Mass Effect dock scene


Here is another pass at the animation incorporating a lot of the feedback. I added new angles and changed the speed of it. Just focus on the camera angles, the timing and the ship speed. Every other animation has to be tweaked.



You want us to comment your editing and camera angles?

You have 5 shots

If you want to edit you final short. I would recommand to delete the first shot.

And rearrange your 4 shots left:

1th shot: should be your 4th original but flip the image (because you cross the camera hidden line… what we call 180° rule)

2th shot: should be your 3th original

3th shot: should be your 2th original

Final Shot: should be your 5th original

Match on action: And you need the get a [URL=] sense of cutaway scene. Try to cut your shots in between and action. Like the movement of the dock arms deploy.

You can try to match the moment when to ship go outside the shot frame and when he enter the other. Like just before he leave the shot frame (we still see the end of the ship) you cut to the other frame (the ship is already 1/3 in the shot frame.)


You don’t have continuity of the ship moving.
In your first shot, spaceship is static, and in the next shot he suddenly moving.
You could throw in the mix transition, between those 2, so you can show that some time has passed between static, and moving ship.
Also, in your 4th shot, ship almost stopped moving, but in 5th shot he is moving at regular speed. You should cut out more naturally, and some of the shots doesn’t need to be that long.

Try to stay closed (at your first shots), with your ship, only parts of them if you want to increase scale even more. For example, if you watched Blizzards animations, always when they show some dragon, they start with closeups (legs, wings, head), so they increase the scale of the dragon. He is so big, that he can’t stay all in the screen. :slight_smile:
One more thing that can even more increase scale of the ship (if you want): Throw in (at the beginning) some small 1-man light space fighter (let’s say 10 times smaller then this ship), and show it close, and then cut out to wide shot to show difference between 2.
This is just a suggestion, your ship already looks huge.

I agree with the above comment at 180 degree rule.

I have taken freedom to re-edit your shot to what I feel is correct, I hope you don’t mind.
I’ll delete it, once you watch it:


good stuff david, can t wait to see it final, keep it going


Scote and d4rk3lf. thanks for your input. Things need to flow better. I really liked the cut you did d4rk3lf. I will play with the animation and make sure those transitions flow.

thanks Omar. stay warm. :wink:





Much better! A really nice sense of weight there. As soon as the ‘engine’ parts come onto screen, you could even add some camera shake to give a feeling of ‘power’ to them.


Absolutely love it! The scope is really powerful and pleasing to the eyes. Dynamics could be better in terms of the scene parts interacting with each other, but since this is just a work in progress - it’s quite amazing!


Big fan of the Mass Effect Universe, love the animation thus far. Although, you might consider adding some scene interaction and dynamics, moving parts. It would really bring it to life!


I was actually listening to Mass Effect 3 OST when I noticed the plug. Nice job, and good thing to take inspiration from.

   From a framing and camera point of view I'd keep in mind a few tricks:
   1) When going for POV scenes like the shot from the bridge the safe bet is to use a human perspective. Your camera seems fairly high up and oddly angled. If you were to lower it to eyesight height and lengthen the lens a little bit to a 35-50mm (closer to human) it'd take on a more dramatic note and become a lot warmer.
   2) POV cameras like the above are best made to fit an observer pattern, it helps immersion and empathy with the shot.
   If you have what is clearly a human POV camera on a busy bridge where only staff is admitted chances are everybody will be busy.
   Unless you have a detail of a monitor or something like that in it, and play with a focus pull, have the viewer moving along as if he was walking somewhere but at a slow pace and with a slight pan as if he was purposefully slowing down to take the sight in.
   When you want to transmit that something is worth stopping for and staring at you want to do so in a way that mimics how you would actually do that if you were there.
   You'll get an excuse for an immersive and moving camera too, static shots should be used sparingly. Don't be afraid of cutting your framing, you don't need to keep the whole ship in view all the time and therefore force the camera perspective and position out of it, it only takes away from the sense of scale.
   The way it is now you are clearly trying to show the whole ship through a fast move (judging by the scale of things the people pushing that dolly would be running like hell, or it'd have to be a wire cam) AND a very wide angle (too wide IMO).
Turntables are for that, shots should describe mood, scale, and the relationship between observer and observed.
   3) When doing more design/architecture shot, like your first one, play with the framing. Don't be afraid of having a detail shortly too big in frame, and don't leave the camera static.
   A very slow tilt with a dynamic presence in the frame will almost always establish scale and the perspective of architecture better than a static shot forecfully framed. Movement also means you have hundreds of beautiful frames to look at and a few can be daring composition wise, instead of having to nail a single one with a moving subject, which is almost impossible.
   4) You already have two scale focused subjects with wide-ish lenses in the first and last.
   The middle shot is unnecessary IMO. A nice static (as in no dolly or tilt) shot with all movment horizontal is good complimention to your opening and closing shots, but it doesn't need to be the whole ship (even if the whole height only) again.
   You could have a detail visible and follow it with a pan. A person behind a window, a moving part in the ship, and don't be afraid to use a longer lens and closing in on that one, you want the variety IMO.
   5) Variety in movment.
   The above gives you a tilt, to a pan, to a pan and dolly, with three different lenses and level of details, moving from architectural, to a more intimade long lens, to a POV lens to hit that sense of wonder of seeing something like the Normandy approaching.
  You also go from the cold and sterile of establishing architecture to the warmth of a human POV.
   If you're after having fun with a sequence and some camera work, don't focus on showing all the love in the model and craftmanship first. Block the sequence out until you have stunning camera work, and then you can figure out what's in sight and distribute your work accordingly.
   For details and showing off models you can always add turntables and detail shots later.

Edit: corrected a few silly mistakes and mis-ordering of the shots I was addressing.


Wow! looks really cool =)


WIP of the week!! awesome work man. i like how its coming along


This really is coming along nicely. Much prefer the slower shot and I like the extra work breaking up the repeating elements. Push the camerawork as ThE JacO suggested, it will make all the difference. A bit of handheld style thrown in there? District 9 did that well, just use sparingly. :slight_smile:


Sorry I haven’t posted any updates. Thanks for the feedback. I just have to finish some other projects. Next week I will get back to it.


I render 1 frame from each shot but I never comped them. Here is the comp from those renders. They still need work but I wanted to show a bit of more progress. I will start playing with the animation some more incorporating some of the feedback.



Loving the renders, it’s looking really great. I was just thinking, when the ship pulls up and the clamps go onto the ship, how are the crew suppose to get out? Shouldn’t there be some sort of walkway that comes and attaches to the side of the ship to allow the crew to walk down onto the platform?


Ishimarushou - I was thinking this dock more for the ship and if the crew needs to take one of their smaller ships down to the planet.

Here is an update on the animation.

Thanks a lot for all the comments ThE_JacO. I incorporated them a lot in the new animation. Also I am trying out just having two shots. I will play with other cameras and see if I find something interesting to add as a third shot but I think it works just as well with just two.



finally here it is. There are some issues I would have liked to fix, correct and add but in the end I’m happy with this. Sorry for taking forever.



Cool stuff man, I followed this from the beginning and it’s great to see it finished!

Good to hear ‘The Normandy Reborn’ track being used. I’m quite a big fan of the Mass Effect Universe and the ship looks very convincing.

My only suggestion would be to show even more of the ship! As the camera pans along the walkway it felt like you were sacrificing a view of the Normandy for a visual explanation of the environment; something that, in comparison with the spaceship, is rather dull… Anyway, great job, it’s been fun to see the progress :thumbsup:


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