Community project

MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
edited March 2016 in Practical Filmmaking

I thought I'd ask about this.

Do we have any active community members that would like to join for a community project? What I'm after, would be a shortfilm, or animated short, or well, anykind of cool stuff!

There are, I would say, alot of problems that needs to be solved for this to work. But, if there are enough members that would like to join, it is workable!

I'd like to see the power of a community! :)



  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Sounds intriguing! I think it'd be great to have a community project - we have a range of VFX artists, writers, directors, composers etc here. The actual logistics of running something like this and keeping interest up is, as you say...tricky. it'd be important to keep the scale quite small, I think, at least for the first project of this sort, to ensure that it actually has a chance of happening.
  • KahvehRobinettKahvehRobinett Website User Posts: 443
    I was actually trying to do something. . . not sure if it will work though
  • AculagAculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Sounds intriguing! I think it'd be great to have a community project - we have a range of VFX artists, writers, directors, composers etc here. The actual logistics of running something like this and keeping interest up is, as you say...tricky. it'd be important to keep the scale quite small, I think, at least for the first project of this sort, to ensure that it actually has a chance of happening.

    Remember back on the Fxhome board when we were going to do a bunch of interconnecting music videos for that Muse album?  Everyone had great ideas, but if I'm remembering correctly, nothing ever got made.  
    It's definitely very difficult to coordinate things like this when you're talking about people from all around the world with varying schedules and skill levels.  Some people might be able to get things done very quickly, but others might take much longer.  It'd be quite cool to see it happen here though.

  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    Yes that's a fair point. It is very difficult, yet possible. We need good coordination, and some people that are active in organizing the stuff. Also, I think it would be great idea to give everyone the possibility to participate, in different ways, and not trying to doo too much at once. Let's say we need as shot where's a gigantic leg falling from the sky.
    We would need: Clip footage, someone to record it with fair quality, then 3D model of a huge leg. Then someone to 3Dtrack and composite the leg, maybe doing the animation. Grading etc. Finally exporting that into a workable shot for an editor to import for his/her NLE. These steps all work out with one participant per one step. They can be divided into substeps so small, that it shouldn't be an issue of time.
    Also it's important to divide work by deciding what everyone will do; Not everyone can do everything. One writes a scripts, another does 3D models and so on.
    And yes, Simon has a good point there, let's start with something fairly simple. Let's say a 1 minute short that includes 5-30 shots MAX. ACTUALLY, Let's do something, that a one man can do. So that way, it will be completed. BUT let's focus on QUALITY over quantity, so that more people will participate, the better, although short, the outcome will be!
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    Remember back on the Fxhome board when we were going to do a bunch of interconnecting music videos for that Muse album?  Everyone had great ideas, but if I'm remembering correctly, nothing ever got made.  
    It's definitely very difficult to coordinate things like this when you're talking about people from all around the world with varying schedules and skill levels.  Some people might be able to get things done very quickly, but others might take much longer.  It'd be quite cool to see it happen here though.

    Ah, and well, we are from different cultures, situations of life, but there's already cloud based projects done in the VXF business alot. We'll all get nice experience on doing something like this. :)

  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    edited July 2013
    We don't have to start with the most ambitious project we can think of, but with something "small" and be dedicated to good planning and not just the filming or post part. I am very active with fashion/model photography and with me usually the development and pre-production phase takes more time than the actual shoot. Sure, it might not be the most sexy phases in a production but getting that part right and you will have a much less bumpy shoot.
    We can do something like that as well. Let's say there are 5 people on here that like to join. We can start with brainstorming about ideas that doesn't need to be shot in 1 country/location. Something that is global like action sports. We can plan to shoot different bmx riders for examples in each of our own countries, and we can help each other with stuff like communicating with the athletes, ideas on angles, ideas on what we like to show, etc. Once we have that we can continue with planning a schedule and we schedule each one of us in the frequency we can dedicate to this project, and put a masterschedule above that. To keep it short and conclude, we can do it and we shouldn't focus the limitations but focus on what we can do and what is available to everyone of us. In the end we have tons of hours of footage, but also a clear concept of what we like to show so we would already know which parts of each of our footage is nice but not usable. Grading can be divided as well so we can train ourselves in grading someone else stuff, use EDL, XML, and what not, render it in something we all can work with, etc etc.
    Anywho, ya'll get my drift right. I don't really care what someone can or can't do, I just care if that person has the passion to learn something new or not. People with the right skills but no passion are no fun to work with. I have experience with photo productions and working with teams and changing team members who live in different places. I guess its clear you can count me in.
    PS: But not coming week though because I will be on holiday in Spain  :P 
  • RedHatRedHat Website User Posts: 75
    I'm in.  I'd like to help create some political piece or comedy, but I up for anything.  I also find nature very inspiring.  What direction would you all like to create in?  If I replace my game time with this project I would have a lot of time to offer. 
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Let's try to get this rolling.
    Why not reply with anything you like to say, with the addition of A) themes, styles, interest that you enjoy, and B) what part of the production process you like to have a role in.
    1. Development: ideas, concepting,rough story, theme, styles, rough planning, who wants to do what, etc
    2. Pre-production: what stuff/software do we need/have, who is where exactly, previs, maybe even doing testshots, photography of potential locations, test lighting, creating master and child schedules etc.
    3. Production: the shoot itself, managing the footage, the plan, etc
    4. Post-production: aligning post with the chosen at point 2., the actual post work, name check and credit roll, etc.
    5. Delivery: checking the end stuff as a collective, everyone has to be happy with it and with all parts, stitch the stuff together, render it, etc.
    So let me start:
    My interests are pretty broad ranging from film with a story, to motion graphics that show some high technical skills. But for this first thing, I suggest something like a threesome love story. Why? A lovestory is cliche but at the same time something that all of us can relate to, so we might know how we can create a fictional one ourselves. This includes for the actors that we will cast. Why threesome? Because it give that extra dynamic and should give the story and the film that extra push.
    I am open for 1,2,4 and 5. Not for 3 because I don't have a cam that records Full HD. I am guessing the rest of you do have this so we might as well go with that.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Can'tblendthis I think Masquitti already had shot planned out.  Also, I think a plan is appropriate but crowdsourcing the entire thing (mostly development) is where it gets problematic.  Too many chiefs in a kitchen makes for everyone trying to suggest their own idea and push things in different directions. 
    May I suggest a couple of light rules to keep things productive? 
    1) to decide whose idea we go with there will be round robin.  First since it is Masquitti's who started this then I think the honor should be his to lead the first project.  Can'tblendthis I think you should go second because you provided a structure for people to consider and that's important.  To be eligible to lead a project you have to contribute to the previous project.  That way I don't just get to contribute to the first project and then stop doing anything and still get to be considered a year from now.
    2) If you get selected to lead a project then the preproduction planning and footage acquisition is on you.  If you want people to work for you then you need to lead them.  You can solicit footage and planning from people or just do things yourself.
    3) The leader has 2 weeks to take this out of preproduction or a new leader is selected.  Too many indie projects die in preproduction because people often get stuck with indecision.  For a 1-2 short if you can't push your project out of preproduction by than then you wouldn't of made it in time for a Film Riot Challenge.
    4) No personal projects.  This is for the community to generate something amazing by the community... not to get work done on your personal
  • RedHatRedHat Website User Posts: 75
    edited July 2013
    MichaelJames, well written.  
    Maybe we need to vote on the theme & the leader should decide on the choices to vote on.
    I do mostly everything from music to shooting to writing to 3D & all the inbetweens.  I will work where every needed.
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Well I wasn't looking for a lead or anything, just like I started my reply:  to get this rolling. The things I suggested is just for Masquitti's disposal, not to take over, so I am not sure why you get that impression. In fact, the way you replied implies more that you are trying to force rules on us while the project isn't even rolling yet.
    But hey, I am just going to see how this thread continues and I guess if it feels good then I am in. But if it feels like people are getting limited even from the start because it "could" become a chaos, then I am out. Like I said, I have done similar projects and the ones that worked out well, were the ones where everyone had influence from the start to the very end. And by doing that, they accepted me for being the one who glued the entire thing together and making final calls. In the end, it comes down whether you respect and are disciplined enough to have other people have their influence and whether you accept whether Masquitti's has final call.
    Again, for those that think I was making a move to steal M's thunder, I was just giving a push in at least a direction of more in-depth thinking.
  • spydurhankspydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,837 Ambassador
    Once you guys are organized and have an actual plan for this... I'm in.  :) 
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    Wow it's great to see there is interest!! :) I thought it might go like no-one noticing and topic going forgotten in no-time. ;)
    Cantblendthis and Michael have good insights of the project and workflow. Basic workflow consists of pre-production, production and post-production simplified, and like Cantblendthis said, pre-production is often the most time consuming. After that, if everything is planned right, production and post goes without (much) problems and is as painless as possible. :)
    That said, I don't know if 2 weeks is enough for pre-production, as it consists the whole idea/concept creation, writing script, storyboarding, location scouting(in case of specific shooting locations) assigning people to specific jobs etc. The whole thing should be pretty much under control, and even post-production planned out before any shooting.
    As Michael mentioned, no personal projects, this should be a community project. Therefore I actually haven't been doing any scripts, or even ideas, I don't wan't to dictate this at all, but I am ready to take control of the first project, and well, have the last word if it's necessary..:)
    I have done a couple of shortfilms, directing and producing them. So I think I can take this through. :)

    As a writer's one important rule is not to kill your ideas too soon, I'd like to give everyone an opportunity to throw ideas of the story, concept or scene at this point. What would be -the- idea, that earns to be produced!? Throw it in, there are no bad suggestions!
    Bear in mind that simplicity is a key for most of the stuff and let's aim for a pretty short video. That doesn't mean it can't be epic!! :)
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Here is a rough outline to help someone speed through the preproduction process.  First this is show reel stuff.  So you don’t need to come up with some elaborate plot line.  This is just vfx porn… not a short story.  Does not mean there is no script, it just means it’s basic.  Worry about accomplishing an action  I am going to give an example after I lay things out.
    The concept
    What is your concept? Is it robots fighting?  Is it an alien ship flying into through our solar system?  Is it Godzilla wrecking buildings?  Is it an alien landscape that’s just beautiful?  Is it just a beautiful car driving along the beach at sunset?  Is it making a city that looks like it could be from Tron?
    This is show reel stuff of hitfilm.  Not  testing out your director skills where you filmed you and your bestfriends in a gun fight with nerf guns.  That seems harsh but people lose interest real fast in community things if quality starts dipping or there is no fun and excitement in the projects. 
    Also, keep your expectations realistic.  Im not going to dream up things that involve Maya 2013 or that $500 UFO that appears in a lot of Hitfilm trailers unless I have the expertise in maya or a copy of the UFO.
    Here are 3 show reels which show interesting things that could be done.

    After the concept
    This is where you are going to make a storyboard.  This makes sure everyone(including yourself stays on task)  In this storyboard you will right the effects that are needed and where in the scene
    The Planning
    Where am I getting my footage, stock footage, models, music and sound fx?  If you can’t answer that and cannot get your hands on it within a day then go back to step 1 and change things.
    Break down what needs to get done and what roles can be divided up.    
    Pre Production
    How am I going to deliver the footage to people?  Who are the people working on this and what are their emails?  Did I tell them to keep the footage.  Do I know what everyone thinks they are good or capable at?  Does what I need done fit within the skill set of the people who are volunteering?  If not then go back to step 1 and adjust things.  If I designed an idea involving a lot of robots but no volunteer has skills for doing 3d in hitfilm except myself then I am going to go back to step 1 and adjust.  Maybe instead of a robot war its just 1 robot standing  in the middle of time square and it’s the color grading and lighting that is what makes  everything futuristic. 
    Dole out rolls and ask for time lines.  Let people know you will follow up with them on certain days or times. 
    Also let people know what the hard requirements of the project are.  It’s a 16 bit color project in hitfilm.  All footage will be in AVID DNxHD.  After _____ animates the model we are going to share the Hitfilm project file and media so _____ can work on color grading, so _____ can work on lighting the model and so _____ and _____ can independently work of the particle simulators needed for the rain and the fire.  After each people is done they will email me and the group and send a copy of the file to me and put it on my box account.
    Everyone get to work.  ____ flaked on color grading so now it’s my responsibility (since I am vfx manager) to do it or get it done.  I am going to settle disputes between teammates and just be in charge.  As leader I will either get answers to people’s problems and troubles or find someone  who can.  If something is not working or is causing trouble I will either cut it out or rework the situation.
    Post Production.
    I will compile everything or find someone to do it.  Crediting, everyone who volunteered will be credited at the end of the video equally.  In the youtube breakdown under the video I will highlight the people’s specific tasks.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast

    Here is an example.
    I want to redo the scene from Pacific Rim where the robot falls down on the snow covered rocky field.  I drew a storyboard or made found somewhat to graphically display what I am going for.  Instead of reinventing the wheel I posted a video from the movie Pacific Rim with the scene in it.  I already had the 3d model of the robot missing its arm but I do not have footage of anywhere snowy.  I asked people if they did and Spydurhank said he may be able to get the footage. I asked for a date and time when he would be able to deliver it.  He said Friday and its now Saturday.  I decided to just go to Video Blocks and get a video that works. I also downloaded the sound fx needed for this.  I know theres a lot that will go into this.  I need someone to animate and light the model.  I need someone to make snow particles that are flowing in the wind.  I need someone to make particle effects of snow being kicked up when the knees hit the ground and then the body hitting the ground.  I know I need someone to make fire from the shoulders.  I need smoke coming from that fire, I need sparks shooting out of that shoulder too.  I posted those roles and everyone volunteered for them.  I doled out the roles and started coming up with a time table based on what people said they can do by when.  Since everything hinges on the robot then that’s what needs to get done first.  People can start designing fire and smoke and the assets needed but they can’t do anything specific.  Adam just flaked on animating and lighting the robot and so I just did it.  I sent it out via and everyone is working on it.  I’ve been emailing people every 2-3 days on how’s working.  Everyone has finished their individual tasks and we need to put all the pieces together but my computer is junk and cannot handle this intensive workload.  One guy volunteered to put it together into 1 project file.  Some things need to get tweaked so I am sending the file and assets out to the people to make tweaks.
    It doesn't have to be done this way but its just an example to help people get the ball rolling faster.

  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    I'm in for a simpler concept that involves for example, a battle between robots, flightplanes, starships etc etc.
    Or then a humour and action in style of pixar, I came up with a simple idea:
    a Little spaceship, lets call him Sip, that sales thru space peacefully suddenly gets harrased by big and evil spaceship, called Destroyer or something as clever... And the race begins. Big spaceship shoots and blasts off everything on their way, and It would be cool to for example a small spaceship to fly into a planet and hide into a cave or something etc etc. So there would be something else than just space and stars!
    I thought of Pixar because they always succeed in creating sympathic machines, and give them souls. Also, it would be great to make them funny, even if the Destroyer is evil, it has it own funny ways and maybe, the motivation of destroying that little ship is not so straightforward evil.
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    You do realize an animation for the first community project is more ambitious than a regular short right?  8-| 
    I guess you can start an open call on the blender forum as well for hard surface and organic modelers, texture artists, riggers, animators. It might be a good idea then to have non-blender activities as a support, so blender can be maximized for what it can do, which is a lot. Referring of course to their Mango films.
    Something like producing the entire animation in blender, render it. And then do audio and grading as final edit.
    Or are you thinking about going bugs bunny with this, mixing real world footage with animation?
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    Yes it would be ambitious, but if we stick with the machinery (no "living creatures" animated) it is much easier. Hitfilm can't do animation besides the very basic, and I'd say we work mostly with hitfilm. modelling with blender or, if you guys have any other modelers available and a know-how.
    A regular short would be ok, but then we have this problem where everyone are scattered around the globe, and we would need 1 team for the shoot. And I think that's not going to happen so easily. :)
  • spydurhankspydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,837 Ambassador
    I kinda like Masqutti's idea of hard surface characters being alive.
    I've done this before... spit out separate render passes out of Blender and composite them with live footage in HF2U. Not for nothing but, it's 20 million times easier and faster to composite things together in HF2U than it is in Blender. 
    Have you guys come up with any concept art? If you have... I'd really like to see it. :)  
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Masqutti well this is your baby.... so pilot the hell out of this.  You pick a concept... could be something that's been said or not and start the ball rolling.  Often  people do not want to start taking charge because they are worried about coming off bad.  Filmmaking and VFX creations are a team sport but there is a Director or VFX manager in charge that pushes everything forward and keeps the band together.  So think up the scene find the models or give details as the models youd like to help to locate and then present the storyboard.
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    I like Cantblendthis's idea of creating a true concept short with for example, athletes. Tho I haven't got specific inspiration myself with this method, so we might go with the spaceships as well. It doesn't have to be insanely complicated.
    I'm a big fan of CGI blended in real footage but this seems to be a project where there might be no place for a real video footage. At least it might become tricky and limits angles and stuff. If I calculated correctly and understood people, we have 6 participants so far including me? How many of you got a decent camera, like canon 550D/T2i, or other fullHD? I got 600D. Let's not close the live footage just yet, the concept is at early stage. ;)
    At this point, if any of you still gets another great idea for a specific concept or story, feel free to post it! Last chance! ;)
  • RedHatRedHat Website User Posts: 75
    I have great cams, cameras, & lenses.  I like stories about ancient cultures or stories about space.  I'd like to do a simple love story about humans & their first visit to Mars.  I'm thinking green screens & actors.  However, I am up for anything.  I have Vue for 3d animation & it can export to HF2U.  
  • spydurhankspydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,837 Ambassador
    I've got a Nikon D3100 and just recently bought new lenses.
    I'm in Saint cloud Florida so I could take a ride out to the country or downtown Orlando to shoot some footage if needed. 
    I've got a whole bunch of Alien ships and military planes and a few commercial airliners that I've been working on and off for the past couple of months... also, if needed. They're pretty high poly though.
    I'm also pretty good at matchmoving... it's a pain in the rear end if you use a DSLR but it can be done if you shoot with as steady a hand as possible and just add camera shake in post... food for thought guys... food for thought. Watch some of my tuts and you'll see what I mean.  :)   
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    This is when we need to make sure the project scale fits in line reasonably well with.  Real footage could be used sparingly. A showreel which is really beautiful proof of concept stuff, would make use of the community's combine talent.  Grabbing things off the hitfilm movie wall here are terrific show reel things that a community could do reasonably well. 
    That Debris Field by OrangePekoeMedia is a prime example.

    @Masqutti the reason why im encouraging you to just pick is because ideally everyone who participates will get a chance to come up with their own idea for a community project.  Also, it keeps things from becoming a headless blunder to have temporary leaders.
  • spydurhankspydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,837 Ambassador
    MJ is correct.  :) 
    I almost forgot... here's some pics of the Earth and Moon that I've been working on, they're also pretty high poly though.



    I'm just letting you know what assets I have or that I'm working on. That way you can have a broader spectrum of what you may or may not want to do.  :)

  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Very cool spydurhank.  How long till they are complete?
  • Kyre PetersKyre Peters Website User Posts: 21
    Not sure how far along you guys are on this, but I own a pretty nice recording studio. If you guys need music, voice overs, sound effects, etc. just holler.   I also have some sweet camera gear, 200 acre forested property (for filming), and smoking hot actresses (after august 16th) that could be used if needed.
    Subject matter: all is acceptable.   Would love to help in anyway I can. Unfortunately I'm more an audio guy than a CGI mastermind.  
  • spydurhankspydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,837 Ambassador
    They should be done sometime tomorrow. I was gonna try to finish them tonight but I really need to crash in a bit.
  • RedHatRedHat Website User Posts: 75
    Actors are my biggest problem.  We have none where I live & ambition in my area is at an all time low.
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
     Debris Field by OrangePekoeMedia is awesome, I haven't seen that one! Such a stylistic and polished outcome.
    Smoking hot actresses? Pro studio? Loads of 3D-models of starships and planes? You guys are awesome!
    Michael James has a fair point, so I'll just pick a concept. Let's go with the original idea of a little spaship called Sip that gets into trouble. I will draw concept art, and create somekind of script for a start. If anyone really wants to join the script or concept art drawing(also planning of the scenes and stuff) feel free to sign up! That way we are closer to the storyboard.
    Let's see if we use real recorded footage, as MJ said, maybe sparingly. Tho, concept isn't quite "realistic" in my opinion, as the spaceships seem to be alive. I'm not sure yet whether even as much a s pixar-style but at least somewhat. Ofc we can change the course and bring in the realism, i'm not against it.
    Also, At this point, feel free to sign up for specific jobs. You can choose more than one, but please, consider the time you have for this project, and be reasonable. :)
    I'll be the "managing producer" for this project, also for artistic style. If we need a separate director, he/she will be in close co-op with me. :)
    At least:
    - Screenwriter
    - Editor
    - 3D modelers for objects like ships
    - 3D modelers for planets and stuff (luckily we seem to have already some models. :)
    - scenery(CGI) artists, that do the "backround", in 2D as well as 3D. We can separate these if necessary.
    - Sound effects artist
    - Music composer / mixer
    - VFX artist, for particlesystems, like fog, smoke, clouds, debris etc.
    - VFX artist for explosion footage(blender does a great job for smokesim)
    - VFX Composer that puts composite shots together in hitfilm.
    Whoah. There seems to be some jobs available. Better do this short enough. ;)
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