Community project



  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    @Redhat where do you live?  That sucks theres no actors in your area.

    The reason why Im against too much actors and stuff is because early in an venture's life is always when its in the most danger.  The first 3 projects are going to signal if this is going to work to the community as something they can get behind.  This is why I am saying 2 weeks for preproduction and trying to avoid going too big too soon.
    Consider using FREE 3d models from Turbo Squid and NASA that site that has free sci fi models, that site that has Babylon 5 models.  There are some very high quality free models out there and coupled with Spydurhank's high quality planets... For the price of free we could be doing this tomorrow.  Don't forget we have a lot of work to do and we want to make sure that is what occupies most of our time.
    Showreel stuff isn't the exact same rules as a short film.  Masquitti you would be the only screen writer here and it wouldn't be the "exterior day captain jack reacher...." stuff.  It would be "I want this ship (hero)sitting docked on a platform orbing one of spydurhanks planets that will be skinned to look like earth.  I imagine it lifting up as a displacement cloud emanates from the bottom.  The cloud dissipates and the ship floats and drifts for a couple of seconds.  The engine starts up slowly and the ship pushes away from the platform.  After clearing the platform the ship dives towards the planet.  The ship slowly pulls up enough to sling shot around the planet and off to what looks like a big White and blue planet that's past some orange plasma gas floating in space.  The ship enters the gas, we get a warning sound coming off the ship as it starts taking fire form ships above it.  The ship accelerates as it is being chasesd.  You can see the ship(hero) headed towards what looks like  a battle cruiser in orbit over the big blue and white planet."  Theres 2 minutes and it didn't require a screen writer.  Just need to pick models and add some general camera direction.  
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    Wide Establishing shot slow circling the platform.
    When the ships engines sound like they would take off it would be a medium shot showing the cockpit  but under the wing you would see the cloud which is dispersing space.
    As the cloud dissipates and the ship is floating for a couple seconds the camera is in front of the ship and you can see a sun off  in the distance casting light over the model.   Cut to behind the ship as the engines are pushing the ship forward following it as it pushes towards the end of the platform  The camera stops moving near the end of the platform as the ship goes over the edge and drops towards the planet below.
    Cut to a extreme wideshot  showing the platform and the planet and the ship just looking small.  Probably a particle  effect beginning around the ship showing it heating up in the atmosphere of the planet.

    Cut to medium long shot of the camera going parallel to the ship as it heads to the planet.  You see the ship pulling up and away as the camera still is falling into the planet.
    Cut to a wide shot of the planet with the ship coming around the planet towards the camera.
    Cut to a medium shot  of the side of the ship that circles around to behind the camera showing the cloud and the blue planet in the distance.  THe camera stops following the ship as the ship continues
    Cut to the ship entering the clouds


  • RedHat
    RedHat Posts: 75
    I live in the usa, ct area.  The insurance capitol.  I'd like to help write & do whatever jobs that are not filled when signup is complete.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    I was think a bit more than just showreel-stuff. Not quite a shortfilm tho, but a chase. So there would be just a little bit of something else than just "cool looking pictures" :)
    Kyre Peters, would you do the sound effects? I thought we could use, a free sound library. You have to give credits for the sound tho, but that's okay. Often combining those sounds found there result in a good FX. Also, I don't deny of doing the sound effects by yourself. :)
    MJ, that NASA etc. 3D model stuff sounds intriguing. Tho, I'd like that the "main character" Sip is made for this project, so that it's a unique individual. Maybe the evil starship maybe found there?
    Spydurhank, have you got alien ships that are completed or nearly, that we can use for this project? Screenshots would be awesome. :) Also if you like, we could need some meteors. Space is an empty place but we need to fill it with something to get some "depth", interest to the shots and.. movements appearing.
    I'm okay with doing the screenwriting myself. I'll do that as fast as possible so we can see what stuff do we need for material, even before the storyboard. 
    Anyone like to participate the storyboarding? at least for critique, I need some feedback. RedHat, If you got experience on screenwriting, that would also like some feedback. :)

    The concept is said short, "a Spaceship Sip hits an encounter and is chased to a planet by it's nemesis." Includes no actors, possibly no real video footage. "Ultrarealism" is not wanted. Stylized, great looking animation.
    How does that sound? :)
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    Ah at this point we should also discuss how some things work in practise. For example, file and project sharing.
    I've got 50 GB of storage in Dropbox, that would be one possibility. Tho, I don't know if it's possible to setup like everyone participating can upload and download stuff from there, but no ability to delete anything. That way there would be no real danger in anyone messing things up. It's not that I don't trust you guys... :D
    If you've had similar projects in the past, how have you solved this issue?
    EDIT: So I checked dropbox. There's options to share folder for a teamwork. It seems to be a good system. You'll need a dropbox-account tho, to view and edit files. Let's use it?
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Dropbox does seem like the easiest way to share stuff for the project. I use it a lot.
    Random thought:
    If this spaceship is supposed to be on the run and looking for somewhere on-planet to hide, here's an intriguing thought that would maximise the use of the community:
    If this ship is searching the planet for a suitable place, I imagine it'll be covering a lot of ground very quickly. This would require lots of location shots of various places around the planet, which would be a hideously expensive location shoot. --oh, except, we have that built-in to the project due to community people being all over the world. So the live action component could be simple 'beauty shots' of wildly different landscapes, from where we each live. Edited into a sequence of the ship flying overhead, could be pretty awesome and make the short feel 'bigger'. Ideally we'd have a mix of flatlands, mountains, deserts, forests, etc etc.

    The concept is kinda similar to the setup for Consider Phlebas, by Iain M Banks. (phenomenal book, btw) In that, a sentient spaceship, only just built so not at fully strenght, is ambushed by enemy forces and has to flee. Eventually all other options are taken away and it uses its last remaining power to warp jump *inside* a planet, warping into tunnels 10 miles beneath the surface. The other ships can't get to it, but the ship is also then completely trapped.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    I do like Simon's idea! :)
    Simon.. Shhh... It's not a steal if you don't get caught.. ;) It's said that an art of film is an art of thieves. Well. I didn't know that book exists, but as the space is so empty, where else could you flee than onto some planet... :( Well, we will be copying some of the idea then. :) Except that warping thing, if it's that speed-of-light warp, I don't think we'll use that one. :)
    If we use this idea of real footage as Simon said, We will need a place where the spaceship will hide. a cave was my first thought, but it could be something else too. I'd avoid "public" places and stay more with the nature. If you can get superwide scenery shots, that would be great. Also, just still but panning shots also, where the "ship flies" past the point of the camera etc.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    It seems like uninhabited areas would suit the style of the sequence best, rather than cities. Perhaps part of the VFX requirement could be to remove signs of civilisation from the shots? Or perhaps to convert stuff to looking most post-apocalyptic - ie, you could have a city in the shot, but it's entirely covered with jungle.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    I'm always into apocalyptic films. :)

    Imagine this as a start of a film/short:
    Spaceship Sip sails in space, without worries.. Then suddenly, evil spaceship appears and chases Sip into a planet, where everything is destroyed, deserted and not much nature around. Sip hides in a cave. Sip sees the evil spaceship from it's hide, it continues patrolling. Sip turns into a cave, and goes abit deeper. Then we see a huge cavern, filled with tiny lightspots, that may be torches. Sip slowly levitates inside.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Okay I thought I'd share this screenwrite with everyone. Feel free to comment. But please, send your feedback as a private message, so we don't "mess" this thread too much. :) Redhat, your feedback is required at least! ;)
    Please, people, you that didn't answer in which phase you'll help, pick one. I can nominate you if you just wanna help, but don't know what to do exactly. Tell your experience, and I'll check what's best suited for you.
    I don't blame or deny doing something you're not really experienced with, we'll just give you a feedback how to develop. :) Honestly, the more people join this, the more we have power.
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    Hmmm, I can start making a bunch of asteroids for an asteroid field, and can make several planets too.
    Any ideas on what the ships will look like?
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    I probably won't have time to actively get involved, but I'm happy to offer advice and feedback as the project progresses. As such, here's some feedback on the script concept:
    - "Sip is depressed and sighs" <-- do you intend to actually hear that? Seems quite cartoony. It might be better to give the impression of behaviour through the ship design, rather than making it so overtly human. 
    - Generally you don't just "notice a planet", as they're quite big and can be seen from a long way away. Seems like the planet would need to be revealed somehow for this to make sense. A couple of suggestions: 1. Have some kind of hyperspace element to the chase, so that Sip keeps jumping to new places (perhaps expending energy and getting more 'tired' each time - maybe occasional POV HUD shots showing depleting energy?), and eventually ends up in orbit of this panet. OR 2. Perhaps the planet is surrounded by some kind of debris field, obscuring the planet until you're the other side of it. Maybe what appears at first to be an asteroid field develops into a field of broken spaceship/space stations/satellites/machinery/etc, in low orbit around the planet? Maybe this is what happened to the planet when everybody died or left? (this also links into some current real-world fears about the increasing amount of crap floating around in Earth orbit).
    - The ending could perhaps be enhanced by having the lights in the cave turn out to be other refugee spaceships. The implication would be an on-going machine war between the AI creations of a now long-extinct race?
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    Spydurhank, I sketched a bit spaceship Sip. The evil spaceship, I'd say can be anything you like, tho it would be nice for it to fit the overall style, but it should conflict the look of Sip, because that's the indication they're on different "side". I'll post some pictures once i'm happy with them.
    Simon, I appreciate the help, feedback is really really welcome! And I'll answer:
    Yes, actually I kinda messed up with this "sigh" thing. At first I thought this would be more of a cartoon, but now, it's better not to. So I'll correct that. :) Thanks for noticing.
    I did actually think in my mind that the planet has to be planted into the scene almost straight at the start. It's already pretty close. That idea of having debris around is great! It just needs pretty much more models than just meteors. :) Yes, the planet was destroyed, by you-know-whom(not Voldemort but that evil Agro and it's allied forces). 
    Also, the cave, where there are lights, are acutally refugees. I didn't yet imagine who they are, and them being other machines fits the story great. I think I managed to write things down pretty well if they awake such ideas, no? ;)
    I'll specify these things, thank you for the feedback, and please, stay tuned and comment whenever you want!

    Now, Mr. Michael James, you've been so active, do you have the time to participate this project, and what would you like to do? ;)
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    Right on... waiting impatiently for the concept art... pretty stoked too.  :) 
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Besides helping push this out administratively?  ;) When things start leaving the talk phase i should have time to start lending a hand.
    Im kinda focused on that guide I'm trying to manage.  You know that other crowd sourced endeavor that I am trying to push out.  Unfortunately a lot of projects get bogged down if people either set unrealistic expectations or do not push things out timely. For me to voice the guide idea I have to put in enough work to help inspire other people to put in work.  Some have but I need to keep going to keep it up.
    I've volunteered on some local (San Diego) film projects which became doomed because they never left development hell.  The story got too complex or took months of rewrites for a 7 minute project that lost 5 minutes of script once things.  Once   got sat down it was obvious that the plot of having all these super powered people just die because someone was running around stabbing them(with no powers) with a regular knife was dumb when you want to model your project after the X men.  The writer the creator had trusted with the work had 0 passion for comic books or super hero stories and did very poor job.
    I want to see this project successful because a when more sources start generating high production value stuff demoing hitfilm more people will know of hitfilm.  That being said high production value stuff does not need to take months if you are focused on using what you have presently.  For Hitfilm Showreel content I feel very comfortable saying we have all the tools needed to produce high quality content in a shorter time span the a traditional short film.

    Whats the coolest/a nifty visual you can come up with?  
  • RedHat
    RedHat Posts: 75
    I like it all from Sip to the ending.  Maybe vue could be used for some exotic background landscapes.  Vue even has a terrain generator where caves can be punched in.  Yippie, this came together nicely.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Redhat, Do you have the Vue? Is it fast to use? Can the terrain be exported, and in what format? Gotta know if it will blend with our workflow. I gotta check it.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340

    It seems that Vue can export scenes, but not the whole ecosystems. That means we cannot use it at least fully. 
    If we animate things in hitfilm, it cannot export it's 3D camera information, we cannot import that into Vue for animating the scene as we wish in hitfilm.
    It maybe possible to create the Camera animation in Vue, then export the camera to hitfilm as camera tracking data, render the Vue scenery in vue, import that as a clip into hitfilm and finally composit in hitfilm as usual.
    The problem is, this seems to be quite complicated, if you don't handle Vue, we can't use it at this time. 
    It is quite easy to create for example simplified "3D-scenery" with some planelayers presenting the depth. I mean photoshopping the scenery from real scenerypictures, and creating everything needed straigthly into those plain images. Those combined into fog and particleclouds and stuff will result in a great looking scenes with a 3D depth. Maybe the closest things should be modeled into real 3D-objects, but anything more far away will work nicely with planes.

  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340

    MJ, thanks for the insight. It must've been a painful experience. :(
    As I see it, my script is quite short, so it's possible to do. I don't underestimate the work needed; There will be a lot. Storyboard reveals quite much as I get it done. Let's combine great visuals into this short scene, and it will be great! :)

    At this point as I'm creating a workflow, I need to know software that you guys use. And use it only if you are certain it fits into this project.
    - Editing software, that's the choice of the editor.
    - 3D modeling tools, blender is a great option.
    - Also, GIMP/photoshop style painting program is needed.
    - SoundFX and music. If Kyre Peters can help with this, it's his choice what software to use.
    You can use whatever you want and can, as long as they can be used with Hitfilm. We will be using Hitfilm for THE software for compositing, animating, grading etc. That's why everything must be compatible with Hitfilm.
    And that is simply because Hitfilm is so fast to use, but also, rendering stuff is really really fast. I haven't seen a program that can export H.264 so fast. ever. These features allow us to work as efficiently as possible without spending time rendering for hours. :)

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    This particular story works quite well for this sort of project because it is very simple. It's more about the setting and the world than having an actual plot. And plot rarely works in really short sequences like this - far better to lay in a few intriguing world-building elements and let the viewer's imagination do the rest.
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    So Masqutti, let's sum this up. Ignore production and post for this answer, do you have everything for pre-prod. complete?
    - Illustrators or old school with paper and pencil sketchers for previs, (facial) expressions for Sip, etc;
    - ways of communication and file sharing, I see you have google docs but have you also thought about a private tumblr with password that you can share with the team?
    - how do wish to develop the story? maybe schedule a brainstorm session, entirely on you, others filling in blanks, etc?
    - camera angles, perspectives, dolly movements? will the camera both be following Sip from "behind" or from multicam? In Blender you can have multicam render their own animation so you can and edit those in HF.
    - once the above is clear, we need at least one (of the) illustrators to create a digital storyboard.
    PS: I am not an illustrator so I can't help you with that. I have a friend that is, but like me, she is also going on a short holiday
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Im using
    Hitfilm 2 of course
    Autodesk maya and 3ds max(very light experience but able to take the time to learn to pump things out)
    Adobe Premiere Master Collection
    Sony Vegas (great at editing in this)
    Sound forge studio 10
    Microsoft ICE (incase we wanna incorporate some panoramic shots)
    Mocha Pro
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Good questions, here's some answers:
    - I've drawn some sketches. Tho my time seems to be pretty limited at the moment, so I don't mind an extra helping hands! Also, My computer is breaking, I'm getting new setup hopely today.
    - File sharing happens via Dropbox. I have 50 GB of space there, so it should be enough and it seems dropbox handles teamwork ok.
    - Communication, I actually thought that if you guys/gals all have a smartphone these days, google hangout, kik messenger or whatsupp can create a session, and at least I'm available 16 hours / day via it! It would be fast, but isn't appropriate for longer conversations. IRC-channel or something would be better for this. Of course, this forum works ok also as an interface between community(outer world) and the project. What's best for you?!
    - As Simon said, the story is actually being a second in priority. So, with this short story, I think we don't need that much of a brainstorming. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of screenwriting, but this project is supposed to be smaller, because of the facts mentioned earlier by MJ and Simon. :)
    - Brainstorming about the visual style instead, would be great! We are after the great looking footage in the end at this point. :)
    - I just looked up Htifilm 3D camera possibilities earlier today, and it seems to be a great to use multicam. Create a scene, and all the camera positions will work great inside that 1 comp shot. We have 8 scenes in this project, and some of the scenes happen in the same place, so multicam-system works incredibly efficient in this project. :)
    - Storyboard, I can do it the simple way. Nothing fancy looking incredible drawings, sorry. 
    So. If any of you like doing illustrations,  feel free to join this! :) Cantblendthis's friend is indeed welcome, tho if you're going on a holiday for a week, it might be too late already. :( We should be getting to production phase after 1,5 weeks!
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    @Simon is there a procedural way to lock a camera into a certain perspective based on a point?  Like if I always want to have a Camera pointed at the front of the ship from a set distance
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    I think there is, in the camera properties. I can't access hitfilm at the moment, but remember using that kind of thing in the past.
    Do you mean that the camera is stationary or locked onto an object with position also, or just "pointed" towards object all the time ?
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    I'm using HF2U, Blender, Gimp, Vegas and Mocha Hitfilm. Oh, and also ICE for environment or reflection maps.
    I'm really kinda diggin' the post apocalyptic Earth and A.I. Ships idea. Just subjects that I'm into.  :) 
    I made what I guess you would call a 3D space dome yesterday for the outer space scenes and I can do the same for clouds or a skybox.
    Also, I know that Blender has a procedural terrain creator called Ant landscape addon which is really good, in case using Vue is too difficult to incorporate into the workflow. Just keep in mind that when importing an animated camera into HF2U from Blender, you need to play with the zoom in HF2U so that it matches the camera in Blender.
    I can pretty much talk at any time... unless I'm working. Either on this site, smart phone, or whatever you guys come up with. :D  
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    MJ - annoyingly, no. It's on the list.
  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    edited July 2013
    Only just saw this thread...d'oh!
    FWIW, I do a lot of work with dark-ambient soundscaping that might possibly be usable for something like this if interested. Here's a live long-form improv set I did on processed/looped 8-string guitar last year that's definitely in the ominous/moody/sci-fi-ish kinda vein as an example...I could easily work up more in the same kind of style if you guys think it might be useful (it goes through a lot of different themes across the 40+ minutes, so feel free to jump around in it....sadly, it seems I can't embed either the Soundcloud or Bandcamp players here):
    Also, something a bit shorter and to the point, with a definite cinematic/soundtrack percussion-heavy kind of vibe that builds to a climax at the end, as another example (this is the one I'm currently working up a video for with HF2U, Vue Esprit and Vegas :) ):

    EDIT: ah, I see you also want to know the apps we're using. I'm using:
    Hitfilm 2 Ultimate (duh ;) )
    Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 12
    Vue Esprit 11
    Cakewalk Sonar Producer X1
    Sony Soundforge Studio
    Izotope Ozone 5
    Izotope Alloy 2
    Native Instruments Reaktor 5
    Native Instruments/Heavyocity Damage
    XLN Audio Addictive Drums
    ...and a boatload of hardware audio processors (Eventide, TC, etc), controllers, and various stringed instruments. :))
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    Har... very, very cool stuff.  :) 
    Here're a few quick questions. If this is gonna be a post apocalyptic type of thing... how do you guys feel about a half destroyed moon which leaves a huge debris field which from a distance, looks like a partial ring, almost like Saturn's rings except it's not fully formed, and also a whole bunch of huge craters on the Earth from Nuclear war? You should be able to see the craters from space.
    I only ask because I just went outside and took a few pics to use as textures for a bunch of asteroids and thought that it'd be a cool establishing shot. Oh and before I forget... should the continents look a bit different, kinda like some of the coastlines sank into the ocean during whatever kind of war happened? Again, this is only if you guys want to do a post apocalyptic thing... let me know what you guys think? 
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Sounds good to me. I think if it's not 100% obvious that it's Earth it'd be a good move. Maybe just about recognisable, if you're paying attention and know your geography. A war so devastating that it left the continents in a mess sounds pretty epic.