Mass Effect dock scene

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Old 02 February 2013   #16
thanks leigh. Great reference.

Here is my first take on the animation. I took a break from ligthing and shader work and did this. Tomorrow I will post some renders.

So the idea for the animation is to start looking at space and have a reveal moment for the Normandy, then you see it approach and it finally docks.

David J. Saiz
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Old 02 February 2013   #17
Here is another update. I played with a bit of comp with the last frame to see where I want to take this scene to look like in the end.

I still need to tweak some lighting things that I saw from this comp but just wanted to share the progress.

David J. Saiz
My Blog
My reel
Old 02 February 2013   #18
It feels as if there are way too many stars in the background. If I look up the ISS, you hardly see any stars at all in the background. Same with pictures taken on the moon.

So either dial it down a bit, or I might just be wrong :P
Old 02 February 2013   #19
Very cool scene.

Watching the animation you posted above, it feels like the camera is moving very fast for how big of an environment it's in. It ends pretty abrubtly when it comes to a stop as well.

Maybe try a smaller more delicate camera move with a slight pan and less dolly-ing, it might give your ship and scene a little better sense of grandeur and perspective as well, just a thought!

"The best things in life are either illegal, fattening, or take too long to render."
Old 02 February 2013   #20
The first thing that caught my attention in your latest comp was the lens flare. I would suggest to dial it down a little and shift the focus to the spacecraft!

Also the planet behing the spacecraft doesn't help to bring that focus. They are very similar in colour. The planet looks great though! Maybe play with the grade a little to give some contrast between spacecraft and planet.

Overall its good progress. Looking forward for the result!
Old 02 February 2013   #21
Overall I think it's looking great!

Just to echo a bit what other people have said. The stars were the first thing that caught my eye. There's too many and seem far too bright, which draw away from the spacecraft. The planet looks pretty great, but I think you could perhaps add a little browny/red to break up the bright blue.(up to you but just a suggestion)

I found this on google which I think is a pretty good reference for stars and planet

Old 02 February 2013   #22
Im a very big Mass Effect fan, so seeing something like this is quite appealing to me!

I think that you need to step back a little tho, and continue with the modeling of the scene.

The Normandy is a massive ship, and while I think that its modeled nicely, its scale really isn't being shown off here. I mean its the size of a modern day battleship!

Something you can look at to push the scale up is in the dock environment. You can really add in a ton more detail and lattice work in here. If you look at Dry Docks they use to build ships and submarines, they always have lots of lattice structures and detail that pushes the immense scale of those HUGE ships.

While I think you should continue with modeling before lighting/texturing, you can go MUCH moodier with your lighting. The cutscenes from ME are exceptional inspiration.

Again, its the small pools of light on the ship that show off its scale. 1 spot light isn't enough to show off even a tiny portion of the ship.

With your camera work, it feels a little 'floaty'. You should think of the camera work in somehting like that as though your camera is constrained to a rig. How would a camera-man get a shot like this in real life? You could even build a really simple camera rig, with dolly and crane controls to keep it even more grounded in reality.
Old 02 February 2013   #23
thanks for all the comments. I tried to address most of them. I added more geometry to give it more scale. I reworked the Bg and the lighting to give it more mood and added and tweak other stuff here and there.

David J. Saiz
My Blog
My reel
Old 02 February 2013   #24
It looks a lot better toned down like that, although I think it could go with even less contrast. For instance there's a lot of black blacks and bright lights in the shipyard, see how the example Pyke gave is a lot more muted and it's easier to see what's going on.

Do you really need the bright star there? It's fairly distracting and I don't know if it's adding anything to the composition.

I agree with Pyke in that you need more small details to give it a sense of scale. The corridor looks really bare and repetitive. Try and build some geometry that will help pull the eye towards the ship.
3D Reel, Photography and Blog
Old 02 February 2013   #25
thanks Kev and Pyke. I removed the star just to do a test and I think you are right. I need to add more stuff for scale and removed that bright reflection from the star. Here is test to see more or less what's going on.

David J. Saiz
My Blog
My reel
Old 02 February 2013   #26
Okay so now you've got all these leading lines pointing to an empty bit of space, what if you moved the ship up and to the right so that it sits where the leading lines are pointing towards it. You might have to re-jig how you do the animation sequence to make this work but I think it would make for a much stronger composition. Then you'd have two bright points of interest, the ship lit by spot lights inside the dock yard and the planet. Then get some big fill light in there and use that to light the rest of the dockyard, make it seem as if it is being lit by the planet.
3D Reel, Photography and Blog
Old 02 February 2013   #27
Id make the Normandy double the size!

You can also really play with the contrast on the ship itself. Like I mentioned before, having pools of light on it.
Old 02 February 2013   #28
i'm loving it.

Last edited by cgdave : 02 February 2013 at 03:09 PM. Reason: typo
Old 02 February 2013   #29
Great comments! Thanks everyone.

Pyke -I started playing with the size of the Normandy, definitively making it bigger helps.
cgdave - thanks man. Loving it too.
Kev3d- yeah, I'm having some composition issues but now with the new size of the Normandy and some tweaks to the ligthing I am bringing back the focus to the ship.

Still at it. some images coming soon.
David J. Saiz
My Blog
My reel
Old 02 February 2013   #30
although it is coming along good, i find the image to be dark (if someone has mentioned it earlier, then i m sorry for not seeing the complete posts). luv the scale of the ship and planet.
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