View Full Version : Outpost - VFC Challenge - BlueCougar

03 March 2003, 02:14 AM
Alright I'm in on this one. Gotta keep King Mob from hogging all the limelight on these challenges!:D

03 March 2003, 04:34 PM
Alright I'm back. Took me a little while looking through the whole online image library for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ( . Here are the images I've decided to use in a fly into the base. I hope I have enough time to fit this in. I'll have some base sketches done soon. The base is located on the last one on the grassy area and the base of the mountain side. Please let me know what you think.


03 March 2003, 04:46 PM
Some cool photos You've found.... and thanks for that link, no doubt it'll be handy someday ;)

So if I'm not mistaken, You want to use all these images, right? Should be fun, as almost any of them standalone would be enough ;)

03 March 2003, 06:05 PM
Azazel- Thanks for the feedback, hope you enjoy that image resource. I also use this one for reference and raytracing stuff-- Corbis (

Here's a rough gesture done in Flash to give a feel for the approach. Its to follow a ship going into base. There will be snow thrown up from the mountain top as part of the transition to the other plates. I'll see how it carries in LW to see if I want to stay with such large camera movements. Feedback is welcome. (

Kenn :wip:

03 March 2003, 10:41 PM
thought you could espcae my watchful eye eh man?

Looks like good stuff...and here I thought I was the only guy doing a snowish scene :)

I will be watching this one closely!

check your mail I sent you something a while ba ck

03 March 2003, 11:31 PM
Hey King Mob! Yeah I need to start setting up the geometry for the perspective. The cool thing about the images I found is the high res versions that were there as well @ 3000x2400x24bit so I can do some good zooming in and keep resolution. I like what you have as well going on.


03 March 2003, 07:30 AM
Alright, here is the first part of the lead in. This is just the basic geometry and camera movement. I still need to add the snow blowing across the peaks as well as the obvious shuttle craft that the camera is following and the snow kicked up in its wake. Here is a link to an DivX avi and a couple screenies of the geometry.

roughlead.avi (

Though at this point I am considering placing the base on the face of this mountain it depends on my time constraint with work.

Kenn :wip:

03 March 2003, 10:29 AM
That looks very promising :thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 07:07 PM
Well I've decided after a nights sleep to just go with the first plate for my entire scene. Here is the rough camera blocking. It follows a shuttle as it leaves the canyon floor, levitates straight up and then towards the base passing through the shadow from the ridge in the process showing some luminesence on the exterior of the suttle. Other effects will be snow blowing across the ridge that causes a force field around the base to sparkle from the contact of the snow blowing against it. Hopefully I'll have time to complete all those effects. I'm thinking of a texture look similiar to Earth:Final Conflict with the organic forms with glowing patterns on the base and shuttle craft.

Camera movement with basic background enviroment (

I'll post a render of the base on the mountainside soon. Feedback is welcome.

Kenn :wip:

04 April 2003, 03:16 PM
Here's a quick update. The ships and bases textures are place holders and I will probably rework their designs as well if there is time. There isn't any lighting effects for shadows and such yet. I also need to set up the emmiters and dynamics for the blowing snow on the peaks as well as from the shuttle craft zooming over the snow field.

vfx1.avi DivX ( )

Kenn :wip:

04 April 2003, 01:51 AM
Very nice! I like the life in it, has a lot of character. Can't wait to see more! Just a question: How did you go about making the geometry for the mountains?

04 April 2003, 03:15 PM
Update to the animation. I simplified the camera movement in order to help the eye track everything in the scene. There is some geometry issues on the left side of the screen near the end I need to resolve. I may simplify the camera movement more depending on how it continues to read.

VFX3.avi DivX (

Fasty: Thanks, I created a plane at low poly and modeled it out as the ridge would look if looking down on it from above. I then went ahead and plane projected the image onto the geometry. I did a backdrop plane to follow the ridge that was at an agle then projected the image onto it for backdrop and reference. Then I did 2 front/camera views one texture one wireframe shaded as well as a top vew wireframe shaded and a persp in texture mode. I started bringing the geometry up to meet the ridge in the picture then worked my way down getting the rough form shown in the picture into 3D. I also did some foreshortening in the geometry to help keep the depth resonable. I then started subdividing the mesh in areas to give more geometry to articulate the geography. I added the canyon floor then the formation to the far right casting the shadow and worked on the seams to minimize gaps in the image. All the geometry: the ridge, the backdrop, the canyon floor and front ridge, use the same texture so I don't have to worry about lining them up. You can make copies of the first one if you want to be able to isolate them later.

04 April 2003, 08:10 PM
Hey Blue COugar!

Better camera movement really, i love the huge ship.
Do you plan on building a bigger base, you have a lotta space there.

IT's going to be Wild! :D Keep it up! It's very promising :)

04 April 2003, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by CobraX

Better camera movement really, i love the huge ship.
Do you plan on building a bigger base, you have a lotta space there.

Yeah CobraX I need to make the docking area for the space cruiser coming out of the mountain side. After that I don't know maybe something on the canyon floor and additional buildings on the mountain side. The upper area is mainly for the space cruisers to dock for supplies and for the atmospheric/communications station/port where the shuttle lands. I have another animation rendering that has better camera control with smoother ease in/ease out.

04 April 2003, 09:36 PM
Hey BlueCougar, nice to see you at another challenge!!

The only thing I can suggest to you is that the camera motion is a bit violent, I think it needs to be a bit more gentle.

Great Stuff so far, I can't wait to see more!

04 April 2003, 09:55 PM
Thanks Lotus!

Well with a day off and time to burn I played around a bit more with this. Reworked camera movement and after that started to play around with a reflective texture. As you can see I'm still cutting it close on the left side with the camera. I'll resolve that before I render again, I need to focus on the rest of the base elements.

VFX4.avi (

Need to some how tone down the space cruiser and upper tower's texture to fit more in with the atmospheric perspective but I let it wait until I get the dock and the rest modeled. Any suggestions are welcome, don't hold back!

Kenn :wip:

04 April 2003, 10:26 PM
hey cool stuff!

looks like someone settled ina nd able to readily update his thread eh?

BTW: you better finish that otter feller...he ruled

04 April 2003, 05:18 AM
Alright here's a frame from the scene now. I made the space cruiser bigger as well as adding the docking station. This frame shows the air being released from the bellows of the docking airlock as well as some of the snow being blown from the mountain peaks. My render times for full texture have really jumped with the reflection and Hypervoxel sprites. I may tone down the perspective scaling on the shuttle it seems to get lost in the image at the end but that might not really be an issue. I still need to figure out how to put in the shadows, another issue for another day!

Kenn :wip:

04 April 2003, 06:18 AM

Nice ship BlueCougar, i really love the chrome style!!! :) Awesome!

ONe comment though is that the ships seems to be way too much at the front plane, maybe it's what you wanted...i just misunderstood, otherwise, to me i doesn't to be a the same level as the tower...

But, HA! it's nothing to fix! :) Great ShiP!

:bounce: :bounce:

04 April 2003, 09:39 AM
Thats looking really cool there!

Great Stuff!

04 April 2003, 01:50 PM
Left the box crunching frames overnight so here is the animation with the chrome textures as well as the volumetric effects. Let me know what you think! Well have to go to work today and have my kids this weekend so this will be it for a bit.

vfxchrome.avi DIvX (

Kenn :wip:

04 April 2003, 11:18 AM
I think it is coming along but there are somethings that render it off as ridged.

Take that small ship we see and slow it down or create a smoother motion path. It just jumps around way to much. Also when things come into land or take off is the most critical stage so take your time with the animation there and maybe work into the goal with some good secondary animation to the pitch, roll, yaw. The wisp of sown off the top of the mountain is nice but make it alittle less noticable or just vary off of different parts of the mountain.

That big ship should be offset from the animation of the smaller ship. then the crome on the docking station doesnt match the surrounding mountian. It seems offset and floating in the middle of the screen.

On the seal for the docking station you might want to make the air get forced out around the diameter.
Remember that the wind might be blowing in the same direction over the mounatin but remember that it doesnt react the same way on each peak. Then think eddies like water but turned on their side so we can see maybe some snow curl around.

Anyways Great job thus far and keep it going.


04 April 2003, 01:09 PM
First off great work, now some ideas about the look not animation.

In reflection for the cruiser try to use much lighter blue for the sky and maybe almost white 80%-90% gray (a bit blue tinted) on the horizon. Add some diffuse bounce light from all that snow on the mountain and maybe some rim light around right top edge of the ship. As for the shadow of the antenna like thing..fake it! Its so small in the distance that I think you can pull it of.
Docking platform.. For sure (in development) you need to do some blending to the mountain. like adding smaller parts of the rock around ridge exit (again fake it as much as you can its distant)and some smaller parts of something is holding it to the ground. Shadow. Add shadow.

Replacing the sky using something a bit more dramatic?
I would render it in passes and comp all that together. This way you got much more control over your final look and you can add some "advanced" thingies like chrome bloom, CC...small things but important.

That's it for now.


04 April 2003, 05:10 PM
Thanks ROb and Kiki for taking the time to look at it and give me feedback on it. Crits do help alot and I appreciate them.:thumbsup:


04 April 2003, 10:31 PM
No problem just keep up the good work.

Kiki, since when did you wander over here from dvgarage....hehe?


04 April 2003, 08:00 AM

I wonder around this type of sites, but there are not so many good ones in the high end quality zone.

and BlueCougar don't take all of it like a critic but as pointers, tips, word is always yours.


04 April 2003, 08:22 AM
Thanks kmrsic for the frame of reference on the feedback. I'm working on several projects at the moment but I do understand in the end it is the decisions that shape my work. Give me some time before I give another update I have a few projects on the board. :thumbsup: :D

04 April 2003, 05:42 PM
yay cougar! thats looking great... you already got lots of crit/feedback...but I just wanted to add more support woohooo

Gonna be updating mine another project I am working on at the same time.

shoot me an email sometime an! and keep working on it, you are making great progress man


04 April 2003, 12:11 AM
Oh! Hallo Again!

Just thought that I might add that the ship that actually flies to the platform moves WAY to fast. It looks kinda unnatural.

The particles on the ship bother me a bit too.

But its coming along really nicely. Keep up the great work!

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