View Full Version : Animation: Helicopter Crash

01-12-2004, 12:11 AM
Finally done with this, for now anyway.


Helicopter Crash Animation ( 8mb mpg ) (http://www.3danimationonline.com/helicrash.mpg)

The purpose of the animation is to show how the spilled fuel flows through the deck.

01-12-2004, 05:46 AM
It's a nice animation, though I would say it lacks focus. I'd be tempted to ad some close- up shots.

For example at the start, the camera could be close to the surface of the helicopter pad, showing the channels in close up, then back off and look up to see the helicopter come in. When the Helicopter crashes, there could be a close up of the fuel tank rupture, and the fuelstarting to flow. You could add both these in mini close-ups to the existing animation. Of course, that's more work.

I'm not sure what the animation is about. It's presumably better to capture the leaked fuel, or not? I would have thought it would be better to let it fall into the sea below, although there's a danger of it falling and being blown onto other parts of the rig and setting it alight. I did have visions of burining fuel being funelled along the collecting troughs and causing an explosion elsewhere!

Anyway, just my 2p, and an understanding that I've no idea about what I'm commenting on (nothing new there).


01-12-2004, 05:52 PM
I really liked the way the chopper jerked as the main rotors smashed into the pad.

01-12-2004, 06:08 PM
This is really great. I wish that the fuel would be "highlighted" more near the end, I dono, but I felt myself leaning towards my monitor to get a better look...

Anyhoo, the animation is just great, and not that it needs it but Sound effects would really spice this thing up. Good luck with whatever you're using it for.

01-12-2004, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the comments guys.

I first tried to do the fluid in lightwave with particles. Some of you may remember my attempts at that. When I tried to get the particles to go through the top of the deck, the part with the holes, it just couldn't handle it. So, I moved on to RealFlow and rebuilt the splash part with that. For those who don't know, the way realflow works is you work out the particle dynamics and then you get it to build a mesh around the particles. It builds a mesh for each frame of the animation. Then you get back into lightwave and load up the first mesh, and use the object replacement plugin to swap out the meshes. Well thats where I ran into another problem. The object replacement plugin could not handle swapping out meshes of that size. Some of the meshes for the fluid got into the thousands of polygons. I finally ended up rendering out the fluid by itself and compositing it into the main animation. It came out ok, but I wish it looked better.

The main animation took about 15 days to render, and that doesn't include the fluid at all. When it got to the part where the fire and smoke and helicopter were fading out, it was taking like 2 hours per frame. Does this seem right to you guys? It seemed painfully long to me, but maybe that is just the nature of hypervoxels.

I am going to try a few things, I would like to get the fluid to look more like fuel and less like... milk or glue, but im not sure how to accomplish that and make it still easily visible. As renderingfarmer mentioned, it's already hard to see it at the end, I can't imagine how I could make it clear and more visible at the same time.

01-13-2004, 08:52 AM
I also like the motion of the helicopter once it hits the pad.
And I agree with you, the settings on the fluid almost make it look like molten lead rather than fuel. If you give it a bit of luminosity it may stand out better in the trough.
Is there a splash when the fuel tank ruptures? I couldn't make one out.
All in all a nice effort.

01-13-2004, 12:16 PM
Wow, I've never seen a helicopter crash but I imagine it would look very similiar to that. I have to agree on the fuel; It didn't register that it was leaked fuel from the chopper until after the second viewing. Maybe a brief closeup of the ruptured tank jetting fluid would help establish the multilayer fade-out? (Which is cool, BTW)

And yeah, HVs take a looong time. I've experimented with them for generic smoke effects, and I had render times in the same range. I don't know know if there's a way to minimize render times other than to back out on the quality of the HVs and maybe use sprites instead of volumetric surfaces.

01-13-2004, 07:08 PM
what keeps the fuel from burning in the pipes? :)

01-13-2004, 07:42 PM
That animation rules, dude.

If someone had told me I had to animate fluid draining through a grate and into a bunch of tiny tubes, I'd a sh#t a brick.

01-13-2004, 11:01 PM
jman66: There is a material inside the set of gutters immediately under the decking called explosafe. If you can imagine aluminum shavings packed densly together, thats what it is like, it robs the fuel of oxygen so it can't continue to burn as it goes through the gutters and into the drain pipes.

Here is a cutaway of the deck, and below a link to a high rez version of the same pic that shows more.


CLICK FOR LARGER VERSION (http://www.3danimationonline.com/helideckhigh.jpg)

Thanks for the comments guys.