This project was inspired by a lot of the fpv flying I have done recently. I wanted to create something that tried to convey fun playful energetic feel of flying in the air.
I used Cinema 4D as my main tool for creating this project starting with the drone model which was based from my personal favorite one(that currently isn’t working of course).
In addition to modeling the drone I also went the extra step to make the propellers actually spin the way the would in real life. This was just a side personal exercise I wanted to try to see if I could do it via expresso inside of C4D. It took me a while and doesn’t show up in the animation since everything is moving too fast but I posted how it works on my instagram.
The city was a free download from 3docean that was the initial jump off for this project. After building my model I then figured out how to procedurally create the city using mograph in c4d. Allowing me to randomly place and distribute the city buildings. I didn’t use all of them in the pack but the most of the taller ones and few shorts ones. I added in some small parks to break it up a bit and to have some low flying action.
I wanted the whole project to be a bit more stylized and not super realistic so I went with the sort of low poly style which I think worked well and adds a fun feel to it. Also low poly is slightly easier to work with though the end it took decent amount of time to get it feel right.
After getting the look down I proceed to make the path that I wanted to fly the quad. My process for this to start in park and just places instances of the quad though out the city of the path I wanted it to take, pretty much blocking the path out as I came across the next building. Most of the moves are I’ve seen various popular fpv/drone youtubers do.
After laying out the path, I actually typed up an outline of the path so I could remember what moves I actually wanted to do, while labeling them in c4d as well. Then I made a spline path in c4d for the quad to follow.
My first path of animating it was attaching the quad to the spline but it felt too much on rails(which is was, the spline). So I ended up animating the whole thing by hand. I think the end result turned out pretty good though I still notice a few unintended extra moves I could have smoothed out. Some I left in since it seemed a bit more realistic or how I would try to recover from a move.
Before rendering it out I had the idea to add in some 2D effects to spice it up a bit. I have some 2D flash effects and thought I would composite them into the project in post in After Effects. But I didn’t want to have to export extra 3D data or do a lot of masking in AE.
So I rendered out png sequences of the effects and placed them in c4d on planes and other simple shapes and timed them with the quads moves. It came out pretty though I had to remember to turn the effects off after the animating other wise it would show up as black over other parts even if it had alpha at the end.
The final render time was probably around 15 hours between my two machines not included some re-renders of a few shots I messed up on. Also had to fix one shot that I messed up an an effect that a friend noticed.
After doing a bit of compositing in After effects I rendered out the 6 camera shots and the main First person view from the drones perspective and edited it all together in Adobe Primer Pro and added the final look. I did the final sound design in Audition. Overall it took me about 40 – 60 hours to complete over a 2 weeks though most of it was completed in the final week.
Some sound effects from freesound.org