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General => Terragen Animation => Topic started by: DocCharly65 on December 24, 2014, 06:00:20 am

Title: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on December 24, 2014, 06:00:20 am
...Time for a little preview because it's Christmas  :)
Merry Christmas to all of you!



Only low profile PAL - but the HD-Version is already rendering  :)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on December 24, 2014, 08:14:56 am
Pretty awesome takeoff, Nils! I can't wait until 2015!
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: j meyer on December 24, 2014, 11:26:12 am
Entertaining teaser! 8)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Hannes on December 24, 2014, 06:18:21 pm
Great!!
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on December 25, 2014, 04:47:46 pm
Thank you very much  :)
And a special thanks to Dune and Oshyan, who gave me great, great tipps...

Unfortunately I was a little under time pressure, because this "teaser" is also a little Xmas present to my little sister, who loves the Star Wars saga and especially the robot. So there will be other teasers in better quality...

Hey - did you know how had the work is to create an own Viper- or R2D2 sound? - The robot needs many more hours of work!  ;D

Dear Dune, 2015???   ---   Äääh... the text in the teaser "...or later..." is no joke  ;)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on January 04, 2015, 10:29:58 am
Two weeks of studying and a special thanks to j meyer for a very helpful advice.

I have experimented with wings3d after I found that most of my objects have parts with inverted normals...
As before, wings3d is far beyond my capabilities but I could repair the "damaged parts".

This is the good news... here is just the "repaired Viper":

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

(both with only basic terrain, as shown when TG3 started)

Unfortunately I had to restart all render-jobs for the animation. But I think in 2-3 weeks there will by a HD remake of the teaser...
Also I found a way to repair that absolutely ugly, bad and unidentifiable R2D2 Sound... new one will be better... promised!  :)
Äähhmm - dear Dune... looks like waiting until 2016 for the complete movie  ;)

Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: archonforest on January 04, 2015, 10:58:24 am
Wow! I love this model man. Great job ;)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on January 04, 2015, 11:10:48 am
I don't mind waiting, Nils  ;) It looks like it's gonna be worth the wait!
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on January 04, 2015, 11:13:34 am
I love it too, but do not praise me too much. I only "repaired" it for the use in TG3. The model is (I hope I mentioned it before) is from turbosquid...

just a moment...

Member "Costinus" at turbosquid... I'm still surprised that it is free. I have seen other models from 40 up to to a few hundred dollars expensive with poorer quality.

Anyway I was happy learning things about object-import, finding out things about partsshaders... and ...and ...and
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: j meyer on January 04, 2015, 12:20:01 pm
Good progress Nils. 8)
Don't worry about things being beyond your capability,
as with all things it just needs some time,you'll get there,
no doubt.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Kadri on January 04, 2015, 11:52:34 pm

Nice progress :)
The object looks good in Terragen. Some parts do look a little too clean.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on February 01, 2015, 07:26:44 pm
After some new ideas and since I set higher quality requirements I decided to restart most of the scenes completely new.

So I took the best pieces and did a little new teaser as consolation for the waiting people...
I think it's much better than the first one , but still far away from what I want  ;)

Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Oshyan on February 01, 2015, 08:14:29 pm
Cool! Can't wait. :D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on February 02, 2015, 04:12:18 am
Yeah, terrific. This'll keep me patient for a while  ;)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: j meyer on February 02, 2015, 09:58:12 am
 8) Will be worth waiting. 8)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: TheBadger on February 02, 2015, 07:16:16 pm
I just love that first shot! Really is fun. R2D2 (or C3po?) Which ever, he looks like he is really traversing the little stones! Nice movements there 8)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on February 03, 2015, 03:53:50 am
Thanks :)

Jepp - in fact I am proud of the r2d2 wiggling along the way.
I used 2 manually edited animation curves in the obj-rotations to generate wiggling that looks random.

But for better workflow in future I have two questions.

1) Is there any possibility to get a "relative to terrain"- coordinate for an object and write it into an animation curve?
It was extreme time-consuming to calibrate the r2d2 that it looks like he touches the terrain.
I know the button how to "drop" the object to terrain in the 3D preview, but I can't generate a terrain depending path...

2) I didn't find an "object path"  ---   camera-paths are shown in the 3D preview. Is this feature for moving objects hidden or not existent?



The next steps:
The viper flight over the desert is rendering in 1920x1080 with 1-3h per frame because of the many reflective shaders on the viper.
But when finished you can almost see the passing desert-ground reflecting in the cannon  8)

[attach=1]

Also the viper passing the desert-town with the 180 degree camera rotation must be composed and rendered new...

R2D2 must pass the forest... yes - that's one reason why I spent soo much time to the dog in the forest...
Some vessels should pass over the forest... Here a very early test render just for the overview:
[attach=2]
The mountains in the far will be revised later when I have time.

The starting viper will be arranged completely new... for the two shots in the teaser it was OK but since I got some more experience with the forest road, I really hate that mountain lake...

...and then I can care about the 90% rest of the plan  :P :P
...even a film Premiere in 2020 is very, very optimistic...  ::) ;)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on February 03, 2015, 07:14:04 am
For forest in the distance you could use a fake forest of just color and displacement.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on February 03, 2015, 07:26:01 am
yes, depending on the distance you're right, dune.
if I come too close to that area, I wanted to use some lowpoly- or generic trees.
but first I should try your suggestion - thanks
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Oshyan on February 03, 2015, 03:47:25 pm
The camera path shown in the 3D preview is not a general "show animation paths in 3D preview" feature, but rather a specific feature that shows it for cameras.

I don't think there's a way to control animation of an object by terrain height. TG has functional but relatively basic object editing capabilities at present.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on February 16, 2015, 01:05:42 am
two weeks later...
a small step closer to what I want:

the OLD version:
[attach=1]

the NEW version:
[attach=2]

could be improved even more, but at the projected vehicle speed of about 300 kmh I hope that errors are not visible...
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on April 28, 2015, 03:33:19 am
As promised, still working on "The Plan"

After more than 2 Months I could finish 20 sec. "Viper in the desert" animation (as in real life I will only use app. 8-15 sec. of it)

Now I started work on a different view of the same scene for some fast cuts (remember the background music of the "preview"):

[attach=1]

Next steps will be new renders of the R2D2 in the"new" desert (African vegetation without cacti an more dry bushes) Then I will repeat the scene with the flyby of the Viper with tracking by the camera.

An then I can go on with the rest of the app.10-20 scenes... ??? :o
One will play in the forest (remember the Rottweiler)
One will play over the forest
...
...
...

Phuu... so much... is perhaps someone interested to join the project? I get very scared that I'll need until 2070 to finish but that's more than my life expectancy  :o ;D

However, two reasons to consider:
I would have to share the data and it came out how unprofessional I use TG3  ::)
And I would have to share the secret of the punchline... out of the question!  ;D

I hope to finish the animation faster this time. I did some experiments and found out that usual HD (720p) is good enough for watching on TV. So I will reduce render resolution to 720p and upscale frames via batch processing with XNView. So I can save more than a month rendertime. Additionally this causes a slight blur, so the animation looks more realistic.

I also checked renderfarm-prices. 500 frames of my animation in full HD at low priority would have cost me app. 70€. More than 10 times I found mistakes at the END of the renderjob so that 20 second would have cost 700 € until now. Sorry... we'll talk about it again, when I'm rich  ; :) 8)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on April 28, 2015, 03:38:35 am
Maybe you get rich by selling your movie  ;)  For €700 you'll have your own extra  rendermachine. It'll be awesome, I'm sure of it. This example looks very good also.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on April 28, 2015, 03:58:06 am
Good morning Ulco  :)

I modified the threat while you wrote. Some more info now...

Yes, it's a long way but it stays my little big dream... And it's still highest priority. So I often put aside other projects, like learning a professional sea shore on Easter island...  ;)

And instead doing some jokes like "Silver Vader" (on the other side also a kind of learning to use shaders)  ;)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on April 28, 2015, 04:58:25 am
I know what you mean; some projects just never end. I started writing a fantasy novel in 1986, got about 400 pages, rewrote several times (first draft was partly written, partly on ancient typewriter, second draft typed again on wordprocessor, before the age of computers, at least in my world, third and subsequent rewrites on computer), but I never ended it. Well....
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Kadri on April 28, 2015, 10:04:13 am
Quote from: DocCharly65 on April 28, 2015, 03:33:19 am
...
I hope to finish the animation faster this time. I did some experiments and found out that usual HD (720p) is good enough for watching on TV.
So I will reduce render resolution to 720p and upscale frames via batch processing with XNView.
So I can save more than a month rendertime. Additionally this causes a slight blur, so the animation looks more realistic.
...


May i suggest to test the "Warp resize" filter in Virtualdub? It is not "better" per see but looks different.
Actually you might no need for resize at all too. You get the blurring for free kinda anyway with natural scaling.
Try and see what way you like at least.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Oshyan on April 28, 2015, 05:43:26 pm
I'm curious what your per-frame render times are and why they are (seemingly) so high to make the cost for 500 frames *at lowest priority* so much...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on April 29, 2015, 02:58:59 am
Good morning Kadri & Oshyan  :)

Oshyan, an hour ago I checked prices again. Seems they have cut prices. Last time  it was app. $70 (67 I guess) today their calculator told me app. 40 ($36.96 )!!! Cool!

I calculated
500 frames
55 min per frame (@ my racing PC)
4 CPU Cores (Core I7)
8 hyperthreats
3 Ghz
powersetting 0.8

The rendertime does not seem high to me, if I consider all the (I think app. 10-15) reflective parts in the viper.
Additionally the desert scene is very big area (10x10 km) with 30 populations of different plants.
Here you can see one of the slower rendered pics:

[attach=1]

This one (55 minutes rendertime) also includes the R2D2 with 5-10 additional reflective parts (the same frame as my threat above):

[attach=4]

If I find new mistakes at the end of the scene (frame 400-500) 10 times it's still $369. But anyway this take is ready for cutting  :)


Kadri, thanks for the tipp. I will check something similar with my MAGIX (I'm used to the user interface and it's in German language - most of my problems with TG3 are based on my not so good English  ::)  )

But the up scaling is a different reason: If I let the frames @ 720p, the TV will upscale them like this:

[attachimg=2]

My XNView batch up scaling does this:

[attachimg=3]

Do you see the difference?
Using this method I can reduce anti-aliasing and image size in TG for up to 3-time faster rendering and XNView does up scaling in"OK"-quality for free.



Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on April 29, 2015, 03:02:17 am
Nils, something to consider for reducing render time (for certain areas) is to get rid of the compute terrain! You don't always need it.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on April 29, 2015, 03:14:28 am
Good morning Ulco  :)

thanks for that tipp. I thought, I must not get rid of the compute terrain, because my camera moves (fast) and every frame shows different angles and views of the terrain... I will have to check this.

Is computing terrain one of the things my computer does, when I get the message "preparing to render"?
I think during that time, TG checks the GI cache file, and calculates the terrain (and some more things and then starts raytracing. Am I a little bit right? That time is mostly 1-3 sconds or less.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on April 29, 2015, 03:53:55 am
If the terrain behind is e.g. not in great detail, angles (normals) and heights may not need to be calculated. Like for veggie altitude restraints, slope colors, etc.  But you'd have to do some testing. In my mountain path I did use a compute normal and an XYZ shader, but no compute terrain. Sometimes you can even get away without any compute, just try it out. But like smoothing in a fake stone layer is then not possible, it'll smooth the whole planet. But maybe smoothing isn't necessary, etc. Experiment a little and compare render times and visual check differences with or without the compute terrain.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Kadri on April 29, 2015, 10:04:07 am

The Xnview scaling looks better to me too.
Which kind of scaling does have Magix (MAGIX Video Pro?) by the way? I was nearly going to buy the last version.
I have Samplitude Pro X from Magix and it is a nice piece of software.
They should better advertise themselves.Their products aren't bad.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Oshyan on April 29, 2015, 04:52:19 pm
The need for Compute Terrain has nothing to do with how fast the camera is moving. It is an effect you will see whether in an animation or still image, the effect is the same. So if you remove the Compute Terrain and see the result on a static image and it looks fine, then you almost certainly do not need it for animation either (unless it somehow affects a part of the terrain not visible in your test frame, but does *not* affect the test frame view).

As for render times, yes ~1hr at 1080p or even 720p is not so bad. I just guessed from your cost estimate that the render times must be higher, but indeed I was using the newer Pixel Plow pricing.

Regarding reflective parts, hopefully you are only using raytraced reflections when *absolutely necessary* (i.e. when you really might see some *thing* reflected in the part, and not just specular/shiny). Minimizing raytraced reflections will speed them up a lot.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on May 10, 2015, 02:54:42 pm
Thanks for the hints, Oshyan.
The second variation of the viper in the desert is optimized with less reflective shaders and the renderjob is almost done (this time in less the half of the time).
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on May 12, 2015, 02:57:32 am
another little step is done  :)

Here comes a little scene with both: the view on the viper with the sun behind and the sun in front of the camera.

Later this will get a more dramatic cut of course...
More variations will be: a fly by scene with following the viper through a fixed camera, a fly by scene with watching R2D2 while the viper is passing, a scene with following R2D2 (camerapath not developed yet).
And other vessels will pass the desert...
but for a first view - enjoy:

Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on May 12, 2015, 03:05:44 am
Super! This is going to be some great animation. By the way, I wonder if an aircraft would suffer turbulence at that height and speed, so it would bump up a little now and again? I know from Cesna and such that if you pass over a wood, you can feel it bumping up.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on May 12, 2015, 03:27:09 am
suffer turbulence?  Not my Viper!  ...invincible unrivaled scify-stuff 8) ;D

In fact, if I'd be 25 years younger, had more time and more experience with Terragen I would try to perfect some details:
occasionally whirling dust is one of my bigger wishes... but I checked the optical effect on some videos. Not so easy!

theoretically I could use clouds and 4d-noise (my new favorite setting  ;) )

As well I should be advanced user enough to place a pilot in the viper via Wings3D... But that's all so much to do.

And I'm still learning... yesterday I wasted successless 4 hours trying to make my weekend home a little dirty... some day I will ask you for a suggestion.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Dune on May 12, 2015, 12:10:04 pm
Dust...mmm... well if you setup a very whirly, moving cloud layer, you can mask it's visibility by a simple shape moving with the viper (into final density). Should be quite easy, theoretically.

Dirt? Suggestion day has now come: just add a semi-coverage surface shader with some dirt color(s), and mask by a PF taken through a transform shader set to world position. For color variation you can use the PF+transform as an input for the color. Or use both.
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on May 13, 2015, 02:05:34 pm
Well, one of my ideas accidentally worked! I never thought, I get it to work, but... look:

Old viper:
[attach=1]
Black mirror glass order to hush up that none sit in it  8) ::)


Today I played a little bit with Wings3D:
[attach=2]
Daddy is sitting inside driving to Office with the Viper!  ;D

This smart slick pencil pusher is quite intentionally the Pilot... one day you will understand...  :o 8)



less pleasing is the fact that I start from the beginning rendering the Viper in the desert animation... (and the new model must be textured, the animation paths need to be copied... much work but I'm happy for today)

Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: Kadri on May 13, 2015, 02:08:36 pm

Nice progress :)
Title: Re: The Plan behind...
Post by: DocCharly65 on May 13, 2015, 02:13:16 pm
Thanks  :)

For some easy work (without UV mapping  ;) ) I start to get used to Wings3D (and seldom Blender also).