View Full Version : FXWars! TRON TRIBUTE !: Jim Crafton, Open Entry,The Runner

05 May 2010, 06:25 PM
Hopefully this will be a short animation of a runner being chased by a Recognizer, leaping off a cliff and escaping by materializing a Light Cycle and shooting off towards the city in the background. Fingers crossed...

05 May 2010, 02:38 PM
Some of the shots are sort of blocked out. Wanted to take a stab at a possible design for the light cycle instead of just copying the latest Legacy or original design (as uber cool as that is). Just a rough sketch:

05 May 2010, 09:44 PM
Some further refinements.

A quickie light trail experiment.

05 May 2010, 10:34 PM
I like the progress! Lookin' forward to seeing more! :)

05 May 2010, 02:11 PM
Got a couple of things done this weekend, but only some shots of the Lightcycle to show for it. The model has now been moved from being originally done in Houdini with NURBs and converted to polys, fine tuned in Modo with SDS, and then brought back into Houdini (replicating the basic materials from Modo) and animated, including the drive train and wheel rim glow designs.
Here's two simple text vids of the cycle in motion:

Test 1 (

Test 2 (

05 May 2010, 12:45 AM
cool.......coming along, I do the bike.

05 May 2010, 03:28 PM
A couple of updates, all still rough.

Here's the character model, built with a base mesh generated from MakeHuman, and then modified by me in Modo and ZBrush. This has been brought into Houdini and rigged as well :

Initial steps for a Recognizer, done with Modo:

Finally an update to the light cycle with a light trail effect:

Test 3 (

05 May 2010, 07:01 PM
Great progress so far, I like the new style of trail for the bike, makes if feel faster. The Recognizer looks pretty cool too.

The character needs a bit of work though. I'm by no means an anatomy expert, but figured I'd point out a few things that might help you out. (Note: I've "liquified" the image and drawn some notes over top - download it and flip between yours and this one to see the differences)

1 - The chest seems to be sticking out too far and is a little too wide, giving it a male feeling despite the breasts

2 - The head was way too small, make it bigger, check out charts like this to get the rough size ( )

3 - The leg felt too "round' there are large muscle groups that wrap down to the knee with a smaller one on the inside of the leg. Look up leg muscle diagrams to get a better idea

4 - The knee felt out of place, maybe bring it up a little bit?

5 - The arm should taper down a little more towards the wrist. The hand was also a little too big / thick.

6 - The feet felt too thin / small to be boots. Also, when styling feet, remember that the inside potion of the foot (big toe) is the highest and is slopes down to the outside (pinky toe). Not too much, but a little bit will go a long way.

edit: also, I'd forget about the abs and just go with a smooth stomach, but that's up to you and what you want to go for.

Keep up the good work! Looking forward to seeing your shot come together :)

05 May 2010, 07:09 PM
Cool! Thanks for the crits!

Would point 5 still be valid even if she's wearing gloves?

The abs are going to be place holders - in one of the trailers the suits have ridges there, so I need to go back and greatly tighten it up there so it almost looks like plates. Or at least that was the idea anyway.

Anyway, again, thanks for the suggestions I'll definitely try and fix all that.

05 May 2010, 07:55 AM
If it's gloves, then sure it will be thicker, though most women tend to wear thin gloves to keep a sleek appearance. But that's entirely up to you :)

05 May 2010, 01:33 PM
Here are some improvements to the character model:


I'm not sure if I moved her sides in enough. I check the proportions using the link you posted. According to that I should be OK. I also found an anatomy book illustration of a female that matched my model dead on, so hopefully everything is kosher in that respect.

Also did some work on animating the run cycle, but it's still to early to show anything, unfortunately.

05 May 2010, 04:28 AM
Couple more updates:

05 May 2010, 05:07 AM
Very nice, she's looking a lot nicer. I like the arch-thing, looks very menacing. Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

05 May 2010, 01:12 PM

Here's a quickie animation for the Recognizer:

Test 1 (

05 May 2010, 01:29 PM
Basic character now finished, just need to integrate this into the animation.

Turntable (

05 May 2010, 06:26 PM
That female model came out well. Excited to see how the mixture of thin and thick Body Lines looks in your renders.

Keep it up!

05 May 2010, 07:43 PM
Actually I think I've screwed myself into a corner. I'm using Houdini to do all of this, and while it's a great tool for fx things like blowing up a building, it's a PITA for other stuff because it's impossible to find decent documentation into things like dealing with ZBrush, etc. So I'm stuck at trying to get Houdini to deal with all the different pieces, especially the smaller bits.

05 May 2010, 12:30 AM
Progress, of sorts, Sierra in a hero pose:

Still having some issues with the bone capture weights, but closer...

I'm getting the glow effect by rendering out a "paint" layer, basically just the flat colors, no diffuse or light applied at all. Then I'm keying out the white and blue bits, adding some blur and brightness, plus a little color correction in the case of the blue to bring it out more, and then composite that back over the original. This is done using Houdini built in compositor, and rendered with Mantra.

05 May 2010, 12:56 PM
Looking nice Jim.

This is an old post, but have you tried this method for zbrush-->Houdini?

Dont forget to make minor changes. Like he says use a shaderSOP, but nowadays we tend to use the materialSOP.

EDIT: Here is a up to date version.


05 May 2010, 01:36 PM
Thanks! The Learning 3D blog is actually by me :)

I knew how to get the displacement onto a single mesh, but trying to get it to work on multiple meshes (from a ZBrush file with multiple sub tools) was something different.

05 May 2010, 03:45 PM
Hahaha, maybe if I looked at the posters name at the bottom before I posted the link :p

I was actually looking for a specific link to post and couldn't find it again, and that site popped up via google.

06 June 2010, 02:36 PM
Took a break from the character, built up the effext rig for the light cycle rez effect.

Here's a shot of the effect, still need to adjust the timings of the various bits of the sequence:

Test 1 (

06 June 2010, 05:28 PM
Looking pretty neat man, dig it!

06 June 2010, 04:30 PM
Some updates. Finally got a run cycle, I don't know if I'm going to be able to complete the shot(s) with the time left, but what the heck :)

Run Cycle test 2 (

Adjusted the light cycle rez effect:

Light Cycle Rez Effect (

06 June 2010, 06:04 PM
Hey man, looks like you posted the same link for the light cycle rez.

And you got some feet sliding on your run cycle. This tutorial might help a bit:

Its maya based but the princibles are the same.

Good luck finishing up!

06 June 2010, 06:37 PM
So I did! It's fixed now.

Yeah, the forward movement isn't quite right, nor is there enough body movement I think, she seems too stiff.

Thanks for the link! I'll look at this tonight!

06 June 2010, 12:21 AM
Yes, the run cycle has some issues for sure. There is definitely some foot slide, but I think the bigger issue is that the animation is far too fast, to the point where it's super-human (unless that's what you want). The reason she looks too stiff is because her body/torso is not moving at all. Think of running as a series of jumps, where the rest of the body moves up or down as the foot make impact with the ground or pushes off.

Here's a video that might help. Once it loads just skip through it - they have some good reference shots of people running from various angles and slow motion.

The lightcycle rezing however looks pretty damn sweet! No complaints there :thumbsup:

06 June 2010, 03:28 AM
Thanks! I found another one that's also really helpful:

06 June 2010, 04:43 AM
I like your light cycle rez alot!
Here's my input on the run cycle:
A lot of 2d animation concepts also apply to 3d.
I did some searching and found this:
check out the upper body. watch how the head follows a wave pattern.
that is translated down the spine as well - the knees are the ones that compensate.
the upper body has to spring up, then gravity takes hold and pulls it back down.
those motions will help to convey weight in the run cycle.

Keep up the great work Jim!

06 June 2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks! I sort of have that working now, but when the shot I ended up with doesn't really show the work very well. Sigh :) My fault, so I need to tweak the camera. However in the interests of showing some progress...

Shot 2 test (

The idea is more or less what I wanted, but looking at it now it's too fast, it's over too quickly.

06 June 2010, 01:12 PM
Redid some of shot 2, I think this is a bit better:

Shot 2:

06 June 2010, 04:25 PM
Got the third shot mostly done, though it's lacking the details that I had hoped to do. This shows the character falling and activating the light cycle mid fall. I'd hoped to add the last shot where the trail activates but I don't think I'm going to have the time. Anyways here it is on vimeo:

06 June 2010, 04:54 PM
It's coming along pretty good! The only critique I have is when the lightcycle is appearing, it feels very odd. I assume you had meant it to be a "slow motion" sequence... but it's just not working. Maybe you could just have her falling at the same speed (repeat some of the background elements) and have the lightcycle appear as she is falling?

06 June 2010, 05:12 PM
Yep, that was the intent. I'm really not sure how to do it. What I did was to halve the distance the cycle and the character are traveling in the Y direction for the activation frames, and then tried to resume the previous "speed" for the remaining frames.

06 June 2010, 12:58 PM
First I would like to thanks you for joining our last FXWars challenge.

I would love to hear you and your team opinions and ideas for the future...

Roberto's Bullhorn: Tron Tribute Postmortem: LETíS TALK (

Thanks again for all your effort,

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06 June 2010, 12:58 PM
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