View Full Version : Outpost - VFX Challenge - Mastermind

03 March 2003, 03:39 PM
This is my first challenge I take part in.
I saw the other entries and must say, this challenge has a great potential.
At the moment there isnīt so much to do in my company, so I thought, itīs the right moment to enter this challenge.

I browsed google for some source images.
At this point, I have only assembled my main-structure. The ground and background will follow as soon as I find the right material.

Here are the first two sources

The main-structure I extracted

I also did a quick camera mapping an animation

400kb DivX 5.02 (right click and save) ( CameraMap-Test

03 March 2003, 03:43 PM
As soon as the backplate is complete, Iīll show u what I have planned to model.


03 March 2003, 04:00 PM
Hi. It is looking good. I was wondering if you used two camera maps from different directions and that is how you could pan so far with out the texture stretching. We were checking it our at work we just love to disagree with each other.:)

03 March 2003, 04:21 PM
How I could pan so far :-)

The answer is very simple.
The basic form of the main element has an angle of nearly 90 degrees.
So what I did, was only to move my camera along this edge, so that you can see the main element from both sides.

here is the top-view

03 March 2003, 04:23 PM
I used only one cam for the mapping/texturing and the other only for animation.

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 06:05 PM
Very awesome love the movement (cause it accually has alot of depth.. this is going to be great!:beer:

03 March 2003, 06:56 PM
Nice camera movement, :beer:

after very very close examination noticed some stretching ;)

03 March 2003, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the info. With the object being in that shape it really seems like you are traveling around it more. Keep up the good work!

03 March 2003, 09:44 PM
I first thought about completing the plate before setting up the scene. Bur I made a rough sketch from that you can see, what I am going to do.

As you can see in the sketch, the camera will move from the upper left corner, to the lower right.
From the starting point, the camera follows some sort of a plane or copter (not yet defined), that moves from outside a hangar, which is situated behind the left arch, towards the camera, around the edge of the rock, to the right arch (maybe a second hangar).

400kb DivX 5.02 (right click and save) ( basic camera movement

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 11:55 PM
cool lets see it in action now!

03 March 2003, 01:04 PM
A small update

some action (350kb DivX 5.02) (

03 March 2003, 02:22 PM
I would love to learn this stuff :rolleyes: great job so far man!


03 March 2003, 04:09 PM
I love your scene! You make me want to quit now and go cry in a corner. Seriously though, this is a great start. Good luck, I can't wait to see more. :buttrock:

03 March 2003, 12:25 PM
here is a small update of my backplate.

I think the sand in the foreground is the right way, some more details will be added.

The Sky is wip.
C&C on that are very welcome, because I donīt want the sky to be that clean. I miss also the final kick for the upper third of the plate. Maybe some blurry structure far away? what do you think?

03 March 2003, 04:24 PM
Hey there,

as you see, my backplate is nearly complete.
I made I simple light setup to compose shadows in photoshop for a bit more integration of the main rocks.

03 March 2003, 06:30 PM
Iīve done a new cam move, this time with less panning.
Iīve also tried some Dof.

cam move (320kb DivX 5.03) (

cam move (2mb Sorensen Quicktime) (

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 01:42 AM
:love: :love: :love: :love: :love:

03 March 2003, 11:23 AM
i really like the last cammove! but i think too much dof in the whole scene.. it makes the scene look like a miniature.

keep going! ;)

03 March 2003, 12:27 PM
that last one looks really great man, but I agree with alex.
the dof makes it look like it's a really tiny scene.
lessen the dof to a minimum . . .

but really heading in the right direction man :D

03 March 2003, 12:48 PM
Yepp, I think so, too.
A lot of tweaking has to be made on that.
But thatīs the finetuning.

Now itīs time to create the outpost itself (hangars, watchtowers, radar installations, etc.)

thanks for critics

03 March 2003, 07:45 PM
Nice job so far. Rock formations look great.
2 things:
Sand is too smooth for those rocks.
From your schematic - the plane or ship should move opposite the camera movement (from right to left).
Agree - no DOF for this one.

Good luck!


03 March 2003, 03:21 AM
It's looking amazing so far, I really need to figure out how to do that.

Can't wait to see this with structures in it.

Mangled Poly
03 March 2003, 08:38 AM

03 March 2003, 09:18 AM

there is a lot of progress going on, but I have also my job to do.
There is no "One Click makes an ultra cool computer game"- Button ;)
So, there will be an update soon, when I finished my work here.

Be patient.

04 April 2003, 10:43 PM
Hey Mastermind,
thatīs really cool!!
The flight of your ship in the animatic is somehow too"regular", it might look better when it pauses at the curve and then accelerates...
Looking forward to your update.
See u tomorrow @work.

04 April 2003, 07:53 AM
Hey guys & girls,

my work on the challenge is still in progress. But sure - there is progress :D
the real work here is more serious at the moment, but I made some test animations with radar installations on the week end, which Iīll upload as soon as I am at home.
Nothing big, but as mentioned, there IS progress.

04 April 2003, 11:16 PM
Very very cool, and I'll jump on the bandwagon of I really need to learn how to do this :D

Looking forward to some updates!


04 April 2003, 08:49 PM

So here is an update.

about 8mb Quicktime (right click and save) (

There youīll see one of the "accessoir"- layer, for the final compositing. It includes radar dishes and antennas, and some greebled dummy buildings, which, of course wonīt be there in the final.

04 April 2003, 10:53 AM
You might want to slow down the speed of the dishes. Most dishes that look like that dont move fast. It looks like your trying to take the airport radar dishes use their motion. It just looks to big to move that fast. Then when the animation starts you have one dish pointing up.

Anyways it is looking great cant wait to see the final.


04 April 2003, 11:03 AM
Thatīs a good point, wasnīt sure if I am the only who has problems with the speed of the motion ;)

Iīll post the whole wip scene in the evening.
There you can see the relations between the landscape and the dishes.
I think they are about 15m high (45 ft).
But I think, there could appear some problems to recognize slower motion in the final anim, when I decrease the speed of the dishes.

04 April 2003, 06:15 PM

04 April 2003, 06:21 PM
:eek: perfect light setup Mastermind or a great color correction. In both cases just great!

Your houses are also very cute. Keep on working.

04 April 2003, 08:22 AM
There was no color correction done on the image.
The lighting matches so good because the enviroment has a big affect on the color.
I rendered the scene with GI, thatīs why the result looks quite good.

For the animation, where I render different layers, I use an HDRI Image to simulate the enviroment.

EDIT :: Hereīs the "accessoir"-layer again, rendered with HDRI, as mentioned (right click and save) ( :: EDIT

04 April 2003, 12:38 AM
Thats incredible!

Great Stuff!! MORE MORE!!!:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 09:39 PM
the floor looks kinda too" clean" to me...shouldnīt be there dirt and rocks lying around?
yes, this is still WIP,I am sure the final results will look awesome.

04 April 2003, 07:44 AM
Hey folks,

to bring some action to the final animation, thereīll be a quadped robot in the scene. I made the model for other purpose but I think it would fit well into the whole thing.
I am also modelling a flying vehicle at the moment.

So be patient.
Iīll post some updates when I have finished my work here.

04 April 2003, 10:00 AM
how did you go for those 2 ...2d photos to a 3d model?

04 April 2003, 10:19 AM
Well thatīs a good question.
The answer : "Itīs magic" :-))

Of course thatīs a joke.

The technique, which I, and almost everyone here in the challenge, used is called camera mapping.
With that, you can project a 2d source image, photo, sketch, etc. on every 3d model, which roughly matches the geometry in the source image.

Mostly you need to create a camera in your 3d scene, set it as your viewpoint, put the source image on the background and then model the main geometry. In this case the rock formation.
After you have finished that, youīll find in all of the common 3d programs a Plugin/Modifier/or camera setting.

Now I can only speak for 3dsmax, because I used that.
You select your mesh, put a camera map modifier on it an select you camera you created.
Now the mesh has the texture as it is seen from the cams viewpoint.

That are the basic steps in almost all common 3d programs

Because of the fact, that I modelled my rock formation as an angle, it is possible to pan an rotate the camera over a very long distance.

04 April 2003, 03:29 PM
Are you using Max standard renderer? Cause' it looks good and I din't think Max would do that...If you are, could you explain a little about the setup?


04 April 2003, 08:22 AM
Yes an No,

For the enviroment (ground, sky, rock formation) I use the standard scanline renderer of Max. Because I set the self-illumination of the material to 100 there is no shaddow to be calculated. So this render pass is very quick.

For all the other parts of the scene I use brazil. To get a harmonic lighting I created a HDRI Images of the scene with HDR-Shop.

For all the shadows there will be, I gave all objects in the scene a matte/shadow material and set the background colour to 255/255/255. As a light source an omni-light with shadow maps.
This layer can now easily composed on top of all the other layer with the transfer mode "multiply negative", so the white colour is ignored and only the black colour is visible.
Now you blur the shadow or set the opacity as you need them.

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