View Full Version : FXWars! The Big Freeze! Max Persson

07 July 2005, 10:11 AM
Hi all,

Cool challenge, I have to participate in this one, even if it's my first. Will be a lot of fun and a great long adventure. Good luck to you all!

As this it my WIP thread I will now present the plot line for my entry to the challenge (frozen city):

"A news team is heading for the impact site of a gargantuan ice meteor to get the best selling first shots."

Here is a quick story board of the main scenes:

1. The excited news team is flying in a hover style vehicle between the glacier walls. Parts of the walls are falling off as they pass by.

2. A reporter is talking about what we are going to witness in just some seconds when we arrive. The ride is not the most stable...

3. The vehicle is gaining altitude pretty close to a glacier wall to get a good view of the impact area. A big block of ice is falling of the wall right outside their windows.

4. As they fly higher an outstanding view lays before them. The enormous ice meteor has left a crater many kilometers in diameter. Cracks have formed in the ground with ring-formed cracks spreading from the impact point. The city is frozen and very still.

Thats it for now. Concept sketches of the hover craft and a map of the place will follow...


07 July 2005, 02:49 PM
Looks Interesting! Good Luck to u too! Keep it up!:D


07 July 2005, 08:17 PM
looking good so far:)

08 August 2005, 08:43 AM
Hey ho!

I've been drawing some sketches on the hover craft and started to model it. Here are two images on the progress so far: ( (

The body was built using subdivision surfaces with pretty simple shapes as foundation. Most of the harder edges can be fixed using the partial/none/full crease functionality on different levels instead of adding more geometry to the base poly object. This gives a much cleaner topology (and also a more mechanical style even if its a bit organic). When I was happy with the shape of the body I saved one original and converted it to polygons which gave a nice mesh to work with. Then a lot of cutting with the boolean tools were done. I cut a large block for the passenger housing in the side, and one for each of the front facing windows. New faces were built to connect the interiour areas and give them the right shape. The interiours were then separated from the body the ease the unwrapping. Both of the hoods were created with booleans too.

I created the right engine first using subdivs. A lot of fans, vents and exhaust stuff were placed inside to give some detail. I set up the rotation pivot for the engine housing and parented all other objects to it. All of it were then instanciated to the opposite side. THe front left engine were built with the rear one as foundation.

Yup, that was that so far. Next comes more detailing, both externally and internally, and a pre vis of all the shots.

Keep it up folks and have a good time!

08 August 2005, 09:07 AM
Wow! That's really coming out nice!:D

08 August 2005, 12:41 PM
Oki doki, just a bunch of details added. Created with a combination of subdivs and ordinary polys. It's a bummer that mental ray has problems with 3 sided faces in subdivs though, had to convert them all to polys. Yeah, yeah, I guess I had converted them later on anyways... Here isa quick occlution pass of the thingy: (

See ya!

08 August 2005, 03:25 PM
Impressive work!:thumbsup: I like the windscreen of the hover!:D I'm following this thread very closely!


08 August 2005, 07:21 PM
Thanks man, I'll be following yours aswell. I just got back from a 6 hour shift at my gocery store and I'm very eager to continue with the 3d stuff now, hehe. I'll probably do the previs this night.


08 August 2005, 01:41 PM
nice work so far, keep em comming ;)

08 August 2005, 09:26 PM
Hi again all, I will keep em coming, right now as a matter of fact. I've done some amount of detailing to the ship, both inside and outside. A pretty wild unwrap of the main body is also finished and I just couldn't keep my fingers off Photoshop, hehe. The texture for the body is a rough sketch of colors, logo layout and panels. But I'm not that happy with the main color scheme as it is atm, so this will probably change without further notice. Have to google around after some aircraftish warning texts and such. Also the lightning in those pictures is just a quick key + rim to get some show-able renderings for you folks (I was in quiet a hurry actually). Final lightning will be done a lot in post, yummy!

Btw, the logo for the African Brodcasting Company was created by my very talented younger brother, 18 yeras (me myself is 20). Thanks! He will become a great illustration artist I hope...

Here are the images:

There are good vibes in the FXWars forum, keep it goin folks.


08 August 2005, 08:16 AM
The model looks great!

A bit futuristic but thatīs ok...

I like it!

08 August 2005, 09:06 AM
WOW! Simply Wow! Good job man, keep it up!:D

08 August 2005, 10:16 AM
look really good! damn u who are good at detailing hehe :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 12:25 PM
Thanks for the comments guys, it warms my heart!

The model is a bit futuristic though, but that is mostly on purpose as my short is set about 30-50 years in the future. As you can see in the picture, Africa is now one of the big players in world politicts, and this is a news vehicle from the largest african news compant, the African Brodcast Company.

I will continue to paint more textures and I will probably add materials to most other stuff too now. I will update in a few hours with new pics.


08 August 2005, 09:14 AM
Woho! Time for some more updates.

I've been doing some planning of the compositing, what passes to render and so on. This is a quick test I did. The background is just some silly sky I found and the lightning is far from what is should be, but the results seems promising. By outputting the lights (key, fill and rim) to the R, G and B channels respectively I gained a lot of control over the shading when compositing. Thi nice thing is that the lightning color can be changed without re-rendering, wee! I also prepared the shadows for the same treatment, but in this rendering only the key casts shadows (and I plan to keep it this way). What is missing in this composite though is a ambient environment lightning pass which probably will help to soften up the image a bit. I also found a little bug (maybe): When rendering out the color pass the camera environment color (black in this case) bleeds over a bit into the model. This left a small black border around the model (which i luckily could remove by shrinking the alpha for the color pass a bit in shake). Anyway, I will use a more sky colored environment color for the camera when doing the final renderings, which would minimize the effect.

The textures have had their share of work to, some recoloring, details for hatches etc and more details on the bump (which is not visible in this shot).

Thats it for now, more unwrapping and texture painting to do (and maybe some more detailing/rework of details).


08 August 2005, 10:58 AM
nice,really nice, are you using shake to composite verything? :)

08 August 2005, 07:58 PM
Brilliant modelling and compositing...! It really makes it shade very nice! :scream:

Good luck with 'the War'... :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 08:22 AM
Howdy folks, thanks for the comments.

Yesterday I did a proxy model of the hover craft and rigged it with animation controls. The locator on top of the rear fins will be controlling all both the rudders and the engines (bank and elevation). I attached the proxy to a motion path and did some test flying. I'm not sure if I want to use motion paths for the final animation, they have both pros (like the ability to change the path really easy) and cons (like hard to work with timing and the length of the path). I used manual control over the rotation to better simulate chopper-like behavior.

Here is the short test animation:
Click here to watch (

Here is a picture of the rig:

lv_88: Yep, shake will be my compositing app. But right now I can't use the file out nodes because shake crashes when I try to render.


08 August 2005, 10:59 AM
Ah, I've been pulling my hair to create a realistic looking iceberg. I've tried numerous techniques: ploygon sculpting, procedural displacement maps, non-procedural displacement maps etc etc.. None of the results are good enough for what I need. Next thing to try is to paint a displacement map in zbrush and apply to my geometry in Maya. Well, well, we'll see if that works better.

In my desperation to see some results I spent last night doing some test passes and compositing. And it got quiet good actually, I added a falloff reflection pass (with a reflection occlusion pass added) and a light pass with better diffuse textures. Also I used a HDR image for both the reflections and an additional ambient environment lightning pass. All this were then composed in Shake and what I got was this:

Pretty sweet IMHO! I have added some vignetting and film grain too.


08 August 2005, 12:03 PM
Looking good mate, keep up the good work:)

08 August 2005, 02:34 PM
Those are some a-m-a-z-i-n-g shots koexistens!:D Great work...really like that hovercraft (very realistic!)...good animation too!:D


08 August 2005, 06:58 AM
Looks great, 3DE! Looking forward to how this goes from here.

08 August 2005, 09:06 PM
nice indeed! ;)

08 August 2005, 11:11 AM
Your plane helicopter... what ever looks very good.

Nice textures and shaders! The picture you have postet looks very realistic.
I like the grain in it.

You should add some heat haze under the engines of the "helicopter"...
That effect brings even more realism to the szene...

Very impressive work!

...sorry for my bad english knowledge...

08 August 2005, 01:37 PM
Looking very cool. I agree with the comment re Heat haze.

Can't wait to see more of this.:thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the critics and compliments! As for the heat blur, it will be there in the final render. That is one thing I have had in the back of my mind since the beginning and I have thought about an approach. My idea is to render some kind of gray scale volume ramp in a cylinder or something behind the engines. The actual blur will then later be put in in Shake. I hope that will work, haven't done any tests on it yet.

Btw, I just go Maya 7 installed with the all new amazing render layer stuff. This will speed up my approach a big deal as the material stuff was a real pain in the ass before...

Also the icebergs with surroundings is taking shape and I now have the basic form of them lad out (but I will now show them here yet, too early). The shape of the icebergs needs some more work with the artisan tools and then I have to paint a proper bump map to them in Bodypaint 3D. The last days have gone to experimenting with building icebergs. I've tried different combinations of Maya, ZBrush, Bodypaint 3D and Photoshop and finally settled with using all of them but ZBrush.

Also there will be some snow flying around. I think I will do particle systems for this snow in Houdini, which is really great for particles IMO (just started to learn it for this purpose). Houdini is good for your mind, you learn to think in new ways and me as a structured person feel right at home. :D

-Framestorm-: Your english is just fine. I think too many pepole here make excuses for their writing skills even if they are just fine. Don't do that! :thumbsup:

Back to the world of 3d, keep it us folks!


08 August 2005, 08:08 AM
I have worked on head hazes bevore. I think itīs an
easy way if you render an extra pass with white
particles coming out your engine as everything else is
black or grey... it depents from the compositingprogram you are using...
I think maya has a blackwhole shader (i donīt know it well
because i work with c4d)

Then you can load the result of your render in your
compositing program and say displace white fields of
my particle-layer to my image-layer...

Thatīs it... heathaze is ready... maybe you should
blur the effecktmask afterwards... then it often becomes
even more realistic...

08 August 2005, 08:50 AM
Thanks for the tips. As for now I've set up a plane coming out the engine mapped with a noise procedural and multiplied with a circular ramp to get some falloff toward the edges. This geometry was then duplicated three times and rotated to form a star (see picture). All other geometry for that render layer was given a use background material with alpha gain set to 0, giving me occluding objects but invisible in the alpha.

The leftmost copy of the exhaust + fire is the blend shape for adjusting the engine pressure. The details make it, right? :D


CGTalk Moderation
08 August 2005, 08:50 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.