy :) )

Edited and rendered with all the bells and whistles: (Quicktime, 19 Mbyte)

Coaster Final (

A plain shaded animation: (Quicktime, 11 Mbyte)

Coaster plain (

I used Maya for all the stuff. It took me quite some time to come up with the simulations and for the final every cave took about 2 days from scratch to finish (plus a lot of rendering time).

The only keyframes are on the lift in the beginning and of course the cameras.
The whole simulation is divided into 8 parts, sometimes the break is clearly visible since I didn't match the speeds correctly, shame on me. (you'll see all the the cuts in the plain animation)
I used two different approaches to simulate the train. Here is a picture of the actual simulated geometry:

The upper sim is entirely gravity based, the "wagons" are sliding over the tracks and connected to each other. They are not connected to the track, therefore I use this sim for the jumps and gaps in the tracks. I would have used it for the whole animation, but Maya has got some serious problems with collisions, which make this sim really buggy and unusable for long and complicated tracks. See my wip for some details.
So I came up with the second one, which is a little bit more complicated. Here I use a custom expression for the movement of the locators along the track-spline. The expression calculates speed and position based on the incline/decline. The 8 boxes are connected to these locators and the "cars" sit losely through collsion on them, allowing some freedom for the cars - you will see them nearly fall over or jump of the tracks in hard curves or bends with close to 0g.
The wheels rotate using an expression calculating the covered distance in world space, that's why they also rotate while the lift is going up.

All this freedom took a lot of trial and error for the track design, you don't want to know how often it flew off my track. :argh: And it creates the strong shaking you see at high speeds in the curves. Part of the problem is, that the track is still made of polygons with their limited tesselation.

As always there is sooooo much still to fix (especially the edit, which ruins some things), but I hope you like it. I had a lot of fun creating it.


12 December 2004, 08:38 PM
Absolutely fricking brilliant!

You may have been the first one I had seen, but my gawd! Sure there is stuff you could correct (main one I noticed was the double bounce-track into the cavern: seemed too fast and cheesy), but damn boy.

Once I get off of work, I'm gonna have to check the others to see what they have. So far, I love it. Great amusement, fast, great directing and concept.:buttrock:

12 December 2004, 08:40 PM
WOW :thumbsup: Thats really nice, Great job. The editing is very well done. Only if you could have fixed the shaking part, it would be perfect. But I kind of like the shaking, makes it feel faster.

I like your simulation setup, a lot simpler then mine. How long did it take to calculate the simulation? As far as visuals go, I'd say you have everyone beat so far.

One other question, how long did it take to render the final mov?

12 December 2004, 08:46 PM
o sh!t man! that was awsome! :bounce:

12 December 2004, 11:52 PM
wow, great job colt, that was excellent, i liked the music too :), nothing distracted me from the fun of the ride. 10.

12 December 2004, 06:53 AM
That's amazing. Really a great ride and fun to watch. I don't want to imagine how much work you have put into tuning all those simulations...

12 December 2004, 09:39 AM
Yes indeed, fun ride.
the music matches also very good and the editing is nice.
The jumps do look a bit unnatural to me, but for the fun it's cool. Great work!

12 December 2004, 01:01 PM
Maybe some bats flying around...
For me you are the winner! :scream:

12 December 2004, 12:03 PM
Dude, that was just amazing.

One Major let down for me was the Camera shots. U used to many. And you cut too much from one camera to another.

As i was getting used to one view it suddenly cut to another. Too many times.

Thats my only crit.

Congratulation whether u win or not. Outstanding work.

12 December 2004, 08:48 PM
It was awsome...I'm quite impressed. I used to consider myself an fx guru but this is just insane. I can't imagine the amount of work you had to go through in order to achieve these simulations, having to deal with this kind of work myself in a daily basis.

I would love to take a look at some of yours scenes if it was possible and I would be happy to share techniques in the future.



12 December 2004, 08:53 PM
Guys Ill post the voting thread later tonight.


12 December 2004, 09:57 AM
great impressive work you did there ... and all dynamics ... unglaublich

12 December 2004, 08:18 AM
Awesome work, a real treat to watch!

Congratulations on your win too!

12 December 2004, 11:04 AM
awesome camera work!!

12 December 2004, 06:40 PM
Congrats, this is an amazing entry:
Best Overall ENTRY!:
F (! Roller Coaster!: colt (


12 December 2004, 07:17 PM
Man that coaster is completly against all regullations of a theme park ride :) But i realy like it, i wish there where coaster like that on the world. Excellent job.:thumbsup: Congrats!

12 December 2004, 10:11 PM
Thanks again everyone. I'm glad you like it.

Interesting how some like the camerawork and others don't. It's the best I could do in the time. I did and planned the camera setups as the last step before rendering, which was mostly at 3 a.m. in the morning. I only rendered the planned frames for each cut, without testing and did no rerendering afterwards. Look at the edit more as a rough try.

Render times were about 2 mins a frame at 640x360 on my humble AMD 2000+. Simulation happened at about 12 fps, otherwise it would have been impossible to do all the tweaking. That's why I ditched the suspension I had in the early phase of the challenge, it took just too long.

Cheers, Nico

12 December 2004, 10:57 AM
such a thrill!

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