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Announcing Macross Aria: a CGI fan film project


chillyche
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If any beginning to intermediate level modelers are interested, we have some less complex modeling tasks which we'd like to put people on.

These are a couple of said tasks:

GU-11 55mm Gatling Gun Pod

55mm Shell Casing

VF-4 Semi-canonical Gun Pod

UMM-7 Missile Pod (Hasagawa or DYRL version)

Underwing Pylon for UMM-7 Missile Pod (Hasagawa or DYRL version)

Zentraedi Missile

Nousjadeul-Ger Rifle

Here is an example of a completed asset, the RMS-1 and pylon.

RMS-1_toon6.jpg

RMS-1_side.jpgRMS-1_top.jpg

RMS-1_front.jpg

Most of the detail is in the texture (plates and rivets) but any larger details (indentations, protrusions) are modeled. The low-rez version is under 1200 polys, the hi-rez version is 4100. Our primary concern is that models look good, we're not concerned with gaming levels of optimization, however, given the complexity of Macross dogfights, smaller missiles and projectiles ought to be fairly economical in their use of polys.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was messing around with a sketch that Cannon_Fodder had sent me and decided to do this. Obviously it would be cooler if it featured our mecha, but I'm having a hard time with Vinnie's VF-4... my file seems to be corrupt right now. Maybe now that he's back stateside, he might update the thing?

post-7376-1293051938_thumb.jpg

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I was messing around with a sketch that Cannon_Fodder had sent me and decided to do this. Obviously it would be cooler if it featured our mecha, but I'm having a hard time with Vinnie's VF-4... my file seems to be corrupt right now. Maybe now that he's back stateside, he might update the thing?

I have the original

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Cool poster. Thanks for sharing that. For christmas, I got something to record music onto. Not a mixer, but kinda a home recorder of sorts. I'll be sending over some files for more sample stuff for possible more music next week sometime. Till then, Merry Christmas all. See you guys soon.

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Cool poster. Thanks for sharing that. For christmas, I got something to record music onto. Not a mixer, but kinda a home recorder of sorts. I'll be sending over some files for more sample stuff for possible more music next week sometime. Till then, Merry Christmas all. See you guys soon.

Awesome. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas and Deculture Kwanzaa...... :p

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Okay, since I'm giving the live action project grief for not being more open...

Presenting the cast of Macross Aria as drawn by Cannon_Fodder674 and colored by me. This is a flats version, meaning they're not shaded yet. WIP.

charasheet220101230b.jpg

I'd just like to note how happy I am with the jumpsuits. For Aria, as a fan production, I wanted to be very faithful to the universe, faithful to canon, but still be able to create something new. I wanted to maintain the classic look of DYRL while modernizing it slightly. Aria takes place between 2014 and 2015, so conceivably, the uniforms HAVE changed. But I also wanted to reconcile the design of DYRL which is often considered canon with the more realistic design found in Macross Zero. When we started, there were very few images of Macross: The First circulating, other than Hikaru's revised flight suit, Minmay's dress, and Misa's uniform. In a way we had the same task -- modernize, update, synthesize, while maintaining respect for the original. I'm impressed by how the M:1st designs incorporate both SDFM and DYRL style cues, but I really like our more M:0+DYRL+CF674's imagination look.

Edited by chillyche
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Okay, since I'm giving the live action project grief for not being more open...

Presenting the cast of Macross Aria as drawn by Cannon_Fodder674 and colored by me. This is a flats version, meaning they're not shaded yet. WIP.

charasheet220101230b.jpg

I'd just like to note how happy I am with the jumpsuits. For Aria, as a fan production, I wanted to be very faithful to the universe, faithful to canon, but still be able to create something new. I wanted to maintain the classic look of DYRL while modernizing it slightly. Aria takes place between 2014 and 2015, so conceivably, the uniforms HAVE changed. But I also wanted to reconcile the design of DYRL which is often considered canon with the more realistic design found in Macross Zero. When we started, there were very few images of Macross: The First circulating, other than Hikaru's revised flight suit, Minmay's dress, and Misa's uniform. In a way we had the same task -- modernize, update, synthesize, while maintaining respect for the original. I'm impressed by how the M:1st designs incorporate both SDFM and DYRL style cues, but I really like our more M:0+DYRL+CF674's imagination look.

I absolutely love the suit designs. They look like they have real world application, and make sense, and they aren't skin tight, which is one thing I don't like seeing when watching some sci-fi anime. It's one thing that Mikimoto did very well, was designing suits and outfits that made sense more or less. It's good to see the tradition carried on in this fan project.

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I absolutely love the suit designs. They look like they have real world application, and make sense, and they aren't skin tight, which is one thing I don't like seeing when watching some sci-fi anime.

I was very determined from the beginning to make sure these things felt like real fatigues, to give them zippers, pockets, rugged boots. But maintaining those Macross shoulders was crucial. Cannon_Fodder took my descriptions and really nailed the suits. He also took the initiative and invented the "bomber jacket" that The CAG and Alex are wearing over their jumpsuits. Very cool. I made the shoulders on those yellow as an obvious link to the flight suit shoulder pads. The color schemes are directly taken (slight RGB value differences, of course) from DYRL. The Apollo Squadron logo is actually canon, appearing in the SDFM PS2 game. Fun fact, though, the CAG does not fly with Apollo, but rather with Rapier Squadron, and therefore he actually needs a new logo. I was sort of hoping I could get some MWers to come up with some designs for the other squadrons' logos and paint schemes.

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I was very determined from the beginning to make sure these things felt like real fatigues, to give them zippers, pockets, rugged boots. But maintaining those Macross shoulders was crucial. Cannon_Fodder took my descriptions and really nailed the suits. He also took the initiative and invented the "bomber jacket" that The CAG and Alex are wearing over their jumpsuits. Very cool. I made the shoulders on those yellow as an obvious link to the flight suit shoulder pads. The color schemes are directly taken (slight RGB value differences, of course) from DYRL. The Apollo Squadron logo is actually canon, appearing in the SDFM PS2 game. Fun fact, though, the CAG does not fly with Apollo, but rather with Rapier Squadron, and therefore he actually needs a new logo. I was sort of hoping I could get some MWers to come up with some designs for the other squadrons' logos and paint schemes.

If you want, my wife is a graphics designer, and I am familiar with various squadron logos, so if you wanna give us some time, I can see if she would like to come up with something. Let me know if there's anything specific you want, and do you want a hi or lo res version? You can let me know here or pm me, or through the aria site. I'd love to take a crack at it.

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If you want, my wife is a graphics designer, and I am familiar with various squadron logos, so if you wanna give us some time, I can see if she would like to come up with something. Let me know if there's anything specific you want, and do you want a hi or lo res version? You can let me know here or pm me, or through the aria site. I'd love to take a crack at it.

The CAG flies with the Rapiers. We also have a squadron that figures prominently in the 2nd episode, Phoenix.

As far as design rules... well, Apollo has a pretty basic looking logo. As does Skull. It's possible that there is a more detailed crest somewhere, but for simplicity's sake they use the readily identifiable icon-type logos on planes and badges. I dunno. It might be cool to see a more complex logo, but I wouldn't want to upstage the Apollo logo, which is the primary squadron of the game. That doesn't give you much to go on.

Who knows, perhaps we have to update the Apollo logo, while maintaining the essence of its design? Sort of the way the SMS Skull is a reference to the original Skull, but with more elements and colors.

Incidentally, though it might not even make sense, I wanted the UNS ARMD-08 Pegasus to have a logo that was a valk girl (like an actual valkyrie, but with hints of the VF) riding on a pegasus. I thought that would be cool.

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Cast looks amazing! the suit design really shows too,very good and I cant wait to see them in action. :D

The poster looks great too,I wonder tho,this is just my opinion,the tag line could have the present and future swapped so its more 'past/present/future'

'Sing for the past,Live for the present,Fight for the future' I think it rolls off the tongue abit better. :)

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The CAG flies with the Rapiers. We also have a squadron that figures prominently in the 2nd episode, Phoenix.

As far as design rules... well, Apollo has a pretty basic looking logo. As does Skull. It's possible that there is a more detailed crest somewhere, but for simplicity's sake they use the readily identifiable icon-type logos on planes and badges. I dunno. It might be cool to see a more complex logo, but I wouldn't want to upstage the Apollo logo, which is the primary squadron of the game. That doesn't give you much to go on.

Who knows, perhaps we have to update the Apollo logo, while maintaining the essence of its design? Sort of the way the SMS Skull is a reference to the original Skull, but with more elements and colors.

Incidentally, though it might not even make sense, I wanted the UNS ARMD-08 Pegasus to have a logo that was a valk girl (like an actual valkyrie, but with hints of the VF) riding on a pegasus. I thought that would be cool.

I'll start working on it tomorrow, see if my wife can help out and get something to you.

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,I wonder tho,this is just my opinion,the tag line could have the present and future swapped so its more 'past/present/future'

'Sing for the past,Live for the present,Fight for the future' I think it rolls off the tongue abit better. :)

You, my friend, have noticed something that's been bothering me for a bit. As you point out, going in chronological order of past/present/future is the smoothest way to present the tagline. However, one of the central themes of Aria will be "living for the present" which is why it is presented as the final directive there. One would assume that the big fight is the fight for the future, and while that is the big external fight, I think the bigger, internal fight if you will, is to be here, now. I dunno. I'll mull it over, because I agree that the bam bam bam quality of past present future is a lot stronger.

Truth be told the tagline was invented for our project launch teaser, way back in late 2008, which really had very little content. It was designed just to get people excited about the prospect of working on an original piece. Maybe I'll post that thing someday.

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, folks, go here to get a look at Captain Rafe Townsend:

Rafe_Suit_WIP09_assetProfile.jpg

Go here for a turn around animation.

Rafe_Suit_WIP08.jpg

This isn't a final production model, but it's close. I have yet to UVW map the fella, and once I have, I'm also going to be adding some detailing like folds and wrinkles in the clothing. Currently, the material of the glass on the helmet is not rendering the lines through, so I have to figure out what that is (I'm using a map type that is specifically for seeing lines through a transparent material, so it should work).

This is the first complete character model based on Cannon_Fodder's new designs.

Edited by chillyche
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  • 2 weeks later...

Now with texture mapping! And something weird happening with the lines through the helmet (note the moments where it loses transparency). It also takes about seven times longer to render those lines through the glass, so, obviously I'm going to have to come up with a better solution.

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Yeah, for some reason the glass turns opaque at that point during the turn (which is looped which is why it happens every time). Im not sure if that's just a glitch or some sort of angle-based limitation. More testing is required.

Next he goes into mudbox to get some wrinkles and folds in that suit. Then I have to figure out whether to then make a low poly scoot based on the folded high poly model or to just always use the high poly model with no turbosmooth modifier, or to use normal mapping (which won't cause any ink lines to be rendered but will allow for shadows).

Any other modelers wanna weigh in? Are your models using smoothing modifiers at render time, or have you smoothed them in the sculpt?

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Hey folks. I've been on set this month so I've really slowed down on the modeling. This movie is bonkers, by the way, and weirdly enough, features aliens and music saving the day. That's all I can say, but it's VERY different from Macross (or RT for that matter).

You've seen progress on the Rafe Townsend model and flightsuit. And the jumpsuit is probably half done. The wrinkles are really giving me some challenges,conceptually,

but I just have to sit down on the weekend and figure it out.

I'm really excited to rig this guy up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

So, we're getting ready to do another issue of Mercury's Word, to provide more back story for Macross Aria, and expand this often unexplored time in the Macross universe.

Since it's been a while since the last release, I thought I'd bump the thread, remind everybody of the site (http://mercurysword.macrossaria.com), and most of all, invite people to participate.

We're looking for a few more writers to help flesh out this particular issue.

Mercury's Word is a fictional, in-universe publication tailored for the crew of the ARMD-08 "Pegasus" during its assignment as part of the newly formed Eden Colony Fleet (SCG-004). Essentially, MW (coincidence?) is an aggregated news source, pulling relevant articles from other publications and journalistic sources, so while some articles are written by MW staffers, others are taken from Amalgamated Press, Popular OverTechnology, Deculture! Daily, Eden Times, etc. Of importance to pilots and other crew of the Pegasus are stories about UN Spacy, Culture, and Science/Technology. Pop culture is huge, although, out on the frontier, it's possible that some are exploring alternative and more underground forms of music. It's only been a few years since the armistice, and human and zentraedi alike are learning much about each other, about protoculture, and about the mysteries of the galaxy, so there's something exciting a new in the science/technology news just about every day. Having just settled Eden, there are still many ecological and biological surveys under way. Meanwhile, short range scouts, and the first long range colony ship, the Megaroad-01 are discovering new wonders across the galaxy. Finally, though SW1 has been over for nearly five years, the UN Spacy is still engaged in operations around Earth and Eden and in other, less known locales. New hardware is being introduced, and old technology phased out.

If anybody is interested in writing some articles to be included in this issue of Mercury's Word, or any future issues, let me know, and I'll tell you what we're looking for (there are a few specific articles we'd like to see, and room for things we haven't thought of yet) and we can get to work!

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, after a long hiatus of real life stuff, I'm back, and I'm back in 3ds max. I'm doing the 9-5 thing until August (well, 10-7 really, with that stupid 45 minute commute on either end), so it won't be the crazy hours of on-the-set life, but more like a normal working stiff. In addition, my girlfriend is out of town all summer, which means I'm gonna have to do something with my free time, and why not freaking get back to work on this thing.

Aztek and Doc G and Rod and Dan and DatterBoy have been posting again, and these guys are like the heroes of Macross Modeling to me (all we need is JayLew to show up), so I'm inspired to get back on my game.

The goal is to revise our protagonist, Alex Yokohama in the next few days, and present her, alongside her beau, Rafe Townsend.

Meanwhile, I'd like to make another recruitment request. The Macross Aria team is awesome, but from time to time one of us falls off the map to move, get a new job, get married, get deployed, get our stuff stolen, you name it... so I welcome fresh talent, fresh faces, and people with varying skill sets. Come on over and join the party!

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