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Creative Production => Critics' Lounge => Topic started by: Cassiebsg on 22 Mar 2017, 17:09

Title: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 22 Mar 2017, 17:09
Hi all

Looking for some feedback on these little movies. I need to redo them anyway, so might as well get some suggestions on improving them.  :)

Keep in mind that I may not implement every suggestion or even any, as I'm not planning to put the game on wait until I'm 100% satisfied with them. So I'll probably implement the improvements and let it render during night and work hours, and if the new movie is ready it'll be in the release, otherwise, these will be in the release.  (roll)
I know, I'm complicated.  (laugh)

So here's the setup, all is made in Blender:
I have the Galactica and the fleet ships parented, and moving from A to B, I got 2 set of star fields far way. The Galactica and ship fleets, are in a render layer, their afterburners are on another. Then The shuttle and Vipers have a layer each, plus a layer for each afterburner... And a last layer with the nebulas...
The composite is a mess, while the Intro was rendered everything at the same time, the Start movie was rendered in phases. First the stars, then the shuttle and last the ships (this is the method I'll be using now).

The Intro movie cutscene:
this one is just the plain movie, as it come out of Blender, so it's missing the speech, music and other texts. So just  a quick explanation, as it starts the traditional narration from the show starts too, at the same time some text like game by... using... based on... etc will be rendered in big fonts, and of course music will be playing, once you near the end of the nebula, the narration will end, the music will chance from a "quiet mysterious" track to the Main Theme music. Might add more credits to the intro at this point, or just leave it as is.
Reason I need to re-render this one is because I managed to render a diffuse texture material from the Galactica with reflexion!  :( So it's reflecting the starts on the texture and that makes it look very weird.  (wtf)



The Start movie cutscene:
Don't mind the wobbly weird music, don't know why but VDub messes up the cap, and this time I was too lazy to fix it... This is capped in game, and the portraits, speech, text and music are rendered/handled by AGS, movie is just silently playing in the BG using the D3D Pluging by AGA.  :-D



Thoughts? Too dark? Should I add a background to the portraits on the cut-scene? As a friend said, Athena's hair gets lost in the dark space... change of camera angle? I'm thinking that's okay, but might be better if I just keep the camera still and rotate it from left to right to follow the shuttle and just make the shuttle approach the camera instead? Though, if you don't suffer from motion sickness it might be okay as is.  (laugh)

You got some suggestions to improve the afterburners? Some filter I should be using and am not?

Oh, I'm rendering every frame as PNG, so if you wish I can also post some stills if it helps.
Oh, I'm using 25 FPS for the movies.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Creamy on 22 Mar 2017, 19:41
Hi Cassie,

Maybe you could have a more progressive fade out for the orange green clouds in the Intro movie.

I like the camera work and the dubbing in the Start movie. Personnally, I'd remove the portraits since they divert attention from the ship.

I'm useless at 3D rendering so that's just my two cents' worth.

Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: NickyNyce on 22 Mar 2017, 20:04
Perhaps you could take the grainy look on the ships off of the first video. It's a bit distracting and I wasn't entirely sure why it was there. It just didn't seem to fit.

I wasn't in love with the ship coming right at the camera in the end. It seemed to come at a strange forced angle. I think you could do without it.

I think the clouds could use a bit more subtle of an exit too.

I like it. Everything else seems really nice. With some added sounds I think it would help bring it to life a bit more.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 22 Mar 2017, 20:30
@NickyNice:
Quote
Perhaps you could take the grainy look on the ships off of the first video.

That's partially what I meant with this part:  ;)
Quote
Reason I need to re-render this one is because I managed to render a diffuse texture material from the Galactica with reflexion!  :( So it's reflecting the starts on the texture and that makes it look very weird.

I'll see what I can do about the clouds, I've been thinking about adding a "mist" area during the clouds, and hopefully get the ships showing up a bit more subtle. Also I don't know how I got 153 frames with the clouds looking so much more vivid and then back to pastel washed out colour... think it happened when I messed up a bit with the confusion of changing from png to ogv and back...  (roll)

Yeah, I'm not sure about the portraits either, but I fell that might confuse the the player if they don't know who's talking, as that little chat sets the events of the game in motion.  :-\

Thanks for your inputs.  (nod)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: AnasAbdin on 23 Mar 2017, 16:56
First of all, as someone tried using blender for this asteroid base:

(http://i.imgur.com/1fzlxBj.jpg)

I think you did a brilliant job. It took me ages to create the asteroid while others did it with a few clicks.

My thoughts:


Generally, I think your 3D models are stunning but you need a director's touch ;)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 23 Mar 2017, 17:47
Actually, only one of those ship models are mine... the one with the little detail.  (laugh) Need to add a couple rows of windows to it.

About the textures, read my "notes" above...  :P It's the main reason I need to redo the Intro movie.

Camera movement... improvement... yes... like?  ;-D

changing the colors is actually rather easy, though of the 3 nebulas I made, that's my favorite. But I like the start of the nebula more than I like the middle and end.

--- The smaller ship? The shuttle? The viper? on which movie? I know the viper is a bit jumpy, and the shuttle wobbly... but what exactly do you mean?

/me knocks around... any director present? Hello??
Damn! Only echooo!  :~(
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: nihilyst on 27 Mar 2017, 01:11
Yeah, the noise on the ship looks distracting. Main problem for me is not the grainy look, but the fact that the grain doesn't change. It just floats on top of the screen. But you can very easily change that. As it seems you're using Cycles, check the Render settings, under "Sampling", click the clock on the seed setting. Now the grain should change from frame to frame instead of being "stuck", which even might give it a more analogue feel. That being said, the grainyness on the ships should be reduced nonetheless. It seems to be a problem with the light sources and the reflections, as you have pointed out.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 03 Apr 2017, 21:06
How does this one look?

Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: nihilyst on 03 Apr 2017, 22:15
Much better, and easily readable. But the stars (they're stars, right?) seem to move so fast as if they were a dotted transparency film in front of the camera. It distracts from the movement of the ship. And considering the distance between stars, they shouldn't just fly by.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 03 Apr 2017, 22:26
Yeah, not sure how to "fix" this. I've but them very very far away. But they
re still moving supersonic...  8-0 Plus the blinking might not be helping either.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: nihilyst on 03 Apr 2017, 22:41
How did you do the stars?

I think using a 360° environment texture might solve it.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 04 Apr 2017, 15:16
they are a particle system with one emitting sphere (object), "organized" in is a sphere containing them (as in it's a 360° environment, though not a texture)... actually I have 3 spheres/particle system (was hoping to be able to add a bit of parallax effect, but can't see it worked at all)
Since I'm already using a different camera to render the stars, think I'll try and fake the movement, so it only moves a very small fraction of the real camera...
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: nihilyst on 04 Apr 2017, 19:14
Since the spaceship doesn't seem to move very far, the stars among themselves shouldn't have an observable parallax effect. An environment texture might be easier to handle, but I don't know how good it will look.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 05 Apr 2017, 19:14
Okay new version...



Think I'm "sort" of happy with this one, but not sure if I should keep the blinking starts or not (they're linked to a randomized strength). Would be nice to say "blink a random number (like 5 or 10) of the starts, every X secs... But don't know hos to do that.  :-[
Only know how to do it random or manualy (which is a pain to do).
Any Blender experts with usefull tips on this one?

Also, not sure the shadow of the shuttle works at the end, should I just remove it?

EDIT:
New version and final (for now anyway):
(comments about what I'm not happy with are in the youtube comments)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: selmiak on 15 Apr 2017, 11:01
hmmm, show us a version without the blinking to compare it?
The models and lighting look pretty cool! Maybe add some spacetrash or rocks freeflowing in space between the ships. Or is this not very BSG?

why is the second ship suddenly disappearing? There is a black flame coming out of the back of the small ship that is in focus. especially visible when approaching the last big ship and flying over it. Replacing the thrust flame with some real particles would look great but sure multiplies render times by a lot and also just turning the model will be a lot more calculations, maybe in a separate file just for the thrust particles.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 15 Apr 2017, 11:57
I haven't been able to render a non-blinking star-field yet.  :-[
Guess I could add some debris, though not sure it would add that much.

Opps... I hadn't realized it disappeared  :-[ ... geez... can't I even do a small movie without bugs?  (laugh)

I have startet to render the thrust separately, this means I can now control the level of transparency of it. Looks tons better.  (nod) But I may give it a try with a partickle system. Hadn't thought about it.
I would post the new Intro movie, but my stupid keyboard stopped working last night and I have yet to check if it's just the cable that is lose or the keyboard that died.  :-\
So expect me to post soon the new Intro movie (without the star mirror effect on the Galacticas hull!  :-D )

EDIT: Solved the keyboard problem... on the other hand realized I was still missing the far way nebula... so I'll post the new Intro movie tomorrow, at best.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Mandle on 15 Apr 2017, 18:14
Stars shouldn't "blink" in a space environment... The reason we see them twinkling here on earth is because we are looking at them through an atmosphere. In space they should just be solid, hard points of light.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 15 Apr 2017, 18:18
See, the problem is, I can't stop it from blinking. I removed every single variable that could make it blink, and still blinks.
Only other option now is render it as a huge static image and pan it instead.  :-\

EDIT: So... new Intro Movie.  :-D



I feel like I'm getting there, still not sure about the stars though... do they work? It's now a fixed BG I rendered in double size, and I'm panning it in post processing.... So the blinking is now gone at least.  ;)

EDIT 2: I just realized I forgot the vipers...  (roll)  (laugh)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: InCreator on 18 Apr 2017, 14:16
Not bad!
Last video is pretty good...
But

Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 18 Apr 2017, 15:46
Thanks for the input InCreator, I'll see if I can improve it a bit more.

anti-alias is set at 1, as I don't like too much of it.  :-\ And yes, youtube is compressing it oddly and not really keeping the current quality, not exactly sure why. I'm not even sure it's running the movie at 25 fps, but don't know where to check that.

I need the 30 sec of "disco"... It's mean to run text and intro narration and has a different music too. Though, it's a bit too long atm, not sure where I messed up.

I really don't want to add 5 frames per more, 25 should be more than enough.
I'll see about capturing it from inside AGS, as without music, speech and text I do agree, that looking at that "disco" is rather boring.  (laugh)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 12 May 2017, 18:53
Hey all... after a lot of headache, this is currently the best I could do, and what I will be using (I need to start adding a "done" to things and move on even if they're not perfect).

Anyway, I know there's a glitch at 1:13, and the last frame is ending "empty". I have already fixed it in the final version.
This is currently as it looks (minus the bad low quality YouTube insists in adding) in game:

[embed=1024,576]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPGhktSvpuc[/embed]

Think I'll add some more text after the Galactica comes on screen, for "Special Guests" or "Featuring the voices of..." :D

Anyway, thanks all for your help!
Oh and feel free to add more criticism, I may not do anything more with this video, but I'll take any help I get into the next. ;)
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: CaptainD on 12 May 2017, 21:23
I've already commented on your other thread but wanted to add that Eric's music score is majestic!

If you wanted to go really old school corny, you could have each character#s face come up with their name and the person voicing them, zooming on-screen and then off again.  :grin:
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 12 May 2017, 21:30
Yes, that was part of the original plan, but decided I needed to simplify, or risk never to finish this.  (roll)
So, think I'll just add some text for this one and leave the option open for the future.  (laugh)

EDIT:

Last but not least...
[embed=1024,576]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCDOY4fHcmU[/embed]
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Ali on 16 May 2017, 22:05
I love seeing 3D stuff on these forums! Please do more! It may be too late for feedback but here are some thoughts:

The first ship model looks great - lots of detail. By comparison others look a bit smooth and plastic-y.

When the camera moves, the stars stay completely static - even when it's panning. This isn't realistic and the result is, when the camera pans it means the big ship looks like a 2D render sliding out of frame. This also means there's no sense of movement in the middle of the shot. You could try using a spherical sky texture.

It's hard to show an object moving though empty space, so you can use depth to create more dynamic movement - have the shuttle fly closer to the camera, towards and away from.

The trickiest thing - and this is something lots of 3D VFX fails to achieve - is a sense of scale. Because the shuttle moves fast, and the viewer has no frame of reference, it looks small. The BSG reboot's solution was to use documentary style operating - the cameras would whip around and crash zoom. Sometimes they'd nearly miss the shot they were trying to get - like a human operator would if they were trying to follow something huge moving fast. The Star Trek solution is to make their miniature shots very slow and grand - the slow movement of the camera helps imply the relative size of the vessels.
Title: Re: Blender CG cutscene movie for my BSG game (suggestions?)
Post by: Cassiebsg on 17 May 2017, 15:00
Thanks for the feedback Ali, I'll keep it in mind for the future.  (nod)