Bringing DC Rivals HyperCoaster to life: docoaster's 3D rendering
Village Roadshow Theme Parks joined forces with Parkz member docoaster to develop stunning 3D renders of Movie World's DC Rivals HyperCoaster. We had a chat with docoaster to discuss how he brought the monumental roller coaster to life.
In late March, a video took the Parkz forums by storm: a very realistic guess of the layout of the (then unannounced) DC Rivals HyperCoaster based on the array of hundreds of foundations that had appeared months prior.
It wasn't just theme park enthusiasts that noticed the video: Village Roadshow Theme Parks saw it too and set into motion a project that culminated in the beautiful 3D rendered trailer that was unveiled on 5 June.
Parkz member docoaster worked closely with the Art Studio department at Village Roadshow Theme Parks to deliver the final product, which truly went viral. The trailer has now been seen million times across Facebook and YouTube and it was featured on news broadcasts around Australia.
We had a chat with docoaster to find out more about the exciting project.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Dominik. I grew up in Germany and live in Austria now to study mechanical engineering. I will graduate this year. Roller coasters have been a very important part of my life since I was a child. In 2009 I became a member of the German "Coasterfriends Club" which gave me the chance to travel around the world to visit theme parks. Since then I've been on 550 different roller coasters.
What is your background with NoLimits?
Actually it was RollerCoaster Tycoon it all started with. The game that I believe every theme park enthusiast knows and loves. But I was allways looking for more realistic roller coaster simulations and that was where NoLimits got me. It must be at least 10 years ago when I first played the original NoLimits roller coaster simulator. Since then I have created hundreds of rides and gotten better and better with it.
Have you ever worked on any other real-life NoLimits projects with theme parks?
I hadn't worked with a theme park before though I had an internship at Maurer Söhne (today Maurer AG). I was fascinated to see real coaster manufacturers use NoLimits to create sketches of new roller coasters.
Have you ever used actual plans to build a ride in NoLimits? Is it more difficult than designing a ride from scratch or based on photos?
There are two ways I use NoLimits. A lot of my creations are completly from my mind with a little inspiration from real rides. That's what NoLimits is absolutely perfect for: starting on a green field and building whatever you can imagine!
But I also try to recreate real rides sometimes. In most of these cases I try to figure out layouts of upcoming rides which have not been released at that point of time to get a feeling for it and create some POV footage or similar.
What was it like working with the team at Warner Bros. Movie World and Village Roadshow Theme Parks?
I was very excited when I received a message from John who told me that he works for VRTP. They needed me to sign a confidentiality agreement. I felt very honored and proud that my work was recognised by the actual creators of this attraction and even more when getting involved with the detailed plans for the new hypercoaster.
Since there was a close deadline set for the project I got into frequent correspondence with the VRTP creative team and spent every spare hour I had on my first official NoLimits project. John provided all the resources I needed which made bringing the coaster to life a great pleasure. In the end we checked off all of VRTPs requirements and decided that the simulation was complete and ready for video shooting. I couldn't wait for the public release of the trailer and to hear all the reactions.
You had already designed a great guess at the layout for DC Rivals HyperCoaster which you based on photos and satellite imagery of the construction site. Did you use this as the basis of the final product, or did you start from scratch?
I used the same environment to build the coaster in but created a completely new track forming the layout. I kept my old design in that park too, to have the possibility of a comparison. After that I updated the surrounding area and added a couple of objects to make it look more realistic.
Dominik's original creation guessed at the final layout based on photos and satellite imagery of the construction site.
Your design for VRTP's official video featured a lot of custom elements such as the backwards facing rear seats, the "double spine" track used in high-force sections and the large Joker face over the top of the lift hill. What was involved in including these realistic touches on your finished design?
NoLimits gives you the opportunity to import almost any 3D object but you have to convert objects to the right file format and always keep an eye on textures etc. Luckily the car objects were provided by Mack which saved me a lot of time. Replacing the original NoLimits generated train by the custom one was the most time-consuming task I would say. Another complex job was to define the camera positions for the POV perspectives.
Other objects like the station and background buildings I created myself using Goolge's SketchUp.
Having ridden 550 roller coasters, what do you think of the layout of DC Rivals HyperCoaster?
The new HyperCoaster includes all the elements a world class coaster needs in my eyes. What I expect of a hyper coaster is a great use of the speed that the first drop generates and that's what DC Rivals will do. I love the many airtime moments and the whole bunch of fast twists. The ride will go full speed from first drop till final brake and won't give you time to take breath. I honestly see this ride within the world's top ten roller coasters and it has the potential to be the best hyper coaster ever built.
Were you surprised to see elements like Mack's first non-inverting loop on DC Rivals?
Yes I was. As you have seen in my first guess on the layout I expected the ride to have three inversions. I thought we'd see at least the regular loop in there. I have to admit that I'm very happy they decided to build a non-inverted loop instead. It will generate a unique ride experience and even more airtime.
What do you think of the large Mack Rides coasters in general?
I haven't ridden Flash, the only Mack Rides hypercoaster so far, but I've had a lot of rides on Liseberg's Helix – one of my all time favourites. The overall quality of the ride is outstanding. It is perfectly smooth and the comfortable seats make the experience even better. Helix has some intense elements but does not overstrain your stomach. I think that applies to any of the Mack mega and launch coasters and will also on DC Rivals HyperCoaster.
How do they compare to B&M or Intamin, who are traditionally the leaders when it comes to large scale coasters and hypercoasters?
Looking at the quality of the rides they all play on the top level today. The main differences can be found in the way coasters are designed. It is always hard to tell which of these styles is best because personal preferences play a big role with it. On the one hand I personally love the smoothness and elegance of a B&M and on the other hand I love the pure thrill an Intamin coaster provides. Mack finds its place somewhere inbetween these two. They delivered great enjoyable "family thrills" but now also brought up some coasters that feature serious thrill elements and forces. There are still mainly B&M and Intamin in my top ranking but I believe the only reason is that there aren't as many modern Mack roller coasters operating yet.
Do you think you'll make a trip to Australia to ride the DC Rivals HyperCoaster?
Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to visit Australia before and the country is on my must see list for a long time now. Seeing such a great coaster beeing built there is making me even more wanting to jump on a plane and travel to the gold coast. I actually have the idea of a trip to Australia in 2019 but time will show. Until then you can be sure that it makes me jealous not having this ride here in Europe.
DC Rivals HyperCoaster is currently under construction and is due to open at Warner Bros. Movie World in late 2017.