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jeric_synergy
11-21-2016, 07:48 PM
I didn't see this anywhere else on the forum, so:

RIP, Ron Thornton. Virtually kickstarted Lightwave in episodic television production

http://www.liberty3d.com/2016/11/the-passing-of-another-lightwave3d-legend-ron-thornton/

:(

ernpchan
11-21-2016, 07:57 PM
So sad to hear.

He was a pioneer in television vfx.

WilliamVaughan
11-21-2016, 08:07 PM
He played a massive role in alot of VFX artists lives... he will be missed.

mattc
11-21-2016, 08:11 PM
A massive loss. A real good friend.

M.

vonpietro
11-21-2016, 09:31 PM
i was rooting for him to pull through with his liver problem.

I met him at foundation imaging, he gave me a job there when i had just lost one working at netter. Netter went bankrupt and 45 of us were sent on our way -
foundation did it's best to pick up a bunch of us!!
thank god for Ron Thornton, may he rest in piece.

erikals
11-22-2016, 12:58 AM
very sad to hear about our loss. hope you are in a better place Ron.

sigh, a cloudy morning.

http://66.media.tumblr.com/avatar_ee5dc0d97c64_128.png

shrox
11-22-2016, 02:09 AM
...

fishhead
11-22-2016, 04:40 AM
really sad...

Spinland
11-22-2016, 06:03 AM
Such a loss, to his loved ones and to us. That's all I got. :oye:

kopperdrake
11-22-2016, 07:04 AM
Like many others, Babylon 5 got me into this shindig I've had the pleasure of calling a living, since first renting the pilot from way back. There aren't many people who manage to touch so many lives, Ron and his team were true legends, at the cutting edge of VFX, and happy to share their knowledge. My condolences to his family and friends, these times are never easy, but you're not alone in your sadness.

ianr
11-22-2016, 08:21 AM
Ron was on the cutting edge of sc-fi vfx in the day, like I said
on the cutting edge. So much he cut a hole in the apartment
so to feed cables into next door so they could network render their
two Amiga 2000,s for the Bab5 pilot.

God speed Ron you Visionairy Master

prometheus
11-22-2016, 09:51 AM
The Babylon series is what first got my attention to lightwave3d.
Ronīs work will probably shine and inspire a lot of folks in the future , he must have been proud of his acomplishments and of his family.

Michael

Topster-71
11-22-2016, 10:07 AM
So sad, like others I was in my final year at uni when I saw Babylon 5. Thanks for inspirring me. RIP

robertoortiz
11-22-2016, 11:27 AM
Wow he was an inspiration to so many. This is a big loss.

Lito
11-22-2016, 02:56 PM
Such sad news. I still have some of Ron's VHS tapes on texturing somewhere. Condolences to his family and friends.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znNciln7qwY

RIP Ron Thornton you won't be forgotten cause your work lives on.

erikals
11-22-2016, 02:57 PM
Remembering Visual Effects Supervisor Ron Thornton

http://www.startrek.com/article/remembering-visual-effects-supervisor-ron-thornton

Oldcode
11-22-2016, 02:58 PM
Another legend gone. This has been a really crappy year. :(

Axis3d
11-23-2016, 06:53 AM
Truly a pioneer in the world of CGI and especially for us Lightwave users. At a time when TV CGI visual effects were not common, he paved the way for us to follow. We all got to stand on the shoulders of this giant and he will be missed.

erikals
11-23-2016, 06:57 AM
from the LightWave3D Group,
text Rob Powers, render Lino Grandi, model Ron Long

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=135147&d=1479908736

erikals
11-23-2016, 07:01 AM
VFX Minds Panel Discussion 2012 - Ron Thornton



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jywEUdGJSE

Photogram
11-23-2016, 07:10 AM
Rest in Peace Ron, Condolences to his family and friends and Newtek.

erikals
11-23-2016, 07:21 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNeaOX7Mn0g

daforum
11-23-2016, 07:30 AM
R.I.P. Ron

Lewis
11-23-2016, 07:56 AM
Sad day, R.I.P :(

kyuzo
11-23-2016, 08:14 AM
Sad news indeed. Another legend has passed beyond the veil...

Many of us here remember him for his incredible, pioneering work on Babylon 5, and maybe I'm just showing my age, but I first heard about Ron for his work on Blakes 7.

ianr
11-23-2016, 09:43 AM
from the LightWave3D Group,
text Rob Powers, render Lino Grandi, model Ron Long

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=135147&d=1479908736


RESPECT with a RENDER LW3DG...

TheLexx
11-23-2016, 09:44 AM
Sad news indeed. Another legend has passed beyond the veil...

Many of us here remember him for his incredible, pioneering work on Babylon 5, and maybe I'm just showing my age, but I first heard about Ron for his work on Blakes 7.Woah ! What did he do on Blake's 7 ?

kopperdrake
11-23-2016, 12:00 PM
Wasn't he a props modeller back then? And on Dr Who?

Markc
11-23-2016, 12:07 PM
Woah ! What did he do on Blake's 7 ?

+1 woah, I didn't know he worked on Blakes 7 either......affirmative.
R.I.P. Ron

mattc
11-23-2016, 12:52 PM
Woah ! What did he do on Blake's 7 ?

Modelmaker. He built the Scorpio....

TheLexx
11-23-2016, 01:42 PM
Modelmaker. He built the Scorpio....Remarkable stuff. I didn't realise Ron Thornton was responsible for personally constructing the Scorpio ship, apparently at home in his living room. Imdb also lists one of Ron's episodes as Children of Auron, which just leaves me open-mouthed for all sorts of reasons. Blake's 7 was often targeted by the condescending for the small budget, but was a stunning achievement which remains an all time favourite to this day, including the visuals. In the aftermath of those times, TV seemed like a desert for years.......then seemingly from nowhere, Babylon 5 happened.

I see British sites for a certain era are paying tribute:-
Horizon, The Official Blake's 7 Fan Club: Ron Thornton 1957 - 2016 (http://www.blakes7online.com/news.php?readmore=252)
Gerry Anderson Official Website: CG VFX Pioneer Ron Thornton has Died (http://gerryanderson.co.uk/cg-vfx-pioneer-ron-thornton-died/)

When one considers these pioneers, seers and doers like Mr Thornton, one can perhaps only navigate such news by taking new inspiration, but with a tremendous humility.

jeric_synergy
11-23-2016, 07:22 PM
I find it depressing that someone as successful as Mr. Thornton had to run a gofundme campaign to help pay his medical bills.

He might have been better off to stay in his birthplace where health care is more sane than here.

Aegis
11-23-2016, 11:41 PM
He was the reason I got into this business and I had the pleasure of working with him and counting him as a friend. Goodbye Ron, you'll be deeply missed.

kyuzo
11-24-2016, 05:04 AM
For Blakes 7 Ron also built a shuttle for an episode called 'Orbit'. He resurrected the design for the shuttles in Babylon 5.

With regards to Blakes 7 budget, apparently there was a run-of-the-mill detective/police show being cancelled. Some TV exec decided to fill the slot with something different, but for the same money.
That Blakes 7 was made at all, with sets, costumes, models built from scratch is a fantastic achievement by all involved.

rustythe1
11-24-2016, 08:55 AM
was one of my fav shows growing up, there was talk of it being re made by sky but I think it got canned, shame as they looked like they were using almost the same design for the liberator if concept images were correct

rustythe1
11-24-2016, 09:06 AM
http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=51357 and this forum posts some good assumptions of showing how parts of the Scorpio come from parts of the millennium falcon toys, also a shuttle that looks just like the earth force B5 transport shuttles.

Nicolas Jordan
11-24-2016, 06:00 PM
I read that Ron also had a hand in this Todd Rundgren music video before he worked on Babylon 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7QEyaUVwTI

EmperorPete
11-25-2016, 02:51 AM
I still remember being absolutely gobsmacked by an issue of Amiga Format with an article about Ron's work on Babylon 5. It was around the time Newtek were introducing the glow effect (3.5, I think?) and the article was saying how it was partially introduced because Ron had asked them if they could work on an easier way of doing things like glowing damage effects and engine glows than grouping lens flares together (over a hundred on one shot of a Narn heavy cruiser that had been cut in half by a Shadow vessel). That was the issue that made me want to start learning 3D, and the man who inspired me to start learning it.
Thank you, Ron. Rest in peace.
I still have that issue somewhere, I think.

ianr
11-25-2016, 09:42 AM
Yeah n,that was MOJO's shot using fab timing to show a great weight( Narn ship) being destroyed.

No-one had had the foresight to destroy in CGi animation SLOOWLEE, to give gravitas to the shot before that.

That was one of Ron's teams great moments,no-one had done that on $50,000 apps around them.

Now that timing is in the hall of things to get right.

BTW. I think Chuck's hand is in this, so well done Newtek

http://cinefex.com/blog/ron_thornton/

jeric_synergy
11-25-2016, 12:16 PM
I remember that Todd Rundgren video vividly: it really pushed the boundaries of the possible.

ianr
11-26-2016, 09:25 AM
From my archives there U go.135178:rock:

ianr
11-26-2016, 09:28 AM
Back To Ron.

The Impact B5 edition.
135179:lwicon:

erikals
11-26-2016, 11:43 AM
135178

re-uploaded :)

135180

erikals
11-26-2016, 11:51 AM
by the way, some .pdf uploads of the mags here >
http://commodore.software/downloads/category/408-lightwave-pro?limitstart=0

JohnMarchant
11-26-2016, 01:01 PM
I find it depressing that someone as successful as Mr. Thornton had to run a gofundme campaign to help pay his medical bills.

He might have been better off to stay in his birthplace where health care is more sane than here.

Yeah but then just maybe B5 would not have existed or been as good as it was. In the UK he would have found doing what he did in the US very hard i think.

erikals
11-26-2016, 07:48 PM
edit: the last thing we want is to make this a con/pro health care thread.

but yeah, i can see both sides to it.

ianr
11-28-2016, 09:25 AM
by the way, some .pdf uploads of the mags here >
http://commodore.software/downloads/category/408-lightwave-pro?limitstart=0

cheers Erikals, I can update my photocopy

Roque
11-28-2016, 11:22 AM
When I started, I did not understand much how they could be modeled on the beautiful ships of Babylon 5. Soon after, came to my hands a VHS with a tutorial of Ron, where he modeling a space ship.
When I seeing him select points along a cylinder, point by point, at that time I understood that there were no magic buttons and if someone as Ron was willing to it, that was the way.
His work has greatly impacted my life, thank you RON! :)

erikals
11-28-2016, 12:24 PM
some of his techniques are still viable

Cinematic Visual Effects (1996) (VHS)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000GLFFBM/ref=dp_olp_used_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=used

closely related > Advanced Explosion Techniques (1999) (VHS)
https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Explosion-Techniques-Emile-Edwin/dp/B00003NJ9E

too bad they are VHS... needs a remake.

prometheus
11-29-2016, 09:30 AM
some of his techniques are still viable

Cinematic Visual Effects (1996) (VHS)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000GLFFBM/ref=dp_olp_used_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=used

closely related > Advanced Explosion Techniques (1999) (VHS)
https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Explosion-Techniques-Emile-Edwin/dp/B00003NJ9E

too bad they are VHS... needs a remake.

You could probably go for kurv studios and Sean M Jacksons tutorials that is of later date and origins from battlestar galactica, unfortunatly I do not think they are available though, since kurve studios went down, not even Sean M jackson has the rights to those or even got a copy I think , so thereīs just so much for my brilliant suggetions:D
Otherwise I would suspect the techniques are pretty much the same or better.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLyYKxN01_g

erikals
11-29-2016, 01:49 PM
Advanced Explosion Techniques (1999) (VHS) was very good, most likely the best one.

but yep, they are not too dissimilar i would think.

the better ones often used an additional "space" explosion stock footage.

prometheus
11-30-2016, 11:00 AM
Advanced Explosion Techniques (1999) (VHS) was very good, most likely the best one.

but yep, they are not too dissimilar i would think.

the better ones often used an additional "space" explosion stock footage.

yup..additional space explosion real photage was used quite a bit I think in both battlestar galactica as well as training from sean scott and even Kelly Myers had some I think, but not sure if he removed his or just changed content due to some rights.
After all, in star wars real or should I say at least pyro shots were taken and hard copied in film on top of the scenes, so that stuff still works in space shots today, together with sprites sparkles from particles and some smoke trails mostly, perhaps some explosion plumes here and there may be hypervoxels or similar.

Though they have introduced more fluids nowadays, I think even in Iron Sky they started to go with fluids a bit, with hypervoxels for some stuff and probably some real live photage as well, but for battlestar galactica series I donīt think they used it at all.

Of course for newer blockbusters it is more of almost fluids nowadays, perhaps even for space shots.
There is a distinction between space shots and earth explosive stuff, where you still can get away with real photage mapped or composited, and hypervoxels....but for the earth shots its mostly a step back nowadays if you go for voxels, you may get better results just breaking some stuff in lightwave for instance with bullet, mdd bake the stuff and send it all to blender for free smoke and fire fluids...itīs a poor mans explosive kit, and may work and it may not depending on how much you work with it to get the quality nice enough.
Mdd export on some bullet fracture stuff works at least to send to blender, and add smoke tooon it, I think you also can weight paint on desired areas on the mdd and emitt fluid smoke or fire from that.

If I was in a desperate need of better quality and would be working a lot with such stuff and also eventually getting paid for it, I would probably invest in turbulenceFD though, or wrestle with houdini indie.

Michael

rednova
11-30-2016, 03:14 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Thornton in person while he was teaching at dave school.
I was vacationing in Orlando and stopped by dave school to get a tour of the school.
He was very nice and chatted with me for a few minutes. I was familiar with his work, and was
very happy to meet him. I really love his cgi work.
May he rest in peace.

erikals
12-02-2016, 12:35 AM
yes, Turbulence is the way to go for much stuff, but classic footage surprisingly still has it's places :]
https://www.actionvfx.com


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6rP3jkymMc

they got 40% off for 3 more days

ActionBob
12-02-2016, 08:11 AM
Desktop Images series by Ron Thornton is what made it click for me. I had bought LW (3.5) and it languished on the shelf for several months until I ordered the VHS modeling tape by Ron. Later, I would purchase all of the tapes he produced. Amazing, down to earth instructor. He exuded knowledge with humility. His presentation and explanations were top notch. I was happy to pay for those expensive VHS tapes, because I knew I would be receiving instruction from a master, a scholar and gentleman.

-Adrian

SBowie
12-02-2016, 10:57 AM
DI tutes always had nice production quality, too.

erikals
12-02-2016, 03:40 PM
they did, and unfortunately, somehow... i lost all of them when moving. oh well... [agh]

erikals
12-02-2016, 05:53 PM
it's not unlikely Battlestar would have gone another 3Dapp route if it wasn't for the inspiration from Babylon 5 and Ron Thornton

here, a mix of the classic Film footage technique and Digital explosions >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXh9XaFJzvw

prometheus
12-03-2016, 06:56 AM
it's not unlikely Battlestar would have gone another 3Dapp route if it wasn't for the inspiration from Babylon 5 and Ron Thornton

here, a mix of the classic Film footage technique and Digital explosions >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXh9XaFJzvw

yup..that is a mixture of both real explosion photage, particle sparks as well as particle plumes explosive ones with hypervoxels, and at some sequences fluids for some explosions.
for each single explosion location, that is really not a big deal ..and itīs something one could pull of quite easy, what is impressive is the final look and the multitude of it all, to get all that in and synched in timing too, so That would be interesting to cover is the amount of explosions per scene and how many layers used for a final comp.

I donīt think thereīs any tute out there covering the final shot in terms of multitude and layering or timing of all the explosive parts, from what I have seen itīs only a few single explosive shots, and that isnīt half as impressive really.

If lacking proper real photage, you can always prepare some shots yourself and render out as clips with alpha too, and instead of calculating in scene, just use pre rendered voxels as composite shots.
Must add...at the time it was cool looking, but some time has passed, and with all that fluid used so extensivly in so many movies today means that you can quite easy spot these shots as some type of voxel engine and that brings the quality down a bit when you look at it now and compare to a transformers movie for instance.

Itīs understandable considering the budget, but that aside..the type of techniques engaged are modern high quality versus older medium quality VFX.

Michael

erikals
12-03-2016, 08:41 AM
it's Fantastic considering the budget :)

remember, it was a TV show.

but yes, today a TV show could pull off better quality, LightWave or not.

prometheus
12-03-2016, 10:23 AM
it's Fantastic considering the budget :)

remember, it was a TV show.

but yes, today a TV show could pull off better quality, LightWave or not.

Agreed.

Thereīs also stargate atlantis that had a lot of space battle explosions, lightwave I think mostly..but I think they relied on more of real photo composite in that show, and it wasnīt as jam packed with that multitude of explosions as the shots in battlestar galactica, In fact..I am not sure Ivé seen that multitude of explosions anywhere in a tv show.
Stargate atlantis also adapted to more fluids I think.

From what we have seen mostly in such battles as battlestar galactica, it is those billowing or high speed explosion with some sparts and perhaps also trails of fire in pieces blown away, it really didnīt require convection style or boyancy to be believable in space, but as soon as you are on the ground, you are in trouble with hypervoxels.

The best shot Ive seen using voxel techniques and particles only, that was the matrix reloaded collision, it took them months to complete that shot, including breaking etc..they really pushed that volumetrics and particles to the limits, and it worked for such sequence that would end before the explosive plumes would need to dissolve or go with a typicaly bouyance pattern.
That was however done with sitni sati afterburner for 3dmax...wich had some slighter better voxel techniques, more similar to the old dynamite plugin, but it was still a voxel particle technique and not fluids or real photage.

afterburner had some explosive warp daemon, and also a radial gradient for a good temp cooling off and mixture, it also had opengl shading like dynamite for easier visualizing the particle plumes in realtime, that is something that isnīt possible with hvīs today.


https://www.afterworks.com/AfterBurn.asp?ID=7

https://www.afterworks.com/AfterBurn/text/xplode.jpg

prometheus
12-03-2016, 11:33 AM
One of the attributes of space is lack of oxygen, and as such fire or explosives tend to dissolve fade quite fast, so using a vfx technique with fast fading hypervoxels has been succesful and believable in many shows when it doesnīt require atmosphere, but as soon as you go down below space, just like the ship crashlanding on coruscant in the Star Wars- Revenge of the sith, then you need smoke oxidation a lot..so that would be a job for fluids, the initial entering in atmosphere and fire could be done with hypervoxels and a lot of post processing, just as they did in the galactica series where a ship enters earth atmosphere, then does a jump in hyperspace, they studied real photage to get that right, but they did that with hypervoxels a lot, but as soon as it needs starting to develop smoke..fluids is the choice.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwEECZjnPEM

This thread has been diverged to some VFX types lately, so back to honouring Ron..the work he did have probably been a huge impact for artist all over the world to get going both with lightwave and other vfx tools.

Qexit
12-04-2016, 08:09 AM
He was the reason I got into this business and I had the pleasure of working with him and counting him as a friend. Goodbye Ron, you'll be deeply missed.Ron and his work are what also got me involved in the wonderful world of CG graphics and animation and, more specifically, got me hooked on Lightwave. I'm really sorry to hear he has gone. Thanks to Andy, I got to meet Ron and spend a couple of hours chatting with him a few years ago. That was something I will always be grateful to Andy for setting up as you don't often get to meet the people who inspire you. Even rarer is the chance to come away from such a meeting feeling even more inspired. Many thanks Ron, you will be missed.