Now that ST:R has been released, I can show off the cutscenes here. These are some of my best FS work. The techniques I learned here will help make the rest of the Cutscene Upgrade Project even better.
Originally designed by Galemp, I was asked to finish rendering the scene for him because his computer was going to take something on the order of 10 months. After reviewing the scene and trying to increase the quality, I chose to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. The Vasudan skeletons are Galemp's model, but everything else was redone. One of the more difficult aspects was creating a sand/dirt tile texture that looked great closeup, but also looked workable far out. I didn't want it to look too much like a tile. It still does at a certain point, but the compromise worked out in the end, I think.
This is based loosely off of a concept animation that Vasudan Admiral sent me. I had to create new techniques for damage lightning, atmospheric burn (of which I think could still be better... but what are ya gonna do?), hull damage per turret blast, etc. Vasudan Admiral was key in getting models and textures for the Hades in various states of it's destruction. The space scenery during the monologue also proved to be quite a challenge, but I think it turned out great in the end. Dan Wentz wrote a custom music track just for this scene and it works brilliantly.