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Thread: My fan-made cinematic thread

  1. #1

    Default My fan-made cinematic thread

    Hey guys. As I'm sure you know, for a while now I've wanted to make my own, fan-made cinematics, Freespace style. You can see this thread a year and a half ago that Freespace actually dropped by in, but at the time I was hitting all these blocks and temporarily gave up. Half a year ago, I was making better models, but still stymied and intimidated by texturing. Well, no more! I hope to have a finished, at least as high-quality as the original SC1 cinematics, 30-second clip done within 1 month.

    Not all of the textures or lighting is finished, so I don't have any finished renders to show you yet. It will be one shot of a Wraith taking off from a Battlecruiser hangar, ultimately zooming out to show the entire ship. Here is what the quality of the battlecruiser looks like as of today.



    I do have, however, some finished audio to show you. I wrote some original terran-y music, cobbled together various Starcraft sound effects, and, today, recorded myself doing voiceovers of an adjutant, wraith pilot, dropship, and valkyrie, and I think they turned out surprisingly well. So, here is that audio over an old to-scale test of some of my models from that old thread.



    (All the lines are me except for the dropship's "copy that," which is "tdryes05.wav" from SC1, but I think I'll record over that one too, just because the quality sounds different. But I'm gonna re-record a bunch of the lines because they're not so well written, either.)

    I want your feedback! On the music, on the lines, whatever. I want this to be as good and as Starcraft-y as possible. And, as I try to finish up the textures for the hangars, I'll post them here, too. And hopefully in a month I will be celebrating my first finished/polished animation.
    Last edited by Robear; 08-17-2014 at 12:03 AM.

  2. #2
    The_Blade's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    Go Go Go! You evidently have talent and a way to show that to people. I do hope this takes you to some really nice places.

    I can't wait for more!

    If you need some help with the texture maps I would recommend CrazyBump. It's a really nice program, which has (IMO) a better toolkit for texturing than photoshop or other sources.
    Last edited by The_Blade; 08-16-2014 at 03:39 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    Thanks! I actually do have crazybump, though I haven't been using it for these particular models. But maybe I should be.

    Here's another little update.



    I might try to learn how to do those blue horizontal lens flares all movies have these days, but just the glows looks fairly good too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    I don't think I'm going to finish in a week like I'd planned. The interior of the hangar is still holding me up, but that's the only thing. Meanwhile, here are some dropships to look at.


  5. #5
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    Those are awesome. I wish I had half your artistic talent. :P

  6. #6

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    You will! Remember that a year and a half ago I was resigned to not being able to make anything better than this. Who knows what'll happen in another year for both of us? You can totally do it.

    Edit: Here's another render, showing the size of the dropships in the actual hangar bays.

    Last edited by Robear; 08-25-2014 at 12:00 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    I still have to texture up a higher detail floor for the hangar that the wraith will be in, since it will be shown in close up. And get some better lights in there, the lighting on the Wraith looks really bad right now. But here's what the SCV models look like in there.

    Last edited by Robear; 08-27-2014 at 08:55 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    Nice to see you still working on this. Any updates?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nice to see you still working on this. Any updates?
    - You've seen StarCraft: First Contact -

    - Now, prepare for the Final Metamorphosis -


  9. #9

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    Hey, Freespace! Thanks for dropping by!

    So, part of the delay in updates was because I moved into a new apartment where we had no internet for a couple of weeks, which was weird. But then another one was that I was looking through the test version of the animation I made and there were still some things that just weren't very visually appealing. Like, here's the zoomed-out view of the battlecruiser from a little while ago, and, yep, it's a battlecruiser...



    ...but, 2 problems. One is that the texture on all those big flat areas isn't cutting it, I really have to go in and add some more interesting surface detailing. The other is that the overall colorscheme of the shot isn't very appealing, at all. In the closeup parts it works— there's color variation with the engines of the smaller ships and the decals on the battlecruiser and things like that. I made things like yellow caution stripes really small on mine to make the battlecruiser seem huge, which is great. But then when I zoom out, the overall effect is that the whole thing just looks low contrast and dull, and grey.

    Obviously your old battlecruiser model for First Contact had some nice reddish-brown areas, contrasted with blueish lighting and big caution stripes to look more interesting. And then Blizzard went and had yellow lighting and reddish planets contrasted with the teal engines.




    And then, a more recent CGI movie, Starship Troopers: Invasion (not a great movie, great spaceship exterior shots) has a dark grey ship with light gray and white painted sections, and blue engines contrasted with orange lights, plus the orange-blue planet in the background...



    Anyway, point is, of all the example pictures I just posted, mine is by far the least visually interesting, and I need to do something about that before I render out the animation. An orange planet would probably do it. So, that's what I'm experimenting on right now.
    Last edited by Robear; 09-21-2014 at 12:47 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: My fan-made cinematic thread

    What render engine are you using? This makes a big difference in what shaders and lights you can use to make your visuals more appealing.

    On the issue of the Battlecruiser looking better in close-ups than in distant shots: Make it look good from a distance, without caring about the close-ups at first. Then, once you're happy with the ship as a whole, start focusing on the areas you plan on having close-up on. See if you can add stuff on top of the low-res textures and geometry (they will seem low-res when looking so close at them, as you noted yourself with the hangar). Create the geo and textures specifically for that shot to work, even if it then doesn't show up in the distant shots. It's more of a per-shot approach, to make every shot look as good as it can. That hangar needs a new floor in, specific lights, a lot of props and doodads; all these things that wouldn't even register in the distant renders.

    You mentioned adding in an orange planet to make the Battlecruiser look better. I'd recommend focusing on making each asset look as good as it can on its own. If they all look great, then when put together and with a bit of image composition tweaks, it will fit together nicely.

    For engine glows, I recommend using particles to add more complexity to the effect. If you use 3ds Max, look into Afterburn at the very least, but ideally a FumeFX simulation for the engines. Even a combination of the two, which I often do. Then there's a lot of post processing work that you can do, like glows, distortions, heat haze based off of various render passes you output from the 3d software you use.

    I fully understand the SC1 nostalgia but I recommend you start picking up elements from SC2 for the visuals. The reason your Battlecruiser (and my First Contact Battlecruiser too) looks quite dull and grey is because we've based it on a 1998 design. Start dropping more doodads, props, things on it, and take your inspiration from the SC2 battlecruiser, as well as various sci-fi films (like Starship Troopers Invasion, which does indeed have nice looking ships). Lastly, lighting can make a dull model look a lot better. Look at getting nice specular highlights with your light, but also have dark areas on your ships, since this is outer-space after all. Try to avoid having a main light coming from the camera's direction (flashlight effect).

    Keep it up!
    Last edited by Freespace; 09-21-2014 at 09:33 AM.
    - You've seen StarCraft: First Contact -

    - Now, prepare for the Final Metamorphosis -


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