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Author Topic: New Film Project...  (Read 25116 times)

Feb 27, 2013, 09:51:38 PM
Reply #30 on: Feb 27, 2013, 09:51:38 PM
Looking forward to updates!

Mar 02, 2013, 04:07:05 AM
Reply #31 on: Mar 02, 2013, 04:07:05 AM
Initial teaser delayed, due to some a few green screen technical issues.

On the other hand, teaser has been improved by an alternative work-around method for the same shot. >:D

Mar 02, 2013, 04:23:44 AM
Reply #32 on: Mar 02, 2013, 04:23:44 AM
Image mattes, Xeno! Image mattes!  ;) :laugh:

Mar 03, 2013, 01:56:39 AM
Reply #33 on: Mar 03, 2013, 01:56:39 AM
Slight update:

Using ice to try and get the right light refraction is frustrating when you're up against the time limit of melting!

First footage for the teaser now works and is usable. Going to take some more when it gets light. Without spoiling anything for what might turn out to be a certain blink-and-you'll-miss-it live-action image, it needs some better highlighting of the surface texture. Looking like a media student project is precisely what I want to avoid. :)

Apr 03, 2013, 05:00:25 AM
Reply #35 on: Apr 03, 2013, 05:00:25 AM
Quick update: The last month has been rather hectic for me, with a combination of a move of residence and some other stuff, but now I'm (mostly) settled into the new place and have got Internet back in full, this project is continuing. 8)

Apr 03, 2013, 05:36:52 AM
Reply #36 on: Apr 03, 2013, 05:36:52 AM
f**king f**k yes!

Corporal Hicks
Apr 14, 2013, 06:27:38 PM
Reply #37 on: Apr 14, 2013, 06:27:38 PM
Eagerly awaiting more footage.

Apr 29, 2013, 09:28:27 PM
Reply #38 on: Apr 29, 2013, 09:28:27 PM
Put some non-Alien visual stuff in the Fan Art section (nothing which will end up in this, although, was done in the course of experimenting with renders), but, man... This project would come along so much quicker if I could find some user-friendly advice on how to transfer Poser figures into Daz Studio! Trying to find out how is what's been taking me so long.

If anyone out there has experience in that, send me a private message. :)

Anyway, work continues apace...

Apr 30, 2013, 12:08:38 AM
Reply #39 on: Apr 30, 2013, 12:08:38 AM
With Poser, I just render stuff out as it's own element then comp it over backgrounds created in 3DS Max.

Apr 30, 2013, 01:32:29 AM
Reply #40 on: Apr 30, 2013, 01:32:29 AM
Experimental results:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Not the planned final look (and doesn't have the advantage of a background or shadows), but shows good promise for the atmospheric tone this requires.

GAH! YOUR AWESOMNESS HAS RENDERED MY MIND BLANK! What software are you using? For modeling and animation and all those layer effects.

May 01, 2013, 03:38:36 AM
Reply #41 on: May 01, 2013, 03:38:36 AM
Finally figured out how to import the Alien to Daz... >:D

Only problem is that a Daz import demands 'hardware assisted' renders to show the Alien's textures. Which would be great, except that the textures of any surrounding environments and interacting characters end up looking crap. >:( Trying to sort out this annoying problem with the model's creator.

If all else fails, I'll just have to do two entirely different renders and then combine them with some creative editing.

GAH! YOUR AWESOMNESS HAS RENDERED MY MIND BLANK! What software are you using? For modeling and animation and all those layer effects.

I was using Poser 9 for animation and rendering the basic images (which were then run through various filters), but that's going to take way too long unless I get paid for it. It has some very decent tools, but I think a motion comic style is now going to fit this project better (with music, sound effects and vocals, like a radio play). I was hoping to stay with Poser because camera angles and lighting effects are more intuitive, but couldn't import the assets I needed. Have now switched mostly to Daz Studio 4.5.

Modelling the basic CGI scene is only half the story, though. Lighting is a big part of generating the right visual mood and I use a whole host of different applications to achieve that (mostly on the iPad), which I then mix, match and render in different combinations. Depends on what's needed for an individual scene, really! I might use stuff from one application, pass it over to a second, then use a third or more to refine something, then go back to the first ones. When this is all finished, I'll do a behind-the-scenes thing explaining what was done and why (if I can remember enough :)).

Some of the details on the Alien are actually a little basic and not nearly as biomechanical as, say, Locusta's incredible attention to detail, which means lighting is even more important here. Basic principles of Ridley Scott's use of lighting on the physical sets is basically the same as for virtual ones - except you get better post-production control over these and it costs nothing to reshoot. :)

I do lament not having Locusta's stuff to work with, though... Absolute best I've ever seen. Not just for the Alien, but the egg, facehugger, Giger architecture and even that Nostromo floor section they did. Stunning quality.

May 01, 2013, 08:26:37 PM
Reply #42 on: May 01, 2013, 08:26:37 PM
Alien texture problem is now gloriously fixed. Specularity was at fault.

Need to spend some more money on some extra virtual sets, clothing and styles of hair, then I'm pretty much set for basic rendering. Now I've got the Alien problem sorted out, I can breeze back over some tutorials on Daz Studio lighting and I should be back in business.


May 09, 2013, 02:01:28 AM
Reply #43 on: May 09, 2013, 02:01:28 AM
Rendered a publicity poster (composed completely as a CGI model/set, complete with lighting). New spin on a classic image...

Did play around with smoke/fog and 'spilled' lighting effects on the classic 'tear', but removed them because they were creating problems on other parts of the image.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 02:18:13 AM by Xenomorphine »

May 20, 2013, 01:20:56 PM
Reply #44 on: May 20, 2013, 01:20:56 PM
"Xeno, where have you been? What's happened to your film? Why did you taunt us and then scurry away with nothing more to show? Do you like killing our dreams on purpose? Is that it?"

All questions I can hear you asking and which you're probably not. Regardless! Here's an update:

Teaser video is still happening, but rather than just going ahead with what might be something sub-standard, I've been spending my time getting to properly learn how to handle Daz Studio, now that I've transferred to that from Poser. That's what I used to produce the egg poster, up above and, having now got to grips with the way it uses lighting, I can say it's well worth it.

With that change, however, comes the definite decision of this being a motion comic, rather than CGI animated. Not only would it cost a small fortune to get the expansions I'd need to make it look satisfactory, but it would eat massively into time. Rather than faff around like that, I'd rather spend the time trying to render some awesome-looking still pictures, instead of take a risk at producing something potentially... Not nearly as good.

Maybe for the future!

Bad news... The software which I had been planning to use for the 'motion' side of the motion comic process, doesn't work on Vista. Arrrrrgh! Didn't realise it at the time, which means I've spent more money than I should have done on a product which I won't be able to use until getting Windows 7 or up!

Sooo... Instead of the funky-looking reveals, panel animations and more, which I was hoping would make this look properly unique, I'm going to have to resort to the relatively simple techniques available through conventional video editing. Siiiiigh... But at least it's still something! And I've seen other projects which have used that and been no less decent for it. Still planning on using audio to complement the zooms, pans, transitions and so on. So, all that earlier planning I did isn't for nothing. It's just not going to be as great as I was hoping for (on the bright side, it also means I could always produce a PDF adaptation of it in more conventional comic style).

Nevertheless, in good news, there is the following!

Due to being carefully watchful with sales, I've now managed to procure a heck of a lot of relevant environments and models and for the CGI software. This means that, while it'll effectively be like a slide show accompanied to an audio play with music, it'll be one where the story can really open up in scope.

And even better, the most recent upgrade now allows me access in Daz to something I was using to produce the more realistic flesh in Poser, on some of those earlier images I posted here. Won't bore you with the details, but something called Sub-Surface Scattering essentially lets it model how lighting is absorbed by skin and other materials, allowing for a more convincingly cinematic mood/style.

So, there you have it! An update on where this project now is! Basic story is now more or less ready and has upped tempo from a fairly claustrophobic survival-horror to something which can now afford to be a little more epic in scope (but hopefully not at the expense of the former). I must have spent a heck of a lot more money than I should have, experimenting with physical models, then switching to Poser, then Daz, then getting motion comic software I can't use... :) I'm trying to look upon the latter as an accidental investment for the future, though! Just a frustrating one... And all the stuff I've managed to obtain can definitely be used for art in general.

Well, that's that. Now all the pieces are in place and I know what the story should be (had to get the right selection of virtual environments/sets, first), I can finally start rendering some visuals for the teaser of what should be in the final product, rather than just random, irrelevant crap thrown together at the last moment. :)

« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 01:26:31 PM by Xenomorphine »


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