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Darkwing
All righty, I've been meaning to do this for sometime and am only now just getting around to it. As mentioned before, I am assisting with a project known as Star Trek: Red Squad. It's a 4 episode web series that is on its final episode. The basic premise is after the destruction of Romulus, Starfleet is training the cadets of Red Squad aboard the USS Enterprise (which is beginning to near the end of its tenure.) Suddenly, Red Squad is thrown into saving the quadrant from a mad man Romulan by the name of Deitrix, who is using wormhole technology to wipe out the Federation and all of its allies once and for all.

Red Squad simply started as a test sequence of animations by Chris Kroznuski (Earth Link Zero creator) a few years ago, back when he first started dabbling in 3DS Max (oh, I should mention that stuff made in Max will appear in this thread as I cannot only show you half of the project). Over the last couple of years and 3 episode later, his skills have much improved and episode 4 is branching into things not seen in Red Squad before.

As they were tests, Red Squad was simply animated using Star Trek game models and the like and lacked any sort of character, other than text typed on a screen. Episode 3 however was supposed to incorporate actual character animation and voice overs, however due to time constraints and the release date continually being pushed back, that was scrapped and voices were recorded to go over the usual text (in somewhat of a rush I should add).

This is not the case with episode 4 though! Episode 4 is still early in its pre-production phase. The script is written and I've been working on building the characters and sets. We're looking at a release date of fall 2012 for this final installment which should prove to be considerably better then the previous episodes combined!

So without further to do, pics vids and stuff tongue.gif

Episode 1: Incursion at Sagan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiOlz_FCC8g

Episode 2: Kosack's Tears
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko2v5buO6m8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvn1-e4_FuE

Episode 3: The Charge
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v9GhUFRyHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm3n9LpscwQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZOyMamq5ZE

Our Facebook Page (Please Like smile.gif )

And now for the current progress on Episode 4 and then all progress from here on in will be posted smile.gif

Stuff by Chris K:


Music is 100% original and not currently released, so please don't redistribute

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Test Render
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And now some stuff by me!

These two pics are the new logo via Photoshop, I've yet to make an AM version

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And Captain Henderson of course smile.gif



Aaand his bridge. These pics are a bit older as those forward consoles were remodeled
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Well, that's about all I can think of to show right now, I imagine there's more, but as I said, I'll be posting at least my WIP stuff in this thread from now on smile.gif
Fuchur
Cool stuff DarkWing!
I like it very much...

See you
*Fuchur*
largento
Glad to see you going for it, Chris!
Walter Baker
As an avid Start Trek Fan, can only say WOW! WOW! WOW!
Darkwing
I know, doing fan stuff of Star Trek is quite fun. Redesigning some of the stuff that's already seen in Trek is pretty cool too. Like basically, the Pegasus is a Galaxy Class ship (like the Enterprise-D) except the bridge from that galaxy class looks very...eighties. So it needed a modernization. So I modernized the galaxy class bridge to make the Pegasus bridge!

Same goes for the uniform, we're kinda treating this as our own version of the universe, so the uniform design is sort of a halfway mark between the TNG movies uniform and the Star Trek Online uniforms. In fact, here's some of the designs we went through before selecting the one you see on Henderson now!

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Click to view attachment <-- The chosen one smile.gif
Darkwing
I started modeling my face, I play Deitrix, the primary villain for Red Squad. The face has just been CFA'd, so no tweaking has been done. Due note however that I am actually a Romulan and therefore my brow and forehead are going to be a bit different (ie higher eyebrows, ridges in the forehead)

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tbenefi33
After watching the video I'm just blown away and speechless .
Darkwing
It;s quite fun watching each of the episodes because you can see where he started off with his skill and then when you get up as far as that test render, how much he's improved. The cool thing is, a lot of what he does with Max, I see as fairly easily translatable in AM, so quite a few techniques he's picked up, would work for us too. The big plus for him though is the mass amounts of free Trek models out there that he can use
Darkwing
After redoing the textures, here's where Deitrix is at so far. I'm not quite sure if his eyebrows go up high enough for them to look Romulan, I dunno, will play around a bit more before settling on a look.

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EDIT:

I'm cruising today!

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Darkwing
Ok, I have a question now, it's more directed at Robert than anyone as he appears to be our SimCloth master. Deitrix wears this somewhat long coat which will obviously have to move around like cloth. Here's the concept sketch:

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So I know with cloth that it needs a bit of distance so that it can "fall" onto the model when simulated. My question(s) is should I rig the coat or should I have it simply hanging on to the body model, with the arms fully modeled underneath?
Darkwing
And I close out the day with a teaser wallpaper!

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1600x1200

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1440x900


Also, my previous question about the SimCloth still stands for anyone willing to lend some advice in that direction smile.gif
Darkwing
And here is the first look at the leader of Red Squad, Eric Davids!

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Darkwing
Well, it only took a few years to get around to it, but we now have an actual Youtube Channel! You can check it out here

http://www.youtube.com/user/STRedSquad

Please Subscribe and/or Become a Friend of us on Youtube!

And also also, please Like us on facebook (facebook.com/stredsquad)

smile.gif
Darkwing
Here's a work in progress shot. I think I'm going to attempt to install the FACE rig on the models as soon as I get a chance so that I can pose their faces for this shot

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Darkwing
Still a WIP, I may have gone a little overboard with the post effects..... biggrin.gif

Still need to rig and pose the faces for this shot and need to fix up some of those model intersections around the neck, but tis getting there!

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PS: This is what the volumetric thread was about, so that I could implement it into this image smile.gif
robcat2075
You're getting way better at this stuff!

(I'm not sure I see the volumetric effect, however)
Darkwing
I think when I re-render it, that I'm going to enhance it more as its application is as you say, not so noticeable. Here's the original shot straight from AM:

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Paul Forwood
Yes, you have some very interesting stuff going on in here. Looks great! smile.gif
Darkwing
Thanks!
So, what do you think is better, the first one, or this one?

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Darkwing
I'll be honest, I absolutely love this visual style I have going on now!

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Vertexspline
Darkwing----simply an Amazing effort and display of skill. Very inspiring indeed to watch what you have done and worked on so hard for . The results are stellar. (No pun intended.) Cannot wait to see more as it develops! Thanks for sharing you great work.

Rich
Darkwing
Thanks! I think I should also show you guys the beautiful render Chris K did of the Enterprise (which is what was used in the Eric Davids wallpaper) as it's a very "brilliant" render in and of itself

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Zaryin
This is really coming along. I think I would try using an alpha hair image for the hair.
Darkwing
New wallpaper! Plus casting is coming along, only a few characters left!

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Rodney
Looking very very good! Impressive even. smile.gif
Darkwing
Thanks! I'm probably going to remodel the bodies and re-rig them (I know, extra time) but with the quality everything else is turning out to be, I can't in good conscious let these sub-par bodies be the final product. The bodies were originally modeled using these rotoscope drawings on this one website somebody showed me here, but I think this time round, I will attempt to take a photo and model from a photo. But we'll see how it goes! (They need real hands too).

Also, I made Hash Inc a Like on the Red Squad Facebook page wink.gif
Darkwing
Well, I've been showing you how things look on my end, now it's time to show you how things look on Chris K's end. These are two test shots that he sent me recently and has allowed me to upload here. Now I will state that this is stuff not done in AM, however, it is as much (in fact more) Red Squad than what I do with AM, so it's only fair his side of things gets shared as well, so yeah, please don't delete tongue.gif (cause they're truly amazing shots)

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Rodney
QUOTE
please don't delete.


You know... about 100 years or so ago (in the 1800s) some guy invented this thing called photo compositing. Some years later another guy used the same thing on his computer. Your project uses A:M and some images created with another program. Everyone is cool with that. The key is that your project is being created with A:M and of course that remains our focus here.

All this to say... You and Chris K should take advantage of that compositing thing. wink.gif

As for the movies... looks very nice. I like his lighting effects.
I also like how you've forced the movies into full screen mode (assuming you did that and it's not something on my end). That immerses the viewer in the imagery and... I like that.

One small critique (and it is a little one): The file size could be smaller given there is no audio in the video. It's fairly high quality so perhaps that's about as good as it gets? <insert shrug here>

Someone recently posted a link to a video utility called HandBrake. I haven't spent much time with it but I believe it'll be well worth investigating. Hey, it's free. The highest quality compression would probably set you back a few pennies.

Keep on keepin' on!
Darkwing
I use Handbrake primarily for making digital copies of my DVDs smile.gif

The reason they're so large is that they're just the raw shots in their full HD format, it was late and I didn't want to go to the trouble of compressing them further tongue.gif

As for compositing, the cool bit of it is that there is very little need for it. See everything that's being done by myself with AM, is all character stuff. So sets, characters, character animation etc. Now all of the external and VFX stuff is done by Chris K. There is some overlap due to what will be seen on the viewscreens, but overall, that's how the two will be merging together in this project! Now on the note of compositing, I believe he does that to his own shots, like what you see there is a mixture of 3ds max and After Effects stuff and he's undoubtedly going to take some of what I do and make it "look" like the rest, for continuity sake of course smile.gif We're very much looking forward to it and it'll be exciting to see what our finished product is like in a year's time!
Darkwing
Titling this pic "Red Alert." Personally, I get more and more excited about this project the more it gets worked on!

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kwhitaker
impressive work ,Darkwing. I really enjoy seeing all that's been accomplished. smile.gif
Darkwing
Thank you!

Here's something a little different for me. This is a character mask in production, except this person is actually more heavyset and I've never modeled heavyset, so it's interesting because the roundness of the face and the lacking of bone definition.

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Darkwing
Casting is pretty much over, however, the cast isn't the only people that we see. So basically, what I need, are backup faces! Just general people who will populate the sets. All you need to do, is donate 3 high res pictures of your face using the following criteria:

QUOTE("Darkwing")
First of all, what this is, is you take some pictures of yourself that then get used to model your face and texture your face. The primary purpose for this is accuracy. A hand drawn face can lack the proper variations and sizes that real photos have. The other as I said, is texturing. These maps become your model and the best way to make them look like you, is for them to be you!

What you need to do, is take 3 pictures. They need to be as high resolution as possible (6MP is pushing it kinda low as there ends up being too much granular noise which then becomes the texture and as that's not the texture of your face, then you look a little weird with pixel distortion.

These 3 pictures need to be a direct front shot, left and right shot. Try to have your face take up as much of the frame as possible, but include ALL of your head. Do not let it get cut off. Also, you should be standing as this will aid in preventing any size discrepancies between the three angles (the more they line up in the CG world, the easier it is to deal with.)

The next thing you need to note, is that these pictures should be taken several feet away. No more than 6 feet, but no less than 3. Arms length is entirely unacceptable and you will be made to redo them. The reason is because a camera uses a singular lens which is convex shaped. The closer this is to the subject, the more the lens "fish-eyes" the subject and what this results in in the CG world, is your features not lining up correctly.

So put the camera on a tripod or have someone else take the picture (or both preferably ) and use the zoom function to get as much of your face into the frame. Of course the lower the resolution the camera, the closer you will want it to be, as its zoom may not capture the facial details well enough.

Also, try to keep the lighting as flush as you can. Having shadows on your face will cause problems and too much Photoshopping on my part

Darkwing
The set for the Pegasus' bridge is beginning to near completion. Only some texturing left to do and it'll be ready!

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Darkwing
Any takers on donating some facial rotoscopes to be background people that y'know, move around, use computers and just generally populate the scenes?
Darkwing
I've been working on the lighting for the bridge. Still a ways to go, but as you can see, it's getting there!

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I think next, just for a break from modeling, texturing and lighting, I'll do a quick animated walk around. Be cool to see the camera move around the set some.
Paul Forwood
All of these interiors are superb! smile.gif

QUOTE
I'll do a quick animated walk around. Be cool to see the camera move around the set some.


I look forward to that.
Darkwing
And here's a quick, low res, no multipass walkthrough! I already noticed some mistakes in the model which I shall fix within the next week or so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttpY0jpQH98
jimd
QUOTE(Darkwing @ Oct 13 2011, 09:55 AM) *
And here's a quick, low res, no multipass walkthrough! I already noticed some mistakes in the model which I shall fix within the next week or so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttpY0jpQH98


your in danger of becoming a Guy who gets things done

Paul Forwood
Looking great!
Rodney
Bravo!

That's one of the best walkthroughs I've ever seen. Certainly one of the most entertaining. smile.gif



I must admit thought that as you put us in the elevator and the door closed I was really really hoping we'd get a glimpse at another level (I looked at the time scrubber at the bottom and thought for a moment you might go there... but that did make for a great buildup to the credits!
mouseman
Lots of cool stuff, but the camera movement was quite decent. Realistic (or at least believable) speed, and not too jerky.
Darkwing
Thanks everyone!

Rodney, a corridor is yet to be built as there is a short scene that occurs in it. In the final HD walktrhough, we'll get to see this corridor, however I have to finish texturing the bridge first before I model the corridor. But it should promise to be cool! I put a few more pics up on our facebook page (facebook.com/stredsquad) that feature high res images of the bridge and the turbolift smile.gif
Rodney
Chris,
I'm always fascinated by how filmmakers make the most of the resources they have.
In viewing a movie I try not to be too analytical while watching the first time... I just try to enjoy the movie... but at the end I'm usually left with some ideas of how the cinematics worked and the artistic flowed. Knowing full well that modelers tend to model only that which will be shown we can find ourselves unconsciously surveying the extent of 'real property' in the movie. How much of this world appears real can heighten our perceptions and enjoyment considerably... and you obviously know this and your experience shows.

Anticipation is such a wonderful thing... and as it relates to this area of concern with a viewer's impression of what is real and available to be explored in an imaginary world I find myself drawn to your idea of the magic of moving between these imaginary 'worlds'. This cinematography is an art of it's own.

For the sake of discussion (and a moments reflection of the world of Star Trek: Red Squad) I find what you have in this walkthrough works really well. There is a moment or two while looking around the deck that my attention wanders for a moment... not sure why that was but I assume there may have been distractions in my physical environment (my home). I'm wondering right now if it'd be worth to look back at the walkthrough to take notes with an eye on where those distracted momements were. My thought is that in pushing the walkthrough further this might present areas to focus on for further enhancement as you proceed to work. Given a limited time to flesh out the reality of the world of ST:RS making a few quick notations of where animated blips or even areas in the background where there is more light or shade or more detail versus little detail helps to attract our attention to where you want us to look.

My mind wanders to how this walkthrough makes for an excellent tool to help you visualize how the Actors will move into and out of scenes... so creating some storyboards from the image sequences and quickly drawing in the various Actors positions... overlaying their positions and basic poses would speed up subsequent work. Replacing those doodled drawings with renders of the characters in those same poses would make quick work of producing animatics, previz and promotional work.

With the resources you've now got working for you, you seem to be right on the edge of producing high quality content with high quantity within a framework of minimal cost and effort without the need to compromise the vision you have for your story. I confess I'm fascinated with the aspect of one man making movies at this level of quality with an added emphasis on quantity. Quality is important but so is quantity I'll call this Rapid CG Visual Prototyping for lack of a better term. Less waste means more of the work done is can be used elsewhere in the production to further enhance levels quality and quantity.

I'm rambling so I'll move on. wink.gif
I'm not really making any suggestions here, just verbally exploring the world of ST:RS. It's that inspiring.
Fuchur
Very cool!
I liked the last episode much! You are becoming better and better.

See you
*Fuchur*
Darkwing
New character after all this time! And I keep forgetting to build better hands :/

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TheSpleen
inspiring work
Darkwing
Thanks! biggrin.gif

And here's the official wallpaper with Cooper in it!

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Darkwing
So I've done some reworking of the cloth textures for the uniform, making them look more like a fabric than piece of plastic or something tongue.gif

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Darkwing
Here's a little banner I whipped together in case you're on any forums or anything and want to help support Red Squad by spreading the love!



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[url=http://www.facebook.com/stredsquad][img]http://i43.tinypic.com/1zmjhp0.png[/img][/url]
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