View Full Version : Outpost - VFX challenge - azazel & Selim

03 March 2003, 10:22 PM
Hi all,

This time, together with my brother Selim, we decided to enter in VFX Challenge.

So let's start, here's a location concept (no alien buildings yet, still working on it ;) )

Actual outpost will be located somewhere in the middle between these three mountains.

Source material:

It's a foto I've found at (, lots of great fotos there, for free and in quite good resolutions :thumbsup:.
Expect some more sketches soon, quite many things may change. C&C welcome ;)

03 March 2003, 10:26 AM
I think that you can add some more details to this envioremnt. More of those horns or more and sharper mountains in background. It looks good so far. Waiting for more :)


btw thx for link

03 March 2003, 04:14 PM
Thanks .overflowed. :beer:
There will be an update soon, with more details.

03 March 2003, 05:56 PM
Well, that's how we want the outpost to look like:

We want to make camera zoom and pan, add some nice moving clouds, casting shadows on the ground, some activity around the base itself, airships, smoke, something like that ;)

.overflowed, I've added one more horn ;) tried to do more, but it was a bit too much :beer:

Now it's time to start real painting, everything above is just a rough sketch.

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 06:03 PM
Looking nice however the outpost is kind of small maybe build some more paremeter stuff onto it?


03 March 2003, 06:28 PM
Actually, when compared to the size of the trees, the outpost is quite big ;) Hope to do quite big zoom for the clip ;) There will be much more details on the outpost, and some more buildings around are good idea, thanks :beer:

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 11:52 PM
k cool i love the different style if you ahve ever played WC3 i was thinking some watch towers would be cool .. kinda like the Orc defence towers.. then maybe even like a big bird that has some kinda mount on him for an observation shuttle if you know what i mean:buttrock:

03 March 2003, 12:30 AM
I LOVE the first version! I think it looks a tad overworked in the second one; I don't think it needs the 4th "horn" in the distance and the outpost seems to make the image lose it's immense sense of scale. Can't wait to see more! :bounce:

03 March 2003, 06:48 PM
Some more experimenting: this time colors are left as in orginal pic, added one more building and airship to see how it would look like.

Mangled Poly, now when I think about WC3 I like the watchtower idea.... Have to think about some way to have watchtowers, some ancient base design, and to keep the sense of scale (:beer: Fasty) - so a lot will change. There's a lot of space, maybe even whole little city would fit there ;)

03 March 2003, 03:46 PM
Plate has changed a bit.... found second photo of the same place, so I was able to stitch them in kinda panaramic plate. No other modifications for now, but hopefully "horns" will be back:

and here's very rough and dirty camera projection test, just wanted to try if we can do it ;) Something better should came soon, but even now the range of movement is quite big :)

Quictime video, 605 kb (

C&C welcome ;)

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 03:00 AM
cool lets see it with buildings!

03 March 2003, 03:33 AM
Originally posted by Mangled Poly
cool lets see it with buildings!

Er, i think those curly worly tooth things are the buildings.

A very nice matte painting work! The new dinamic duo!:beer:

03 March 2003, 03:59 AM
The environment looks spectacular! What resolution are you working at? I want to see details! :D

03 March 2003, 07:34 AM
Er, i think those curly worly tooth things are the buildings.

Actually, we wanted them to be som kind of mountains, but we'll think about making them buildings ;)

resolution is is somewhere around 200o x 1000 pixels...

update with camera motion will follow later today :bounce:

03 March 2003, 04:13 PM
Ok, so here is second camera movement test. This time modeling is complete, but horizon line may need some work.

The camera movement may change;)

There's some texture flickering - due to small texture filtering. (2.52 MB) (

03 March 2003, 03:57 PM
Some angles (I know, geometry is too simple, hence "blocky" shapes):

there are two plates:
main one (horns not finished yet...)

and back one, with horns and same overlaping elements painted out:

they are masked like that:

and projected onto this geometry:

Buildings will come, as soon as we have all mapping and geometry problems solved, I promise ;)

03 March 2003, 04:11 PM
ok, the only thing I can say is it's awsome but I have NOOOO IDEA how tis stuff works :shrug:

could you plz explain shortly how this works? what do you do in 2d and what 3d and how do you 'merge' this together?

good luck with the challenge, I really liked your previous entry too :thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by azazel
Buildings will come, as soon as we have all mapping and geometry problems solved, I promise ;)
So I'm waiting.

So far great work. I like mood and colors very much.

03 March 2003, 05:01 PM
Well, at this moment idea is to be able to add some camera motion to the static photo. Usually you do it by projecting this photo onto simple geometry. Then you can move camera in a limited range. When you move camera bit too much, you get artifacts. For example, when looking behind one of the horns, you won't see the horizon behind it - you will see ugly texture stretching. To avoid that, we took the main plate, and painted out the horn, added there some mountains on the horizon, and corrected some other things. This plate should be projected only on the part of geometry which is behind the horns. So we made a mask - on first wireframe shot this darkened area is where the back plate is projected. In the effect, we have slightly bigger range of camera movement with less distortions.
Hope all this makes sense.... we should soon post some .mov with camera motion to illustrate that ;)

03 March 2003, 09:30 PM
So, here is .mov file (543kb) (

03 March 2003, 01:01 PM
Just a sketch of the building (s) ;) :

03 March 2003, 01:22 PM
just got one thing to say . . .

TOTAL OWNAGE :buttrock:

03 March 2003, 12:28 AM
Hi Azazel & selim..............:wavey:

I think your creation has a very mystical feel and look to it.Very nice. It's very interesting to see a Brother tandem work together. I do my work with my Brother as well.

I think it's very interesting to see you create this project. I like the motion already,it looks smooth and with no faults. This is an exciting project to see come to life. Keep up the great work "Brothers",looking very good thus far.:thumbsup: :beer:

Dancing Monkey
03 March 2003, 02:07 AM

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 07:07 PM
So awesome i love this building 100x more nice work you two:beer:

03 March 2003, 07:14 PM
Awesome look to your scene, I like the flying butresses on the the building. Keep up the good work guys!

04 April 2003, 08:43 PM
Thanks very much guys for the feedback :wavey: :beer:

Only minor update, I started modelling the base..... don't mind crappy quality of geometry shading, that will change:

Do we have to render the base "properly" or can we map paint everything (colors, lightning, etc) and project that on surface? It would be faster and IMO give better efect ;) Shadows on the ground are already painted ;)

04 April 2003, 12:50 PM
Update. forget previous pic, that was crap, I got carried away from the concept too much ;) New one is still very early stage, never suspected it'll be so annoying to model something that simple:buttrock: .

04 April 2003, 02:45 PM
Darn. I love your style. This could be an awesome base.

Keep on working. :bounce:

04 April 2003, 02:54 PM
I think that on sketch the tip of base is moved to the left and in model it's straight. That sketch version IMO looks better. But Maybe i's only my impression :rolleyes:

I like your style very much, great mood. Keep it on:buttrock: :buttrock:

04 April 2003, 05:09 PM
Heaven871, thanks:beer:
.overflowed, You are right about the tip, that's corrected now. Thanks
Another little update ;)

04 April 2003, 09:00 AM
Now it's looks like on sketch.

More more more plz :bounce:

04 April 2003, 06:54 PM
We added some clouds to the sky, Selim is animating them at the moment, expect animation soon ;)

bigger (1000x540) (

sky photos are from very useful site :thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 07:20 PM
Looking great man! Thanks for the link to the skies as well!

04 April 2003, 09:47 PM
Thanks, BlueCougar :beer:

Finally some animation. Not even whole 5 secs, just to see how it all would look. There are some motion blur issues, so I'll probably turn it off - it makes render time four times longer.....
Clouds will be moving in other direction - towards the camera, and shadows will be the right ones ;) Now it's just a test ;)

quicktime (1mb) (

DivX (330kb) (

04 April 2003, 10:46 PM
Very nice.
I think the clouds are moving to fast then at the very end the shadows of the clouds stops. Understand its a test just dont want you to forget that last frame.


04 April 2003, 07:28 AM
Yeah, clouds are way too fast. If they would deform themselves like on a fast forward shot it would be ok.

I like the moving shadow on the ground on the right side of the image. Dunno if it's an error or a cloud shadow, if it's a cloud shadow it's also way too fast.

Did I mention I love your style :applause:

Go for gold.

04 April 2003, 09:24 AM
That shadow is not an error;), we were not sure if it will even work - now as we see it works, we'll make it properly. Selim already wrote about the cloud motion, that will change, will be slower. What we want for the clouds also is that they change their shapes a bit.....some morphing probably will be involved ;) Thanks guys for the feedback:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 04:33 PM
Check your keyframes for the center building when I was looping it was shifting a bit just at the beginning:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 04:36 PM
So, another update, but we're not sure about clouds movemet yet.

DivX 5.02 (944 kb) (

04 April 2003, 04:39 PM
Ya, I know about this - caused by motion blur (in first 10 frames) - already fixed :)

04 April 2003, 12:10 AM
Beautiful! Not a single crit here! Can't wait to see more!

Cured Solace
04 April 2003, 08:12 AM
It looks execellent. My only crit is it looks like the clouds are...Hmm, I can't really point out what it is about them. I was gonna say they look like they are too close to the ground, but thats probably not it. They cought my eye though. Everything else is sweet. Love the horn/mountains. :beer:

04 April 2003, 10:25 AM
We know about the clouds, they will be changed a bit - now what moves is just the geometry they are mapped on. We hope to make the clouds really move, change their shapes..... without actually moving this geometry. Thanks, Cured Solace and Fasty:beer:

04 April 2003, 12:35 AM

This is amazing, it is spectacular! I can't wait to see more!

Great Stuff :eek:

04 April 2003, 08:43 PM
I started making the ship... it'll fly somewhere around ;)

here's rough concept:

and here's what I've modeled (less than 2 hours):

using Wings3d of course ;)

I will get to texturing that and the base, soon :wip:

04 April 2003, 08:52 PM
Interesting design. I look foreward to seeing in motion with the scene. Keep up teh great work.

04 April 2003, 09:16 PM
shit hot fellas... dats all im saying for now ! still checking out tha amazment of these pictures !


04 April 2003, 06:24 PM
Thanks guys ;)

Started playing with base material.... no details yet, and I think I overdone speculars ;)

04 April 2003, 07:13 PM
nah speculars look right as rain, however not to be picky or nething but, you see where you have put the 2 photos together? just under the base looking object, the mountain im talking bout.
well it looks slight off? where the light hits it i mean, it look the front of tha mountain, is cut into 2, becuase one part is light and tha other part is dark...

acutally... it could just be my eyes playing tricks on me... now i think bout it.


04 April 2003, 07:37 PM
I think I see Your point, that'll be fixed. Thanks:beer:

04 April 2003, 11:18 AM
Very nice!! :bounce:

It could be straight from a fantasy movie :applause:

04 April 2003, 05:43 PM
Hey there! :wavey:
It's great to see you on the challenge as members of the Cgbug family.
Here are some fascinating designs but you may zoom in the outpost for the details of the units.
Kolay gelsin & gorusmek uzere!

04 April 2003, 08:58 PM
Dinlenmis: that's a little mistake. We are not members of cgbug family, yet ;) We both are from Poland, and Selim is my brother's real name ;) Seems there's another Selim on cgbug ;)

just saw Selim registered on cgbug few minutes ago, I'll register soon;) But none of us know what "Kolay gelsin & gorusmek uzere!" means ;)

Straightmark: thanks, cool avatar You have.

04 April 2003, 04:45 AM
very very nice indeed, it seems like i'm watching a movie lol :thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 12:23 PM
Just adding some details to the base ;)

04 April 2003, 04:50 PM
hello dear azazel

could i ask you whats your original software ?
and what do you know from other graphical educations ?

04 April 2003, 05:21 PM
I'm in a quite funny situation,,
Well, there was a mistake, I must have met Selim(turkish name, isn't it?), and mixed the name Azazel with Arzach or sth else. :rolleyes: Heh, anyways I was thinking you were turkish guys working as CG artists in Poland. Actually, a friend has said about it. :shrug: Anyhow, this makes me an imaginative boy and enough for what I seek, :p
Keep up the good work (similar to "kolay gelsin") and see you!("gorusmek...")
And thanks for your comment in my thread!

04 April 2003, 06:31 PM
Dinlenmis: yeah, quite funny :D
Saturen3: we're working on Maya, PS and Wings. We're self-taught ;)

04 April 2003, 07:07 PM
selim, what is wings? and what have u used it for if you dont mind me asking.


04 April 2003, 07:15 PM
BadKarma: Wings is a great poly modeler (mainly Azazel is using this - I prefer Maya).
Ship and the base was modeled in Wings.

04 April 2003, 11:00 AM
hmmmm i dont really like it very much... i think im gunna stick wiv maya...

cheers man


04 April 2003, 12:32 PM
Howdy, I love the base looks fantastic. I was thinking the model of the ship looks a bit short. I looks as if it would roll end over end. Perhaps some small canard wings on the front? Bit like the hammerhead shark. Will give it that predatory look.

Just my two cents as I'm a newbie you could just tell me to get away.



04 April 2003, 05:15 PM
Shamroc34: Additional wings would be really usefull, but in this case they won't even be visible.
We added spaceship whitch interacts with camera (but we're not happy with this yet), and sound of the ship engines ;).
What do You think about it?

Click here (

04 April 2003, 06:05 PM
The look and feel of your shot is nice, gj.

What stands out:

The clouds will not move that much at all... :) sublte parallax shifting...

As the ship comes into the shot screen right it travels right then slides left going into its smoother flight path... I think your ship should fly past the camera along a longer less sliding path, I get the feeling of "look at my ship go in front of the camera" rather then, "wow, did you see that ship fly by?" Then again its up to you and the look you want, :D

Lots of those fly by shots in the last few years... show the ship coming at camera, Cut to plane/ship flying past camera from beind... I saw a shot from xmen 2 last month of the blackbird, EP2 shots, Minority Report, A.I., you name it...

The camera bank is nice, but rubmle it around adding to that bank

Your ship's entering the mountain/outpost's cast shadows isnit working righ now, it goes into shadow too soon and comes out too soon... your scene has a lot of depth, it should take that ship a while to get close... the ship's animation takes away from the grand scale of your scene right now...

The lighting and interaction with the environment on the ship looks good though!


04 April 2003, 06:14 PM
Thanks Cogliostros for very valuable comments :beer:

We'll be working on that.

04 April 2003, 07:33 PM
very cool and thank you for the fast host ;)
the ship looks very cool, there's ony one thing I'm not completly sure about, the ship get's really small (so it's moving very far away) but the base and the mountain doesn't really look that large...

I hope you know what I mean :shrug:

04 April 2003, 09:45 PM
Personally its just me but I get tired of the shaking camera thing. I mean it has worked in the pask but still over used. Other than that I think its good. I do enjoy the look of the ship. Does it go into warp speed when it gets close to the building?


04 April 2003, 09:52 PM
Really excellent work friends ! I hope we will have a "behind the scene" after the challenge ! ;)

:beer: :thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 10:23 PM
Dreamwave: should look large....

Robertp: Yeah, it could be tiring. Warp
speed...heh i hope its already fixed ;)

Joebount: Thanks, very likely :)

I've changed ship's movement, but there's no camera interaction yet - don't even know if it's necessery.....
Here's playblast (takes less time to render ;) ):

avi (734 kb) (

04 April 2003, 09:26 AM
great stuff...:thumbsup: :thumbsup: ...i liked the new playblast as compared to "outpost"...imho it is totally fine without the camera interaction too

thumbsup stuff all the way

04 April 2003, 07:58 PM
Thanks Pigwater :beer:

So, I hope it's almost final composition, except the ship, which we're still working on.

avi [1.22 mb] (

04 April 2003, 10:29 PM
looking great! I was having some trouble w/ my quicktime and missed a few of your last updates. Really well done.

04 April 2003, 02:52 PM
Thanks Wilson 3d.

Here's final composition:

avi [1.33 mb] (

mov [3.02 mb] (

Thanks You guys for support :beer:

04 April 2003, 02:59 PM
Beautiful work!

I especially like the camera movement: very fluid and the parallax motion of the scene is absolutely gorgeous.

Only suggestion echoes those above: the ship seems to accelerate as it gets farther away from the camera: this seems backwards.

Well done!!

04 April 2003, 04:47 PM
And here's the final still:

bigger here (

No ship on this one, it looks not good motion-blurred, but not moving ;)

Bischofftep, I think I see Your point, but we'll probably leave it as it is now.... thanks :beer:

Thanks everybody for your support, much appreciated :thumbsup: :beer:

04 April 2003, 06:19 PM
Great work.

You've got style :buttrock:

04 April 2003, 12:53 AM
Absolutely spectacular! It makes me wish you guys would make a short movie about this place! Great work! :applause:

04 April 2003, 03:17 AM
it came out wonderful...:beer: ..congrats, you got my vote

now i just gotta go back and read this thread from the start again

04 April 2003, 05:05 AM
Man, I just wanna FLY IN THERE!

Nice job.

Maybe a daytime lensflare off a rocket heading in?

Just brainstormin'



04 April 2003, 01:24 PM
Very nice work! I like your unique stile. :applause:


04 April 2003, 10:08 PM
Nice work Brothers.Very ambiant,mysterious,but pleasant.Well done technically as well.:thumbsup: :beer:

04 April 2003, 08:02 AM
Thanks guys:) :beer:

Fasty, short movie longer than few seconds is out of our reach at the moment (hardware/time constrains) :annoyed: ;)

05 May 2003, 08:45 AM
Friggin awesome work! :eek:
Simply wicked sense of scale and depth here. :surprised
In the movie that spaceship kinda throws off my sense of scale a bit because it doesn't get dwarfed as much as I'd expect by the peak-outpost when it reaches it.

05 May 2003, 06:33 PM
Perfect camera work & particle system dance.

You guys rock!:drool:


05 May 2003, 04:01 AM
This is looking really nice... do you have any links/tips for camera projections in maya?


05 May 2003, 05:37 PM
Finally here's the making-of:

Click here (

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