Battleship / Space Battle
I built this ship shortly after watching the re-imagined 'Battlestar Galactica' series. One of the aspects I found visually interesting about the production was how the space battles where animated. I felt that (for the time) the use of shaky cam footage and crash zooms was fresh, and really gave the viewer the feeling that this was all being documented by someone actually there. The use of missiles in space was also a welcome change to the usual lasers and fancy illuminated torpedoes often seen in films like 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' (which I am also a big admirer of).
This personal project was more of an exercise in creating animated battle scenes, so using some older low poly models of ships I created years ago I set up some shots and got to work animating the camera by hand and using noise modifiers to give them some added shaky motion. I also followed a tutorial on how to use particle systems to create the smoke emanating from the missiles. I was quite pleased with the end results of the missiles and again acquired a new skill by using the tutorial.
I spent quite some time compositing the shots in After Effects using a John Knoll plug in called 'Light Factory' which allows you to manipulate lens flares (not the usual After Effects and Photoshop lens flares) and motion track them into the scenes.
I've probably gone a little overboard with the post effects, but again, this was an exercise that allowed me to learn learn new compositing skills.
Some of the images below where rendered using Mental Ray. I'd like to go back and work on the textures more and render these again with VRay. The animated space battle scenes where rendered using Scanline. I chose Scanline because of the resources available to me at the time of rendering the animated shots. At a resolution of 1080p it would have taken far too long using Mental Ray.