This film documentation was created to bring the biggest tragedy in Austrians navy history back into mind. The steamship Linz was build by the Austrian Loyd and first sailed for merchant navy. In the first world word the ship was used for transportation of all kind.
After the ship was hit by an Italian torpedo near the Albanian cost it sank in around 20 minutes. Official numbers say that there were around 1.000 people on board. Unofficial numbers speak about more than 3.000 people. The wreck was found 82 years after it sunk 45 meters deep in the sea by an Austrian group of diver.
Production time was 2 weeks. So time was really short. There were only two postcards as reference and some photos of an miniature. Pictures of other ships helped to get the right look.
NURBS surfaces were used for the ship. All parts had two different tessellation settings for near and far shots. For the whole building process, an image (constructed out of available pictures and sketches) was used as reference to build the ship. This map afterwards was the base for the texture. The texture was an simple projection over nearly all objects.
One of the big challenges was the creation of water. Because the ocean shader wasn't available for this project, I had to create my own water surface system.
The surface for the water was an highly-tessellated NURBS plane. The CVs of the plane were controlled by particles and these particles were controlled by several expression and maps. Have a look at my particle-displacement script (available under downloads) to get an idea how this works. To get settings that worked, I used an smaller plane with fewer tessellation and afterwards applied it to the higher tessellated plane. After baking the particle movement it was no problem to bake the movement of all CVs. The animation of the CVs were made for the longest shot and afterwards reused for every other shot.
I used three layers of different noise maps to create bump map. An height-dependent colour map controlled the overall look. On an separate pass I rendered things like the foam created by the ship. For this effect I used an separate material that used the same plane but with the advandage that I didn't have to re-render the water when changing the noise map for the foam shader. A lot of different projected ramps controlled the look and the animation of the foam.
Because of the short time frame, there wasn't much time for compositing. One shot needed an animated route of the ship. That was the only thing that needed more compositing work. An high resolution map was used to move an virtual camera from the home port to the point were the ship sank.