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General => Terragen Animation => Topic started by: DocCharly65 on July 17, 2020, 07:10:44 am

Title: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on July 17, 2020, 07:10:44 am
The good news: I'm still alive and still not given up the film.
Less good news: Every day I come closer to the decision to stop that all and to work in the garden instead of at the computer - but later more.


While collecting and checking all the animations for the peaceful impressions in my film I had an idea to show a galaxy in overview.
I found a masked plane with a nice galaxy on CGTrader and added some populations of spheres to get enough stars for a spatial impression.

Not spectacular but good enough for me:





Some other things and things you already know are in the pipeline, but in general i am in bad mood and actually feel no more real pleasure in the project.
And all that since Windows 10 2004 decided, that all my NAS drives are no longer present. And there are saved all my collected models since 7-8 years, all my TV shows and films I recorded since 15 years.
My complete workflow depends on these NAS drives. A migration of all data would cost me thousands of bugs and would need week up to months. I little bit it's my own fault not having taken care that SMB1 is a protocol that Microsoft wants to get rid of. (The standard workarounds like manually activating SMB1 don't work since Win10 2004. And roll back again? I've enough about being scared every month what happens after the next Windows update - or what is deactivated or doesn't work any more. What you always can be sure is that using Windows (or other products) always works perfectly if you only consume and pay!

At the moment I have some workarounds to keep my data safe (almost 16 TB of models and films) But all that is no more pleasure at all...


Another reason for being at the limit to think about giving up is in reality a success I had not expected:
You perhaps remember my interpretation of Cdr. Adama:

temp.0250.jpg

Because of my low skills and no better solution I always let "my Adama" wear a Helmet.
After some experiments I got a new version and that means (again) re-rendering 10 thousands of frames.

If I go on with the project, I'll do that of course... but it's all so tiring...
Only for a little soul peace... does anyone agree that there's a similarity to Edward James Olmos?
(The uniform is a modified Austrian police uniform)

200713_0939_1.jpg

Here one of my templates (only as link because of copyright):

http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/37100000/Admiral-Adama-battlestar-galactica-37183077-1089-1450.jpg (http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/37100000/Admiral-Adama-battlestar-galactica-37183077-1089-1450.jpg)



Anyway, maybe I'll not any more be here so often. But I'll let you know if important things are changing.
CU
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: j meyer on July 17, 2020, 12:37:31 pm
Sorry to hear about these Win 10 problems.

I see some similarity to E.J. Olmos, only the hairline on the forehead
seems to be off.

Good luck to you Nils, hope you'll find your solutions.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Hannes on July 17, 2020, 12:58:17 pm
Cool stuff, Nils!! I agree about the hairline, but I think he is quite recognizeable.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Kadri on July 17, 2020, 06:47:37 pm
Sad to hear your problem and mood. With a big and long project like this it can happen more then ones.
Please don't quit. It is up to you of course. But if you ask me you will be more sorry if you don't finish it.
Just take your time and don't stress yourself out.

Nice work. Adama looks usable.
The galaxy...i would use smaller and a little more stars. Other then that it looks good.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Dune on July 18, 2020, 01:19:56 am
I am really sorry to hear about your win-10 problem. I share your feelings, as I am too often afraid the machine will break up on me, especially after again a minor problem. But never had anything big like yours.
But do continue!! But maybe on a more relaxed pace. And maybe let go of your perfectionism, and take up less new ideas? Health is the most important. I remember your problems a few years back, so take good care of yourself, Nils!

Maybe roll back to win 7? I still stick with 7 on my offline working machine. It works, and I wouldn't know why to update to 10. I suppose your NAS drives are local? Not some cloud 'solution'?
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Hannes on July 18, 2020, 12:13:41 pm
That problem really sucks. But at least your data is still there, and it's not completely gone because of a HD crash for example as far as I understood it, yet not readable with your current setup.

However, I agree with Ulco and Kadri. Continue your work, but take it a little easier. If you always try to improve what you already have, because there are other new ways, you'll never be done, and you'll never be happy with it.
Working with TG should always be fun.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on July 20, 2020, 12:46:51 am
Thanks my friends.

Your encouragement helps a little not to throw everything away. Fortunately the model data are safe for the moment on a newer WD NAS readable from all Windows versions now. The DLink NAS are still only readable from the PC with the Windows 10 Version 1909 and I kept an old Win7 PC for real emergencies. 

About the last renders and comments:
Yes Kadri, some more, denser and smaller stars would be nice. I decided to use that compromize after many experiments. The spheres are modelled objects to keep the necessary micropoly datail small (0.01) for faster rendering. The amount of "stars" is much higher than visable, but the smaller they are the higher the risk of flickering of the stars was. I could reduce that flickering to a minimum and I could increase the visibilaty of  small stars by increasing the anti-aliasing. I could have increased that more but to keep the rendertime below 30-60 minutes I stopped AA at 18 (!). I was quite amazed how fast the frames still rendered.

Perhaps I'll look after the hairline of my E.J. Olmos model (It's besides one of the seldom really selfmade head-models I created with facegen) The hair is admittedly only borrowed from the Stan Lee model whose hair has a slight side parting so it look a bit off o Adamas head. I will see what I can do.


Just a small trick: (perhaps you already know it but perhaps it helps soebody some times)
I used the glas.object of the glasses twice in the render. One object is rendered without shadows but visible and a glasshader instead of the default surface shader. The second copied object on the same place with the default surface shader, the opacity set to something betwen 0.501 up to 0.75 depending on the darknes of the glas. Here the object rendering is set to invisible but causing shadows.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: amandas on July 20, 2020, 11:23:43 am
I would roll back to the Win revision that supported your hardware, then disable auto updates in group policies (it's a bit convoluted, but uncle Google will help you). If you want to stick with the auto updates... Maybe try posting on some Windows forum for a workaround. M$ removing support for a hardware may mean it's still there, only hidden.

Second thing, I do encourage cyclical backups. In at least 2 places.

As to the project, I can advise splitting it into smaller milestones (episodes?), and trying to treat it like a road/adventure and not a monolith to chisel. Helps with perfectionism a lot.

Yeah, this guy looks quite a bit like EJO, probably was modelled after him.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: amandas on July 20, 2020, 11:26:52 am
Quote from: amandas on July 20, 2020, 11:23:43 amI would roll back to the Win revision that supported your hardware, then disable auto updates in group policies (it's a bit convoluted, but uncle Google will help you). If you want to stick with the auto updates... Maybe try posting on some Windows forum for a workaround. M$ removing support for a hardware may mean it's still there, only hidden.

Second thing, I do encourage cyclical backups. In at least 2 places.

As to the project, I can advise splitting it into smaller milestones (episodes?), and trying to treat it like a road/adventure and not a monolith to chisel. Helps with perfectionism a lot.

Yeah, this guy looks quite a bit like EJO, probably was modelled after him.
Oh, sorry, just noticed your second post. Hope my first one is still valid, at least a bit ;)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: luvsmuzik on July 31, 2020, 02:20:07 pm
Not much to say in these hard times without sounding preachy......but please carry on if you can, knowing that your endeavors bring much knowledge and pleasure to all of us here at this forum.

I too lost it all to Win10 at one point about four years ago, but I pieced most back together and decided to learn again what it took (and you know I am not a youngster) I do what I can, accepting I may never relearn it all. Even the kids I am around get discouraged at the fast track changes now too....and they learn a lot easier than me and are way less attached to these old file types, haha.

I am converting things I probably do not need to just in case I have to go another direction with my "hobbies" but I will find the fun in it somehow and so should you.

A garden is a good thing too...in the long run someday we will all be there I hope. :)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on August 31, 2020, 04:18:16 am
Thanks for your warm and motivating words.

Meanwhile I took a little break (letting the PCs render and render and render... :) )

I found out that there was something much more difficult and challenging I could do than Terragen renders on Windoes 10 PC:
I've read J. R. R. Tolkiens Simarillion and a book of Stanislaw Lem... using Terragen and Windows isn't that complicated ;)

In future I think I'll keep all about the film in this category/thread. I am not suited to compete with real Terragen artists. I just want to make my film and share it. That's it.

And I hope that I can do that before (among others) the Unreal Engine is able to render my seven years of effort in real time with 120 FPS and ray tracing taking a developing effort for the artist of only 7 minutes. Last time I played with the Unreal engine I needed 7 days to develope a scene, I needed 2-3 years in Terragen but the Terragen-result was more than 100 time more realstic and beautiful. I see some frighteningly strong and rapid quality developments in those game engines. But I have faith in Matt that he keeps the render and detail quality long before the game engines to justify longer render times. :)


Now a little update since the last video. further description on Youtube - here only the link:



... and in the coming days/weeks let me see, what you created meanwhile. I hope it's ok for you that I'll limit myself to the like button when I like something
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Dune on August 31, 2020, 06:17:17 am
So cool! Stick with TG, Nils! Maybe one day Matt can take the render engine from Unreal and put it in TG ;)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Kadri on August 31, 2020, 08:02:27 am
Very nice. Keep it going Nils :)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: j meyer on August 31, 2020, 12:39:19 pm
Glad to see a new little update. 8)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Hannes on September 01, 2020, 01:22:53 am
Coool, Nils!!!! Keep it going, but take it easy!
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: masonspappy on September 01, 2020, 10:25:38 pm
Ha! If you managed to make it through the Simarillion then you're a better person than me.  I made it through about 30 pages (a very long time ago) before I gave it up.  It was like the guy was never sure when to end a sentence.  But please do keep up your work. It's fun to watch and see what you do next.  Work in the garden AND do Terragen stuff - that's what I do to maintain some balance.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 02, 2020, 02:23:00 am
Thank you, friends! :)

...I must admit, that having read the Simarillion, doesn't necessarily mean I fully understood ;D
The first half of the book with all the names and protagonists is really heavy duty! In a year I will read it again, perhaps it will be more clear then.

Meanwhile I become more and more motivated again and also I have saved enough money to start the first parts of my NAS, PC and server reorganization.
The SMB1 problem is still not solved (And I guess it never will). So I will exchange the first two D-Link NAS by 2 Synology DS218 (empty enclosures).

Some "how to's" of the latest film update: There're some older shots of my 2015-2017 Riddicks Poolhouse projects. I just changed some details and instead of AA3 these are at least rendered with AA6 - mostly even AA8 or higher.

For the hair animation of Agent Rieger I studied this nice tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bpxRLwsQeE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bpxRLwsQeE)

The flames of the Viper engines are some planes with a projected animation of a gas burner:
Zwischenablage-1.jpg


Jason Statham is a face model from PrintedReality on CGTrader with a body from Renderpeople
Vin Diesel is a Riddick body model by norbert-2105 on CGTrader merged with a face model of Vin Diesel by vefilanna on CGTrader
"Agent Rieger" is a self scanned face model of my office colleague Rebecca with her friendly permission and a "Pose girl in leather skirt" Rigged by Polygonal-Miniatures on CGTrader

Unfortunately I bought that girls model BEFORE I saw that she is pregnant - so I had some work (though no experience and skills) to flatten the belly without destroying thr rig and the texturing ;)

a-pose-girl-in-leather-skirt-rigged-3d-model-low-poly-rigged-obj-fbx-mtl.jpg

200716_2243.jpg

200717_1347.jpg

For her glasses I used that trick again, to add some glasses invisible and set opacity to 0.5-0.6 and render another pair of glasses without shadow.



Many movements are from MIXAMO but e.g. the Vin Diesel sitting pose on the bike, the puppy and some corrections are hand made in Blender3D
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Hannes on September 05, 2020, 07:30:36 am
...and the fleshy lady... ;)
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: sboerner on September 05, 2020, 10:28:00 am
Quote"Agent Rieger" is a self scanned face model of my office colleague Rebecca with her friendly permission
Curious about this. Can you please elaborate?
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 05, 2020, 03:52:15 pm
Quote from: Hannes on September 05, 2020, 07:30:36 am...and the fleshy lady... ;)
;)  ;D
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 05, 2020, 04:06:21 pm
Quote from: sboerner on September 05, 2020, 10:28:00 amCurious about this. Can you please elaborate?


Of course. As good as I can do:

All work started with taking 3 photos of her with my Nikon (Nikon D7000)
One from the front and one from the right and left side. Important is an uniform illumination without shadows or highlights that are intensified to the right or left.
Then I imported the pictures into the "Facegen Modeller" You can get it here: https://facegen.com/modeller.htm (https://facegen.com/modeller.htm).  I have the "Core Version"

Next steps were adjustments with the integated tools until I got a result, I found usable to exported as obj. file including a texture map.

MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 001.jpg  MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 002.jpg  MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 003.jpg

Then I made first tests in TG:

MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 004.jpg

Then I joined the face with the body and added some new hair because I didn't like the version offered by Facegen:

MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 005.jpg  MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 006.jpg  MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 007.jpg  MAKING OF AGENT RIEGER 008.jpg


Many steps joining body and face were try and error and try again because as I some times mentioned I am really not a modeller. but sometimes I have some lucky shots. :)

...and voila... Agent Rieger visits Uncle Riddick together with her Partner Jason to do engine tests with the old Galactica Viper... ;)

temp.0084.jpg
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: sboerner on September 05, 2020, 05:16:40 pm
Thank you for the thorough explanation! Great to get a peek behind the curtain. Very cool and the results are quite impressive.
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: Dune on September 06, 2020, 09:15:35 am
What a job, but the result is great!
Title: Re: Only a short live sign (from outside the galaxy)
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 08, 2020, 12:42:30 am
Thanks and you're welcome Steve.
Thanks Ulco. In fact the development of Agent Rieger as she is now needed almost 3 years but with recurring time interruptions.

I hope my experiences will make another idea be realized a bit faster. One of the last needed "peaceful intro scenes" of the film shall show the Klingon Homeworld with Christopher Lloyd as "Klingon Shakespeare Artist". So far I only did a little shopping tour on Luc Biancos homepage for inspiration and played around with a cold world :)

I hope I find some good front and side/portrait pics of Christopher Lloyd ... I still have enough turtles to create his Klingon head :)