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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was recently suggested that a new thread be created to contain the projects that forum members are working on in Blender. For those who don't know, Blender is a free open-source program for 3D modeling and animation. It is available at http://www.Blender.org .


Many of us have used this tool to create custom home theater intros thanks to threads like http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=715166 (21st Century Fox) and http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=784015 (Universal Studios). Some are now experimenting further, attempting to tackle other movie studio themed intros, or just working on their own interesting projects.


This thread should be a place for posting information about such projects, asking for tips about working in Blender, and most importantly assisting others when they're in need.


If a particular project gets large enough a seperate thread can be forked off as for the Fox and Universal intros. Hopefully instructions can then be added such that others can customize the project for their own theater use. Let the fun begin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'll go ahead and start out with some screenshots and a short clip from my latest project. The .jpg labeled "old" was posted in the Universal thread yesterday as my initial layout for the project. The "new" shot is how it looks today and in the video clip.


I'm working on recreating the Pixar intro, with a twist for home theater use. In my clip the letter "I" should act like a manual air pump of sorts. As Luxo Jr. is hopping up and down on it the name of my home theater should somehow inflate in front of the camera. I haven't figured out all the details but that's the idea, and once the first half is animated the second half should/may be customizable.


My lamp is composed of a cone (head) 3 spheres and 6 cylinders (body) and a short fat cylinder (base). To animate him I'm manually repositioning these 11 pieces 2-3 frames apart based on a rough sketch of how I want him to move. It's likely not the best way, but seeing as I've only been playing with this tool for 3 weeks now, I don't know any better
. Also, ignore the small white tick marks on the ground, I'm simply using those to mark where each jump should start and stop. They'll be removed as soon as the jump animation is finished.


Let me know what you guys think, and let's see some of your own projects!
 

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the lamp is looking good. I haven't been making anything very intersting lately. Just taking the star trek models and figuring out how to light them.


Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah atagert I'm looking forward to seeing some shots of your star trek intro once you get it going. I have a few ideas for variants on the Universal thme myself, but before I try any of that I've got to get this Pixar thing worked out.


I've made a lot of progress today, but there are quite a few things in the current version that I'm unhappy with. I have to slow down the animation for one, and there seems to be some extra light leaking out the back of my lamp's head. I'm also not happy with how my "slide and turn" looks when the lamp spots the letter "I".


Anyway, I've attached the latest render, but I probably won't get a chance to work this any further until next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks atagert, that's a really neat resource. I particularly like the earth at night textures, perhaps I'll use one for some future project.


At the moment I've been practicing with particle emitters to generate a good fire effect. A buddy of mine runs a kayak business called "Blazing Paddles" so for the fun of it I did a quick animation of some red text on fire that spells out that name. If nothing else it was good practice, and he thought it looked awesome



Anyway, seeing as this thread isn't being used, I think dumping Blender resources in here is a good start. Later tongiht I'll post the link to the water ripples plugin and the other plugins that I came across, in case anyone can find a use for them.
 

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Magius,


The work you guy's have been doing with Bledder is great.


The PIXAR tests are looking good.....I assume plan is to come up with a Blender file that the PIXAR name can be replaced with a custom Theatre Name. Would work for Theaters where they have an i - how will it work when no i is in the name?


Cheers,

Mark
 

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Here is an earth I created from the site.



If you figure out a better way to merge the day and night so that I can have the earth rotate and have the lights disappear during the day. I'd be interested in that.


Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow atagert you completely read my mind about using the earth at night texture. I wanted to somehow merge a night and day texture and have a line of sun sweep over the earth changing day to night. I have no idea how it would be done, but I know there is a way to make textures and materials change over time. I think it's called procedural textures or something. Not the slightest clue how to do it, but maybe there's some tutorials out there...?


BritInVA,

With my Pixar test I actually have no plans on replacing the Pixar lettering. As you said anything I did along those lines would only work for theaters with an "I" in them, but the .blend is designed such that the "I" is a mesh while the "P XAR" is plain text, so anyone could use my file and simply replace the lettering if they so chose.


I've actually had a number of ideas of what to do with the animation, but nothing has fallen into place yet. I want the first portion of the animation to proceed exactly like the regular pixar animation, but something different to happen at the end.

Example ideas: Luxo hopping on the letter "I" acts like an air pump, blowing up a balloon with the theater name on the side. Or perhaps the I drives a flame like in a hot air balloon, which blows up the above mentioned balloon. On another whole train of thought, the I could be connected to some kind of fuse, and when it disappears into the ground it "sparks" lighting the fuse, which snakes across the ground and eventually explodes... something? LOL like I said I've got ideas, but for now the focus is just to finish the original Pixar animation (which only lasts ~10 seconds btw) and release the .blend file for people to tinker with. I'll then move on to animating a cool ending, and again release the .blend file hopefully with easy instructions that people can customize with. It all depends on how much time I get to put into these silly projects
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Earlier I mentioned that I would post a neat water plugin here in case anyone found it useful. I stumbled across it looking for a way to make ripples on water for use in a Dreamworks themed intro. There's a tutorial here: http://feeblemind.tuxfamily.org/dotc...---making-rain that links to the plugin, and also a bunch of other texture plugins for Blender. I haven't actually played with them yet, but I downloaded the .blend file for the tutorial and ran it to see what the plugin ripples looked like. It's a neat effect, and some of the other plugins sounded neat too.


Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LOL! That looney tunes clip is great. I haven't seen the real thing in many years, but I think your memory served you well. Short of bugs bunny popping out of the middle and snapping off a bite of carrot I'd say you nailed it
The only small suggestion I could come up with, would be to change the font of the theater name to make it look a bit more like this that I found at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Looney_Tunes.png


Maybe I'm going delusional, but didn't there used to be a looney tunes intro where it started out as the MGM lion roaring or something? I realized that looney tunes is a WB thing, but I swear I remember some sort of cross between between the 2 intros.


In any case, good job theendisnye!
 

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How do you do the progressive disclosure of text?


A similar question -- Can you use a key to hide a mesh until you want it to appear.


Love the pixar and the looney tunes.


My project is a flickering neon sign that says cinema neon outside of a brick building with a darkened marquee. It is raining heavily and you see someone (maybe several) covered by an umbrella(s) moving quickly towards the cinema. Then lightning flashes and the lightning strike is in view striking the marquee. (subwoofer boom! buzz) and the custom name of the theater is illuminated on the marquee that lights up.


Any ideas or improvements?
 

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I have now had a go at the entrance piece (apologies for the sound quality but I encoded at voice to keep it under 500Kb and revised the exit piece with a tweety pie image (couldn't find a decent bugs bunny).


I did the progressive disclosure of text by creating the text on a clear background and then putting a blue square over the top which I gradually moved to one side exposing the text. I then keyed the sequence (blue screen) so it became invisible until the text was exposed.


There is a more sophisticated way here http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/videotut...andwriting.htm but I remember the effect as being somewhat cruder.


Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
zductive,

I did find one way to hide a mesh until you want it to appear, for example the "feature presentation" text on my original Universal intro. They way I did it was simply to set an alpha key with alpha at 0, and then move alpha to 1 when you want it to appear.


Interestingly, in using this trick on later practice projects, I realized it's not perfect. The object with 0 alpha still "exists" in the scene and casts shadows, etc. even though it's invisible. There are some other settings you can change to make it not do this, but I can't remember off-hand if they're keyable or permanent properties.


You're project sounds really neat. Good luck to you, and be sure to post some screenshots and clips as the project evolves.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magius /forum/post/0


zductive,

I did find one way to hide a mesh until you want it to appear, for example the "feature presentation" text on my original Universal intro. They way I did it was simply to set an alpha key with alpha at 0, and then move alpha to 1 when you want it to appear.


Interestingly, in using this trick on later practice projects, I realized it's not perfect. The object with 0 alpha still "exists" in the scene and casts shadows, etc. even though it's invisible. There are some other settings you can change to make it not do this, but I can't remember off-hand if they're keyable or permanent properties.


You're project sounds really neat. Good luck to you, and be sure to post some screenshots and clips as the project evolves.


correct me if I'm wrong, but even with alpha being at 0, the objects behind it are invisible and the background shows through. Have you found a way around this?


Adam
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
atagert,

As I mentioned there are problems with using an alpha key to hide a mesh, but for many simple concepts it will get the job done. In the case that alpha keying won't work because of shadows or other issues like the ones you brought up, there is 1 other way that I came up with as well.


You can simply have the object originate in a position that is out of the camera's view. Anywhere is fine, but perhaps the easiest is just to stick it directly behind the camera. When you're ready to have it appear, simply move it to wherever it needs to be and set a new position key. It will teleport into place and this method avoids many of the pitfalls of the alpha method. On the other hand, I like how the alpha method allows the object to "fade in" rather than just suddenly appearing which is a little unnatural.


Again, different problems call for different solutions, and there's obviously even better methods out there just waiting for someone to bring them up. Being a complete Blender noob I've been using the alpha method which has worked great in my simplistic projects. I haven't had to try the "teleport" method yet, but with some tweaking I can't imagine it wouldn't work.
 

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Cool, at least I'm not missing some obvious way of doing that.


Hopefully if we keep at it, we'll get better at blender.


Personally, I have trouble getting the perspective right.


Adam
 
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