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Author Topic: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation  (Read 16121 times)

Offline Psawhn

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MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:56:29 pm »
It's almost ready, I think.

https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final60001_0425.avi

There are several things I want to fix:

Starfield: Overall I'm happy with the look and feel of the starfield I'm using. There are just some weird streaks that I suspect result from the post processing combined with adjacent pixels. I'll have to find a way to fix that, somehow.

The engine is lit by sunlight. It should stay dark until it lights up to fire.

Jaggy zoom boxes.

The atmosphere in the zoomed version should have a longer falloff. Overall I'm very happy with the look of the atmosphere. (Too bad it turns white as the camera turns away from the planet. I wonder how to fix that.)

There are black borders around stars that can be seen through the atmosphere.

I can also add graphs and charts and a bunch of numbers, to make it look more NASA-sciency.

So. Feedback? Direction? Criticisms?

Offline Winter

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 11:41:00 pm »
It's almost ready, I think.

https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final60001_0425.avi

There are several things I want to fix:

Starfield: Overall I'm happy with the look and feel of the starfield I'm using. There are just some weird streaks that I suspect result from the post processing combined with adjacent pixels. I'll have to find a way to fix that, somehow.

The engine is lit by sunlight. It should stay dark until it lights up to fire.

Jaggy zoom boxes.

The atmosphere in the zoomed version should have a longer falloff. Overall I'm very happy with the look of the atmosphere. (Too bad it turns white as the camera turns away from the planet. I wonder how to fix that.)

There are black borders around stars that can be seen through the atmosphere.

I can also add graphs and charts and a bunch of numbers, to make it look more NASA-sciency.

So. Feedback? Direction? Criticisms?

It's . . . not quite what I was expecting. Very different from what we discussed, and I don't think it works. The zoom box looks very cheap in this implementation, and it's horribly unclear what's going on with the whole video, which is why I suggested the double pass in the first place.

The camera moving all over the place just makes it all more confusing. At the resolution the video will be playing, I don't think the player would be able to get a clue what it's all about.

Sorry if I seem harsh, but that's what I'm getting away from it.

Regards,
Winter

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 12:14:30 am »
It's . . . not quite what I was expecting. Very different from what we discussed, and I don't think it works. The zoom box looks very cheap in this implementation, and it's horribly unclear what's going on with the whole video, which is why I suggested the double pass in the first place.

The camera moving all over the place just makes it all more confusing. At the resolution the video will be playing, I don't think the player would be able to get a clue what it's all about.

Sorry if I seem harsh, but that's what I'm getting away from it.

Regards,
Winter

I don't mind harsh. :)

Here's what I had in mind for the camera movements. The satellite is controlled by momentum wheels, giving a gyroscopic effect to its movement. The telescope is also computer controlled, with a program that tries to focus on anything unusual. Because it has to react quickly to this sudden object, the gyroscopic effect of the momentum wheels adds a rotation while the camera tries to track the UFO.
The zoomed in version is done after the fact, and stabilized to the initial view.

I'll try to get another version done tonight.

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 06:38:55 pm »
Pff, took me long enough...  ::)

https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final70001_0833.avi

Went with a blinky zoom box instead of a picture-in-picture approach. There's a bunch of dressing and scientifikey whatzamahoozits that I I want to add to the image later.

What I'm worried about is when the animation starts playing for the second time, before the zoom, the player might think "oh, it just repeats" and not actually watch anything. It's easy enough to cut bits out if it doesn't work.

Offline Winter

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 07:11:44 pm »
Hrm. Tough one. Here are my two comments:

1) I'm afraid I still don't like the camera movement. It makes it feel like the telescope is either anticipating the jump or tracking the Carrier after it jumps in, rather than a chance catch on a big wide-angle shot. It doesn't do anything to help the player understand what's going on in the video, either. I personally find it quite confusing, making it difficult to track what's supposed to be primary focus of the video, the Carrier, not the camera. Do you see what I mean?

2) In order to draw the two passes together, don't just do an immediate restart after the first pass. Try playing a second or so of static after the first pass, then pop up a freeze-frame of the beginning, followed by the zoom-in effect, and then resume play.

Also, I'm assuming the frame or two of blank cube at the beginning isn't supposed to be there. ;)

Regards,
Winter

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2008, 07:25:14 pm »
Ah, now I get what you mean. Basically have no tracking on the camera at all, and the UFO just happens to jump within view and fly past. I can save my pretty Earth rig for other shots, too, instead of trying to squeeze it in. :P

I can try a second of static. That'll probably tie things together a bit better.

And, yeah, I accidentally overwrote the first frame of animation with that stupid cube.  >:(

Offline BlakeD

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 06:40:20 am »
For the Zoom-in sequence, what might also work is the quick static, a super-fast rewind (like someone running a DVR backwards really fast), the zoom box frames in on the general area of the incident (jump-in).  It then enhances the new framed area, frames an even tighter area, zooms and enhances again, then plays the "close up" of the carrier.  Kind of a two-stage deal.  Wide shot, static, frame, zoom & enchance, frame again, zoom & enhance again, close shot.

I realize it's likely a lot of work, but the actual time watching-wise would only be a matter of ~10 seconds.

Just another idea to consider...

Offline Winter

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 02:44:56 pm »
For the Zoom-in sequence, what might also work is the quick static, a super-fast rewind (like someone running a DVR backwards really fast), the zoom box frames in on the general area of the incident (jump-in).  It then enhances the new framed area, frames an even tighter area, zooms and enhances again, then plays the "close up" of the carrier.  Kind of a two-stage deal.  Wide shot, static, frame, zoom & enchance, frame again, zoom & enhance again, close shot.

I realize it's likely a lot of work, but the actual time watching-wise would only be a matter of ~10 seconds.

Just another idea to consider...

I like that idea. A quick-reverse inside the static would help make the point of the vid clearer. The double-zoom is also interesting, but maybe unnecessary.

Psawhn, what do you think?

Regards,
Winter

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 03:32:47 am »
That's an idea I'm willing to try. I didn't think of rewinding combined with light static, though, which I think will seem better than just a raw rewind. I agree, though, that the double-zoom might not be needed.

Another idea I had was a 'scan' that goes through and enhances the resolution, however I think that would be lost with only a few stars in the field of view.

I have to re-render the first sequence to get rid of the rollercoaster camera, and while I'm at it I might as well re-render the second sequence to take away a few of those glitches. Once I finish rendering, though, I save the files so it's easy enough to chance post-processing. It's also easy enough to go and change parts of the animation, as long as the frames match up before and after. (So we could experiment with alternative jump-in flashes and graphics.)

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 09:37:42 pm »
https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final110001_0850.avi

Just finished rendering another pass. There's no post-processing (zoom effects, static, rewinding) etc... on it just yet. This is just to test the lack of camera shake and stuff. When I get time later today, there'll be some static and rewinds.

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 10:53:11 pm »
I hate triple posting, but here's the previous rendered sequence with the static/rewind added.

https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final110001_0940.avi

Offline Winter

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 12:19:04 am »
I like it, it's great. The zoom box is perfect, the effect is great, it's finally clear what's happening. Maybe you have time for one or two final tweaks:

1. The static on the rewind section looks quite weird, and not recognisably like static that you might see on rewinding something. Anything you can do?

2. I don't think the second pass zooms in quite far enough. Just a wee bit more to bring the Carrier more in focus would be nice. Remember that the video is going to be shrunk to play in the UFOpaedia.

3. Could you add a timer in one corner? This would be great to help bring the point home, and having it run very quickly would help show that the footage is time-compressed.

Regards,
Winter

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2008, 09:43:21 pm »
Here's the newest version. I still have to figure out how to fix those weird star shapes, but overall it's probably almost ready.
https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final13_0001_0920.avi

The weird static is actually caused by the xvid compression. The raw files look more like this:

I actually kinda like the distorted look of the compressed version, but I admit I don't know what rewind-static would actually look like with digital video.


I also just realized I made the timer compressed during the fast-rewind, but I forgot to reverse the timer! :P I'll fix that right away.

Edit: Fixed timer:
https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final13b_0001_0940.avi
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 10:02:14 pm by Psawhn »

Offline Winter

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2008, 12:01:42 am »
Is that grid effect in the latest version intentional? 'Cause it kind-of detracts from what's going on on the screen.

I think it's great, my only remaining request would be to make the timer faster, I want to see the first two digits go up a few points from 50.

Regards,
Winter

Offline Psawhn

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Re: MIMIR Telescope/Carrier Animation
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008, 07:29:40 pm »
The grid effect was an experiment. I guess it didn't go over too well. Here's a try with the grid set to only 10% opacity.
The timer was also originally in realtime. (Useless trivia: the camera orbits the Earth in realtime, too.) I sped it up x3 as you asked.

https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/UFO_AI/MIMIR_final14_0001_0940.avi

You can still go ahead and be really picky if you want. ;) For instance, there's a weird star shape in the second sequence (that can be called a nebula). and the clouds seem to disappear for some reason.