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Jutland WIP.... need advice!
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mabrown



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 30
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:58 pm    Post subject: Jutland WIP.... need advice! Reply with quote

Hi everyone!

I'm working on a new scene and I want some advice before the placement of things is cast in stone. Here is the test image so far .....



The image is meant to represent the battlecruiser engagement at Jutland around the time HMS Indefatigable was struck.

So, I need historical critiques (and artistic ones too.) In particular, what should the arrangement of battle flags and flags in general be? Is a large white ensign and Union Jack on the main mast required/appropriate? If so, should the Union Jack be in the superior position?

All the best, all comments greatly appreciated :D

Mark Brown


Last edited by mabrown on Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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tone
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot make out any flags on the main mast there, nor distinguish the one(s) on the foremast. I think in this case, however, if you mean to depict Indefatigable, that you don't want the national flag but the naval jack at the prow.

Did you look up the bearings and ranges (certainly longer than depicted?) I could do that I think.

tone
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mabrown



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tone wrote:
I cannot make out any flags on the main mast there, nor distinguish the one(s) on the foremast. I think in this case, however, if you mean to depict Indefatigable, that you don't want the national flag but the naval jack at the prow.

Did you look up the bearings and ranges (certainly longer than depicted?) I could do that I think.

tone


Hi Tone! How are things in your part of the world?

I don't have any flags on the main mast at this stage. My thoughts related to main mast battle flags are that I should place at least a large white ensign and possibly a large Union Jack on the main mast. I don't know which flag should be placed highest on the mast. My thoughts are based solely on some paintings I've seen on the web and the following link.... http://www.gwpda.org/naval/s0600000.htm

In particular, the following....

"11th January 1916. Back to the Union Flag with the White Ensign."

I'm thinking Union Jack uppermost with White Ensign below.

In relation to the foremast, that's a rear admiral's pennant from memory. Would such a pennant be flown in battle? Also, will have to check who was onboard at the time! I'm assuming New Zealand was directly ahead of Indefatigable???

Regarding the prow, I'm quite confused regarding flags flown there. Every photo I have seems to indicate a Union flag flown at that position, with the white ensign at the stern, except in relation to Australian ships which have the Australian national flag at the prow.

I can't find any photos of ships in battle which are flying a flag at the prow at all!? I'm also uncertain as to whether the white ensign is flown at the stern in battle, or replaced by the larger flags more conspicuously placed on the main mast. Very confusing!

On top of all this, I would love some signal pennants up there for a splash of colour but have no idea what would be feasible/correct and how/where they should be placed.

I would love to hear your thoughts on bearings and ranges. I'd like to be reasonably accurate there also, although that will have to work in with my "artistic" (!???!) wants too. I want to be able to see those German ships :)

All the best,

Mark
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tone
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mabrown wrote:
tone wrote:
I cannot make out any flags on the main mast there, nor distinguish the one(s) on the foremast. I think in this case, however, if you mean to depict Indefatigable, that you don't want the national flag but the naval jack at the prow.

Did you look up the bearings and ranges (certainly longer than depicted?) I could do that I think.

tone


Hi Tone! How are things in your part of the world?

I don't have any flags on the main mast at this stage. My thoughts related to main mast battle flags are that I should place at least a large white ensign and possibly a large Union Jack on the main mast. I don't know which flag should be placed highest on the mast. My thoughts are based solely on some paintings I've seen on the web and the following link.... http://www.gwpda.org/naval/s0600000.htm

In particular, the following....

"11th January 1916. Back to the Union Flag with the White Ensign."

I'm thinking Union Jack uppermost with White Ensign below.


Personal accounts of the Grand Fleet (at least) indicate that the ships wore a great number of flags, without regard to standard practices. I'd have to check to find this for the type. The intent was to avoid friendly fire.

Quote:

In relation to the foremast, that's a rear admiral's pennant from memory. Would such a pennant be flown in battle? Also, will have to check who was onboard at the time! I'm assuming New Zealand was directly ahead of Indefatigable???



Yes, if there were a RA aboard, but there was not, as Pakenham was in New Zealand ahead.

I have a print of a well-regarded Jutland painting by P Dixon depicting the 5 BS. Each ship flies 3 large flags of the type I believe is called a naval ensign (white with red cross with Union Flag inset in upper left quarter): one each at the head of the fore and mainmasts, and one on a stub mast abaft the main. The last ship in the line has a Union Flag flying awkwardly just over the compass platform, in advance of the foremast. Signal flags are visible being raised or flown to/at the fore yards. The prow of none of the ships is visible owing to mandated plumes of spray and flash in paintings of this type!


Quote:

Regarding the prow, I'm quite confused regarding flags flown there. Every photo I have seems to indicate a Union flag flown at that position, with the white ensign at the stern, except in relation to Australian ships which have the Australian national flag at the prow.


I woncder is it possible the practice changed some time since WW1? The St Barbara men made this abundantly clear that I had the wrong flag at the prow. FWIW, as I may use all the wrong language (knowing squat about flags), I had the flag that was white with a red cross and the red white and blue union flag inset in upper left. So, maybe now that I think about it they were saying the flag you show was indeed the correct one.

Checking a handbook here, I see that they do not even outline the various British national/naval flags... supposedly because everyone KNOWS this (which I do not!)

Correct any mistakes here if you would:

1. Union flag == the jumbled Red White and Blue busybox
2. The Naval Jack == the white field with red cross (AKA the Admiral's pendant)
3. The Naval Ensign == the Naval Jack with the Union Flag inset in upper left quarter
4. The Red (Naval?) Ensign == ??? no idea

Quote:

I can't find any photos of ships in battle which are flying a flag at the prow at all!? I'm also uncertain as to whether the white ensign is flown at the stern in battle, or replaced by the larger flags more conspicuously placed on the main mast. Very confusing!

On top of all this, I would love some signal pennants up there for a splash of colour but have no idea what would be feasible/correct and how/where they should be placed.


If you can pick a moment in the battle, I could attempt to look up a hoist Indefatigable might have been answering at the time. I suppose a good, pregnant moment would be just before her loss?

Quote:

I would love to hear your thoughts on bearings and ranges. I'd like to be reasonably accurate there also, although that will have to work in with my "artistic" (!???!) wants too. I want to be able to see those German ships :)

All the best,

Mark


Pick yourself a moment in the battle you want to depict and I'll see what I have. You've already proven yourself expert in digesting whatever information you find. I'll just try to find more, and offer an interpretation that may or may not be "right".

tone
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maxyang



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not much into the flags. :oops:

The rendering is nice, I like the effects very much. How you do that?

Max
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mabrown



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tone. Thanks for the detailed response.

Quote:
Yes, if there were a RA aboard, but there was not, as Pakenham was in New Zealand ahead.


The ship in the foreground is intended to be HMS New Zealand with Indefatigable astern so I guess the flag there will be OK although it is pretty hard to see anyway.

Quote:
Checking a handbook here, I see that they do not even outline the various British national/naval flags... supposedly because everyone KNOWS this (which I do not!)


I don't know this stuff either. All I can do is guess and I just know that someone, to whom this really is self-evident, is going to tell me I got it wrong, long after I've gone too far to do anything about it!

Quote:
Correct any mistakes here if you would:

1. Union flag == the jumbled Red White and Blue busybox
2. The Naval Jack == the white field with red cross (AKA the Admiral's pendant)
3. The Naval Ensign == the Naval Jack with the Union Flag inset in upper left quarter
4. The Red (Naval?) Ensign == ??? no idea


1. Correct I think. Also the "Union Jack" I thought but a page I read says that refering to it as that isn't OK! Perhaps it's only a "Union Jack" when it's on a ship? Specifically a naval ship??
2. I had to check wikipedia for this. Apparently, "In the Royal Navy the Union Jack at sea serves both as a naval jack and as the rank flag of an Admiral of the Fleet." Hmmnnn...
3. It would appear (wikipedia again) that the "naval jack" is the Union Flag as mentioned at 2. The Naval Ensign is I think as you stated... "(wikipedia) The White Ensign (correctly the St. George's Ensign) consists of a red St George's Cross on a white field with the Union Flag in the upper canton." Jeez, your not even supposed to call it a white ensign!
4. I thought this was purely a merchant flag but then that link I posted regarding the battle flags says "November 1914. Changed again; the Red Ensign was to be the additional flag." !!!

There's a book in all of this for sure.... "Naval Flags Through History" or something :!: I'd buy it :lol:

Quote:
If you can pick a moment in the battle, I could attempt to look up a hoist Indefatigable might have been answering at the time. I suppose a good, pregnant moment would be just before her loss?


Yes please! Given that I've got NZ up front a signal from her would be very useful too. How does all that work? Would NZ have been relaying Lion's signals back to Indefatigable?

Who would have thought a discussion about flags would be so interesting? (to me at least :lol: )

Mark

PS, I looked up Mr Dixon on the web. Lovely pictures, just the sort of thing I'd like to emulate. Couldn't see any pics of the one you have though. Do you know of a web link? I also really like the ones by A.B. Cull and W.L. Wylie.
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mabrown



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Max. Great to hear from you.

Thanks for the kind words. It means a lot coming from you as your work is one of my favourites.

The effects were all done post process in various paint packages. You'll be pleased to hear that they were very easy to do and require only free software. The explosion was done using the ULead Photoshop compatible Particle plugin here:

http://www.ulead.com/download/freeparticle/download.htm

It can be a little awkward to use due to a very small preview window, but I don't know of anything else quite like it.

After applying the explosion's "flames" I lit them up using Serif's free PhotoPlus 6:

http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/PhotoPlus/

It is a very useful piece of software. It has a feature which allows you to place lights in a scene (either candle or spot.) You can adjust the position, intensity and rgb values of your lights. I placed a candle light, suitably orangy, at the base of the flame and another, less intense, slightly further up. Gun flash was achieved using some red "smoke" I made in Inkscape (another cool free app) on which I applied another Serif light, this time a spot. You can adjust the width and direction of spots so I aimed the light in the same basic direction as the gun.

I'm less happy with the smoke. I have to find a way to do that. Also, I think my water spashes are terrible. They were also done as Serif spot lights, this time white with a lower intensity. They barely work far off. They look awful up close.

Oh, and the render was done in the excellent free Kerkythea renderer.

There is a lot of really good free software out there.

All the best,

Mark
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mabrown



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot, I also used the very cool (and you guessed it, free) DreamyPhoto Photoshop plugin by Auto FX to soften the image:

http://www.autofx.com/freeplugins/dreamyphoto.asp?id=7

Mark
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jwduquette1



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark:

Your art work looks great. Very talented.

Are the ships depicted on the horizon representing the German battlecruiser line?

Best regards
Jeff
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mabrown



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeff. Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm really enjoying doing this image. It is much more fun doing something based on real events.

jwduquette1 wrote:
Are the ships depicted on the horizon representing the German battlecruiser line?


Yes, the line of ships is meant to be the German BC's. I only had a brief look at a map to determine placement of those so any crit's are much appreciated. The model used is a very low detail one I found on the web of SMS Seydlitz. I will probably replace it with a low detail model (models) of my own before final render, if I can find the time (even low detail models take a lot of time.)

I have some technical problems with the placement of the German BCs. My model of the Indefatigable class is incomplete (and likely to be so for some time to come) and I am limited to an image which is roughly from the angle it is now. To get the German BCs in shot, they are probably not accurately positioned. They are also probably(?) too close. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

All the best,

Mark
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tone
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd think none of the details of those ships could be discerned even at the close range you show them in this render. I bet you could show them from another angle, and swap in a 200 poly Titanic model and no one would ever know!

tone
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jwduquette1



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perspective and range estimation from photos is sort of interesting. I had studied this in regards to various photos taken during the battle of the Denmark Straights. A German photographer – as probably most folks know – recorded much of this battle from his vantage point on the Prinz Eugene. The photo below shows Bismarck at a distance of about 2500meters (give or take 10%) from the photographer on Prinz Eugene. We knew the camera type and focal length so were able to determine an RF (photo scale factor) with reasonable accuracy.





This photo is taken by the same fellow and same camera – but represents a refueling drill between PE and Bismarck some days before Denmark Straights. The distance in this case is less than 300m and probably more on the order of 150 to 200m.



This one is sort of interesting as it gives a good sense of the size of the water columns thrown up by larger caliber shells. This is HMS Centurion being used as a target ship during some sort of gunnery drill. No idea as to distance between observer/photographer and the Centurion.



My point is sort of vague I guess, but I am interested in the range between the German BC line and the British BC line, and how the German ships might appear at this distance relative to the “camera” angle you are employing in your depiction. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not be critical of your work. It looks great. And my questions are not directly related to your own request for information in this thread. But, I’m interested from the perspective of simulation development. Moreover how does one develop a sense of size and scale for distant objects if one were piecing together a computer sim on Dreadnought battles?

Best Regards
Jeff
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jwduquette1



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This perhaps a better direct perspective of what I am sort of driving at. What is the distance between photographer and the ships on the horizon?


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jwduquette1



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tone wrote:
I'd think none of the details of those ships could be discerned even at the close range you show them in this render. I bet you could show them from another angle, and swap in a 200 poly Titanic model and no one would ever know!

tone


yes -- exactly. this is what I am trying to get at.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry -- I am perhaps being overally "twitter-payted" by this thread. But it is of interest to me. Anyway this is one of the "Run to the South" situation maps from "Jutland, The German Perspective" by V.E. Tarrant.

I'm not sure exactly where on the German paths their ships would be in relation to the Indefatigable at this moment in the battle. I'd guess the German BCs to be somewhere within the arc of scales I layered onto the map at about the time of the explosion. Assuming that I'm guessing correctly, than the distance looks to be anywehere from about 8.5 to 9 nautical miles -- or about 15750-meters to about 16700-meters.

The situation map is also interesting as it shows wind direction, and the direction of the sun or the light source direction at this time in the battle.


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