I wanted to do some kind of real view, as though looking through the eyes of someone standing at the scene of the downed starship. This presents a few issues, scale, focal length and getting the materials and volumetrics to behave. All this within blender 2.57!
I spent some time modelling a helmet, this was a challenge for me but rewarding none the less,
One helmet, as you can see i placed the camera inside it, the focal length of an eye is somewhere between 17 and 24mm however for a camera this doesnt appear to give the same sense of peripheral vision. So i made it shorter to get more of the scene in.
The next part is working out the reflections for the inside. Now i did a number of test renders with glass and the number of reflections where minimal, this is good you might say, as a helmet would hope to reduce the number of reflections as not to confuse the user. And you would be right… however, to have zero reflections is also not in my opinion realistic and takes away from the fact it is an inside helmet view.
I thus added a mix material of glass2 and a 1%mirror and tested that. I also placed a mesh face inside the helmet. As you can see the face is placed far far far behind and not exactly where the real viewing place would be. again, this will need some moving and adjusting.
The last thing i tried was to make a HUD, in order to have some kind of computer overlay to the scene, im not sure i like this but will at least keep it there for the time being.
The last point to make is the volumetrics,
I initially had problems that the volumetrics would be reset when the light passes through the glass of the helmet… that is, the scattering simply would not be there and it would be perfect daylight outside. It appears that if a volume is planar and thin, then this can happen for a scene like this because of rounding errors and the step size of the volume. In total i had to use a thickness of 0.04 using the blender solidify tool, which is somewhat unphysical, but i will look at that later.
Here is the resulting 10hr render
As you can see i dint play around with all the materials this time, because im in blender 2.57 i have to rework all the materials. I think i need to raise the scattering a little bit, but other all, it isnt too bad a progression. The soil needs better detailing i think, probably a displacement map or higher bump map.