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Thread: Having trouble with a nice-looking starfield for animation

  1. #1
    SFM Nugget andar_b's Avatar
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    Having trouble with a nice-looking starfield for animation

    I've noticed that even at high resolutions, Blender's stars can look pretty decent until the camera is animated, at which point they begin to flicker in and out of existence, I assume they're aliasing between the rows and columns of pixels.

    The only solution I've found provides a satisfying result is to use big stars, but then you have big blobby stars.

    I recently found the suggestion of using a simple sphere as a particle and creating a large emitter, but even with blur and anti-aliasing it didn't seem to be an improvement. I might could make a skymap to wrap around the scene in a giant sphere, but I haven't had good results in the past. I was also considering to add stars in After Effects but that would add the complexity of camera tracking and more compositing and blech.

    Any suggestions? Google-fu has only found me dozens of posts about how Blenders stars work, or don't work, but no solutions to the problem.

  2. #2
    Meeoooowwww..... IRML's Avatar
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    uploading your renders would help

    there's not much to offer here, rendering with motion blur and sufficient aa should be all that's needed for good stars

    using a sphere and an emitter won't make any difference, the environment map can sometimes be better but that's because the stars are lower resolution and therefore blurry, which is basically the same as your big blobby stars

    the only other thing I can suggest is to export motion vectors and apply the motion blur to the stars in post, I do it a lot with pretty good results
    I pity the fool!

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    SFM Oracle Chris2005's Avatar
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    I tend to have the same problem in 3ds max... using the built in starfield feature... for lower motion shots, I just use 3ds max rendered 2D starfield in AE, add a motion tile to it, so it's tiled, and then I just key frame the position... however, for more high motion scenes, I use the free plugin for 3ds max called Ky_Milky Way... much more feature rich than the stock starfield feature in Max... though with small stars, it does tend to flicker as well, in which I make the stars brighter, but I only use it high motion shots, so they tend to get motion blurred out so they don't flicker as bad... I also have used composite textures in 3ds max for starfields... using the Cellular texture fine tuned... I made a video tutorial for how to do it in Max, albeit unscripted so I babble, lol. Perhaps, you can use a texture map instead...

    Quote Originally Posted by IRML View Post
    the only other thing I can suggest is to export motion vectors and apply the motion blur to the stars in post, I do it a lot with pretty good results
    You wouldn't happen to know how to do that in 3ds max or explain how it's done in LW that could be translated to Max... because I can add motion blur in post using a velocity pass for a ship/object, but I've not yet figured out how to do it for a background that uses maps...
    Last edited by Chris2005; 4th May 2012 at 21:55.

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    SFM Nugget andar_b's Avatar
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    Derp, never thought of applying a motion blur to the stars. lol Good tip, it seems to be working for now, though my render isn't done yet, a short batch of frames looked ok.

    The problem with blurry stars, IMO, is that they tend to be quite dim. I'm trying to get adequately bright, non-flickering stars in a Standard Definition animation render. I think the most recent test looks decent. Will youtube it.
    Last edited by andar_b; 5th May 2012 at 18:21.

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    SFM Oracle Chris2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andar_b View Post
    Derp, never thought of applying a motion blur to the stars. lol Good tip, it seems to be working for now, though my render isn't done yet, a short batch of frames looked ok.

    The problem with blurry stars, IMO, is that they tend to be quite dim. I'm trying to get adequately bright, non-flickering stars in a Standard Definition animation render. I think the most recent test looks decent. Will youtube it.
    Yea, I wonder how they generate starfield's for the TNG remastering, as some of the shots don't have the same star pattern as the original version of the shot... all these 3D software packages and I can never find a good star tutorial for any of them, that turn out of the same results as seen in scifi shows and movies...

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    SFM Nugget andar_b's Avatar
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    It's actually kinda funny to watch the transition from the stars in the solar system shots to the ones where we see the Enterprise in the remastered preview I saw. They go from being pretty flat like a texture, to having parallax as the Ent seems to move. It was just odd the first time I noticed it. Particularly when the camera flies by Saturn. :O

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    SFM Oracle Chris2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andar_b View Post
    It's actually kinda funny to watch the transition from the stars in the solar system shots to the ones where we see the Enterprise in the remastered preview I saw. They go from being pretty flat like a texture, to having parallax as the Ent seems to move. It was just odd the first time I noticed it. Particularly when the camera flies by Saturn. :O
    I noticed it in the SD version as well, just the low resolution made it hard to notice...

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