To Blend, or not to Blend? That is the question...

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by Saeed, Jun 25, 2000.

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  1. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    MAN!!!...I can't beleive of all the things I have tried it is that simple. Thanks a million. I am going to try it now....I will let you know how it goes....I aready know it is going to work...You The Man!!!!!
  2. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    Damn, Lokmer, you're too quick on the draw for me... :)
  3. chiizu42 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    12 pages of blending goodness. :)

    I'm just beginning to explore the world of CG and 3D animation in films, and I want you guys to know that this thread has been a great help... I'm still trying to overcome the gargantuan learning curve on blender, and I was just posting in support of a new 'blender board'. I know I would benefit immensely from it, as would a lot of other fan filmmakers I'm sure :)

    Keep up the great tips!
  4. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    Where'd all these people come from!? hehe. I didn't know so many people would even bother reading 227 posts.

    Yeah, if you guys get together a Blender Forum, I would deffinately go there (still would hate to leave this thread though =P ). But 1 thing, if you make it, MAKE SURE WE CAN USE SMILIES! :) <- Not these cheap ones. lol.

    For now I have just one blender question, for adding in Stars (I want to use a picture, not the "built in" ones), how can I get it to look good? The picture I am trying to use gets all streched out when I try to apply it to a huge Plane (It kinda looks like a hyperspace effect).

    -Melvil
  5. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Melvil:
    Here's a couple of ways to do it. 1: Get a really BIG picture (1200x1200)
    or 2: Use the built in cloud texture generator to create a world texture (set the noise size to about 0.008).
    If number two intrigues you I can give you a howto.

    Well, I think if I get another two votes I'll go ahead and open that new blender board this evening.
    Now I've got to get back to BFTZ. I'm finally getting stuff polished and finished. Frozen World effect is tomorrow!!

    -Lokmer
  6. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Thanks to lokmers advice I am finally able to do some test animations and keep my textures in place. Here is one I did today.
    http://home.earthlink.net/~lbrown7269/index/Movies/BlenderShuttle.mov

    I think the wing lights need some work but I didn't want to render it again...:) Let me know what you think.

  7. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    Lokmer, I said I DIDN'T want to use the clouds method. =) I will try a bigger picture. I tried a small one, then I tried 1000x1000, so I'll go up from there. Hopefully I can get it working.

    For now, I have two more questions. First of all, I have just been wondering, what the heck is a Frozen World Effect? I have heard people talk about 'em, but I never found out what they are. My second question, is when using paths to animate, if you have a turn, when the ship gets to that point, it sort of just stops, and swings to the new angle without moving the front of it. Is there an easy way to make it look more real?

    Wow, Nice animation! it looks great! Hopefully I can do something like that in the next 2 months....=) Keep up the good work. (REALLY wants to see a whole space battle done in blender)

    -Melvil
  8. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    Doh, one more thing. If there are any more places other than http://www.centralsource.com/blender/ that has Blender SW meshes, let me know (especially if there are any fully textured models. =P ).

    -Melvil
  9. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    Melvil - perhaps you should consider rendering your ships with an 'alpha channel'. that way you can just composite them over whatever background you want later - seamlessly, and you can change your mind about it too (ie in Axogon/Premiere). Much more flexible IMO...

    (sorry i don't know the exact way to render an alpha channel. I can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk it seems...:) )

    Lokmer, please post us a link to one of your forums first as a sampler - I'd like to see if they work well and look good. I'm not over the moon about these snowboards, and the EZBoards are a little slow at times, but it does support great HTML features!!!
  10. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    AudioGuy! That flyby was fantastic! The textures were great too... well done :) You could teach us all a thing or three about Blender I'm sure...

    Melvil - I'll let Lokmer explain the 'frozen world' in his own words to you, but concerning the paths question - have you parented your ship to a smooth bezier curve path, or one with sharp angular corners? If it's a smooth path, the truning should also be smooth, unless you have augmented the animation with extra keyframe rotations...
  11. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    On the Stars question: Somewhere there's a noise plugin for photoshop is really good for generating artificial starfields (where it is escapes me at the moment). You can also generate one using Blender's native star generater or the clouds for a still, then render the still REALLY big (1600x1600 or more). When mapping your starfield, try mapping it to the inside of a sphere and make sure the "Sphere" button is depressed in the materialbuttons window. That should help.

    On the paths question: It could also be that the normals are bunched at the apex of your turn. Try spreading out your vertices.

    On the Frozen World question: Frozen World is where the action stops in mid-air but the camera moves. Think the hyperspace effect in "Lost in Space" or Trinity's jump snap kick in "The Matrix." It's achieved by lining up a bunch of cameras and rolling them, then grabbing the same frame out of each one, then interpolating them with a combination of morph and crossfades. It's trickier with video cameras because you have to worry about things like white ballance and exposure, etc (which is why mine is taking so long. I didn't do everything quite how I should have at the shoot so I'm having to fix a lot of stuff in post).

    On that shuttle flyby: that was %@#*#$@ AWESOME! how did you get the stars to not blink? I bow to your superior blenderology, I think we should award our first TFN Blender PHD :) The lights look ok, but you might want to turn "Flare" off so they don't do that wierd blink as they pass straight by the camera. The planet could use a little work too. But that ship, that's just awesome!

    On the question of the Forum: You can find one of the forums here: http://artisticwhispers.homestead.com/discussion.html just click on one of the links.

    Did I get everything?

    Oh, yeah. Saeed, congrats on getting that third star!
    -Lokmer
  12. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Thanks guys...I appreciate the kind words. Oh those blinking stars lokmer. That almost drove me away from blender....I couldn't stand that and I couldn't figure out how to keep it from happening until I found a post on another board about how to do it in MAX. I just took the idea an converted it to blender. Here goes:

    First make a large shpere....I mean really large sphere...as big as you can get away with. You will have to adjust your camera to see this far out(I can't remember where the adjustment is off the top of my head...I think you probably know what I am talking about). For the material choose a star field image. The one I used was 640X480. I repeated it twice on the x and y axis. Crank up the emit value. I used a slight motion blur which helped alot. That is it....sorry if this doesn't make any sense....I will have to go look at my file again to make sure I didn't leave anything out or give you any misinformation.
  13. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    For a space animation, of course the camera has to move to make it look good. But No matter what I try, the camera does that funky wiggle. This is getting me really frusterated. Is there any way to prevent this completely, or another way to do it? Please help. *Envy's that ship flyby and wishes he knew how to do it*

    -Melvil
  14. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Hey Melvil....this is what I did. Make the camera track the ship. Select your camera, Then hold down shift and select your ship. Then hit the space bar and under the object menu select "make track". After you do this you will have to clear the rotation on your camera or it will act strange.select your camera, Hit the space bar again and under the object menu select "Clear rotation".(There are hot keys for all of this but I still use the space bar). Now your camera should track your ship. Just animate the start and end locations for your object and camera. Hope this helps.
  15. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    I just thought of something. The problem with the above method is that the ship is always in the center of the frame. If you want the same results with a little more control over the camera you could make it track an empty. Heh....Lokmers empty idea this morning has got me to thinking. I love it!!!!
  16. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    I have no clue what Empties are, so for now, I can't do it that way. The other way sounds good, but when I tried it, the camera simply didn't move. Do you think I just forgot to do something?

    -Melvil
  17. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    'Empties' can be added from the spacebar pop up menu (they show up as an XYZ Axis). You can select use it to be an invisible parent to anything you want. In other programs, I used to just use a sphere or cube to do the same thing, then make it invisble (but the axis arrows do come in handy for alignment)...

    BTW, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who has an interest in Blender (not just us guys brave enough to post) check Lokmer's forum out...

    I've posted a message and a poll (on the artistic whispers one), but the poll has disappeared (probably b/c it knows I've already voted... (?))

    Personally, I would have like a board that supports proper smilies, but let's have a show of hands as it were, and get this thing going.

    Heh, who knows? - if this thing get's off the ground, TFN may never hear from me again...! j/k :)
  18. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Make sure both the camera and your object are selected. Select the camera first, then the object. If the object is a brighter pink than your camera then you have done it right. Then select "make track" from the menu. It will ask you if you want to "make track?"...you have to click on this to make it work. Then clear your rotation on the camera and you should be set. Try grabbing the camera and moving it around. It should rotate to follow the object. If it does not I am not sure what is wrong.....I don't think I left anything out. Lokmer? Any suggestions?
  19. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    I got it to work, except that I have the problem that the Ship trys to follow the camera instead of vise-versa. I'll try something, and let you know if it works. Thanks for the new method though. =)

    -Melvil
  20. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    Nope, I still had the same thing happen. Does anyone know why that could be happening?

    -Melvil
  21. Saeed Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2000
    star 3
    Melvil - try 'clearing the parent' from your camera first, from the spacebar menu. Then try AG's method.

    AG - where have you been all our lives...? :)
  22. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    I could've sworn that you choose the camera first and then the object you want to track....may be the other way around. Sorry about that.

    Hey Saeed...I put together an EZBoard real quick. Let me know what you think.

    http://pub22.ezboard.com/bfreewarefanfilms

    We can change it however you guys want...or not use it at all...It is up to you guys....see ya.


  23. AudioGuy Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Hey Saeed....I made you an admin on that board so you can change whatever you want....I will do the same for Lokmer...He has to post before I can do it though. And like I said, I was just messing around killing some time, so if you guys decide on something else that is fine with me.
  24. lokmer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 4
    Melvil:

    Step 1. Animate your object and place your camera where you want it.
    Step 2. Select camera first. Then select (using SHIFT+Rclick) the object you want it to track. Now hit space and select "make Track" under the first Object menu. Now, for some reason, the camera is pointing the wrong way. Deselect the object and select only the camera, rotate the camera so that it is pointing at the object. The camera should now follow the object. If you don't want your object perfectly centered, then have your camera track an empty whose motions almost (but not quite) match that of your object.
    BTW, you don't need to render to find out if it works. Just hit 0 on the numpad and that puts you in camera view. When that's done, hit alt+a and your animation will play for you in wireframe.

    Does that work?
    -Lokmer
  25. Melvil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2000
    star 2
    Hey....Think you could make me a Temp Admin just so I could see the different options? I won't change anything or so anything... I just want to see what we could do. Then I'll just type up my oppinion and you can take the admin from me. =P

    -Melvil
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