Light / Camera Angle Info Needed for Ship Rendering

New to 3Ds Max, trying to get some ships rendered for EV Nova

I’m helping a buddy get some ships rendered for EV Nova from 3DS Max, but I’ve never used Max until now. I’d like to know in general what statistical angle the camera should be pointed and what angle the light should be coming from so that all ships are consistant.
It’s been a few years since I rendered ships in Strata 3D for STN:TFF, so I don’t remember all of the details...

Thanks!

I'm pretty sure the camera is 30° down from the Z axis (Z being depth in-game) and lighting is 45° from the positive Y axis and the negative X axis (between the two) and also 30° from the Z-axis, just like the camera. Those ought to get you close, but I too don't know the exact angles, and it has literally been years since I modeled anything for Nova.

Thanks for the quick reply, JacaByte. Hopefully I can figure out how to do that in Max. 🙂
Trying my first test on a lovely Akira class ship.

Looks about right. Beautiful shot, by the way. Excellent model.

Thanks guys, I have one other question.
We've created some .mov files for ship sprites, which we can import into Mission Computer (IIRC), we rendered the movie file with an alpha layer, will MC (or another tool) automatically detect this alpha layer, or do I need to render the ship with a 100% white glow to create my alpha layer?

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Converting 3Ds Max files to Strata 3D has proven to be a slight challenge, some models do not go through the conversion really well, I'm checking on the StrataCafe board to see if I can use a more solid format than OBJ for Max to Strata conversions. There may be some, but I might need to render a ship or two in Max - eek! I know very little about how to use Max.

This post has been edited by Highway of Life : 30 March 2010 - 01:37 PM

QUOTE (Highway of Life @ Mar 30 2010, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We've created some .mov files for ship sprites, which we can import into Mission Computer (IIRC), we rendered the movie file with an alpha layer, will MC (or another tool) automatically detect this alpha layer, or do I need to render the ship with a 100% white glow to create my alpha layer?

MissionComputer does not import QuickTime movies; you'll first need to convert it into a sprite grid using a tool like m2s. I don't know off-hand whether any of these can recognise and separate an alpha channel. Whichever way you get the mask, remember that you need to reduce it to 1-bit before encoding, as the RLE format does not support partial transparency.

It has indeed been a few years. 😮

Thanks for the reminder, David.

First of all, very nice model!

I don't think m2s creates a mask from a movie with an alpha channel(it might do a mask but not a good one), if you separate the alpha that is a different case.

What I used to do was to render the alpha in a movie itself, or if you have transparent areas make materials that are 100% white and luminous and render those in a new movie. On the mask It's nearly always better to interpret the grey areas (usually from antialiasing) as part of your object, since this will include a black line around your ship, this sometimes look weird over planets, but most of the time it keeps the antialiasing of the color image, and looks much better then the sharp transition you would otherwise get. This really does not matter unless you really want the best looking ships.

You should also render with an isometric camera or something close to isometric. A perspective rendering might look very weird depending on how large the perspective is.

Anyway, I hope this was not old news, I just remembered all the frustration I went through to get my ships looking like the originals.

This post has been edited by Modesty Blaise : 05 May 2010 - 05:26 AM

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