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PaulHellard
11-08-2012, 10:59 PM
Hey there,

NBC Universal and Newtek gave CGSociety a close look at the production of the latest web-driven series of Battlestar Galactica, sub titled Blood & Chrome. Read about their green-screen studios, workflows and getting the results together to go live on the web.

Click the image and come back to comment.

http://www.cgsociety.org/static/images/feature/bsgbc_fp.jpg (http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/CGSFeatures/CGSFeatureSpecial/battlestar_galactica_blood_chrome)

SciFibrow
11-08-2012, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the article. Those effects look spot on.

darthviper107
11-09-2012, 01:00 AM
You could make a drinking game out of how many times they say Lightwave. And you'd be drunk by the end of the article.

leif3d
11-09-2012, 02:05 AM
You could make a drinking game out of how many times they say Lightwave. And you'd be drunk by the end of the article.
You'd be dead from alcohol poisoning by the end of the article.

Rawalanche
11-09-2012, 08:53 AM
"vipor pilot"? Come on guys.... :) Really?

TheRazorsEdge
11-09-2012, 11:28 AM
You could make a drinking game out of how many times they say Lightwave. And you'd be drunk by the end of the article.
You'd be dead from alcohol poisoning by the end of the article.
You guys are so funny!
I doubt that any of you would be bitchin' about any huge number of mentions of Maya or 3DS Max etc in such an article. Gee... lol.

Cheers!

BookMansBlues
11-09-2012, 11:44 AM
I love it, the article is about the VFX and people complain that they mention which software was used... :P

Rawalanche
11-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Well, there has been a lot of production focuses, but there is a big difference between mentioning what tools were used and trying to [edited due to realizing immaturity of previous formulation] make Lightwave look like holy grail of VFX productivity.

This smells more like usual desperate propaganda of NewTek :)

CB_3D
11-09-2012, 11:57 AM
Well, there has been a lot of production focuses, but there is a big difference between mentioning what tools were used and trying to stick a tongue as deep between NewTek's buttcheeks as possible.

This smells more like usual desperate propaganda of NewTek :)

..nothing desperate in being the main tool for a high profile tv project.

kees
11-09-2012, 11:59 AM
Looking really good!
Cant wait to see some more BG

BookMansBlues
11-09-2012, 12:08 PM
Well, there has been a lot of production focuses, but there is a big difference between mentioning what tools were used and trying to stick a tongue as deep between NewTek's buttcheeks as possible.

This smells more like usual desperate propaganda of NewTek :)

It's a corporate business and advertising does grease the right wheels, but if that is all you can focus on while reading the article IMHO you've totally missed the point.

Rawalanche
11-09-2012, 12:52 PM
It's a corporate business and advertising does grease the right wheels, but if that is all you can focus on while reading the article IMHO you've totally missed the point.

Actually, i enjoyed the article a lot, but i found the exaggeration of LW unnecessarily strong :)

BookMansBlues
11-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Actually, i enjoyed the article a lot, but i found the exaggeration of LW unnecessarily strong :)

If you've ever been a LW artist then you'd know why they need to say things like that in the atmosphere of today's market. So without getting completely OT I will leave it at that.

It was a fun show to work on, and I hope everyone enjoys it.

Numptus1
11-09-2012, 01:29 PM
I love how people slag of Newtek and Lightwave, the same people who have never tried the product, who have no idea how many productions it's been used in.

Maybe these are the same people who actually wished the bought Lightwave rather than handing thier money over to the faceless corporation that is Autodesk, you know the company that charges you double the price for a single seat license than Newtek.

It's a shame really, jealousy gets in the way of commenting on the actual production which aside from some minor issues with the explosions looks spot on, excellent animation and camera use, good character animation, excellent lighting and integration with live action components.

coldside-digital
11-09-2012, 01:38 PM
I love how people slag of Newtek and Lightwave, the same people who have never tried the product, who have no idea how many productions it's been used in.

Maybe these are the same people who actually wished the bought Lightwave rather than handing thier money over to the faceless corporation that is Autodesk, you know the company that charges you double the price for a single seat license than Newtek.

It's a shame really, jealousy gets in the way of commenting on the actual production which aside from some minor issues with the explosions looks spot on, excellent animation and camera use, good character animation, excellent lighting and integration with live action components.

Wow, the fanboism has truly reared its head.

Regarding the article, yes there was some nice information there and the production itself looks like it turned out well so congrats to everyone who worked on it, you should be really proud.
Though that doesn't alleviate the fact that this production focus read more like a Newtek fluff piece. Instead of focusing on the production itself, every opportunity was taken to insert the name "Lightwave". By the second page, I had forgotten I was on cgsociety.org instead of lightwave3d.com

Yes, there are other articles specifically about products on CGSociety, but at least they are upfront about it and not masquerading as something they aren't.

Numptus1
11-09-2012, 04:17 PM
I'm not a fanboy mate, I use Maya, Max and Lightwave. By the way have you read your signature lately 3DS Max boy ;)

japetus
11-09-2012, 04:33 PM
A bit disappointed in the effects honestly. I'm rewatching the BSG right now and the effects are still great. The effects as shown in these videos look so video-gamey I'm not too excited to watch anymore. Too saturated, glowy and just bad lighting on some of the shots. I'm pretty sure LW was used in the first reincarnation of BSG, so I know it can do it. I'm hoping the finals will be a bit better than what I see here, especially since it's what, 4-6 years later?

RobertoOrtiz
11-09-2012, 04:36 PM
Keep it civil guys.

In this age of Mayor multination organizations owning most of our tools, I don’t think they need anyone to fight for their so called honor.



Lightwave is smaller privately owned business.
Let them have their moment at the sun.

-R

Veehoy
11-09-2012, 04:39 PM
Instead of focusing on the production itself, every opportunity was taken to insert the name "Lightwave". 32 times in 2 pages to be precise....

If you've ever been a LW artist then you'd know why they need to say things like that in the atmosphere of today's market. Please do elaborate....cause the LW user in me cringes when I read stuff like that.

RobertoOrtiz
11-09-2012, 04:40 PM
Again dial it down.
Last warning guys.

pooby
11-09-2012, 04:48 PM
Lightwave is quite capable at this type of work. However, the writer trying to imply that Lightwave has some secret advantage or speed gain to be made is a nonsense. If anything, I have found the opposite to be true.
Its simply down to the user/s and their familiarity with the tools.

DimeS
11-09-2012, 05:48 PM
Lightwave is quite capable at this type of work. However, the writer trying to imply that Lightwave has some secret advantage or speed gain to be made is a nonsense. If anything, I have found the opposite to be true.
Its simply down to the user/s and their familiarity with the tools.

I don't think you'd have to prod Gary to talk up Lightwave. He _loves_ that software. And it's done well for him for a long time. I've never used it for characters, but for animating space battles with hundreds of ships that are being updated constantly it really is quite good.

japetus
11-09-2012, 06:02 PM
Find the first 2 episodes here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MachinimaPrime?feature=watch

Lewis3D
11-09-2012, 06:10 PM
Nice article and great work has been done (in very short time also). congrats to all involved.

Cageman
11-10-2012, 01:05 AM
1.800 fx shots done in 5 months by ten 3D-artists + a bunch of compositing artists! *phew* That must have been a challenge for sure.

After watching the first two 12 min episodes, I have to say that I am impressed. I wasn't expecting that level of quality from such a squeezed production schedule. There are certanly shots that could use some more work, but there were also shots that looked very good and left very little to be desired. Overall, a huge pile of work done by an extremely small team, in a very short time.

The only thing that I have to say I do not like is the extreme lensflares that is kind of over the top and very distracting. Not in all shots, but many.

I would argue that there is something in LW that makes it faster for these types of insane turnarounds. Most packages out there relies heavily on third party renderengines with various levels of integration to the host software, and as such, there are many unknowns that do happen. You end up spending valuable productiontime finding out what went wrong and fixing it, unless you have exceptional skills in scripting or coding, or, make sure you hire some TDs to take care of it. In a productionschedule and budget like that, I would argue that you do not have time for that sort of thing. LWs renderingengine is not a perfect one either, btw, but, the issues that it has is well documented and known, so a seasoned LW-artist will be prepared; there are very little unknowns or unexpected behaviours.

With that said, I can say that I do understand why they are happy with how LW worked out for this project. There is a certain sense of reliability with it when it comes to rendering that I've got to appriciate over the years. In a production like that, there is very little time to dick around and fix problems.

cresshead
11-10-2012, 01:28 AM
pretty good 2 eps, i'll agree on the too much lens flare comment..dial it down..it's not a reboot of star trek ya know!

looking forward to seeing how this develops...we don't get much sci fi these days so i hope this complete's it's season/story arc.

darthviper107
11-10-2012, 03:59 AM
Lightwave is quite capable at this type of work. However, the writer trying to imply that Lightwave has some secret advantage or speed gain to be made is a nonsense. If anything, I have found the opposite to be true.
Its simply down to the user/s and their familiarity with the tools.

Yes, that's what it seemed like. Lightwave is a great program, but in the article it sounds like the advantage was that they already had a team of artists experienced with the same program rather than anything in the program being essential to success. And that type of thing could be said about any 3D program. They definitely wouldn't have gotten stuff done in 5 months if they had to hire a bunch of new people who worked with Maya.

pixelforge
11-10-2012, 05:42 AM
Just watched the first two episodes tonight and really enjoying it so far. The scope of the project and the number of shots these guys pulled off in such a short time frame is extremely impressive. Given the constraints I think they did an amazing job. Definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

DSW
11-10-2012, 07:24 AM
Just watched the first two episodes tonight and really enjoying it so far. The scope of the project and the number of shots these guys pulled off in such a short time frame is extremely impressive. Given the constraints I think they did an amazing job. Definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of it.
Agreed!

I'd really like to hear about other shows with similar effects and see what software they used as well as the crew required to get everything done. I do hear every now and then that LW can do things more efficiently, though I do believe things rely heavily on the artist. Perhaps it IS Newtek propaganda, but Lightwave is highly capable - especially in sci-fi landscapes.

So... let's see other shows and the software/crew compliment that they used. :)

Oh yeah... and I'm REALLY looking forward to this show!

TheRazorsEdge
11-10-2012, 09:09 AM
Find the first 2 episodes here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MachinimaPrime?feature=watch

Thanks for the link, Mike! :)

It's been a while since I last watched the "regular" show, and I've so far only had the time to watch the first 5 minutes of "Blood & Chrome" but on first glance it looks neat. I gotta agree though that the glows etc seem kinda overdone. Maybe to cover up some rendering inefficiencies. Still looks cool though.

Cheers!

Syndicate
11-10-2012, 12:03 PM
Good stuff! I have always considered LightWave to be the space scene production tool. Its more to do with the fact there are quite a few people with 10+ years of experience making spaceships and battles using LW so each relevant feature has been extensively used/tested with proven production history. I'm a Max/Maya/Zbrush guy who sometime in 2002-2004 was looking at Lightwave as a serious tool. What let me down was the lack of customer resources, but was always impressed with my friends who stuck with LW and spent less time re-learning tools, and spent more time mastering their craft.

Congrats to everyone who worked on the show. Sci-fi is awesome and its a special kind of privilege to be working on cosmic battles :)

CB_3D
11-10-2012, 02:17 PM
Pooby, while in theory I agree with that statement (talent and experience have their relevance in this discussion, obviously) it seems to me that we never get to know about non-LW based productions with a similarly small team pulling off comparable quality and quantity.

I know that sounds like marketing talk, but it is actually true that LW was and continues to be the main tool for mostly everything vfx we´ve seen on tv over the last decade.

So, quite honestly, at this point I simply can not understand that image of a marginal software that many continue to cultivate throughout many forums. It´s more than proven its value in the field.

After all the excellent results in almost all fx driven tv shows it´s a bit bizarre to still read the same nonsense over and over again..(that´s npot directed at you, pooby, you are my rigging god, lol)

Lightwave is quite capable at this type of work. However, the writer trying to imply that Lightwave has some secret advantage or speed gain to be made is a nonsense. If anything, I have found the opposite to be true.
Its simply down to the user/s and their familiarity with the tools.

gauranga108
11-10-2012, 06:46 PM
Will this only be played on the machinima channel on YT or will it be on TV as well?

I very keen to watch this series because I'm also working on an all-green-screen production as well.

I watched the 2 ep so far.

Looks pretty good.

The wide shots are really amazing I think for all green screen, seems like a lot more care went into those shots.

The lighting in some shots is a bit unflattering for the actors.

So the budget was $2million for how many minutes?

It says minimal previz was done, which seems strange to me. Previz seems like a great way to go for an all green screen show. The ability to light a shot rough in 3d first before shooting would help the DP a lot for his lighting on the actors I would have thought. Plus all the previz would be used as a first pass for the final back ground?

Love to see more behind the scenes on this show, maybe fxguidetv could do one?

I think fxphd makes the best making ofs by far.

Did you use Nuke for comps?

Great work.

Thanks

pixelforge
11-10-2012, 07:21 PM
Will this only be played on the machinima channel on YT or will it be on TV as well?

It's being shown online first broken up into webisodes. After that the 2 hour movie will be aired on SyFy and an enhanced version will be sold on dvd/blu-ray. It's also a pilot for a possible series.

Kanga
11-11-2012, 09:41 AM
Having missed Galactica when it was current I went back and watched them all,.. very nice. This work looks very sexy indeed! Nice article

Thanks.

Darkherow
11-11-2012, 09:20 PM
The webisodes so far are really quite good and I can't wait to see more. The green screens not too noticable for the standard audience and has some really nice environments such as the hangar.

I hope someone can enlighten me but do online series on Youtube make any money? I mean it's seems to be becoming more predominantly used as a medium, first with Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn and now this. Also how do they get things into motion, as investors would want to see a return?

AFalk
11-13-2012, 10:55 AM
The Youtube (web publishing) route is all about exposure. We can talk up our spots/shows etc in forums for ages w/o an appreciable turnaround in real audience numbers when our efforts make it to TV. Thus far, it looks like the YT/Web process might be yielding more reliable results - I say might be since I don't have access to those numbers; but the idea makes sense. It would certianly help explain the trend :)

leif3d
11-13-2012, 04:15 PM
You guys are so funny!
I doubt that any of you would be bitchin' about any huge number of mentions of Maya or 3DS Max etc in such an article. Gee... lol.

Cheers!

I wasn't "bitchin'" about anything. I was commenting on something I thought was funny. I'm actually happy to see Lightwave get mentions on important projects.
It's very repetitive how they use the word in every other sentence, that's why it's funny. It could have been any other word...like people that use "parallax" at least 10 times a day...it's funny....

Pixanaut
11-16-2012, 12:01 PM
So far, I'm enjoying the show. The serious lack of scifi out there means BSG:B&C will get scifi fan's full attention.

As to the article, it does feel like Lightwave propaganda.
As to Lightwave, I've used Maya, Max, and Lightwave professionally and I have to say that *in my opinion* Lightwave actually does have a few advantages over the other two applications.

1) It has been developed and owned by Newtek since the beginning... this means that it hasn't been sold, as Maya and Max have, multiple times. It also means that development cycles have a better chance of keeping their momentum. Even with the Luxology and CORE issues, I still think that Newtek has kept significant momentum. This also means that the users of Lightwave are coming in with intimate knowledge of the software.

2) There is an advantage to having the software split into modeling & animation applications in that things take less resources to run. If Maya or Max could operate using half of the computer resources that they do currently, it would no doubt improve the speed that the artists can work at. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had to wait for Lightwave to catch up to me while I was working, in all my years of using it. I would need an army of hands to count the number of times that I've had to wait for Max. And I had a far better machine running Max. My biggest complaint is having to wait for the software to do what I tell it. Maya has also been pretty quick, but still doesn't really compare to Lightwave. :shrug:

3) This is a big one for me... it seems a bit rudimentary, but there isn't really a 'history' or a 'modifier stack'. I hate modeling in Max for the simple reason that I have to click multiple things sometimes in order to do a one click operation in Lightwave. Simply moving a vertex in Max means selecting the object, then switching to the subobject vertex mode, then selecting the vertex that you want to manipulate, then doing the manipulation. Lightwave allows me as a modeler to simply toggle through selection modes with the space bar and directly select the things that I want to manipulate. It doesn't sound like much, but for me and my workflow, LW seems to do a lot of stuff with fewer steps and it all adds up.

4) Animating non-organics in LW is super simple. The animation spline automatically shows up for whichever object is selected and the every frame shows up on that line as a dot, and keyframes as little a 'x' on that line. It's a clean, simple way to deliver the information to the user. I've seen Maya's version which was clunky and visually intrusive (though that might have changed, I haven't checked in a long time). Moving a space ship around the virtual environment and adjusting timing becomes easy because the distance between the dots scales when you adjust the keyframes in x,y,z space.

Lightwave isn't without it's compromises though (for example, I DO like the way Max handles spline shapes... that said, I haven't checked out the latest tools, so it is possible that Lightwave has caught up).

Honestly, for the amount of shots that these guys did on this show, to this level of quality in this amount of time, I have zero doubt that Lightwave deserves all the praise it gets. And even with my belief in the software as a super-efficient CG machine, those guys musta put in some long hours to do what they did.

That brings up another thing that might be worth a new thread: With the (sure to be) success of this series, at this price, does it mean that more productions will be looking for similar shot counts for similar prices? By the virtue of them breaking this 1800 shots under $2 million and doing almost all of it on a greenscreen mean that they've just pulled the rug out from under us as artists? For a producer, where is the value in the work when it costs so little money to get so much?

To be honest, as an artist, it concerns me. As I writer though, I gotta say I love it. :blush: :buttrock:

RobertoOrtiz
11-16-2012, 06:21 PM
Episodes 3 & 4 are up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXCnuArj4b8&list=PL549EB9DBB2FF8C24&index=2&feature=plcp



And the BlueRay will be on sale early next year

http://www.amazon.com/Battlestar-Galactica-Unrated--Two-Disc-UltraViolet/dp/B00A3718IS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353093310&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+and+chrome+blu+ray

darthviper107
11-16-2012, 06:45 PM
So far, I'm enjoying the show. The serious lack of scifi out there means BSG:B&C will get scifi fan's full attention.

As to the article, it does feel like Lightwave propaganda.
As to Lightwave, I've used Maya, Max, and Lightwave professionally and I have to say that *in my opinion* Lightwave actually does have a few advantages over the other two applications.

1) It has been developed and owned by Newtek since the beginning... this means that it hasn't been sold, as Maya and Max have, multiple times. It also means that development cycles have a better chance of keeping their momentum. Even with the Luxology and CORE issues, I still think that Newtek has kept significant momentum. This also means that the users of Lightwave are coming in with intimate knowledge of the software.


Max has always been owned by Autodesk


On the show, I too would be concerned about how this would set expectations for other projects, it's an extreme amount of work they did for this,

But---I think maybe that could help with other projects, I'd like to see if maybe a TV movie for Firefly/Serenity could be done that way. I don't think the show will come back but a TV movie wouldn't be ridiculous, and CG sets would allow for them to save money by not having to rebuild the whole set for the ship. Then again, I'm not sure CG would work for the Firefly set considering the size and the interaction that would be needed.

TheRazorsEdge
11-17-2012, 08:44 AM
Episodes 3 & 4 are up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXCnuArj4b8&list=PL549EB9DBB2FF8C24&index=2&feature=plcp



And the BlueRay will be on sale early next year

http://www.amazon.com/Battlestar-Galactica-Unrated--Two-Disc-UltraViolet/dp/B00A3718IS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353093310&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+and+chrome+blu+ray

Thanks for the heads-up, Roberto. :)

Cheers!

RobertoOrtiz
11-21-2012, 07:48 PM
Video shows how Blood and Chrome recreated BSG sets using “90 percent greenscreen”

http://io9.com/5962622/video-shows-how-blood-and-chrome-recreated-bsg-sets-using-90-percent-greenscreen

Cageman
11-21-2012, 09:26 PM
In another article, (https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/production-pipeline-evolution/) Doug Drexler mentions that they didn't work overtime on the project (or at least, very little overtime). If that is true, it just makes it even more impressive.

chillyche
11-23-2012, 04:13 PM
Given the length of time they had, and the size of the team, they did a really bang-up job putting it together. My hat is off to them. Particularly in light of this "almost no OT" revelation. I don't believe it. Everything is always in OT always, as far as I know.

But the spectator in me is not terribly happy with what I've seen so far. As far as the aesthetic goes, the Star Trek lens flare situation is a little out of control. And I LIKED that look in Star Trek. The clean, Apple Store, LED light source look of the Enterprise and energy weapons and matter transporters lent itself to a lens flare-heavy look. I'm not sure that I can say the same for the BSG universe.

Here's why. For starters, if we're linking BSG(2003) to BSG:B&C, the former was gritty and dark, not shiny and flashy. Indeed, despite the cool nebulae sequences in the 4th season, I thought even those looked outside of the visual lexicon that had been developed. Here, B&C has a completely different look that is somewhat at odds with the source material.

They've mentioned that they've expanded some of the spaces and sets, making them more vast. I could see the inspiration for that, but part of what made BSG effective was a certain claustrophobia that comes along with being stuck in a radiation-shielded tin-can for months at a time, on the run from genocidal robots. Granted, that's the not the through-line for B&C, but losing some of that "submarine feel" I think changes the atmosphere considerably.

Finally, the biggest failure of the show has nothing to do with the FX team, but it bares mentioning anyway. The webisode format is not a very good way to tell an engaging story. Each episode is built on having something EXCITING happen in the 9 minutes they've got, and winds up feeling very videogamey. There's no time for thoughtful drama or build, it's just "flashy action now!" Essentially, their biggest problem with this thing is a script that feels at odds with the gravity of the 2003 series, which, if you'll remember, takes an entire quarter of the miniseries (a full episode) to reach anything that would be considered EXCITING. B&C on the other hand FEELS cheap. I know it WAS cheap. But the script doesn't have to feel that way. The show just isn't that good. Don't get me wrong, I'ma watch it, but I doubt it will function as a backdoor pilot, and I doubt the series will run beyond this initial pilot. It lacks the humanity so far of the 2003 series, which is what made a sci-fi reboot into a cross-demographic phenomenon. I just wish the FX team had been able to support a better story. Then they could be proud not only of their artistic/technical accomplishment (and Lightwave, which they seem to be very proud of), but of being part of a really good show.

Can't win 'em all, I suppose.

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