Anim8or Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Ian Ross has just released a book on Anim8or. It's perect for a beginner and a good reference for experienced users. It contains detailed chapters on every aspect, with many examples. Get your own copy here: "Anim8or Tutorial Book"

Author Topic: Suggestions Solicited  (Read 1932 times)

Old Codger

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Suggestions Solicited
« on: April 22, 2024, 12:21:08 pm »

I have decided I want to produce my own take on some of the iconic spaceships from classic SciFi films. I'm starting with the C-57D "Space Cruiser" from the 1956 cult film "Forbidden Planet". I found a useable, scalable exterior view and dimensions to make the shape of the hull. I'm not worried about the saucer itself because I can visualize the shapes needed to model the thing.

I'm looking for suggestions on how to do one of the iconic shots in the film, namely the landing. How would you go about getting that double glow underneath the craft when it is landing. I can see there are two different cones but how might I get the edges to be kind of indefinite? I can do transparency and textures even transparency map texture. No problem. I'm looking for suggestions as to how to give those "landing beams" indistinct edges. If there is a tutorial on doing something like this (a "hologram" display?) a simple link will suffice. Otherwise I know there some really talented people in the community and I wanna pick your brains.

I do plan to animate the landing so I will definitely looking for advice on how to animate various elements.
Logged

ENSONIQ5

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
    • View Profile
    • Mission Backup Earth
Re: Suggestions Solicited
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2024, 07:11:46 am »

There's a couple of ways to do this, here's one.  The method requires a transparency map with a vertical gradient so the light cone is brighter at the top than the bottom, but also with blurred sides matching the profile of the cone (see attached file "GlowThrustReversed").  I used Corel to build this using a screenshot of the cone as a reference to get the angles right.

The real trick is to ensure the trans map UV is correctly oriented to the front view of the cone (see attached "UFOrigA") and that the cone always presents the same side to the camera in Scene mode, otherwise the sides of the cone won't appear blurred as the camera and/or ship move relative to each other.  In Scene mode set the orientation of the cone object to "Facing Other" and select the camera in the drop down (see attached file "UFOrigB").  Assuming your axes are correct it should look something like the attached file "UFOrigC" with the cone's orientation changing to stay at right angles to the camera's long axis throughout the animation.

A screenshot and video is attached of a quick and dirty test of the concept.  The further overhead the ship is the more distorted the cone will be so this method won't work for all applications.
Logged

Old Codger

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions Solicited
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2024, 11:23:48 am »

Thank you for that interesting suggestion! I figured the answer was somewhere in that direction but just couldn't see it.

Rather than Corel I use Photoshop Elements (21) but I'm pretty sure I can get the same effect.

Meanwhile, looking closely at the available stills from the film, it is apparent to me that I am going to have to have a couple of different models of the bottom portion of the saucer. While the partial dome on the bottom (some sources call it the "star drive") is very much segmented and lit up while "in flight", the part is smooth and seamless when landed. Oh well. More to figure out how to do. But again, thanks so much for your excellent suggestion!
Logged

ENSONIQ5

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
    • View Profile
    • Mission Backup Earth
Re: Suggestions Solicited
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2024, 08:32:39 pm »

No problem, happy to help and looking forward to seeing your work :)

Re the "star drive" dome, having multiple co-located objects and animating the 'visibility' setting such that only one is visible at any time is a common method of simulating an object changing appearance within an animation.
Logged

Old Codger

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Re: Suggestions Solicited
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2024, 12:11:38 pm »

I've been experimenting with different ways of making the "star drive" dome. The problem is that the shape I started with before applying smoothing twice is a power of 2. Unfortunately the stills indicate I need a shape that has 3 as a factor so I'm taking the over all shape of the dome, converting part of it to a spline and lathing it to 30 segments. Smoothing it once gives me 60 longitudinal segments and thus 3 as a factor. I am going to have to do something similar for the bottom half of the saucer proper because I will need to cut 3 landing stairs. BTW, this is just an old man killing time. I have no real project I'm working on. When I have something to show I'll post a link to my gallery on Deviant Art.
Logged