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General => Terragen Animation => Topic started by: DocCharly65 on September 01, 2015, 05:11:56 PM

Title: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 01, 2015, 05:11:56 PM
I was not sure to start this crazy project-detail - but I could not sleep until I tried...

Here you see my Desert with the Viper, the old truck, the small town, the R2D2
AND:

125 animated clouds

each one is "triggered" when the viper flies over it and just increses and downsizes the density. Additionally all of them use 4D Noise (but only one density fractal).

[attach=1]

[attach=2]

[attach=3]


And the result looks quite ok though I want to move the "Trigger point" app. 5 frames later and reduce the maximum density of the clouds a bit. Very easy principle but hard work!

This is just a short Fraps-capture of a  XN-View dia-show (with 20ms frame delay)
The real animation starts after some seconds -- hope you can see it

[attach=4]

The basic idea i had when I was watching some movies. If something moves over dusty ground it just whirles up the dust but no dust is really following the vehicle. So: no moving clouds...

Theoretically I could refine that strategy by adding more instances of clouds and let them just minimally follow the Viper after being "triggered" but I think thhe look should be good enough... remember - at first I didn't want any dust  ;)





Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on September 01, 2015, 07:06:27 PM
125 animated clouds!!! You're a mad man. No, better yet, a mad *genius*. :D And the results look pretty darn good. At the speed of the final animation I think it will be quite convincing, and a nice added touch.

I love seeing all this creative and challenging stuff you're trying. Keep it up!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 01, 2015, 08:51:55 PM
Thanks Oshyan  :)

That is still the easy part...

But later after cutting...
To get the original voices of David Hewlett, Katee Sackhoff,  Richard Dean Anderson and Edward James Olmos...perhaps some others... and their German voices...

THAT will be a challenge  8)

...ok ... dreams ... but what are we without dreams...?  ;)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on September 01, 2015, 09:03:15 PM
That looks really cool! Good luck for the voices!!!
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Matt on September 01, 2015, 09:58:58 PM
This is pretty cool. I think you could save a ton of work by using the final density modulator on the cloud, then translating some kind of shape to drive the density. Then you only have to animate one thing, the translation of the shape.

Matt
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Dune on September 02, 2015, 05:57:37 AM
Very cool, but I was thinking just the same as Matt, before I read his comment. If you move a circular mask as final density, and just warp the man cloud upward in a small scale... saves a lot of nodes.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 02, 2015, 11:28:58 AM
Thanks all,

Matt and Ulco, you're absolutely right. I'm already studiing the shape shader. First time I use it...
Now I start to understand how to use it and what it's good for.

Untill better knowledge and my personal enhancement I am usually the one who uses the tablet-PC to cut the onions on it...  ;D

First experiments look good... thanks for the suggestion  :)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 07, 2015, 01:06:25 PM
Time to look at first results  ;)

improved details: Clouds of dust are whirled behind the viper and there's a pilot with moving head inside.

The R2D2 is still the old scene. I will render it in the new desert later.

And this time we start with an African sunset in the savannah. The sunset only looks really interesting in HD. Then you can see my "Compromise-plants-animation". I checked what I could do with kaedorg's experiments animating grass and trees. I choose only to animate rotating and leaning.
The animation of the leaves via displacement was so time-consuming and unsuccessfully, that I limited it to the rotating. I think that it looks acceptable anyway.
Another funny job was animating little cubes as small cloud (very small - it's 8 pieces  ;) ) of gnats.

I hope you enjoy:

Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 07, 2015, 01:12:00 PM
No access to the video. It says it's private... :(

EDIT: Now it works!!

Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 07, 2015, 01:14:15 PM
Cool!!!!!
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: kaedorg on October 07, 2015, 01:20:48 PM
Great one. Dust is very realistic

David
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Kadri on October 07, 2015, 01:45:01 PM

Nice :)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Dune on October 07, 2015, 02:09:00 PM
I love it. The bugs are very subtle, but a great extra, so is the slight movement of the pilot, like he's watching who's watching. But I don't notice any animated plants, so I wouldn't bother with those. Did you do the cloud differently this time?
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 07, 2015, 02:16:25 PM
I have seen the moving plants, but not the bugs... ???

The dust is perfect! The only thing I'm missing is motion blur.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Dune on October 07, 2015, 02:20:24 PM
You have to watch in on youtube HD, it's right at the beginning.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: visualaspirant on October 07, 2015, 03:22:37 PM
Seems awesome. I second Hannes on the motion blur. Fantastic camera moves and everything.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: j meyer on October 07, 2015, 03:37:52 PM
Yay,cool!
And I don't miss the motion blur.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 07, 2015, 04:13:34 PM
Thanks guys  :)

Funny thing is that Hannes and Ulco are both right! Depending on what you fix with your eyes, you don't see the moving of either the grass or the bugs.
But that's not really important later, because the scene will move to an other place and be much longer so that you see it anyway.

The motion blur seems to be a kind of peronally taste.  :D Especially because I love watching "let's plays" on youtube, I know about many  discussions between some players switching the motion blur on or off in their games. Some like it, some don't. In my "big plan" I had same experiences like Hannes and I did some experiments. Result of successless research is the version now without. I don't really miss it too...  ;)

Especially hint for you, Hannes: I found some flickering on the Viper and read that you try to get rid of it with your vehicles. Perhaps you should check if it's reflection of the changing underground. The flickering of the viper is 99% on the bottom and looks like a plausible reflection of the ground... So I not only accept it - I need and like it. I hope it helps  ;)


... Many scenes waiting... also the speederbikes will pass the desert. The look will be the same but a lower speed...  and a special sound  ;D
Further the cavern and the suburban road will take place in the movie. And There is still the scene at the poolhouse and in the living room.

Perhaps after learning to change poses of my Lara Croft, I will let her walk through the desert with swaying hips?  ;) OK - a joke! - I swear you, guys - THAT WILL NEVER HAPPPEN (Though I told the same about the dust clouds behind the Viper...)  ;D ;D

Pfff... looks like 2030 instead of 2020? I must hurry ... in 2030 perhaps my fingers are too stiff to use a PC   :o ::) ;D
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on October 07, 2015, 06:26:06 PM
Very impressive! The "gnats" are a surprisingly good effect. Well animated I guess, the motion really "sells" it. The moving plants work well too, even with the simple movement approach you used. I personally would enjoy even more of the beginning sunset stuff, though the "viper" flight is also fun. :D

For motion blur, I definitely think you should try it. It is simply *the way our eyes work*. Yes it can be a personal preference, but I don't think the video game comparison is quite valid because video games have skill and competitiveness involved. So absolute realism is not necessarily the goal, rather you want to have the clearest, sharpest view and the quickest reaction, which motion blur negatively affects. But in trying to achieve *realism*, you do generally want motion blur. Game motion blur also has quality issues, etc. that make it less good even for "realism" scenarios.

I would suggest you try simple 2D motion blur in Terragen. But one thing you can do if you're worried about applying motion blur on a long render and then not liking the result and "wasting" the render time is: output render elements, specifically Depth and Motion Vector layers. You can then render *without* 2D motion blur enabled, and then later use an Image Processing Node and enable motion blur and you can apply *2D motion blur* as a simple post process this way (3D motion blur is a bit more realistic, but it needs to be applied *at render time*; and I doubt you'd notice the difference anyway here). Your primary output format would then need to be EXR I believe, so the Image Processor can process the original files. It adds a step, then, of converting from EXR to your destination format (unless your video editor can load EXR, which is ideal, more dynamic range!). Anyway, it can make it a bit more complicated, it's true. But it gives you flexibility. :)

By the way, I want to share your project video(s) on our social media channels. Do you think now is a good time, or will there be another major change/improvement in the near future?

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 07, 2015, 08:29:43 PM
Wow. A big honor, Oshyan!
In general I say yes, but we must discuss about the "major changes in the near future"  :) PM already on the way.

.
.
.
And the other thing I will do in the following weeks is studiing that motion blur stuff... I already understood two or three words... I'm sooooo fast...  ;)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on October 07, 2015, 08:31:36 PM
Great, I'll read what you've sent. :D

And, from my perspective, your progress *has* been quite fast! You are already producing some of the best, longest, and most technically sophisticated animations of anyone on the forums. I think that is pretty notable.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 07, 2015, 08:45:52 PM
Thanks Oshyan  :)

I'm already studiing again just in my head...

For the moment I can tell what I understand and what happend: With motion blur ON I get the vehicles (in this case the viper) blurred too and this looks really bad. I only tried the 3d Motion blur... I will check what happens with 2D motion blur.

Setting the Viper in "hold out" produced a black area I could theoretically use for masking and inserting the Viper not blurred later.
BUT the black mask was blurred too so I feared an unnatural look of the composition... Just deactivating the Viper I also loose the shadow... Complicatedd situation. I just use "hobby-software" (Magix) and unfortunately have not the time and energy to learn another software at this time. Some simple "green-screen effects" are possible in Magix and some settings can be changed but not really professional. And at that point I gave up first time.

A very very heplful button would be the possibility to "keep out" objects from the blur effect...

I must study your suggestion again, perhaps it's already there what I wish and I just don't understand the usage  ;) ::)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 07, 2015, 09:48:03 PM
Don't use "Holdout", use "invisible" instead, if you want to render the background separately. Thus you get no strange silhouette and the shadows of the object will be in place.
That's what I did in my Star Wars desert hunt scene. In another take you can render the viper. Let me summarise what I did (and what worked), if you don't mind (only in case you are willing to composite your layers together later):

for the viper create a GI cache first for each frame, then render the viper without motion blur with an animated crop region, so that the boundaries are always close to the object. Thus you'll have much shorter rendertimes.
After that you uncheck "render surface" in the Planet's properties, disable Atmosphere, all lighting, GI surface details and set GI cache detail and sample quality to 0. Everything only to make rendertimes as short as possible.

Render out the Extra output image sequence in the Sequence/Output-tab of the render node and you'll have your alpha sequence, which you can use as a mask for the viper.

It's really worth it!!!
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 07, 2015, 09:53:34 PM
Thanks Hannes  :)
As you perhaps can see I was already convinced to give it a try after reading your starwars post.

Will be a long laborious weekend, but if it works...  as you say it's worth it  :)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: otakar on October 07, 2015, 11:10:32 PM
I agree with Oshyan, one of the best TG animations I have seen. And the sound and camera is really well put together also. Did you really render this in high res? Must have taken forever...
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 08, 2015, 12:53:36 AM
Thanks otakar :)
I rendered all in "usual low" HD (1280x720 = 720p) Then batch-upscaled with XNView to 1920x1080. Gives an almost good full-HD-look.
Rendertime was not really so long... but meanwhile I calculate in different dimensions. One or two weeks rendertime are "nothing". The actual video needed app. 4 weeks (3 PC running in parallel).

And last minute:
Only another very small new step... of course I couldn't sleep untill I would have tried this...

I will need a different procedure because with the way Hannes did, I don't get any of my reflective shaders rendered (means most of my rendered image is invisable ;D ). My way:

1. Rendering the complete animation WITH motion blur INVISABLE Viper (20 min per frame)
2. Rendering the complete animation WITHOUT motion blur HOLDOUT Viper (deleted all unnecessary objects and pops - 7-10 minutes per frame)
3. Rendering the complete animation WITHOUT motion blur included Viper (already done)

1. is the blurred background with shadow of the Viper
2. gives me the alpha channel
3. is the Viper sharp and with (not blurred) background for avoiding black borders of the Viper

Result:
[attachimg=1]

Combined image test:
[attach=2]

Now I must really really sleep ;)
Over night I can run the "alpha rendering"
And tomorrow I can care about the best amount of moption blur

Good night everyone :)

Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on October 08, 2015, 12:54:52 AM
Is your test using 2D motion blur or 3D?

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 08, 2015, 01:01:30 AM
3D seems to work good.

The still image is upscaled by Magix itself and not XNView - grainy and less nice look - but good enough for the test
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on October 08, 2015, 01:08:18 AM
Try the 2D. Really. 3D will be noisy unless you use high AA. 2D will not be noisy (although with this much motion it *may* not be as good, but should be tried!).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 08, 2015, 05:32:03 AM
Already awake again  ;)
And there seems to start a little success:

PC is already rendering "Alpha frame 95"
I tested two frames with 2D motion blur 0.25 length

I begin to like it...

[attach=1]

[attach=2]

I am curious now, how it all works in motion  ;)

I recognized a mistake, I very often do with TG3: some results don't appear until "basic" rendering of the frame is finished. So you don't see it in the render view window. And waiting up to 1.5 hrs for a frame I got impatient and thought the effect doesn't work.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 08, 2015, 06:09:17 AM
First of all: looks great!! In my opinion the MB is a great improvement to make it look more natural and dynamic. I totally negelected the 2D MB. Never used it. Good to know.

I will need a different procedure because with the way Hannes did, I don't get any of my reflective shaders rendered (means most of my rendered image is invisable ;D ).

I have no idea, why your reflective shaders don't work. ??? ??? ??? Could you explain that a little more?
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 08, 2015, 06:59:55 AM
I have no idea, why your reflective shaders don't work. ??? ??? ??? Could you explain that a little more?


The testrenders were just the Viper with black background as it should be. On a detail view I saw that all parts of the Viper wich had a reflective shader as texture, were black too. Means when I was masking, I could look through that parts onto the desert.

Additionally Magix could not handle that masks correctly and I got really ugly aliasing effects... beautiful little stairs at all parts of the Vipers shape. And I got horrible black borders around the Viper.

But this new way is easy to handle and I can use the rendered files.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on October 08, 2015, 07:22:27 AM
The testrenders were just the Viper with black background as it should be. On a detail view I saw that all parts of the Viper wich had a reflective shader as texture, were black too. Means when I was masking, I could look through that parts onto the desert.

This sounds absolutely strange!
However, good that you found a way to get around this.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on October 08, 2015, 04:57:10 PM
2d motion blur is good to try. It doesn't produce results that are as *accurate*, but often times it looks good enough that no one would really know the difference. And it produces smoother, zero-noise results and renders *much faster*.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Ariel DK on October 08, 2015, 05:26:21 PM
what is the software you are using for compositing? fantastic project! ;)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: otakar on October 08, 2015, 06:29:35 PM
Just found this animated GIF and immediately thought of you. Not sure where it's from (I am not a Star Wars fan). Good example of motion blur, too.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--4BWMOR8n--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/1465004214702558246.gif
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 09, 2015, 11:27:29 AM
what is the software you are using for compositing? fantastic project! ;)


I use Magix Video deluxe (versions 11-13 on different PCs)
It's from all affordable "hobby"-software the easiest to use.
I also tried the sony-software (I think it's the "little brother" of Sony Vegas) but didn't get it to run stable and fast enough.

The "alpha-rendering" will be finished tonight, the blurred desert with invisable Viper will be finished in about 7-10 days... perhaps I can show some seconds here this weekend for comparison.
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Ariel DK on October 10, 2015, 12:58:21 AM
this is good to know, if you don't mind, I will sending you a PM, just because I was researching a little about the software on the web, and wanted to know how works the elements of composition, with the help of someone who has already had experience with this program. I don't know if I'm being clear? (the english is not my forte) ::)
I am waiting to see the final animation
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: zaxxon on October 10, 2015, 11:38:48 PM
Terrific results from a very ambitious project. My popcorn's in hand waiting for next installment!
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on October 11, 2015, 03:47:14 PM
this is good to know, if you don't mind, I will sending you a PM, just because I was researching a little about the software on the web, and wanted to know how works the elements of composition, with the help of someone who has already had experience with this program. I don't know if I'm being clear? (the english is not my forte) ::)
I am waiting to see the final animation

Perhaps this part of the Post can help you: http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,20458.msg204883.html#msg204883 (http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,20458.msg204883.html#msg204883)

Here is the almost same procedure with the complete program window.
I use Magix Video deluxe 2013 premium here. But with other Magix-versions the procedure should be similar.

In Track 1 you import the "background" image or movie
In Track 2 you put the mask
In Track 3 you put the object you want to get masked

Then you give Track 2 the masking order
In the following picture you can see the settings that worked good in my case.

[attach=1]

Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 13, 2015, 12:51:52 AM
Time to take stock...  8) 8)

After one and a half year now my project seems to develope towards a quite stable project. There's a script (though changing all 2-3 weeks ;) ) and all my PCs are rendering around the clock. That means work still goes on...

This time I spent some more time to test, what's left of my musical talents. Perhaps you recognize some small parts where I tried to integrate short clips and sound experiences of the themes from Star Trek and Battelstar Galactica (the new one with Edward James Olmos as Adama)

Also I tried to cut this teaser closer to the "script" but still keep the secrets behind... Hope you have fun anyway.


Thanks to all of you supporting me so much. (I think the credits will be 2-3 times longer than the film when it's finished  ;) )
I hope you enjoy:

Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Oshyan on November 13, 2015, 01:51:52 AM
Hah! Funny, creative, and impressive use of Terragen for sure. I look forward to seeing this evolve, and uncovering the mystery...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Kadri on November 13, 2015, 02:41:40 AM

Looks nice  :)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: kaedorg on November 13, 2015, 05:27:49 AM
What a teaser !! But how can you imagine that we'll be able to wait for 2020 ????  ;)
Great job.

David
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Dune on November 13, 2015, 06:40:03 AM
WOW! I can't wait, Nils, it's too awesome. Hurry...
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: Hannes on November 13, 2015, 11:44:35 AM
Fantastic, Nils! That really looks awesome!
Out of curiosity: how many computers do you have? It must have taken ages to render all this?!
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 13, 2015, 12:37:31 PM
Thanks to all of you  :)

Ulco, even to hurry will not help, because all the time there comes a new idea or a little improvement  ;)
some of the new scenes are only the old scenes but now with motion blur and the dust behind the Viper.
And last night I learned that mixing a sound track and cutting sequences will cost me much time even when all rendering is done.

Hannes, at the moment there are 4 PCs running.
The old server in the office for "slow" renderjobs which can wait for or which are mostly "save" or "final".
Another old HP with Core I3 for same reason and because it's quiet and I need not care about it while it's rendering.
And two Core I7 do the faster render jobs, if I want to see how a scene workes as animation. On these two PCs I also do most of the scene development when the tgd-file starts to get big  ;) ... or when I have a sudden idea like Lara or Planet of the apes. So their render jobs are often stopped.

Except the server in company all PC are connected via network and are synchroized 2-3 times a day so I have all project files quite save in some copies.

The whole project already includes 190 GB data in >46,000 files and 1,219 folders  ;D

One Core I7 is waiting for installation but first I would have to backup and clean an old PC... Not enough time! This old PC and another one are not in use for TG because they are too weak for my terragen projects - I tried to open my poolhouse tgd on one of them and it needed >20 minutes to open all objects and populations.

The last month I changed the electricity tariff and hope to save about 700-800 per year... and it's never cold in my flat  ;D



... I'll have to keep patient: "Star Wars Downunder" needed 10 years to get finished  :o ;)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: j meyer on November 13, 2015, 03:39:00 PM
Yeah,cool,funny and making you want to see more.
Any merchandise stuff already? ;)
Title: Re: The Dust
Post by: otakar on December 10, 2015, 10:15:49 PM
That's a lot of scenes in that teaser already! Seems like a monster project for sure. Yes, editing effort should not be underestimated. Especially when you are detail obsessed. But it's worth it, IMHO.