'Fleet Action' short film completed

RossTrowbridgeRossTrowbridge Website User Posts: 423 Enthusiast
I was asked to create a video to showcase the ships of the Seventh Fleet, an organization of Star Trek clubs I am a part of. It was to be shown at CONduit, a fantasy/sci-fi convention in Salt Lake City over the Memorial Day weekend. The video to be played at the fleet's information table in a busy hallway and loop over and over. I had four weeks to put it together.
For the next three weeks, I rendered out one sequence after another. I didn't even take the time to do any storyboarding. I ended up creating 23 new animations for the video. Some sequences had to be rendered out in several layers so that I would be able insert effects later. A couple of times, there were four layers to be rendered.
The last week was spent adding the effects (weapons, shields, explosions), and then doing the final edit where the shots were cut together with music and sound effects. I burned a vacation day at work the day before the convention began to finish up the editing. I was up until 1:30 AM that night finishing it up. A last-minute snag with the output from Sony Vegas caused me to have to rebuild the whole thing in Adobe Premiere.
But it all came together in the end. Yes, it is a bit rough around the edges. There just wasn't time to do any rerenders, so I had to run with what I had. But I am happy with what went into the final video.
Here is the link...


  • SpectrOdrake Corp.SpectrOdrake Corp. Website User Posts: 135
    Nice work !
    I really like your titles' animation.
    For the ships modeling, you made them or download them ? They are pretty nice made and textured otherwise good animation and effects (laser, shield , space ...)
    There is just for my opinion not enought Sound effects like ships' engine.
    Good job ! :)
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Some nice shots in there! I'd say the area to work on for the next video is a sense of continuity between shots, and telling a tighter story with the shots so that there's a sense of narrative continuity.
  • SketchWorkSketchWork Website User Posts: 127
    Some good work there. I would also look at making the battles a little more intense because at the moment it doesn't quite feel as epic at it should be with all those huge ships blowing each other up :D
  • RossTrowbridgeRossTrowbridge Website User Posts: 423 Enthusiast
    edited May 2012
    The starfield behind the titles is simply a particle field in Hitfilm with the camera moving through it slowly. It's based on the tutorials here. I'm glad you liked it.
    Here is where I usually find the meshes I use...
    Simon and Sketchwork, I wholeheartedly agree. There are several things that would improve the video. My main issue was the time constraint I was under. I had to begin rendering as soon as I was asked to work on this. That forced my basic plot to be little more than bad guys show up and blow things up, then good guy star trek club ships show up and blow up bad guys. I also had to work in seven different club ships (6 federation and 1 klingon), while not blowing any of them up.
    I was fairly satisfied with the firefight around the station, but simply ran out of time to get fancy with the fight between the three fed ships and two warbirds. I would have liked that to be more dynamic, but was just too close to the deadline to do more with it. I also have several continuity issues I would have liked to address.
    But the video did do its intended job. It was supposed to attact attention to the table the Star Trek clubs had set up, and it did do that. There was a pretty constant group standing by the table watching it and talking to club reps. We had everything from Mandalorians, chewbacca, steampunk, multiple Dr. Who's, and fairy princesses hanging around at some point. We even had a Rimmer and Lister stop by at one point.
    So, though it's not perfect, I did end up fairly happy with it, especially considering the time crunch I was under.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Excellent, great to hear that it went down well with its intended audience!
  • SketchWorkSketchWork Website User Posts: 127
    Yeah - great news :D
  • RossTrowbridgeRossTrowbridge Website User Posts: 423 Enthusiast
    If I do this again (and I'm pretty sure that will happen... 8-| ), I want to include dialog and acting. It wouldn't have worked in this one, but I do have a greenscreen and several starship bridges as 3D models I could use as virtual sets. Plus I have half a dozen star trek clubs to pull from for actors (with their own uniforms!!!). It doesn't hurt that my wife is also a fantastic costumer. She has made costumes from Star Trek, Star Wars (great jedi robes), Babylon 5, and classic Battlestar Galactica. She has also made Roman and Egyptian armor for the local opera company, as well as leather aprons for a Hackenslash Chainsaws (a dancing group that performs at the Lagoon amusement park during Halloween).
    Of course, if I'm going to do this, I still need to replace the camcorder that went swimming earlier this year. Seven feet of water just doesn't do good things to electronics. I'm looking at the Panasonic DMC-FZ150K as a replacement. I do have a Canon T3i at work, but the Panasonic looks a lot simpler for everyday video work that my family can also use. And it's not limited to 11 minutes per shot. It is also getting really good reviews.
    I did feel kind of bad for the Starship Farragut people (http://www.starshipfarragut.com/) They are a well-known group that has produced a series of Star Trek fanfilms. They were next to the table where my video was playing. They had a trailer of one of their films playing, but they didn't get nearly the traffic our table did.
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