View Full Version : Outpost - VFX Challenge - Heaven871

04 April 2003, 08:10 AM
Hi everybody.

Pretty cool challenge, I am in. Allthough it's pretty late to enter.

You guys did really really good work. I guess there will be some cool scenes in the end.

Wish you all luck.

Here is the canyon I decided to take. It's Lake Powell, a canyon flooded by man. And they shot Broken Arrow with Christian Slater there.


FINISHED .. yiiikahh.
Thanks for all the posts. Great day to all of you.

Click here for the CAMERA MOVE ( 1.5 MB

04 April 2003, 02:17 PM
I divided the picture in 4 layers. Left, Right, Middle, Back. I loaded the canyon for rotoscopy work in XSI and built very very rough geometry.

I also replaced the sky and water.

Guess I have to start sketching the outpost. Pffuuh, hard job.
Tougher than I thought. Great challenge.

04 April 2003, 02:24 PM
Looks promising:thumbsup:
There's some texture smearing on the left side of the Front layer, maybe paint it out?

04 April 2003, 02:40 PM
Yeah, you're right. Thanks. Found several other "bugs", too.

Here is the camera movement with a dummy base in it. You'll need DivX 5.03 to watch it.


04 April 2003, 03:12 PM
You need to turn off all shadows on your image projection geometry its doing bad things to the presentation of the scene. Otherwise that's a really nice looking set/scene!:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 03:53 PM
Here is a test sketch of my outpost.

It should be a modular thing with these balls that can also act as airplanes and have 3 mechanical feet thingies to attach to the wall.

A lot of research is going on under water, therefore they need the black things in the water.

Hmm, I'll try to find some english words and several better ideas. Maybe you can post a comment on the design.

I'll work on the shadows, they are really not nice.

04 April 2003, 05:30 PM
You should try how this would look cropped to the required size ;) It'll probably cause losing either water or sky ;)

04 April 2003, 09:09 AM
Pffuuh. Nearly forgot about the cropping. Thanks azazel.

Here is a newer sketch. The landing platform, or research facility are not ready yet.

But it slowly takes shape. :shrug:

04 April 2003, 03:42 PM
Last update for today.

Still very rough, but you can imagine what I want it to look like in the end.

All the geometry will be replaced by high res models, there will also be "alien" like transporters driving on the roads.

Water will be coming out of the drains and yet nothing is composed, so the shadows are still ugly.

Hmm, I really don't know if this is cool at the moment. Some crits are highly appreciated.

Camera Movement 2 (

04 April 2003, 08:20 AM
Used the weekend for a redesign.

And here is the new Camera Movement.

Camera Movement 3 (

04 April 2003, 06:12 PM
Here is a little ulgy sketch of how I'd like the circular things be attached to the wall.

As the aliens don't want to leave any trace when they leave, they don't "drill" wholes, but glue their buildings with metalic roots to the walls.

The root structure will also be found at the feet of the spherical ships.

I still havn't started modelling yet. I'd be very interested in your point of views!

04 April 2003, 06:54 PM
Nice idea, maybe make the ships more organic also, or maybe even living ;) There was a book by Stephen Baxter, and there were cool living spherical starships in it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the title....Just an idea I got after seeing this spheres and roots ;) keep it up:thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 08:40 PM
Awesome work! Keep it up. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

04 April 2003, 02:32 PM
:annoyed: Buhuhuu. My picture resolution is so cheap. It works great for the animation. But the 1000er still will s*ck. Hope that's not a problem.

A first impression of the ring. Roots will be added in the final scene as they have to be modelled for every single ring, due to realism and suitability.

04 April 2003, 03:30 PM
very well veteran
whats your techniq at these rings ?

your work is very amazing .

04 April 2003, 03:44 PM
Thanks saturen3.

I modelled a curve and created a polygon from that. Extruded that and had a flat line with the shape of the surface.
Then I added a lot of cubes in the middle.

Merged everything together and gave the thing two materials. One for the outside and one for the cubes.

After that I used the curve deformer to bend the whole thing into the ring form. There is a seam somewhere but that doesn't matter at all.

The texture is a deathstar like map and was also used for the bump.

Hope I could help. :thumbsup:

04 April 2003, 06:45 PM
very good way
i thout that you have made it only by bump .
your way is amazing and hard .

me and my friend want to creat an outpost but here we have the problem of education .
but we must do it .

i am ready for continiuty of your work .

04 April 2003, 01:35 PM
A shot of one of the landing bays. The red dots are flashing lights. The light setup is pretty lame at the moment, but I wanted to show you the roots.

04 April 2003, 03:31 PM
OOH look at me. I can get a late start and still pass up some of these people with better looking stuff. :p Ha Ha. Its looking very good. The textures look Great!

04 April 2003, 04:52 PM
hi dear veteran
very good modeling and texturing

please send here your sketchs more .:buttrock: :buttrock:

04 April 2003, 09:31 AM
I am not really good at sketching. And to tell you the truth, I didn't make one sketch for this whole thing.

But your wish is my order, so I scribbled a bit.

Finished with the fluids that will come out of the dains. Had to go to Maya as XSIs particles totally .. are bad. I love mel.

Will post an animation as soon as its finally rendered, Maya always stops rendering, gosh, it's such a lame program.

Also overworked the water of the canyon, now it's much better, just blended two fractals, will post pic, soon.

04 April 2003, 04:44 PM
The long expected update.

Still no composite. All tests failed due to layer problems, but I wanted to show you the progress.

Maya simulation aborted, 30mins for a 500x270px frame, no way. Maya s*cks. Blobs will be added in the last stage.

Tried to make the image quality better by adding a noisy bump to the rocks to give them structure and distract from the bad quality, worked fine.

Water is improved, too. Watched "Deep Blue Sea" and checked the waves. There are always "huge" waves and on them "small" waves. Mixed 2 fractals, used them as a bump for the plane and for reflectivity.
The ratio is the key. 5 small waves on 1 big wave makes on ocean shader, 1:1 will give a small lake. Raindrops in huge water will be a third fractal. Hope that helped someone.

What do you think about the blue pipes? They are shields to protect the aliens from the hostile atmosphere. They will shimmer in the animation. Just a fractal shader on them.

Still havn't started modelling the ships and transport vehicle.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I don't want to flood you with images, so, ask and get an answer, promise :rolleyes:

Gee, wrote too much again. If you want to see some of my other works you can check

Enough advertising, have a great day and critic my stuff, please.

04 April 2003, 06:33 PM
Tomorrow I'll start working on the transport vehicles. (sketching ain't that bad, can be fun though)

04 April 2003, 06:43 PM
These blue pipes are very nice :thumbsup: I have a little suggestion about the ships, maybe some more roundness here and there, so they look bit more organic?

04 April 2003, 06:44 PM
You are fast! I love the look of the tubes. Looking foreword to seeing the ships and the circular "buildings" toward the top finished. I wish I had something to critique but everything that is finished looks real good to me.

04 April 2003, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the nice words. Ships are not modelled yet.

Found a commercial of a strange vehicle in the desert around Flagstaff. Maybe you know more about it. I think something is going on at Lake Powell.

04 April 2003, 05:17 PM
On my way home I found this strange advertisement in the desert. I am getting really scared. Hope there are no aliens invading our beautiful earth.
Please keep on posting, I am always happy to hear something from you. :)

If you want to know something about me: My name is Garry Runke, I am 24 years old and since 2 years student at the German Film School.

04 April 2003, 12:15 AM
Thats REALLY cool!

Great Stuff there! I can't wait to see more, no crits from me!

04 April 2003, 02:04 PM

Still flickering, still no water from the drains, still not modelled the huge ships.

How do you like it?
click here for the Outpost ( animation

04 April 2003, 04:22 PM
:beer: sweet.

You guys need to relax over there at the GFS...

So far So good, keep it up.

04 April 2003, 03:15 AM
From what I can see its looking great.
1) The ship taking off needs to have a little more control. No way would an Alien ship be rocking and rolling. Even for our modist technology our rockets dont rock and roll like that ship. you might just want to smooth out the curves. I would also add a highly detailed bump map to the rock. The image that you picked looks alittle low rez. So adding a bump map might help. Other than that I am enjoying it. This has to be the best challenge yet.


04 April 2003, 09:49 PM
your motoin is very advanced

i think that you know much softwares

04 April 2003, 10:40 PM
Once again a great update. I love the ship. Personally I like the ship rocking how it is. If you have not done a version with the rocking turned down it may be worth it though. Just to see which you like more. I also love the over all timing. The speed of the object being lifted in the middle and the ships in the tubes all sink up good.

04 April 2003, 01:22 AM
I vote for the rock `n roll , its like the ship is under manual control
,however the cargo in the background seems to stop a couple of frames too early

04 April 2003, 11:12 AM
Happy easter. Hope you had one as great as mine.

Here is a modelsketch of a mothership.

And because I posted a long time no update, here is the newest version of the scene.

My main problem is the composite. Because I use alphas to cut my canyons, and most of the objects interact with the walls I just can't get a correct alpha. I am out of ideas, now I am starting Final Gathering tests, so I can get rid of the problems.

Still so much work to do. And you don't sleep, neither. Seen a lot of great canyons from you guys, lately.

04 April 2003, 04:36 PM
Looks very nice, all these details.... prsonally i'd add some redish tinge to the buildings, to better integrate them, but that's doable in post ;) And other thing: maybe blur cg elements a bit, to match the slight blurriness of the background.

04 April 2003, 06:12 PM
Hihi, thanks azazel. Will try to remind them when doing the post.
Wasted the whole day solving stupid problems like which anti-aliasing level I take, should I use final gather etc.

04 April 2003, 03:59 PM
:bounce: Finished!

Hope you like it, will post animation tomorrow. Ain't so easy to get a quicktime :hmm:

Got rid of all the red, added a depth channel and finally the water. No GI or final gathering used.

Wish you all the best of luck. Hope there will come some more updates.

04 April 2003, 07:11 PM
This looks great, but if you're still taking comments....the DOF is not my favorite right now. The DOF looks a bit extreme and I would put more emphasis on that ship thats cruising around in the mid ground. The FG is in focus but there's not much happening there, if I was at this location I would be watching that ship/pod fly around more than staring at the FG buildings.

Just my thoughts...great work:beer:

04 April 2003, 07:16 PM
Sure I am still taking comments :bounce:
Yeah, well, I love to use "extreme" values, you should see the pre-version of the color correction, hihi, that was gross.

I'll take another look at the DOF after taking a nap, but I guess you are right, thanks.

04 April 2003, 07:48 PM

Gosh, couldn't stand it, had to create this little pic. Running to bed now, see you tomorrow.

04 April 2003, 08:00 PM

either I forgot my V8, or you made one wacked out image...

dont be shy, show your layers...

04 April 2003, 08:53 AM
Wow Cogliostros. 5 people tried to translate your post .. none was able, too. Germans :D
But here is another "how I did the composite" pic. Hope this one is better.

Unfortunately I was not able to seperate the background geometry from the rest, so no layers here.
I used planes for the dirt that is hanging down the ships, and yeah, Softimage, try to pass-render that. Gosh. The shadow pass didn't work either, alphas not good for XSI, thanks.
So I colored all geometry with a white lambert and multiplied it over the beauty pass.
The hollywood ramp darkens the sky like in all hollywood blockbusters, I like the look.

Hmm, well, wasn't such a hard comp. Oh yeah, had to correct the depth pass so that just the background is blurred, some curve tweaking.

Questions welcome.

04 April 2003, 03:32 PM


V8 is a vegetable juice drink, and one of their huge ad campaign were people walking down the street slanted so you could tell that those people didnt drink their V8 that day... :D

The big slogan is "WOW, I could have had a V8!"

anyway, just messing with ya... looks good.

04 April 2003, 06:55 PM
FINISHED .. yiiikahh.
Thanks for all the posts. Especially you, Cogliostros for bringing nearly 10 people to activate their brains today. They all tried to figure out what V8 is. And one really knew what it is, but too late.

Great day to all of you.

Click here for the CAMERA MOVE ( 1.5 MB

05 May 2003, 02:16 AM
Hey! That looks really really nice. Good job!

05 May 2003, 03:39 AM
Great finish! I still can't believe how long I was working on mine when you first joined. Thats what it takes-speed and quality.

05 May 2003, 05:01 PM
Gerry you rock !!!! :buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

Keep up the good technical work.

Greets Tim

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