New Short: The Cruel Sea

Hi all,

I have entered the CGTalk FXWars! Ocean Challenge which has a very short deadline. While I have been posting works in progress there I thought elYsiun members might be interested and anyway it’s a good way of drumming up support for when the voting starts.

This is the last character that I needed to model before animation could start. Rigging tomorrow and later some more detiled material settings but that’s for the final render. The short that I am producing is based on a Buoy a sea mine, and a storm in the ocean. The entry for the challenge will be a trailer for the short that will be completed for the Blender conference later this year.

I will be publishing progress on the challenge via my website, but I will also try to keep this thread going as well. I have 2 weeks to animate and about 11 days to render (that’s very tight even for a trailer). However, I am creating a 6 Linux PC render farm that will be working flat out for every hour of those 11 days.

I also intend to produce a making of training CD, or DVD, which I hope to have ready by the Conference. All the blend files and textures will be made Open Source although I will have to make some charge for the CD video trainer.

Anyway, enjoy.


Looks superb, Cog! I am a big fan of your website and especially your water tutorials. Keep up the good work! 8)

water tutorials? water tutorials? what water tutorials??? :o Can you give a link?? That water looks superb indeed!

The wonderful water tutorials are at Cog’s website. (see his sig)

Hi all,

Thanks for all your kind words. Still work to do however:-

[!] interaction of the buoy with the water

[!] rain

[!] spray

[!] dynamic wake

[!] and lots more.

How am I going to do these things? Well for some I haven’t the faintest idea yet, but when I do it will go into the training video. I’m being chased by the clock one of the best incentives around.


:o :o :o :o You are the GOD of WATER :o :o :o :o :o

Great work, Cog! That’s the best water I’ve seen you put out yet.

For some time now that in my Blender vocabulary “Cog” stands right next to “Sea”.
Those water tutorials rule. I’ve been thinking of adapting your techniques, adding the use of real ocean pics to some of your texture layers, for 3D stills.

Lookin’ good!

Thanks AntiChrome,

It gave me great pleasure creating those tutorials. I am glad to hear you are thinking of adapting the textures I described. Mixing real ocean pics with the shading technique is an interesting idea. Colour matching might be difficult but I suspect you will achieve good results.

Please let me know how you get on.


Cog: It took me a while to put my finger on it, but the static camera in the animations seems unnatural. Some camera motion might add to the illusion that the scene was shot from a boat in the open sea, rather than from a pier or rock.

Otherwise I think your work is outstanding. Best of luck in the competition, and thank you for promoting Blender this way.

Hi CD38,
You are absolutely right, camera movement places the viewer in the ocean. Pardon the pun. I’ve already done some test shots with camera movement which help a lot. At the moment I’m trying to tie down general movement or motion of characters. That’s quite hard because displacement gives no direct feedback, other than by full rendering. So its necessary to do lots of hand animating. I need to concentrate on that because I have a very short deadline if I’m going to get the thing rendered, composited and edited by the 24th March. However, I might have the chance of dropping a few pre-finished shots here before then.

Thanks for your support, and when it’s time I’m sure you will vote for both Blender and the best entry to the competition. By the way I’m not the only Blender user in the CGTalk FX:wars Ocean competition. Lindsay Kerr aka RedSquirral is also taking part.

Thanks again.


cog I am GLAD to see you here! I love your ocean work.

ok im done with the fanboyism.

Is the model done? or are you still adding detail to it? like rust and what not.


Great sea! :smiley:

Hi Enriq766,

Glad to be here to. I think this time it should be fanBUOYism :wink:

It’s finished enough for animating. I have actually added some more detail since the last render. I have increased the thickness of the bell hamers, which while they were accurate for this type of buoy, looked kind of weak. I also had some bad vertices in the cleats (help I’m not that nautical really). You can see if you look close that there were some dark patches on the cleats in the render posted earlier. Double vertices were the problem which stopped CTRLN from correctly forcing normals to the outside.

There is also some additional modelling or rather skinning required with an armature because the boy changes shape during the short. More on that later.

In terms of the shader there still is quite a bit to do but that can wait until I have the animation sorted. So I will be pre-vizing the production before I finalize those details.


You sure do like them Seas. See ya, Neptune.

Actually, Earth Fire and Water. It’s all the elements just that at the moment I have been concentrating (on the forums) on water.

Lot’s of work on the other elements has been happening over the period but not yet time to share. But it will be.


In that case, I’m going to hold my breath until I see how you achieve fire :slight_smile:

For goodness sake breath, breath. Phew it could be months away.


Cog, your seascapes are amazing to me. Ever since I saw Perfect Storm I wanted to make a ship being thrased about on the ocean. I feel confident about making the ship, but a little lax in the area of making seascapes. I tried your tutorial, the one where you duplicate and mirror the sections of the sea so they fit together. They fit together, but when the waves fall in the middle, there is a sharp edge at the seams between the “pieces” of the ocean. Was I supposed to join the sections and remove the doubles? This may be the wrong place to ask you this, and if it is, I apologize.