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DMarkwick
11-09-2006, 10:13 PM
David Markwick is entered in the "Eon Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/eon/view_entries.php?challenger=12396)

Latest Update: Color timed and finished storyboards/footage/renders: Almost there...
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1166588002_medium.jpg (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=4082930#post4082930)

DMarkwick
11-09-2006, 10:21 PM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1163114512_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1163114512_large.jpg)

Simple rough-outs. Looks like it might be too much narration at this stage, but we'll see :)

The text reads something like:

"In 2015, against a backdrop of rising international tensions, the sudden discovery of a new asteroid made no news whatsoever.
The coincidence of a flare of visible light some weeks before was widely mis-reported as a distant supernova to a disinterested public.
However the truth behind both incidences..."

"Son, I like astonomy an' all, but is this really as important as impending nuclear war with the Chinese?"

"Uh, yes Mr President, it is.

What the media did not report, and in fact remains confidential, is that the asteroid will enter into a perfect high-Earth orbit. Also, that radar sweeps have revealed that it precisely matches an existing asteroid currently located out in the asteroid belt. An exact duplicate in every way except one.

It's missing some 40% of it's mass. Someone has hollowed out an asteroid, set it rotating to give it's insides an Earth gravity, and sent it back in time."


And further along in the narration:

"We assume that such a culture will have libraries, and that those libraries will have history books. Naturally the United States has an interest in this future history, specifically the nature and tactics of the upcoming war against the communist aggressors."

DMarkwick
11-09-2006, 10:37 PM
OK, as I haven't yet figured out the image submission protocol yet for each milestone, here are some Photobucket images. They are of very preliminary tests of the final trailer scene (not yet storyboarded) which will be the Clincher, the "I gotta see more of that" scene. It will very probably have a reverse track-zoom effect to amplify it's impact, cheesy I know but I hope to make it work :)

The images are of a model that is actually 50km diameter, mapped with sattellite imagery of 50km altitude. It's not right yet, so more experimatation on the imagery, so don't expect quality renders just yet :D I'm just feeling my way right now.

Anyway:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v15/DMarkwick/CoridoorTest1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v15/DMarkwick/CoridoorTest2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v15/DMarkwick/CoridoorTest3.jpg

The second and third images are for me to see what sort of limits there are to flat mapping at this scale. I hope to minimise the level of coridoor model deformation, but those sides look like they're going to need some lovin'. :)

The close up scenery (say out to 20km or so) will be done with Vue 5 Infinite, hopefully done and graded to blend with whatever coridoor texture I'll be using.

DMarkwick
11-10-2006, 01:05 PM
Cloud test. Only procedural at the moment, but looking good with the shadows. I'll probably paint a cloud map rather than use procedurals, and use volumetric/billboard ones for the foreground, whichever suits.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v15/DMarkwick/CoudsTest1.jpg

fifty3dragons
11-11-2006, 11:14 PM
Wow! Looks like you're off to a good start! I'd agree that the storyboards feel a little heavy on the narration side, but I think it should be easy enough to trim away some and still have it flow.

Nice work on the corridor. It's a little hard yet to get a feel for the scale, but it's a promising start nevertheless. Best of luck with it!

DMarkwick
11-11-2006, 11:30 PM
Wow! Looks like you're off to a good start! I'd agree that the storyboards feel a little heavy on the narration side, but I think it should be easy enough to trim away some and still have it flow.

Nice work on the corridor. It's a little hard yet to get a feel for the scale, but it's a promising start nevertheless. Best of luck with it!

Hey, thanks for the reply, I was getting worried my thread was invisible :D (not really, I realise it's my thread for my narration ;))

Yes, the narration is heavy, but it's part of the process. I need to identify the salient points I wish to cram into the trailer then trim it down for pace and relevence. Also I need to get a feel for drama, and to this end I'm looking at putting stuff in that's not necessarily literal to the book, but rather is a distillation of the core story.

The scale of the Way I hope will become apparent with the eventual inclusion of foreground landscape (which I will do in Vue 5 Infinite out to say 20 km or so) and a rather dramatic camera move, and perhaps some distant vehicle movement.

Apart from that, the only thing worrying me is the human representations, I'm not any good at human modelling so I don't really have much idea how to do that part, other than as 2D placeholder cutouts.

Right now I'm working on a final logo-title image. Hopefully something to post soon.

GregBear
11-11-2006, 11:39 PM
Excellent! Scale looks about right--look is spectacular. Looking forward to more!

DMarkwick
11-12-2006, 12:01 AM
Excellent! Scale looks about right--look is spectacular. Looking forward to more!

Greg Bear as in Greg Bear? I got to say that Eon has long been my favourite book - and I don't just say that because you turned up :). In fact my fledgling graphic design company is to be called Thistledown Design as a nod to the inspiration it's given me.

But ass-kissing aside thanks for the comment, it means a lot to me. As you see I'm taking some liberties with the story in light of post '85 history, specifically the replacement of the Soviet element with the Chinese. I always liked the way you wrote Mirsky's character and his development, it was done in a thoughtful way and I suppose exactly the same thing can easily be done to fit a Chinese viewpoint.

It's looking like I will be lucky enough to snag a Chinese speaker in for voice talent, I got several American voices to use and hopefully a couple of French ones too. I got this idea that Patricia could be represented as French to give a more international (and slightly politically tense) flavour, but it really depends on how the narration flows. What with the Chinese voiceover it might be too much subtitling for a 2 minute trailer but we'll see.

DMarkwick
11-13-2006, 01:23 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1163384632_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1163384632_large.jpg)

Software: Lightwave 3D

First scribblings on the very last images of the trailer - the title and logo. The abstract design is obviously derived from the image but also symbolises concepts like: within, distance, connection, seperation etc. The final imagery will be animated into existence, the horizontal line will represent two humans supporting each other that aren't in the background image yet. One will be reaching out to the other in awe at the sight before her, the other will be offering support, thus the arms will create the horizontal line, the flaw will create the vertical and the rest of the design will be animated into existence.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/eon/player.php?entry_id=74415)

OZ
11-16-2006, 08:39 AM
Very clear...I appreciate the idea. Nice nice nice job. my compliments

DMarkwick
11-27-2006, 01:30 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594610_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594610_large.jpg)

Software: Lightwave 3D

Quick asteroid test.

DMarkwick
11-27-2006, 01:31 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594707_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594707_large.jpg)

Software: Lightwave 3D

Coridoor test, not sure about the atmospheric haze here. I am thinking about using autumn colours for the coridoor final teaser-reveal, kind of hinting that it heralds the autumn of humanity's current civilised state. Also I might try to work in a distant rainstorm on one side, and sunlight/tubelight streaming through clouds on the other, sort of opposites. This will emphasise the two characters who will be standing in the foreground of this shot looking away, one will be female and one will be male. A lot of the story seems to be concerned with polar opposites in one way or another.

DMarkwick
11-27-2006, 01:34 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594861_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1164594861_large.jpg)

Software: Lightwave 3D

Building surface test. For an establishing shot. Note that these are NOT buildings, only test shapes to try out the surface. It's meant to be a milky, pearlescent outer skin with a darker lit surface under the outer one. I don't care for the surface used on the ground though, that will change to parkland or something.

DMarkwick
11-27-2006, 01:45 AM
Further to the previous posts I've (more or less) finalised the spoken narrative. I'll paste it below. There are a few outrageous liberties taken with my own interpretation ;) most notably the swapping of the Soviets with the Chinese. I'm just trying to make it a little more contemporary, I doubt a film would be made with the Soviets as main adversaries of NATO.

Also, I changed Patricia to French, to give a somewhat more international feel, and to inject (possibly) some mild tensions between characters. Or at least interest if not tensions. I have a friend who is French, he has supplied me with the spoken French so far, and his wife has volunteered for the French accented English. Also I hope to get some Chinese speakers to supply me with spoken Chinese text, I've been quite lucky getting people to agree to this so far :)

Also, I'm visiting a local college on Wednesday to film some dramatic arts students acting out some of the parts in front of a bluescreen, they are probably entirely too young for the roles in reality but I would like the movement done live, I really don't want to learn how to sculpt & model human characters and animate them from a standing start here :)

I'm a bit concerned about the very last line, as obviously it's an exaggeration if not a total fabrication of the reasons the Axis city has moved down the coridoor, maybe I'll change it maybe I'll keep it. I'm trying to get a feeling of some action-film in the trailer, and after the final line is spoken (against the black of a fade-out) I'd like to perhaps flash up some quick action scenes, including a Jart. (I know, it doesn't appear until Eternity but what the heck :D)

Anyways, here is the narrative, storyboard to follow:


Presentation guy/Lanier:

"In 2015, against the background of rising international tensions, the discovery of a new asteroid made very little news.

The coincidence of a flare of visible light some weeks before was widely mis-reported as a distant supernova to a disinterested public. However the truth behind both incidences..."



President:

"Son, I like astronomy an' all, but is this really more important than impending nuclear war with the Chinese?"



Presentation guy/Lanier:

"Uh, yes Mr President, it is.

The asteroid will enter into a perfect high-Earth orbit. We've discovered that it exactly matches an existing asteroid out in the asteroid belt, in fact we believe it to be the same asteroid, except for one difference.

It's missing some 40% of it's mass. Someone in the future has hollowed out an old asteroid and sent it back to us."



Presentation guy/Lanier

"We need to get there first, and establish control over it. We need to get top people working on why it's here."



(60 secs)





Lanier:

"But we found no-one. Everyone gone, only the ghost of a culture, their cities, their parks... and their libraries. Libraries have history books. We know the details of the war with the Chinese. The Chinese must suspect this."



Mirsky:

(in spoken Chinese, English subtitles) "The Stone... is a gift from our descendants. We are it's ancestors. The knowledge of the libraries must belong to the whole of the human race, we cannot permit such an imbalance of power, be it resources, weapons, or knowledge. Not when we can act."



Lanier:

"The asteroid has seven chambers, each with it's own purpose, each of a similar size. 50 kilometers in diameter, 30 kilometers long. Apart from the 7th chamber. That is... different."



(30 secs)















Lanier:

"Patricia, welcome to The Stone, your old professor highly recommends you. I understand you're here to save us all."



Patricia:

(French accent) "Mr Lanier, I am only a theoretical mathematician, I have no idea why I am here at all. No-one has told me anything."



Lanier:

"We don't tell, we show. It's the only way."



Patricia:

(French accent)"Where are all the people who build all this? Where did they all go to?"



Lanier:

"We don't tell, we show."



(30 secs)



French professor:

(in spoken French, English subtitles) "Patricia, your work is, as ever, excellent, it is just a pity that no-one other than Gods and aliens will ever appreciate your work."



Patricia:

(French accent) “Do we follow them?”



Lanier:

“That depends on what else might be following them.”

DMarkwick
12-16-2006, 07:04 PM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1166299476_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1166299476_large.jpg)

Software: Lightwave 3D,Shake,Vue

Here is an almost finished Way final reveal shot. There is more to this shot, both before and after this section. It has a back, far and medium landscape composited together, and lensflares added although they are not finalised. Yes the lensflares are obscenely apparent, but that is deliberate as they are central to the eventual end logo design. It's quite difficult to imagine what a lensflare would look like from such a long linear lightsource so I need to work at it some more.

There still needs to be a foreground landscape modelled, and I have some live action actors to work in too, which will also make an appearance on the movie poster too. There is more to be done, there is an idea I have to have cherry blossom around the characters losing their petals, I remember reading that falling cherry blossom is a Japanese symbol for sorrow or grief, which I think would be appropriate. They will fall and come to a halt, then start to rotate and become the stars for the final logo sequence (which is several posts up in an early form if you wish to see what I'm getting at).

It's quite a complex final scene, and the one I'm putting all my efforts into right now, but I'm confident I can pull it all off :)

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/eon/player.php?entry_id=75312)

max112358
12-17-2006, 02:15 AM
Just saw your near complete final Way shot. Incredible work, the sense of scale is amazing. Looking forward to the final product.

RaresH
12-18-2006, 10:40 PM
Nice rendering. Maybe you could add a cloud or two in the forground directly over head. You could also make the foreground more prominent by increasing the contrast. Have you tried to see what the chamber would look like with the cap in the shot since the chamber is wider than it is long? Perhaps that would push the otherworldly feeling even more. Good Luck.

DMarkwick
12-18-2006, 10:59 PM
Nice rendering. Maybe you could add a cloud or two in the forground directly over head. You could also make the foreground more prominent by increasing the contrast. Have you tried to see what the chamber would look like with the cap in the shot since the chamber is wider than it is long? Perhaps that would push the otherworldly feeling even more. Good Luck.

Hi Rares, thanks for the feedback :)

Yes there will be clouds in the shot eventually, I plan to have a thunderstorm happening in the far distance on the left, and shafts of sun/tubelight on the far right. I figure that a lot of the book is about polar opposites so I'm trying to work as much of that as I can in. The foreground is actually the mediumground as I haven't put in the foreground yet, and that medium/background will all be distorted by heat haze on the lower third of the shot. (To further seperate from the characters in foreground and to suggest more distance.)

There is no cap in this chamber - it's the infinite 7th chamber that goes on forever, but I do have some vague ideas about showing some end caps in other parts of the trailer. I hope to have pushed the otherworldly feeling with the other preceeding shots, and have this shot as the final 7th chamber reveal.

I hope to have a more complete animation pretty soon :)

DMarkwick
12-20-2006, 03:13 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1166588002_medium.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/entries/16/12396/12396_1166588002_large.jpg)

Software: Shake

... as far as my final shot goes anyhow. A lot of compositional work and the logo is finally in the anim. Pretty pleased with it, although I wish I had time to do it again... seems a bit rushed to me.

Still need to do the first 10 or so seconds of this anim, and also there's some fluttering Cherry Blossom that didn't make it in yet (although you can see it in the still above).

Keep a look out for heat haze :) I'm not sure if it really works or not.

Play Video >> (http://features.cgsociety.org/challenge/eon/player.php?entry_id=75426)

fifty3dragons
12-26-2006, 12:44 PM
Wow! Very impressive work. Obviously a lot has gone into this. At first I thought the blossoms were snow (I thihk because the girl has such a heavy jacket on), but after reading your explanation in a previous post I think it's a really nice concept.

Looking good. Keep at it!

DMarkwick
12-27-2006, 01:46 AM
Wow! Very impressive work. Obviously a lot has gone into this. At first I thought the blossoms were snow (I thihk because the girl has such a heavy jacket on), but after reading your explanation in a previous post I think it's a really nice concept.

Looking good. Keep at it!

Yeah hopefully a layer of blowing Cherry Blossom leaves will help to clarify that a bit, it does look a little snowy there :)

Thanks for the comments :)

HFix
01-06-2007, 01:06 AM
looking good!! good luck on the final :)


-Eon Link-
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?postid=4109615

ThE-ShiFT
01-14-2007, 11:09 PM
DMarkwick (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=86257) the feeling of size you give in this shot is so amazing! We wonder how you managed to reproduce such an environment...you have a lot of parallax there, the camera movement seems to make a simple matte paint projection a little difficult to do, expeccially considering the trees! Are they cards...or are you really generating 3D trees?
If you could give us some hints on your technique that would be amazing! Thanks a lot in advance!

ThE-ShiFT

DMarkwick
01-14-2007, 11:50 PM
DMarkwick (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=86257) the feeling of size you give in this shot is so amazing! We wonder how you managed to reproduce such an environment...you have a lot of parallax there, the camera movement seems to make a simple matte paint projection a little difficult to do, expeccially considering the trees! Are they cards...or are you really generating 3D trees?
If you could give us some hints on your technique that would be amazing! Thanks a lot in advance!

ThE-ShiFT

Hi ThE-ShiFT :) thanks for the kind comments, particularly coming from a studio that is pushing out very high standards for this challenge.

The environment, of course, is layers as you might expect. The medium-ground (trees and canyon-type terrain) is done with Vue 5 Infinite, which uses a technology called Ecosystems to efficiently instance trees and bushes over landscapes. As far as I can tell they use instances of the same model, but each is resized and rotated to random degrees but you can add variety by adding more and fiddling with the distribution functions. The trees and bushes are made to only grow on flat areas in the same way. So to answer your question, yes they are 3D modeled trees but instances of a few models only.

The background is done in Lightwave, and despite looking like a matte painting is actually rendered in full 3D, as those far clouds are displaced inwards toward the center of the cylinder. I'm sure the 3D effect is imperceptible, but perhaps on a very subliminal level it adds to the scale :) Actually the far background took very little time to render, there's no shadow rendering going on there the cloud shadows are just diffuse textures copied from the cloud cylinder model. A cylinder scene of this nature becomes a nightmare to render when the shadow options are turned on as you might imagine :)

I very deliberately made lots of parallax in the medium-ground to more emphasise the scale of the far background, everyone knows how big trees are and it's an important visual cue for forming an idea to the overall scale.

The biggest scale giving device however turned out to be how it's composited in Shake, the background was rendered with very little atmosphere haze so I could get the distance, but it needed a graded blue wash over it to simulate the filtering out of the red end of the light spectrum. This same wash was applied to lesser degrees to the closer in terrains, and the whole medium and far layers were given a heat-haze, although I have doubts about it's effectiveness :)

Kindest regards

David Markwick

ThE-ShiFT
01-19-2007, 11:23 AM
Thanks a lot for your detailed description DMarkwick! And sorry for answering so late, reading and writintg in english sometime needs concentration and we are working hard, so pardon us.

Your technique is fantastic! We have to take a close look to that Vue 5 Infinite, though I'm pretty sure has to be played by expert hands to produce those results. Great Solution for your clouds...displacement is also one of our favourite techniques, and the diffuse textures copied for the shadows is a great trick!

Thanks again and good luck!!!:)

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