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  • Aircraft carrier at sea

    I'm working on a still showing a modernized Essex-class carrier at sea. There's few tutorials for making smoke and wakes (especially in Lightwave 2015.3), so most of this was guesswork. The ocean surface is HOT Ocean in node editor with an HDRI reflection. The current aft wake and smoke are HV's and the forward wake is a texture.

    I know this needs a lot of work but I'm at wits end trying to figure things out so I'm turning to this august group for your expert advice and direction. TIA!
    Click image for larger version

Name:	CVT-16 at sea.jpg
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  • #2
    Removed
    Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:53 PM. Reason: Bad advice.
    SpacialKatana on YouTube
    Lightwave2015.3 * i9 9900K * Win10 64Bit * 1TB WD SSD * 32GB DDR4 * Asus RTX 2080 OC

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tension69 View Post
      [IF using Lightwave]

      For the bow wake you could use particles being bounced off the bow of the ship (like in the Voyager intro when ship flies through rings) Example of what I mean:-



      Might even be worth making a tutorial on how to do it sometime in the future, it is just basic particle stuff though

      My tips:- You create a large cloud first, with no motion on the particles. Use gradients for when they are visible, distance from stern of ship. Use bounce against a simple mesh parented to front of the ship.
      Forgive my ignorance but how do you make a cloud? LOL! I tried to make one on the smokestack and it's bad (I think).

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      • #4
        Removed
        Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:56 PM.
        SpacialKatana on YouTube
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        • lexington1709a
          lexington1709a commented
          Editing a comment
          Okay. I thought I got that part with some playing around. It's not showing up but then, I didn't see the "attach 2-4 emitters to the bow" either.

      • #5
        Removed
        Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:56 PM.
        SpacialKatana on YouTube
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        • lexington1709a
          lexington1709a commented
          Editing a comment
          This was easier. Stand by for a test render.

      • #6
        Removed
        Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:57 PM.
        SpacialKatana on YouTube
        Lightwave2015.3 * i9 9900K * Win10 64Bit * 1TB WD SSD * 32GB DDR4 * Asus RTX 2080 OC

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        • #7
          Here is it right now. The bow wake isn't showing for some reason....

          Click image for larger version  Name:	CVA-16 WIP 2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.24 MB ID:	605326
          Attached Files

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          • #8
            Removed
            Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:56 PM.
            SpacialKatana on YouTube
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            • lexington1709a
              lexington1709a commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm still not getting this result. This is the first time I've done an ocean scene (I usually work in space) so I'm sure I'm missing something. Sorry for so may questions.

          • #9
            I think I’m biting off more than I can chew. Let me start with the smokestack and get that fixed, then to the bow wave. Updates coming!

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            • #10
              Removed
              Last edited by tension69; 28th May 2020, 10:54 PM. Reason: Bad advice
              SpacialKatana on YouTube
              Lightwave2015.3 * i9 9900K * Win10 64Bit * 1TB WD SSD * 32GB DDR4 * Asus RTX 2080 OC

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              • lexington1709a
                lexington1709a commented
                Editing a comment
                That’s a great help! I’ll try it soon. Thanks!

            • #11
              Let's try an update...

              Click image for larger version

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              Attached Files

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              • #12
                That's a great looking carrier!
                “My sword and my service are yours.”

                “Then forever remind him of his vow, Knight of the Old Code.”

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                • #13
                  Originally posted by Oldcode View Post
                  That's a great looking carrier!
                  Thanks!

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                  • #14
                    The wake looks good at the bow, but then it ends up looking like smoke further back. Still, an improvement; keep tweaking!
                    Those who say it can't be done,
                    should stop interrupting those of us who are busy doing it!

                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                    Other Projects

                    The Universal Joint
                    Beechcraft 2000 airplane
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                    • #15
                      Originally posted by Rigel View Post
                      The wake looks good at the bow, but then it ends up looking like smoke further back. Still, an improvement; keep tweaking!
                      Thanks, Rigel. Working on HV's for the first time.

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                      • #16
                        An update...

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	CVA-16 WIP 4.jpg
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ID:	605493

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                        • #17
                          Removed
                          SpacialKatana on YouTube
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                          • #18
                            A Displacement Map is the way to go on this one. Lose the smoke/hypervoxels (except where smoke really lives). Starships pushing dust out of the way isn't the same as displacing water - or even close. Sci-fi can make stuff up (that's the beauty of it; it doesn't have to be realistic, just pretty.) Reference material is a must when adding wakes / simulating physics like this. An aircraft carrier displaces a lot of water and the wake will look a lot different between slow and flank speeds.

                            You can use a very small particle emitter to create spray from the edge of the bow and the tops of whitecaps, but otherwise, you want the ship object to displace the subdivided ocean object as it moves across the top of it.

                            Here's a crude example I threw together a little while ago. It's exaggerated to show the effect. The round bow of the boat displaces the water ahead of it. The wave wakes trail out and the stern wake is more or less straight. Note that the white, frothy water is on the trailing edge of the waves generated along the sides of the hull. No plugins are needed, this scene is pure Lightwave3D.

                            If this is more like the effect you're after, I can try to put a tutorial together in the next few days. (I'm working on a model for 3D printing at the moment.)

                            Editor's Note: Had my first shot of coffee this morning and tweaked the wake to look more like that of a surfaced submarine. Added revised render. To pull this shot together, the ocean texture needs a lot of refining and the hull needs an added glossy layer to make it look wet, but like I mentioned, it's a quick-and-dirty crude example of what can be accomplished with a displacement map.

                            CC
                            If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                            • #19
                              Never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee early in the morning. I tweaked the ocean surface some and glossed the hull a little.

                              One tip that has served me well. Don't try to do everything at once, or you may find yourselg overwhelmed with little to show for your time but frustration, which can lead to quitting. Limit yourself to creating the best smokestack exhaust as possible before moving to the wake, etc. Create test renders and write down the settings until you get it dialed in.

                              Feel free to tweak the settings; some of my best effects were accidents I just happened to stumble upon.

                              CC
                              Attached Files
                              If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                              • #20
                                Side question: how can you adjust (as in move) UV maps?

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                                • #21
                                  Originally posted by ccclarke View Post
                                  Never underestimate the power of a good cup of coffee early in the morning. I tweaked the ocean surface some and glossed the hull a little.

                                  One tip that has served me well. Don't try to do everything at once, or you may find yourselg overwhelmed with little to show for your time but frustration, which can lead to quitting. Limit yourself to creating the best smokestack exhaust as possible before moving to the wake, etc. Create test renders and write down the settings until you get it dialed in.

                                  Feel free to tweak the settings; some of my best effects were accidents I just happened to stumble upon.

                                  CC
                                  I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at. I got that the ocean has a displacement map but do I need to physically move the carrier to get the wave? I’m a real noob at this stuff; I mostly work with space scenes so outside stuff is all new.

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                                  • #22
                                    Originally posted by lexington1709a View Post
                                    Side question: how can you adjust (as in move) UV maps?
                                    UV maps are vertex maps - that is, they are applied and positioned within Modeler (in UV space) and are locked to an object's vertexes / points. The advantage of UV maps is they remain in place no matter what the orientation of the object is. Before you can apply a UV map, (which is a 2D map) the object to be textured must be changed (in UV space) from a three-dimensional surface to a two-dimensional plane. Think of it as taking a character and placing a seam along the sides, and then filleting the character flat like you would a bearskin rug. This allows a 2D texture to be applied to a 3D surface. The object is only flat in UV space; in your Perspective view, it still appears to be (and is) three-dimensional. Picture UV space as X and Y when looking down at an object. U goes in one direction and V goes the other.

                                    The UV viewport is selectable in Modeler just like any of the other orthogonal (and perspective) views in any viewport. Working with UV maps takes some getting used to, but it isn't hard once you do, and yields superior results over standard image mapping. There are many artists who can produce nice models but hesitate to learn UV mapping, limiting how far they can progress (just like avoiding sub-D modeling). On the occasions where I've taught Lightwave to new students, I save the UV portion of the texturing instruction for last. It's very powerful - especially for organic objects.

                                    It's good that you're venturing out of your spaceship mode and trying new things to stretch your capabilities and make you a better artist. I like sci-fi as much as anybody, but what has allowed me to make a nice living (and push my skill set as a Generalist) has always been creating a wide variety of models, texturing methods, and animation techniques. If you're a hobbyist, then whatever you make is fine as long as you do it as well as you possibly can and nail the reference material. The best part of my job is creating effects I have never done before, which means a solid mastery of the tools opens up avenues where I've gotten rusty or just need to dig deeper into. The learning never ends, and anyone who claims to be an expert is full of themselves.
                                    If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                                    • #23
                                      Originally posted by lexington1709a View Post

                                      I’m not quite sure what you’re getting at. I got that the ocean has a displacement map but do I need to physically move the carrier to get the wave? I’m a real noob at this stuff; I mostly work with space scenes so outside stuff is all new.
                                      Yes. There are multiple texturing effects used for this shot, with the displacement map being one.

                                      Displacement maps are 8-bit gray scale images with 256 levels - from black to white and 254 shades in between. These levels are used to create height or depth. A solid gray image in the middle of the range would be neutral and have no effect on the mesh. By moving the position of the image on a sub-divided mesh (the ocean surface) over time, an animated surface is created. By moving the object, (in your case, the ship) in unison with the displacement map, the displacement map gives the appearance of a moving wake created by the ship.

                                      The difference between a bump map and a displacement map is a bump map gives the illusion of height or depth; when viewed at certain camera angles, the silhouette of the object's edges is smooth. A displacement map forces the mesh to move (displace) to a level dictated by the shade of gray for that vertex location on the mesh. The geometry moves, unlike a bump map.

                                      CCC
                                      If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                                      • #24
                                        Originally posted by ccclarke View Post

                                        Yes. There are multiple texturing effects used for this shot, with the displacement map being one.

                                        The difference between a bump map and a displacement map is a bump map gives the illusion of height or depth; when viewed at certain camera angles, the silhouette of the object's edges is smooth. A displacement map forces the mesh to move (displace) to a level dictated by the shade of gray for that vertex location on the mesh. The geometry moves, unlike a bump map.

                                        CCC
                                        Thanks for the encouraging words in the previous post. Since the quarantine, I've been challening myself in both Lightwave and Photoshop / Illustrator. Since I want more photos of the carrier and you can only go so far with USN Official photos, I decided to try making my own.

                                        Now, I may seem on the dense side and I apologize if I do: everything I know about Lightwave is self taught so I've learned things as I went or if I could find a good tutorial written for a Lightwave idiot (me). So, when I ask what do I need to do to make the carrier's wake as you shown, how would I go about it? Remember, I'm a complete idiot with Lightwave so please be patient!

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                                        • #25
                                          I'll see what I can squeeze in as far as creating a wake tutorial goes. I don't know if you've ever made one, but they take considerable time to make properly because you have to put yourself in the mind of the person using it who may not be familiar with the software. I've posted a couple of tutorials on this site under the Techniques and Instruction sub-forum.

                                          What version of Lightwave are you using? How long have you been using it? What is the most complex object you've created? (I'm trying to get a feel for where you're at experience-wise.) Feel free to post a couple of renders to give me an idea of your skill level. (Noob and idiot don't count.)

                                          Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have split our staff of 100 in half, with each half working alternate weeks within our three facilities. The other half stays home (with pay.) We've been told this schedule could continue until the end of September. On my off-weeks, I'm kind of doing what you are, which is knocking out as many pending projects as I can (when I'm not doing yardwork). Being self-taught is very tough. I think when I first started learning Lightwave formally, my teacher (none other than one of the greatest LW artists / teachers on the planet - William Vaughan) told us the days of self-taught CG artists were pretty much over, unless one was extremely motivated. I had a LOT of bad habits formed that I had to purge myself of right away. While there are many ways to reach the goal, there are some that are too time-consuming. CG work is a huge time-suck on a good day, so being efficient with one's time is the single greatest key to becoming a productive artist. My bad habits and complete lack of proper workflow made tasks I knock out in thirty minutes or less, (now) take a full day back then. And even then, were riddled with modeling errors I didn't even recognize.

                                          I have some reference material for the Lex in the form of an Intrepid cruise book my Dad scored while he commanded a fighter squadron aboard her. He later commanded two carriers. (I went the opposite path serving on submarines.) Luckily, both carriers are still available as museums, so there is still a lot of reference material out there.

                                          Back to work . . .

                                          CC
                                          If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                                          • #26
                                            Originally posted by ccclarke View Post
                                            I'll see what I can squeeze in as far as creating a wake tutorial goes. I don't know if you've ever made one, but they take considerable time to make properly because you have to put yourself in the mind of the person using it who may not be familiar with the software. I've posted a couple of tutorials on this site under the Techniques and Instruction sub-forum.

                                            What version of Lightwave are you using? How long have you been using it? What is the most complex object you've created? (I'm trying to get a feel for where you're at experience-wise.) Feel free to post a couple of renders to give me an idea of your skill level. (Noob and idiot don't count.)


                                            Back to work . . .

                                            CC
                                            I have Lightwave 2015.3 but have been using Lightwave for over 10 years (I think my first exposure was Lightwave 7.0 or Video Toaster).

                                            My modeling skills are nearly zero. I can do some basic things but I’m better at Layout.
                                            Attached Files

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                                            • #27
                                              Okay, thanks very much. That gives me a baseline to work from. I'll create a tutorial in LW 2015 to ensure compatibility.

                                              Looking at the two renders you submitted: Tell me what you did in Layout and what you like or would want to improve on the composition / lighting.

                                              What are your strengths in Layout? What one thing would you like to learn to take your skills to the next level? This will help me to make the most of the tutorial to help you on your way. (I assume you want to improve or you wouldn't have asked for help.)

                                              CC
                                              If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

                                              Comment


                                              • #28
                                                Originally posted by ccclarke View Post
                                                Okay, thanks very much. That gives me a baseline to work from. I'll create a tutorial in LW 2015 to ensure compatibility.

                                                Looking at the two renders you submitted: Tell me what you did in Layout and what you like or would want to improve on the composition / lighting.

                                                What are your strengths in Layout? What one thing would you like to learn to take your skills to the next level? This will help me to make the most of the tutorial to help you on your way. (I assume you want to improve or you wouldn't have asked for help.)

                                                CC
                                                I didn’t build the ship but her textures are mine, based on Russell Bailey’s Enterprise and I learned scene lighting from Antimatter. Yes, I’m looking to expand my horizons in Lightwave.

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                                                • #29
                                                  I might not've been fortunate to have been schooled by Mr Proton, but I haven't needed to be. I don't have the time to spare, but I'm sure ccclark'll sort you out.

                                                  Physical / animated wake. Don't really need a greyscale image, but it'd be better. My 5yr old daughter drew the image for me lol. Uses 2 Nulls to control wake size/area . Could be improved with H/V's for splash. Took about 5 mins to set up. That's a spaceship, not a 'boat' by the way.

                                                  Click image for larger version  Name:	wake_demo.jpg Views:	0 Size:	362.2 KB ID:	605561
                                                  SpacialKatana on YouTube
                                                  Lightwave2015.3 * i9 9900K * Win10 64Bit * 1TB WD SSD * 32GB DDR4 * Asus RTX 2080 OC

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                                                  • #30
                                                    While you can learn a lot on your own, there's no substitute for butt-in-seat formal training by industry professionals. I think on the first day of class Will said, "I'm going to teach you more in six weeks than you could ever learn in six years on your own." Judging by the homework load we worked on, he might have been right. I learned almost as much from my fellow students as I did from him. It was a terrific experience and a lot of fun with nothing to do but return to my hotel room and work on Lightwave projects. In a two-week period that marked the beginning of organic modeling, we built a hand, followed by an ear, then a head and finally, an entire character. Many of the assets created in the Modeling course were used later on for rigging and compositing. Whenever I've taught Lightwave classes, I use the same system he taught us, and can take someone who's never seen the program to building simple models, then texturing and lighting them in five days. It's pretty cool to see someone become useful with the program in such a short period of time. When I tried to learn it on my own, it took several months to get that far because I didn't know what I didn't know.

                                                    It's funny you should call him that. William always hated the "Proton" moniker and encouraged his students to avoid using anything other than their real names online. He felt that pseudonyms like, "Farenheight451"and the like didn't look professional on resumes (after all, the purpose of the DAVE school was to train students to get a job upon graduation.) I was very fortunate indeed to have him as an instructor for Block 1, and even more fortunate that my company paid for my training there. Those were the DAVE school's golden years, with Lee Stringer and Ron Thornton teaching Block 4. All are long gone now.

                                                    William is a teriffic guy who contributed an enourmous amount of knowledge and encouragement to Lightwave users over the years. He's since moved to the Modo community where he continues to train other artists.
                                                    Last edited by ccclarke; 31st May 2020, 08:06 PM.
                                                    If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                                                    • #31
                                                      Here's a quick update for the flight deck textures only at this time...

                                                      Click image for larger version

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                                                      • #32
                                                        Just finished the updated Wake Tutorial and am polishing it for release. This is the intro shot.

                                                        CC
                                                        Attached Files
                                                        If there's no such thing as a stupid question, what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

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                                                        • #33
                                                          I like the attached image. Waves and bow splash look great.
                                                          The one thing you need to get past is simply the way you think. - William Vaughan
                                                          My Photography / My 3D Work

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                                                          • #34
                                                            Smokestack and flight deck updates...
                                                            Click image for larger version

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                                                            • #35
                                                              impressive!

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                                                              • lexington1709a
                                                                lexington1709a commented
                                                                Editing a comment
                                                                Thanks! She's still a WIP though... that flight deck is kicking my a$$!

                                                            • #36
                                                              Here's another update with rough flight deck textures (what the Lexington [CVA-16] looked like in 1955) and updated smoke. Not quite satisfied with it just yet... still trying to get it more thick at the ship's stack and blend it out. Ideas?

                                                              Click image for larger version

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