Flying MTA Subway Car

Been working for a few days on this shot tracking a flying MTA subway car over the manhattan skyline.

I made a similar shot earlier this year (https://www.instagram.com/p/CL4nUsBJENT/) but there were a few things lacking from that shot that I’m trying to get out of this new project.

  1. Create an animation that has better still moments: A lot of my animated projects really don’t have many ideal freeze frames. It makes it hard for posting to websites like these.
  2. Engine heat distortion
  3. More realistic camera: a few people criticized my previous shot for having ungrounded camera movement/positioning (which I actually mostly disagree with) but this go I might play around with that.
4 Likes

Got the animation mostly blocked out today


Still minor tweaks to be made (not happy with the beginning of the pan – can’t see enough of the hudson river/central park).

3 Likes

Made a small amount of progress this week. Added traffic on the primary ave. Fixed a few buildings. Still working on the lighting/backplate. The lake is now too bright. Need to reduce motion blur at beginning.

Have had initial success creating a new aerial backplate from taking a regular aerial photo and scaling/translating it on the Z axis.

Finally worked on giving the train some thrusters. I like the look of them, but they’re BARELY visible. Gotta work on that some more.

3 Likes

Just about done with the lighting


2 Likes

The “anti-gravity” thrusters have been a pain in the ass to figure out.
My target has been this image of a “plasma engine” (source unclear) that seems to be all over the internet

I rendered out a sim through Embergen starting with the “torch” preset, reducing it to a single flame, and then dialing in the fuel rate and temperature.

I attached that volume to all of the thrusters and rendered out the emission pass. Compositing has been nothing but a series of shots in the dark trying different blurs, displacements, and glows to just make it generally look “not awful”

4 Likes

Oh wow, brilliant shot! How did you go about generating the cityscape?

Very cool animation!

How did you create the city-scape? Was it modeled, or something else?