Working on the Downed Starship in blender 2.57 has brought a few challenges, one of them being placement of debris. Previously I used the game engine to simulate physics. however ,with some of the simulation occuring using the older 2.49 engine, parts of the scene seemed to be suffering from caching issues and for other parts were suffering from being, ‘un-modifiable’ that is, if i move an object to lay it better or put it somewhere a little different, when i hit the render button, blender resets the position of the object back to were it was in the animation.
I cant really complain since in this respect blender isnt really performing an animation, it is the game engine. I finally found a way to remove animation information, but it is somewhat tedeaous and im sure there is a better way. All you do is go to the Dropesheet and select the object, and delete the position and rotation channels. For the most part this esensially clears all the information. For my scene it didnt reset the position or rotation but left the object where it was on that frame. I should experiment more, but for my cleanup it worked out just fine.
In order to make my background a little more interesting i added a second set of mountains/hills by instancing the original background and pushing it back a little, and rotating. I experimented adding a few rocks, this looks reasonable, however I think i need to remove the texture from them as they look like sandy blobs rather than rocks.
I also used arch glass rather than the full glass refraction, this was an experiemnt to speed up the render time. I also changed the volume integrator to single over multi, and in effect boosted my render speed, from about 500S/s to 10kS/s which is nice. I had to increase the scattering scale however to get a scene similar to what i had before.
Here is the result.