03 February 2015

Nostalgia and effects tests in one

I loved Flash Gordon.. the original serials as a kid which were shown at a local movie house... usually before a Godzilla movie. (To be more precise, I loved Buster Crabbe.)

At one point I used the spaceship design from the serials in the behemoth video logo and also made an entire site with the ship landing on Mongo as my portfolio webpage, all in Flash, which seemed extra appropriate. As you can see, it was really primitive looking and was animated with a software called Swift 3D. it just spun on it's axis as everything did in the early days off Flash.

Now many years later, I decided to update the ship in Cinema 4D and use it as a test object for effects experiments. Video was taken at my friend's farm in Vermont and not well done I am sorry to say. I guess I was cold or just not paying enough attention.

Overall I am really happy with the new design. Turns out there were a few styles of ship used in the serials so I combined elements from all of them. Integrating it into real footage has it's challenges. It's very smooth, toylike and shiny. I didn't want to change that too much and make it look Steam punk or Jules Verne-ish but keep some of the art-deco aspects to it. I might make at least a drawing or two now from the serials or at least a poster and I can use this as a reference to draw from. Any excuse to look at photos of Buster I guess!

The video below is 3 separate tests. The last clip is actually the first test and I think it shows. The flyover was simple and effective (in my mind) and the pulling up to the barn clip is the most complex to pull off and I didn't exactly nail it. I need more practice and experimenting to get the total look of it being really there right. I like that I gave it a hard time making it's way through the snow. The snow was done with a plugin called magic snow which is great but not entirely real looking. They all have a sort of a "matte painting" look I would like to reduce in future.

Overall I achieved a Space Channel movie of the week quality which I suppose isn't terrible since it's only me figuring this stuff out on my own.

spaceshuip tests from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.


T' said...

It is a little rough, but I'd say it's a good start and, judging from your past work, I'm sure you'll work it out. Looking forward to seeing continued progress!

Behemoth media said...

hard part is figuring out what is exactly wrong. partly the model itself, it's too clean and new looking, but there is also the post work on it. in a big budget film you'll see layer and layers of adjustments. If i added some realistic lt would look better even. More studying and research...