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Making of: Complementary Ship Sound

Flying around in a spaceship can sometimes be a little dull - sometimes you need that extra something to make it more fun.Flying a Fer-De-Lance at breakneck speed might be just the thing - what could possibly go wrong?.

This video was a lot of fun to make, but expensive in terms of in-game currency. You see, Ascorbius doesn't make a lot of money, he's not the best at.. well anything really. So putting money down and getting a Fer-de-Lance was a big deal. Still, they're a lot of fun to fly and the cockpit is enormous, which made it perfect for the shots I wanted.

The basic premise for this video is that there may be a person hiding out inside the ship somewhere making the spaceship sounds because the normal sounds are really boring. This is both a joke and praise to the in-game sounds of Elite:Dangerous which are at the same time both ridiculous and amazing. Ridiculous in the sense that in space, no-one can hear you boost... let alone anything else.

I have to give a massive shout to Matt Stone for his work on this episode. He really nailed the jobbing ship sound service provider guy and called upon his talents making silly noises to make the brilliant ship sounds.

As with all of my videos, this was filmed using the HTC Vive and the trick of re-centring the display so I can walk around my studio and get the shots I want. This is pre-2.3, so there's no supported in-game camera modes. This was just me staring at a spot for a while, then looking somewhere else for a while and recording the output. I'd then assemble the shots within After Effects.

The cockpit is so interesting, I wanted to get a tight zoom on the other locations behind the commanders chair, but there's no real way to do this apart from scaling the output image and losing quality. So instead, I increased the output resolution in the game and centred the window output within OBS. I've used this trick before on many occasions. It allows me to get much closer to the subject than the camera would normally allow.

There's an implication in the video that Ascorbius has ingested something which is making him see things.. in fact, the Fer-de-Lance is the ship of his dreams, which would explain why he's so happy flying it around some asteroids. Ascorbius enjoys mining more than combat and the Fer-de-Lance is pretty much the Ferrari of combat ships.

I wanted to show this altered mental state by using some cool lighting effects. After Effects has some really good plugins for this, they apply lens effects and really bring out the colours.

In the last scene, Ascorbius wakes up and realises that he's jumped too close to a sun, his Asp Explorer is overheating and he has to correct the situation before it's too late.

In the last few seconds of the Fer-de-Lance cockpit, you can see an excessive amount of smoke start to appear. This was done by using a tool called TimelineFx and AfterEffects' camera tracking tools. I was able to track the motion of my head in VR and then place 2d movies of smoke in the right places.

As with all things in movie making, it's all smoke and mirrors.... and a little Onion head.

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