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View Full Version : Hi there. Need some fast advice on starfields and nebulae.



3DimensionalCat
06-02-2005, 02:22 AM
Hi everyone,

I am an intermediate user. I'm working on a 'chibi' style (the japanese drawing with heads so big, almost the same size as the rest of their body : )) short Macross (you may the US deformed version as Robotech) dogfight in space animation. I have one small to medium sized asteroid that will be the focus of the scene and the rest of the environment will be deep space. So... I really need some quality (but not cumbersome for rendering) space environment.

I've checked with a few resources on creating space environments, for diversity, including the 'better space' series. Still I haven't achieved a decent star field. The 'betterspace' series is so good in methodology but frankly I expected more from the final image. And since the tutorials are a very good starting point I still think there must be more up to date ways to do this especially with all the new technology.

Anyway, to put it in short; I need some SPACE with stars and nebulae! And I need it fast. HEEELP! : )

The camera WILL move, so I need a consistent and flexible environment. I am still concerned about what method or a combination of methods to use: Paint an artistically better space texture? Use hypervoxels and see you next year around this time? Use procedural textures in concentric spheres? Use single point polys (but I don't like the independent point rendition setting, the fixed pixel size thing... and they look like squares)? Or use a combination of these?

C'mon people I need help. This community really works well and you people saved my *** the previous time I did a project; the time I was doing an animated short music video in 70s style. But I did not keep my promise and post the finished animation when it was done. Maybe this time.

: )

-NG-
06-02-2005, 03:54 PM
www.ap3d.com :) Cheers.

lede
06-02-2005, 05:11 PM
Here a good thread of different techniques we did to make a nebula:

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=27101

-Lee

riki
06-02-2005, 07:46 PM
Try Hyperstars http://www.ficatech.com/plugins.htm

ACLOBO
06-02-2005, 09:33 PM
Photoshop - just do a search on Google for these creating these effects in Photoshop.

-Adrian

3DimensionalCat
06-03-2005, 03:08 AM
Hi again,

Unfortunately I had already checked all the material and Newtek threads you've posted by the time I opened the thread. : (

They seem to work ok for still imagery and some certain situations but I seek something more procedural (or dynamic, scalable, etc.) or less cumbersome for rendering since they are going to be part of a larger composition in animation.

If I work too much for the starfield imagery I come up with an artistically more satisfactory result, almost too dominant for the foreground objects. If I work on the foreground composition and consider the starfield and space imagery as a background the objects stick out too much; like they are pasted with glue on top of an old space poster. I just couldn't tune the scene into a whole.

I think I'll post some test renderings here some time today and listen to your ideas.

Thanks already.

3DimensionalCat
06-03-2005, 03:10 AM
Hi again,

Unfortunately I had already checked all the material and Newtek threads you've posted by the time I opened the thread. : (

They seem to work ok for still imagery and some certain situations but I seek something more procedural (or dynamic, scalable, etc.) or less cumbersome for rendering since they are going to be part of a larger composition in animation.

If I work too much for the starfield imagery I come up with an artistically more satisfactory result, almost too dominant for the foreground objects. If I work on the foreground composition and consider the starfield and space imagery as a background the objects stick out too much; like they are pasted with glue on top of an old space poster. I just couldn't tune the scene into a whole.

I think I'll post some test renderings here some time today and listen to your ideas.

Thanks already.

gjjackson
06-03-2005, 07:09 AM
There's a StarSphere plugin that came with v8. The nebulae can be done with HV and there's a scene in the content directory for it.

cathuria
06-03-2005, 07:23 AM
For use in animations, the BetterSpace (cloud o' points) starfield is a good start, but truly needs many more layers and more variations in brightness (in particular, it needs a lot more of the really faint stars).
Good background nebulas can be made with a procedural on the transparency channel of a big poly-sphere inside of your star cloud.
I have achieved decent results with the above, but since I do very little animation, I've done most of my recent star-backgrounds in PS or with photo-manip.

-NG-
06-03-2005, 08:53 AM
There's a StarSphere plugin that came with v8. The nebulae can be done with HV and there's a scene in the content directory for it.


It can yes, but ussually it takes a dam long time to render it with voxels, but you can get quality with it.

I still reccommend just painting the neb in PS. You could use Glittero Check http://www.flamingpear.com/ it's a plug.

starbase1
06-03-2005, 09:50 AM
Ok, I can highly recommend Hyperstars, its cheap effective and easy to configure.

For the nebula, why not just visit the Hubble Space Telescope archives, and use one of their images on a polygon? You could hue rotate it or something if you don't want it to be obvious where you got it.

For a DIY starfield, I managed to get decent results by using LOTS of small lens flares.

I took the old LW Stars object, and separated out the different brightnesses of stars. I then attached a relatively bright flare to the magnitude one stars, a less bright flare to the mag 2 stars, down to a very faint one for the mag 6 stars.

From memory it was something like a 4% flare for the brightest stars, and 0.5% for the faintest.

There's an old lscript back in Version 5.6 that will replace points with lights for you!

If you don't need real star positions you could get away with generating random points. Go for 6 steps in brightness, with roughly twice the number of points for each step down in brightness.

Random positions will look less realistic as real stars tend to clump, most noticable along the plane of the galaxy.

You could improve render times by cutting half (or more) of the stars, and keeping the ones left in front of the camera.

Nick