A few weeks ago I found an old backup disk full of rendered frames and scene files for Snow Fall. This project had been on a hiatus since the beginning of 2009, when I began my LineWarsDS and then later that year the DSx86 x86 emulator projects. However, after finding those scene files, I decided to remind myself how far along I had gotten with Snow Fall, and to see if I would again get interested in continuing it. I worked on improving a couple of animated scenes, and then realized that my quad-core machine from 2008 is already a bit outdated, so I purchased a new 4.0GHz Intel i7 machine. It seems to be over three times faster than my old quad-core machine.
Until now I have been using my old Cinema 4D version R8, but I have been having a couple of issues with the Snow Fall "outdoor" scenes (the tumbling spaceship in space) in the R8 version. The hard shadow edges are not very smooth, and there are also issues with the "Vertical Streak" lens effect. I noticed that Maxon has released a new version of Cinema 4D almost every year, so I tested with the R16 demo version how it handles those scenes. There were no issues with the hard shadows and the lens effect, so last week I decided to upgrade my R8 to Cinema 4D R16. I am currently in the process of porting my scenes over to the new version. I will probably not port all of my scenes over, but at least the outdoor space scenes need porting.
My old outdoor scene from R8 looks reasonably similar to how it looked in R8, but there are some differences I have noticed so far:
I also decided to upgrade my final movie resolution from 1280x720 to the full HD 1920x1080. This means I will need to re-render everything, but with my new faster machine it will not take an insane amount of time. Besides, re-rendering everything gives me a chance to fix all the minor issues and annoyances I have noticed in the scenes I have already rendered.
Yet another summer vacation spent working on Snow Fall. In the spring I had purchased a new quad-core PC, so rendering the scenes went much faster than before. I also animated a couple of new scenes, so now there is almost 2 minutes of material already animated. I estimate the finished movie to be somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes long, so still a lot of work to do.
Okay, I decided to get back to working on Snow Fall during my summer vacation. I animated a couple of new lipsync scenes.
After almost two years of not working on this project, I returned to working on it. In the mean time I had realized that my original plan of rendering the final movie to 640x360 resolution would not look very good on modern display devices, so I decided to re-render everything to 1280x720 resolution. Rendering the full ship flyby scene took 3 months and 4 days to render! This scene needed 25x scene motion blur to look the way I wanted it to look.
After I had created some new scenes and animated them, I realized that the ship flyby scene I had just spent over 3 months to render might not actually fit into my final movie at all! This was pretty frustrating to realize at this point, so I decided to focus on creating some storyboards first, but then slowly lost interest in this project.
I finally figured out a way to simulate the rotation of the ship when the pilot tries to control it with the attitude control thrusters! It was actually quite simple after I figured out a proper way to use the Dynamics module. You can check out the test animation from the test renders page.
The project is progressing slowly, only about 20 seconds of the final movie have been rendered. I am in the process of animating a 40-second clip that will be the intro for the movie.