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|Still from BlastOff! Showing 3D Props & 3D
In addition to a lead
3D character, many 3D props
and interesting 3D sets are needed to create a complete
setting for an award-winning 3D animated short film such
Many of the detailed 3D props and fully lighted 3D sets that I
created for BlastOff! are featured below.
The BlastOff! Special Edition DVD includes
full LightWave 3D object and scene files for the following
3D props and 3D sets that may be
used in your own 3D animation projects.
Some of the other props I used are from
the LightWave 3D Content CD-ROM.
Note: LightWave 3D files and high res
images & videos
are on the BlastOff! Special Edition
Click on any of the 3D prop thumbnails to
see a larger, medium resolution, image of the prop. I’ve
included high resolution images as well as the full LightWave
3D object and scene files for all these props
on the BlastOff! Special Edition DVD for
use in your own 3D animated projects.
I’ve included the following LightWave 3D props.
- A fully lighted small table lamp with translucent shade.
- A large toy bucket with toy swords and a wiffle ball
- A collection of pens, paper, mug and pad of paper.
- A kids coat rack with a few pirate hats tossed in.
- A wooden pirate toy chest with pirate hat.
- A transparent plastic wastebasket with crumpled paper
- A set of various size picture & poster frames to show
Since the primary set for BlastOff! was the child’s bed room, I built
a fully modeled and surfaced bed room 3D set which included doors,
windows, curtains, carpet, molding, switches and outlets. The walls
are one-sided, pointing in, so that the camera can be placed outside
the room and still see into it.
Click on any of these thumbnails
to see a larger, medium resolution, image of the set. I’ve included
high resolution images as well as the full LightWave 3D object and scene
files for this 3D
bed room set on the BlastOff! Special Edition DVD for
use in your own 3D animated projects.
|Room Set with Spinning Light Rig - Top
|Room Set with Spinning Light Rig - Quarter
I wanted to create a rich softly lit environment for the setting of
BlastOff! that had the flexibility to handle the changing lighting
during the main time lapse shot from dawn through sunset to evening.
I initially experimented with using radiosity and global illumination
(GI) but quickly determined that it would not be feasible for
animation, due to the very slow render times. FPrime could render
stills in a reasonable amount of time, but its lack of network
rendering ruled it out for animation on this project.
Even though I had ruled out radiosity and true global illumination
for this animation, I still wanted a soft GI look but without the
long GI render times. So I turned to spinning lights instead. Spinning
lights are regular lights that are moved during a single frame
so that the lighted area is blended during the motion blur pass.
This technique can be used to create softly blurred ray traced
shadows if transparencies are needed (as used in BlastOff!),
or soft shadow maps for even faster rendering.
I built a complete spinning light rig to illuminate the room using spotlights
with expressions to control the spinning of the lights and also
to relate the lights to each other for easier control. The entire
light rig is controlled through the two main window lights and
the sun light. Adjusting those lights’ color and
intensity adjusts the overall rig lighting, including the ambient
lights. This also adjusts the color and luminosity of the outside
the windows. The sunlight may also be animated
independently to control where the sunlight hits the room through
This complete spinning light rig and all the control expressions I used
are included in the DLI_RoomSet.lws LightWave 3D 9.0 scene file
on the BlastOff! Special Edition DVD .
|Capsule Takes Off
|Capsule Orbits Saturn
| Capsule Flies by Camera
The other setting for BlastOff! was a space set. This set was intended
not necessarily as a real view of space, but rather of how a
space scene might be imagined in a child’s mind. So while based
on reality, I pushed the color intensities up for a more vibrant
The focal point of this set is a Saturn object that I made out of a couple
of concentric spheres with a center disc. I used this Hubble
visible light image as the research for coloring my Saturn, and then
I made it a bit more vibrant, as it might look in a child’s imagination. I
used a gradient set to Y distance to object (linked to a null
at the planet's pole) to create the bands on the sphere while
using a procedural texture to displace the bands. I also animated
the procedural texture slightly so that on long shots you can
see the clouds moving, if you watch
closely. I used another gradient
set to incidence angle on a slightly larger sphere to get the
bluish edge on the planet. To create the rings I used a gradient set to
distance to pivot for the color, transparency and diffuse
channels on a center
disc. I also created another version of Saturn that I posted on CGSphere.com which
can be seen below.
One of the more time consuming special effects that I created for BlastOff! was the hypervoxel rocket exhaust seen in the video below. Hypervoxels
are like tiny clouds drawn around thousands of little particles
that shoot out of the engine nozzles. In BlastOff! the camera
was focused on the space shuttle bed, so I didn’t worry about
making the rocket exhaust hypervoxels dissipate realistically
and instead just had the end of the trail fade out rather quickly
following the ship, this way there were fewer hypervoxels to
calculate and render in each frame. You can use this hypervoxel
scene as a starting point for your own rocket engine exhaust
effects, and adjust the dissipation as you wish.
This complete space set with Saturn, the star globe, nebula background
and animated hypervoxel rocket exhaust as well as the CGSphere.com
Saturn are included as complete LightWave 3D 9.0 object and scene
files on the BlastOff! Special Edition DVD .
Whether you are simply interested in seeing how I made BlastOff! or you would like to make your own 3D animation,
the BlastOff! Special Edition DVD includes a DVD resolution version
of my award-winning 3D animated
BlastOff!, three additional versions of BlastOff! with behind the scenes commentaries, high resolution versions
of all the images and videos on this page, a collection of set
and prop LightWave files, additional behind the scenes content
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