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Space ship blasting off.

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Scott O'HaraSpace ship blasting off.
by on Jan 18, 2012 at 3:38:49 am

Hey all,

My bro and I have used FCP for years, and done our own props, etc. Just now trying to learn AE and implement that into it all. We have a space ship and I want to animate it blasting off. I'm trying to find the best way to do this because it's for somewhat of a job, but I'm feeling the pressure because I've used after effects for a couple weeks but I need it to look really good for this. Anyway, what's necessary to pull this off? Trapcode particular? Anything else? Should I be taking bits of tutorials like those for a meteor, others for fire, etc. to put them into a space ship launch?

Thanks for the help.
Scott


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Space ship blasting off.
by on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:30:31 am

What kind of ship? How will the launch look like? Is it a space shuttle/NASA kind of take off or more like the Millenium Falcon out of Mos Eisley? Do you have a storyboard? Are you shooting a real life model and then adding fx, or is it a 3d model and you will animate that and add fx?
There's quite a few unknowns - give us more detail and you will get better feedback.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Scott O'HaraRe: Space ship blasting off.
by on Jan 18, 2012 at 4:30:45 pm

So the space ship picture I attached. It's about as big as a garbage can.. actually made out of one. I'm removing the fiber optic cables on it and were going to stand it upright, kind of like the moon landings and we'll have it blast off like that. There's three rocket engines that will ignite (least that's what we want). Now since its a real life model I'm really not sure how this should be done. Are these still pictures that will be animated for the best effect or should I shoot the video over a green screen, etc. The plan was to have the real life model and add the effects for lights, rockets, smoke, and show it shooting into the sky.

Sorry for coming off as such a newb... but I am with the computer effects.



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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Space ship blasting off.
by on Jan 19, 2012 at 7:49:50 am

Unless you have a crane that can lift up your ship model and then you can speed up the footage, you will need to shoot on chroma (green screen). How you can do it and make it fit the perspective change as the ship goes up, is to create a rig that can rotate the ship slowly in front of the camera. So if for the beginning of your shot you see the ship straight on, as it will start to go up and the camera that shoots the background will tilt up to follow it, you will need to simulate that in front of the locked down camera from the chroma shoot by rotating the ship model towards the screen. If the camera in the final shot is supposed to tilt up almost vertical, then your model needs to be rotated 90 degrees towards the screen so that you can see the underside.
As far as vfx in post:
You can combine various techniques and tutorials.
I would use these three:
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/smoke_trails/
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/blast_wave/
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/energy/

You will need a 3d tracker, like Camera Tracker from the Foundry, to match the live camera with the AE camera.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Scott O'HaraRe: Space ship blasting off.
by on Jan 24, 2012 at 8:17:43 pm

Thank you Ted. I'm going to give it a shot this week and see how it goes.


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