A remote exploration mission dives in to the depths of an ancient structure...
Inspired by real-world remote exploration (Curiosity Rover, Rosetta space probe, deep sea ROVs, etc) and archaeological ruins of past civilizations here on earth; this short sci-fi narrative details an unmanned scouting mission into a massive structure found lurking beneath the surface of a distant planet.
Got a bit busy with work/holidays, but here is some more progress, been modeling and texturing assets, piecing together the shots. For the drone I took inspiration from a real-life exoatmospheric vehicle that has hover capability, seen here in this declassified footage:
To replicate the hovering movement in Unity, I created a script which tracks a transform's movement delta. When attached to the thrusters, it fires effects if the facing direction of the thruster would contribute to the movement delta or if the thruster would need to cancel out gravity.
I also used Keijiro's Klak to add some procedural noise to the drone's transform, the general goal was to make a smart-rig which keeps the drone's animation simple. I think this could be taken further with a rigid body constraint to loosely follow the animated transform and give better sense of weight to the movement.
For creating the drone and other assets I have been using Modo and Substance Painter.
TIP!!! Use a Control Track in a master Timeline to drive sub-timelines of individual sequences
Currently blocking out the shots using Timeline / Cinemachine, the main focus is to get the composition and pacing right.
I tend to do a few thumbnail sketches first, but I've been finding it is great to directly feel out the shot using Cinemachine.
I put the Post Processing stack into a grayscale mode so that I'm only having to think in terms of value at this stage.
Once all the shots are blocked in, the next step will be to go through and call out unique assets, material reference, etc...
TIP: If you're animating placeholder objects that you plan on replacing later with detailed assets, use empty dummy Transforms and animate those, so that the replacement asset can be parented, tweaked and offset without editing the keyframes.