Eon (3D Scene) Entry: Tim Dunn

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Old 12 December 2006   #31
Woow.. so somebody that has dug into the trilogy eh?
I honestly didn’t enjoy the Eon series as much from the moment of the Russian Attach… Guess I was too overwhelmed by the build up, and I had expected a different follow up… loosing the magic (Unfortunately the series to follow just couldn’t revive the ecstasy and expectations…) But what so ever I am amazed at his creativity and scientific ingenuity even if fiction.. the ideas are outstanding and always. His books are always a pleasure to read (I have 20 or 21 of them.. as I recall he should have 28 books .. not too sure)


Now you already happen to know the answer … it was already answered before having to look it up in Eternity or Legacy… but to quote from the book:
---> Reference Text (From Page 355-356):
The farthest southern extension of the city was a broad Maltese cross, extended from two cubes mounted one behind the other on the flaw. The center of the cross accepted the flaw, which then extended through the cubes. Here was the machinery which powered, propelled and guided the city along the singularity. The same effect that could move the city along the flaw, and had propelled the tuberider, also provided much of the city's energy. Generators within the cubes were spun by turbines whose "blades" intersected the singularity and were subjected to the spatial transform.
So basically the Cross is what got them there, and the thing that brought them back as I get it.


As for the speed and manageability of Lightwave… I had used it last back in the days of Pentium II being the top of the line and PentiumIII being a miracle. So in those days, even the thought of 1 million poly’s was out of my range of testing.
I personally (pretty fanatically) use MaYA and those who buy it rarely are those that can afford many other high end software :(… luckily MaYA leave little need for any other software. And since version 7.0 it is pretty capable of handling a good amount of polygons. So with a good enough computer: you are usually pretty able to go nuts in the polygon count.


If I were you personally I would try setting a pipeline that permits your cross usage of both software… not necessarily obligating you to model in XSI. But in the end it is your time and your decisions to make... wish for the best on your part.

As for the “animation”… maybe something in the lines of 3D meshes appearing and disappearing (Which Is actually a render with only one object each being rendered out and composite back together) might be a way out…
I really hope you find a way around it.



Well I have just gotten back and there a few things I would like to deal with now.

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas eve... We sure did



Take care;

Black
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Old 12 December 2006   #32
Finally back home, for a few days anyways, I fear that due to another trip I may not be able to finish and that bugs the leaving c#@P out of me. I'll have to work long and hard everyu second I have to finish this up.

I have not read 'Legacy' and doubt I will. I did enjoy the concept in 'Eternity' alot and r4eally wish more was done discussing the 'Final Mind' and why The Way had to be closed down. The pieces were there but just not as colorful and complete as I wish it was.

As for my pipeline I actually have Maya 7.5 Unlimited which I use for fluids and PaintFX but rarely for anything else, Houdini for pFX (its by far the best!) XSI 5 which I'm still learning and LW which I have used for ages and am really fast and effiecent in. Sadly my XSI -. LW pipeline is almost none-existant. To move back and forth I have to go through a freind and I burden him with enough crap as it is so...... Thats something I plan on remeding real soon though, unless LW finally fixes modeler for near infinite poly work like XSI/Maya/C4D, ect.
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Old 12 December 2006   #33
Hey, what do you mean you fear you're not gonna be able to finish... don't you dare to do so
come on man... you've worked so hard on this, just to give up now?!!!... I'll be waiting right here for an update of your amazing work. Don't make me wait long.
 
Old 12 December 2006   #34
Thanks for the kind words claudio_jordao. I'm not giving up by any means, just not sure I'll have enough time to finish. I'm going to be gone several days next week without my computer and I still have tons and tons to do. So right now I'm trying to change and simploify my original plans a bit to not loose to much from what I had planed but enough to be able to finish. My goal right now is to get the modeling finished by midnight Sunday (no New Years party for me except with my computer). I'm just about finished with reworking somestuff on the Drive Cube's. I'm arguing with myself on geometry versus texture detail on several huge inset sections. I'll post what I have in a few, then work on the cross and think about geometry/texture details and hopefully get some feedback on what I have.
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Old 12 December 2006   #35
Modeling: Final(?) modeling of the drive units



OK, I'm done (maybe) with the geometry for the drive units. The current plan is for textures to deal with the rest of the tons of detail I want. Still undecided if I shoulden't add more geometry back into those inset panels or not. Any comments on that?

Working on the final work for the cross Unit right now.

I have pFX guides all set up to link the Cross to the Drive cubes, between the Drive cubes and for the entire Buffer zone. The particles are all setup but the HV texturing is not done yet so I'll have to work on that next week and get that posted.

The goal as stated above right now is to finish the geometry off before 2007 hits me in the face.
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Old 12 December 2006   #36
Modeling: Cross unit final modeling



Dang only 16 days left. I'm gone 4 of those 16 and spent yesterday either outside digging out of another storm or without power. Someone does not want me to finish this.

Anyways this is, sadly, all the modeling work I'm going to do on the Cross unit. Theres a bunch of pFX that will go into this I have yet to setup though. Thats the next step to set the Cross and Drive units up and get the pFX guides done. Then throwing the Buffer region and Axis Nader into the scene so I know exactly where I need to add buildings in Axis Nader to finish all modeling off and move on to lighting and texturing. Dang I need more time available to work on this.

Sadder still I have not decided on whether I will use a Flaw ship in the scene. I had wanted to but I don't like the one I have partly modeled. I have a cool plan for a much nicwer one but time, damn ugly time hates me.
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Old 12 December 2006   #37
oh man, that's too bad, you are in Co. right? you guys are getting pounded with powder.
Hope you can find all the time you need to finish. I'm struggleing to finish myself.
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Old 01 January 2007   #38
SNoWs - yep I'm in Colorado and am happy to say we got dumped on with snow, alot more then Denver but happily I live near the mountains so did not get the 15-20 foot drifts the plains got.

A friend and I have been discussing lighting thought processes and this was my reply to him on how I'm designing mine for this scene. I'll through in images showing the results when I finish the light rig.

Man, well I was going to create a whole new sticky thread just on your post Cesar but if this is just a reader’s digest version then I'll wait.

Books Lighting Design:

This is my breakdown of how I'm approaching setting the lighting up. First this one is tricky because in essence this is an interior architectural lighting setup, yet because of massive size, an infinitely long tube which is 20 km wide it behaves like an outdoor scene. Almost all the lighting comes strictly from a 5 km wide blue, blue, blue, plasma tube running down the Way (the cylinder). What makes even harder is some of the structures are completely inside the plasma tube. This means the lighting is completely flat, saturated almost completely shadowless lighting. Well that’s easy to achieve however the image would be horrible to look at.

So the first thing you think is ahhh, the Way itself reflects light as a bounce so we can use that to provide much needed interest to the scene. But sadly the Way is not made out of real material, granted at the beginning of the Way there is dirt (brought in from other worlds), mountains, rivers, clouds, ect, here however there is nothing and the way is basically black with red and bronze splotches. Also there are no light contributions coming from either end of the Way.

Next you say the city, Axis Nader, provides lighting to the scene. yes but no. In fact when Patricia first describes the sight of Axis Nader the interior appears black (hard to believe since the plasma tube runs down it!) and the out side glitters with thousands of sparkling small lights. So little light contribution comes for it.



My Lighting Design:

Fake GI:I first created a set of lights which stretch a huge length along the plasma tubes exterior. I'll use this as faked GI with NO shadows! This is important since the light by its nature saturates almost everything with equal lighting. To do this I thought there were only two options (The lights stretch over 1000km along the tube to light the Way, meaning either area or linear lights. Linear could not be used thanks to way to much noise, even with incredibly high AA/MB levels. Area lights were extremely pretty but expensive. Final render size is 3636x2657 along with a much smaller 4-8 second animation. What I finally came up with shocked the living heck out of me, point lights! I have four point lights which I both rotate and travel 1000km along the plasma tube. Its fast, saturates the scene even though I'm only using extremely low light saturation here.

Shadows on the Way itself: I created 4 area lights which spans almost the length of Axis Naders Interior and set them up with my modified spinning light trick setup. In modeler I created a special Cylinder that matches the basic cylinder geometry of Axis Nader. I set it so it contributed shadows to only onto the Way itself and unseen otherwise.

Back Lighting: I'm cracking open the Way and adding galaxy and stars as backdrop fro symbolism. I'm using that as the background lighting, light and subtle but designed to provide different color lighting to the scene.

City Lighting: Main little point lights are going to be scattered around both the inside and outside of Axis Nader to provide little hints of lighting.

Main Spec/Color lighting: I don't care what really would happen I'm adding in some main key lights for color, spec and shadows to actually make the scene pop.

Secondary Spec/Color lighting: Even though there really is none according to the book I solved alot of the structural gaps in the book with the using of Tensor beams made up of particles/HV's. I'll use these as areas I can add in lights to help contrast color/light the scene.

It’s going to be a huge lighting rig which I'll control with a special LScript with Sliders I'm writing to help texture the scene. This also means a few bogus lights added here and there just to allow faster/easier rendering.
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Old 01 January 2007   #39
Wow, that sounds like a very intricate light rig. I can't wait to see how it comes together.
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Old 01 January 2007   #40
...
Next you say the city, Axis Nader, provides lighting to the scene. yes but no. In fact when Patricia first describes the sight of Axis Nader the interior appears black (hard to believe since the plasma tube runs down it!) and the out side glitters with thousands of sparkling small lights. So little light contribution comes for it.
...
Excellent!
I don't know HOW I have had missed out on that line in the text!

This alone will add some SERIOUS drama and unmodeled business at the cost of render time. I had little intrest in a scene with Axis Nader in the Back Drop... Honestly because of the uniform lighting a large mass was going to be getting, and would have thought twice of leaving it aside had I recalled this.


I am not too sure of your reasons of setting linear lighting aside... with a globe of instanced linier lights you would pretty well get the effect I believe you are going for, and to a low expense (I am personally going to go for that for the lighting within the Stone... Even though I am going to light it a little different than the book would have fancied me to).
But then again your solution is a very practical one... I have used the under-dog point lights VERY often in my scenes... particularly if an interior animation is involved.. they are fantastic.

I couldn't follow on the main lighting for colour and specularity... but I presume those are lights that shall be "scene" dependent and are waiting for you to complete your composition.


I am truely enjoying following up on your project Tim...
It would be really grea tot see where you get all this data trancuated into.



Black
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Old 01 January 2007   #41
I am not too sure of your reasons of setting linear lighting aside... with a globe of instanced linier lights you would pretty well get the effect I believe you are going for, and to a low expense (I am personally going to go for that for the lighting within the Stone... Even though I am going to light it a little different than the book would have fancied me to).


Linear lights where acutally my first choice. The concept was to create a bank of them around the circumference of the plasma tube and stretching them along its length. Sadly after spending a few hours on them I was getting so much noise from the lights even with them spinning around the plasma tube that there was no hoping in using them.

So from there I moved to expensive area lights which worked wonderfully but with long renders on my setup scene which is 1/8 final resolution. So I took a couple hour break during which for some stupid reason the concept of using point lights jumped into my head (distance and spot lights just did not look right). With only a few minutes worth of work I got decent results with the point lights for the plasma tube.

The most impoartnat thing to note with them is I controlled who gets light from them and they are actually only adding just alittle light to provide a nice GI (sans-shadows) look.

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Old 01 January 2007   #42
Shading (Textured and lit): Beginning of Lighting



Heres a quick look at some of the lighting I have so far. I have actually tweaked these areas a hair more but its pretty much as you see here. The lighting that will really make it pop is yet to come. But I have other things I have to deal with before I can get to those parts of the lighting rig.

The textures for the Way and the Plasma tube are just temps to give it something worth looking at.
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Old 01 January 2007   #43
Thumbs up !!

Keep it up,

Even though there is not a lot of time left, I can see you know where your going with your piece! keep going with your idea, I like the shot you chose, I hope to see more details as it gets going, will check in every now and again to see your progress!!

SEL
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Old 01 January 2007   #44
These are amazing models my friend, I like your attention to details! ... dead line is fast approaching, so we better hurry up! We'll hate to see our works unfinished, so cant wait to see your final touches..

-raffy
 
Old 01 January 2007   #45
Shading (Textured and lit): Cross unit final texturing



I seriously doubt theres any chance in heaven or hell I can finish my project. I have a work project due a week from today that is sucking all my time and then some. However when my system is busy doing something for that project I continue to plug along. But to stand any chance of coming up with a finished project I have to can a lot of modeling I wanted to add still and all my textures are now quick and cheesy procedurals. I have everything UV mapped just no time to paint all the images.

I wish I could have had more time to work on this and apologize for the crap that is about to be poured out from me. Maybe later I'll come back and finish this as I had envisioned it.
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