Animation Challenge 20 - Waves [animation] [Update Again8/8]

Hi all! I have been working hard to learn the animation system so far, and I noticed the animation challenge #20 was themed “Waves”, so I figured it would be a great way to learn quickly (crash course methodology :wink: ).

So, I am a bit of a newb with animating, and figured this should be fun. I know that there will probably be a million entries with ocean waves ala Cog, but I had to give it a try anyways:

Opening scene (1.2MB)

There is more to follow this, and I am pretty finished with the scene overall. I was just looking for some feedback to see if I am heading in a good direction, or if i am just barking up the wrong tree altogether…

As a side note, I just realized that this render does not have my tiller in it (stupid… forgot to turn on that layer).

In particular, I am looking for feedback regarding the lighting. The environment will have some storm clouds, and the lighting is supposed to be a full moon clear over the ocean.

Originally I just had a single light source, but after rendering the boat and occupant was cast in heavy dark shadows, plus there was no definition on my sail (the “other” wave per the theme, though i think it may be lost on most…). So, I added a lamp to help fill in a little bit of the scene without detracting from the overall lighting mood. Hopefully it is just enough to fill out definition of the sail and occupant a little.

Also, there is a small lamp in the boat (the orange light), but I am not sure if I like it or not. I kind of like the contrast of color and drawing the eye to the solitary passenger, but i’d like to hear what you all think.

I know its dark, but the next scene has the camera approaching from the front of the boat and drawing up close to a view of the occupant from the waist up to setup the tension for the scene (in case you haven’t guessed it yet, a large tidal wave…).

Sorry this is so long!

[edit] And i am sorry i forgot to turn on AA for this render also.
AND there is going to be a couple of more “luffs” of the mainsail to add a bit more dynamics to the scene…

I think you’ve done an excellent job so far. The boat and sail movement are very realistic.

The waves are very good as well. However I think the camera could do with some more movement, although it’s a fine line between whether the camera is on a boat or static.

Perhaps you could have a cube follow the motion of the waves and parent the camera to that. A lower influence on the camera would calm down any sea sickness that might appear if I’m wrong.

The marble texture you have on the water could do with more movement in it’s animation. There’s a section of the texture on the right of the camera that doesn’t look quite right to me.

The lighting works well, although how bright can a moon be on a stormy night. Have you tried AO to boost the shadowed areas you mentioned?

Besides my comments, very, very impressive work.


Amazing, finally someone has answered me! Thanks Sonix!

I have a small update here:


I had already incorporated most of your comments in this new version.

The camera is moving along with the underlying wave motion a little more now, and the marble texture now moves a bit faster, along with the nor map texture for the surface of the water.

i put a small lamp on the boat with the character, and a lighthouse in the background.

i think i am about ready to call this one finished, and to get working on finalizing the middle and last scenes for this.

i’ll post the middle scene a little later today…

There is a shadow on the water that goes towards the moon (the wrong way) and from the looks of it all the way to the horizon. The shadow that goes away from the moon (correctly so) is great except for a few frames when the ship is going up a wave, the shadow really sticks out which looks unnatural. Usually shadows in water from that angle of the light you actually view into the water a little bit (so we would see that part of the boat underwater). If your trying to keep it simple I would just turn off shadows, or put the lights and the boat into their own layer and have the shadows effect only that layer.


Thanks, but I am not sure which shadows you are referring to?

the lighting on the scene has a single spot approximately where the moon is, a smaller fill light on the upper right to give some light to the sail and occupant, and the lamp in the boat.

I can’t get a screenshot, something odd with media player, but the shadows are very noticable when the boat leans from one side to the other. There are shadows on both the port and starboard side of the boat. The port side should have no shadow at all. The starboard side has a shadow that isn’t as noticable until the ship is going up that first wave and it leans. Both shadows I’m speaking of are on the water, created by the sail.

really nice. i have made simmilar water, and i think it would look better if the normal map were more dynamic. instead of just moving just x and y, have you added a z motion? what this dose is change the shape of the normal map.
you can see what i mean if you look at the specular hilights on the bottom of the screen moving left.
i hope you can understand, and that this helps.

that is a thought, for sure pseudonym! i hadn’t thought about playing with the z-axis at all on it, but i may try it for another render.

i had just about called the first scene finished, and am rendering the second scene now to see if i like it.

then its on to the final scene.

running out of time, and i still need to get the audio mixed in for it :slight_smile:

i’ll render a couple of tests with the z-axis motion and see how i like it. Thanks!

just be carefull not to add too much. i did that once, and the watter looked verry hyper. %|

okay, so i spent some time learning the sequence editor today, but i am just about out of time… :frowning:

i have other things to work on, so i have to call the animation section done. I will be muxing in audio in the next day or so to finish it up in time for the challenge deadline.

Here are all 3 scenes after running it through the video sequencer:

Full Animation, No Sound

LOL! That was funny! I was just expecting the same scene as before. I like the additions. Cool!

hi pld. I’m aware the challenge has been and gone, but I’ve only just seen this and wanted to say that I found it very entertaining - especially the bit where he inflates his lifebelt. That was a moment of genius. Although ‘simple’, it was a very nice piece of animation / story-telling imo.