Ok so over the last 2 weeks iv been neglecting my blog to attack the work in progress which I’m now in the state of mind I want to ‘throw the computer in the pond’ kinda mind frame.
I created exactly what was in the sketchs of the coaster from a side on view and modelled it out until the tracks didn’t run along such a linear fashion, however after modelling the tracks then the seats and extruding along the whole length of track to create the ride I then had to go through and manually set the car to animate around the track. So when the track rotated so does the seating. This took forever and after I got that out the way I thought it would be a lot easier from there on.
I was wrong.
From the raised bits of ground which the ride goes down in to I the inside edge to create the tunnel of which the ride goes through which I used the same technique to make as I did the track. However with my cameras linked to the seats they flowed outside the tunnels so I had to go trough and realign all the tunnels so the camera didn’t go through the walls.
Once this was all sorted I began thinking about the surroundings which would be visible. At first I thought about using an aerial photo of a theme park to give the setting it would be in however with no luck in finding any of high enough quality I decided upon it being a volcanic island but instead of populating it with trees just have it baron as I was intending it to be. With that in mind I created a plane cut holes in it for the various holes in my geometry and applied an ocean shader to it on top of this I created a sky dome and surrounded my little world with it, as well as adding various textures to the ride to give it a more realistic look.
Some experimenting with textures etc
With my island looking good I decided to attack the inside of the volcano and hunted down how to create lava had a little play as well as animating the lava to flow with the ride. I also encountered a bit of a problem with the displacement map on the lava so ended up scrapping it as the lava was intended to represent a projection encasing the inside of the volcano. I also played around with the ocean shader a bit more and for a create ocean tool so I scrapped my current ocean and went with the new one which I tweaked to make look more realistic as the colouring didn’t fit in with my scene. I had another problem with was baffling me at the time as well the lighting on my little world was not there and maya was illuminating it with an ambient light...
After much frustration and anger I discovered it to be the sky dome blocking the light out as I’d created a directional light and put it inside the dome thinking it would work light a spot light and illuminate the scene however the dome was casting a shadow over the entire scene, eventually I altered the domes settings so it didn’t fill my scene with a massive shadow than the results were much better.
I then rendered out the first part of each of the courses of the ride up until exiting the volcano top as I wanted to sort out the texturing on the island as it was a little stretched in places and I wasn’t too confident with laying out UV’s so I let it render and went to sleep. Upon checking out the finish bit of rendering there was one place in which the ride enters the bottom of the volcano and the lighting went from quite dull and blurred to bright and illuminating at the time I just put this down to the light which I’d put at the mouth of the volcano not reaching down far enough and though it looks ok like the lights not reaching down inside it.
After sorting out my UV’s I began to create a new little scene to accompany my lava projection inside the volcano. My original idea was to set a scene where a volcano would ravage a few small huts and some tropical rain forest demolishing everything in its path as it goes. However with time against me and render time being a bastard I decided against creating a small village as settled for a forest of bamboo trees. I also used my lava and created lava either side of the camera to give the feeling of being on the front line of the lava flow as it demolishes everything, which in this came were some bamboo trees which I animated to be ripped down as the lava flowed forward. With regards to the lava and its flow as the ride enters the underground part I would not have enough time to create a full on part to go with each or the courses of the track so instead I decided to create one as a kind of sample (Not rendered anything of it yet as Mayas currently rendering a load of other stuff...) When getting near to completion of this little scene I had to go to work which was a huge pain in the ass in some respects but gave more render time on the other hand.
So I set my scene to render went to work came back after a hard day’s work at 12 at night flipped some pancakes and checked my render.
To my horror the render was quite good BUT where I’d created a new ocean it cut straight through large chunks of the tunnels where I hadn’t recreated the hole which the previous ocean had in it. This meant having to narrow down on what needed to be re-rendered from what was good while what was not good enough was rendering and gave me another 5 or so hour’s work to do which coming close to the deadline was very stressful. So currently it’s still rendering with a good 143 frames still to render before I can get back on with the lava demolition scene with that needing to be finished and rendered. Also on my plate was the fact I had to sort out my sound which was giving me grief as I couldn’t render and sort out the sound at the same time, I’m also intending to go back to the main volcano scene and take some views from various angles to give the edit a more hole perspective of the ride as oppose to just a quick ride on it. And on top of that I still had to edit the bastard! And what’s more I have to work tomorrow night and I’ve got no way of getting out of it so time is precious so I don’t think I’ll be getting any sleep unless it’s while its rendering. :(