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olliemethod
11-12-2007, 01:26 AM
Here's a short film entitled 'Terminus' by Director Trevor Cawood. It was chosen as an Official Selection in this years Toronto Film Festival. The visual effects and post-production were completed by many of us here at The Embassy VFX with Tristam Gieni as the VFX supervisor. Check it out!

http://www.terminus-movie.com

j00st81
11-12-2007, 09:45 AM
that was really weard, but well done :o

I wonder if those close up shots where u only see the concrete feet are CG or real, specially when you see those close up feet with snow it looks insanely realistic

AJ
11-12-2007, 11:14 AM
That was f**king excellent!

I loved all of it.

On a critical side 'concrete' looked a little floaty on the escalator, but that's nit-picking really. It really looks wonderful.

The part with the conveyor belt hitting the guy in the head & the fantastic little dance had me laughing out loud.

Excellent job to all involved.

:D

Titan
11-12-2007, 02:03 PM
weird....but nicely done!

arctor
11-12-2007, 02:21 PM
the close up shots of the concrete feet were done practically...

very good short.

RobertoOrtiz
11-12-2007, 02:27 PM
That was weird as hell.
Great Work!
Plugged!

-R
Thanks to Alex Jefferies for the heads up.

hoktar
11-12-2007, 03:06 PM
the site seems to be offline:shrug:

mustan9
11-12-2007, 03:13 PM
That was strange.

I liked the sound effects. I liked the classic 1970's short film style. Don't know if you were trying to go that direction. The location shoots were really nice.

Over all, not that great for me. Found it boring in spots, and it didn't leave the viewer questioning themself about what they saw. Found that the ending didn't really resolve what was happening to the character.

People's performances, camera work, CG, sound effects, editing, and timing were all very well done.

I found some of the camera hand held shots, shutter flickering, and shaky work distraction from the film. While the film look and grain add value to the feel of short films. I think it was a little over done. Some of the color and exposures were off on some shots.

I think this film will do well around the short film circle.

I know it sucks to get crits about a film after it's all finished, but I hope it helps somehow. Hope you score a big film deal and bust big time into the industry!

pablotesta
11-12-2007, 03:26 PM
My congrats for Trevor Cawood for the movie and for the people of The Embassy VFX, amazing well done.

Very very good!

simonjaap
11-12-2007, 03:27 PM
I found it extremely amusing and very well done! congrats!

Dutchman
11-12-2007, 03:46 PM
Wow! That's some great stuff!:bounce: Congratulations you guys! I don't like to call it weird (as that word gives easily a 'negative' impression), I just really like the twisted and surrael mood in it. Things like the different 'ghost-shapes' and different materials make it very good. Particularly the dreaming-shot with the mirror in the field is great - to a surrealism that could had been imagined by Magritte! :thumbsup: Also great and consistent editing style.

All the best in the shorts-circuit! :thumbsup:

ColinCohen
11-12-2007, 03:57 PM
I thought that was very well done. :thumbsup:

It was one of more enjoyable short films I've seen in a while.

Intervain
11-12-2007, 04:30 PM
loved it! :thumbsup: quite disturbing...:eek:

TristamGieni
11-12-2007, 04:34 PM
Thanks for the comments so far, both critical and kind. We are all happy to finally have it out there for everyone to enjoy!

Please feel free to ask any questions regarding the production and VFX

I'll start with some facts:
- Terminus was shot in and around Vancouver and Montreal. Small crew, shot on DVX100's
- Mocap used for most shots, characters modelled in modo, rendered in lightwave, detailing in zbrush, composited in shake.
- hdri lighting was used for most shots.
- tracking so many shots was made easier by making the decision to not move the camera around much and track nodal.

Kindest Regards
Tristam Gieni
VFX Supervisor - Terminus

Selpakius
11-12-2007, 04:34 PM
It was a pleasure to watch.

atow3212
11-12-2007, 05:11 PM
love it!

i wish you the best on the festival circuit.

(edit... I agree with a previous poster... escalator shot is the only track that draws my attention.. a miniscule amount of floating. the others are superb. bravo!)


adam

BartokDesign
11-12-2007, 05:14 PM
awesome, it kept my interest 100% of the time in the film. Everything is great.
Cheers
:applause:

RockinAkin
11-12-2007, 05:38 PM
Hahaha... f*ckin brilliant film! Compositing was spot on at all times.

Congrats to all that worked on it - best of luck in the festivals. :thumbsup:

GrogMcGee
11-12-2007, 06:10 PM
Totally awesome. Totally strange - not sure I get it, but awonderful piece of short film art; wonderfully sureal. Loved the shaky cam and the fish eye for the dream.

csmallfield
11-12-2007, 06:30 PM
I love this. I love the idea, I love the sound design, as a film, it's flawless. The effects were good, but had a couple little issues.

As was mentioned the escalator had some floatiness in the track, a couple other shots also did although only slighty. Tracking is a b*tch and everyone knows it, so I totally understand.

The eyeline of the actors seemed off too, like they weren't really looking at the thing.

I loved the dream shot. Was the vanity a CG one? Also I was wondering if it was shot with a fisheye lens, or shot with a normal lens then made fisheye in post? If it was shot with a fisheye, how did you track that and how did you render that? It looked really solid.

Overall, a fantastic film. I'd love to know what kind of budget and time was spent making this. Thanks for posting this work of art!

-Space

Capel
11-12-2007, 07:19 PM
Please feel free to ask any questions regarding the production and VFX


what about questions regarding the story? cuz i didn't get it. i'm all for "artsy-fartsy" stuff as long as it has some kind of coherent meaning.

the effects were basically flawless so congrats on that, but i'd love to know what was going on with the story.

C-quencR
11-12-2007, 07:25 PM
My kind of short. I liked the look, the unconfortable feeling of the piece, the sounddesign, pretty much everything.
If it's not my tired eyes I noticed some sort of 'halo' effect around the characters in some scenes, for example when the protoganist is examined by the doctor (They seem to 'glow'). I thought that looked interesting, although it is barely recognizable. Was this done on purpose or does this actually...emulates what you would see on old film material? (yeah, I'm no pro^^)


Also I like that the movie's bitrate is high enough not to destroy the grainy look with blocks and artefacts :)

luckbat
11-12-2007, 07:58 PM
Just wanted to weigh in, here. I grew up in Montréal, and man, this film brought it all rushing back. I guess I'd forgotten how modernist the architecture of the subway system really is. And the early-70s film look... reminded me of early Cronenberg films, all the eerie interiors and helpless protagonists. The whole sensory experience washed over me as I was watching this.

I dunno if that's what you were going for, but either way, this film was vividly, almost viscerally, transporting. Thanks for making it.

phix314
11-12-2007, 08:00 PM
That was freakin hilarious... the dance that is.

Creepy movie, but very well done.

barrymcw
11-12-2007, 08:04 PM
Holy cow, I really liked that.

The sound design was great and I really enjoyed a snapshot of a strange world where these "creatures" follow certain people around. Further, I want to know why some people have concrete ones and others have wood ones, etc. I found it to be just the right amount whimsical and oblique.

Also, I love it that the bus driver's reaction to killing someone is to run away.

Best of luck.

Cheers.

Leander Schock
11-12-2007, 08:07 PM
Beautiful! I like the simplistic "character designs". Nice style.

Also nice to see Montreal.

drmerman
11-12-2007, 08:11 PM
Just wanted to chime in with another 'excellent'. Inspirational work :thumbsup:

Cheers,
Dr Merman

Michael5188
11-12-2007, 08:12 PM
Gotta say my favorite thing about this short, and what I think cna make a film succesful, is you have me sitting here right now, rolling over what happened, and trying to decipher the metaphor or meaning behind what I just saw.


Maybe it's not all that hard to get and it's just going right over my head, I don't know, but I'd like to know people's insight into what they thought the film was going for.

I had a feeling throughout the film the objects were something personal to the person, obviously a negative feeling, experience, etc. that followed them, tormented them, but the ending blew that theory away. How the stone figure just moved onto somebody else right away.

And visually good job, though there were tiny mistakes, the point is it worked, the computer effects would have never bothered me if I hadn't looked at them as a cg artist.

Michael5188
11-12-2007, 08:17 PM
Double post

yenvalmar
11-12-2007, 08:21 PM
net went all crazy on me..

yenvalmar
11-12-2007, 08:22 PM
i pretty much agree with the crits, i think for the same amount of effort a few minor art direction changes would have made it that much better. but its good to see high quality work like this going into shorts that are just pieces on their own and arent just trying to fund a bigger hollywood type movie and so on.

yenvalmar
11-12-2007, 08:25 PM
with some simple suggestions others have already made. but kudos for making something like this in the first place, and over all, good job. an increasing number of arty shorts like this are using some pretty high quality fx (including some of my own i like to think) and i'm all for it. the technology is cheap enough that theres no excuse for only seeing high quality in hollywood and commercial productions.

Arrrgh4life
11-12-2007, 08:37 PM
Gnarley short. I really liked it. I didn't catch the meaning as some people are saying, but I wasn't really looking for one, because it was fun to watch and made me laugh a few times. I really liked the style too. The mo-cap seemed to work really well for you guys which is cool. I loved the first scene and the dream sequence too.

Leander Schock
11-12-2007, 08:41 PM
Beautiful! I like the simplistic "character designs". Nice style.

Also great to see Montreal.

Tripple-I
11-12-2007, 08:53 PM
loved it, and get it. . .I think, at least what i think it means-thats why its a good story- open to interpretation.
I love to see people using the 3d medium in all walks of art, including the surreal, not just for cute and funny characters.
all in all great job, (and i didn't notice any floatiness on the escalator, but then again im not a comp guy)
ps. that guy has the coolest pants ever

keep it up

ekah
11-12-2007, 08:55 PM
Perhaps I'm deranged, but I thought the film was very funny. I laughed out loud. The idea is cool and excuted well. :)

Congratulations to the team, and best luck to you all. :)

FrankAI
11-12-2007, 09:00 PM
WOOW!!! thats an amazing work!! a realy strange feeling is overcoming me, but i like it... GREAT!!

Shiva3D
11-12-2007, 09:22 PM
Amazing!! :bounce: I film about my life ))) :banghead: :cry: :argh:

jokko
11-12-2007, 10:44 PM
I absolutely loved it. My only technical crit. would be concerning the little dance move of our concrete friend. You would suspect he is extremely heavy and thus engender tremendous momentum when moving. I think the speed at which he was dancing was not completely convincing and did not really convey such feeling of heavyness. I hope it makes sense. Sorry for this finicky crit. It is a great short, extremely effective, and I believe it tells a lot about the "dehumanisation" provoked by modern city life. Quite terryfying... haha it actually gave me chills... But here again, that is just my take on it and was not supposed to be any sort of decyphering of what you intended to do (if, of course, you did intend anything).

to sum it up: congratulations! 5*

Artnat
11-12-2007, 11:53 PM
Makes me think about human reaction In a Weird Situation (maybe you need to dance right back at him.) :) ferst one lost.(fear,insanity,anger etc.) What would next character do?

Titus
11-13-2007, 12:23 AM
Makes me think about human reaction In a Weird Situation (maybe you need to dance right back at him.) :) ferst one lost.(fear,insanity,anger etc.) What would next character do?

This is for those who wonder how people react to strange situations (http://www.improveverywhere.com/missions/)


I love this short, btw.

webhead
11-13-2007, 12:26 AM
Okay, normally, I'm not into films about people being followed by strange objects and abstract figures, particularly since a giant stone obelisk has been following me around for years. But I must say, I really enjoyed your movie very much.
I don't know what you were trying to say in this film, but to me, it represented the things we all carry with us; the things that plague us, and torment us, and try as we may, we can't get rid of them. That's what I took out of it, anyway. Nicely done!

TristamGieni
11-13-2007, 02:23 AM
Its a great sign when the discussion leans towards the story rather than the VFX. I had to track that escalator shot and getting my wisdom teeth pulled was more fun ;)...when you do so many shots on a tight budget sometimes you just have to walk away from the little mistakes and hope people do not notice. (hard to do on a VFX forum ;) )

The budget for this short was enough to cover the hard costs and not much more. (mocap costs money, locations, flights for a skeleton crew to montreal, etc.). VFX was done on our own time, or when there was some down time at work (cheers to the Embassy for allowing that to happen). Productions like this truely rely on having talented people who love doing VFX/production and are willing to work on good projects they believe in. We all benefit from the success of Terminus, whether its a couple cool shots on the reel or the satisfaction of a job well done.

Tristam Gieni
VFX Supervisor - Terminus

Mike RB
11-13-2007, 02:49 AM
Come on Tristam, you gotta take credit for the dance as well. Don't be shy.

TristamGieni
11-13-2007, 03:51 AM
thats how i dance when I go clubbing

AaronChan
11-13-2007, 05:42 AM
I really enjoyed that. Nice work guys!

AugieBenDoggie
11-13-2007, 05:59 AM
You know, this film reminds me THX1138 for some reason. Can't explain why, mabe it's because of the music, and the isolation of that poor guy. 5 stars on the CGI BTW! Hope you win the film festival award!

e338
11-13-2007, 08:18 AM
yeah ! that's a good one !
I started to look with this idea in mind "ok, see what the folks did for sfx, and if, for the reason, the short is good, you won't get too bored".
Well, damn you! Short is good, story is cool, the vintage look and the freaking music are good, and the SFX rocks!
I mean, this short manage to rely on the FX, without beeing lame or stupid or whatever. That's a very good point, that a dude like Michel Gondry manage to do with a very cheap/low cost fx style. You did it in a very neat way.

CONGRATS.
CHEERS.

ps: and guys, don't always try to understand things... you'll feel better thankyou!

Mirwen
11-13-2007, 09:11 AM
This is awsome. You have created something that looks awsome - both 3d and real camera. But what more... concept of this movie makes you thinking which is great because I can't see that often. (for example comparing this shot to Substantia which is in my unprofessional opinion shallow). But this is really good:)

Majorgruber
11-13-2007, 09:17 AM
I think this short is absolutely fantastic. It is a true 5* project as far as I am concerned and I really loved everything about it. I wish I had made this myself.

Is it possible to give some more details on the production process? How long did it take to produce from scratch untill end? To what extent was mocap used? etc

peteb
11-13-2007, 09:45 AM
I really loved this piece, I've sent it to everyone at work.

One very small crit, at the end where you see a close up of the brick feet in the snow. It then cuts to a medium CG shot of the character and it's missing the snow collection around it's feet.

Like I say not exactly anything major, just something I noticed. I think the only reason why was because I saw the snow on the close up and thought "no way is that CG"

Pete B

tartlane
11-13-2007, 10:02 AM
definetly my taste. excellent

viz
11-13-2007, 11:27 AM
Very nice indeed! This must be the best i've seen in years. Minor mistakes here and there as mentioned, but it really doesn't matter - and people outside this industry will definetly not notice. Great camerawork and editing as well.. Congratulations!

ddjix
11-13-2007, 12:32 PM
Absolutely BRILLIANT... great storyline...

xeno
11-13-2007, 12:58 PM
Absolutely loved it, the story was amazing and had really sucked me in!
The cgi looked great as well and very convincing.

If it would be possible at all to get this on a dvd, especially because i will be showing this a to a lot of people, it would be awesome.

KOKE
11-13-2007, 02:07 PM
One of the best shortfilms I have seen this year.

Brilliant execution.

Congrats. :thumbsup:

JK.

:D

voskovek
11-13-2007, 03:32 PM
I had a hard time trying to watch the whole thing, it took me a whole hour for the full video to load (it's just my crappy pseudo-ADSL conection).
But the waiting was absolutely worthy!!
excellent piece, I totally loved it, specially the conveyor belt!
great acting, superb camera work, beautiful eerie soundtrack and perfect CGI!!!

it's a shame there's only a five stars top rating!

Sreames
11-13-2007, 04:18 PM
Awesome job guys. The only thing I could point out that someone else also did, was the tracking on just a couple shots. The CG was moving off just a tad from the live action. Otherwise amazing!

digikris
11-13-2007, 04:54 PM
Hi,

Explain us about the story. Is it somekind of Karma follwoing the guy?
Are somekind of bad omen just transferring from one to another once its job is done.

Nice job well done with a available tools. Good example.

Regards,
Hari

Skamierski
11-13-2007, 05:19 PM
i love the mood !

Jerkazoid
11-13-2007, 06:44 PM
ok, well part of it is me just getting what i want from it. so for me it was like corporate identity/modern life just plagues us, and 1 at a time, it hunts us down,, even if it is there to "help" us.

but i would certainly love to hear some director commentary, even vague hints. i suppose if i thought more about the title, im sorta in awe right now.
(edit ooh the keeper of boundaries?)

i thought it was a very compelling piece, and the simplicity of it,, subtle emphasis.

loved it

SapphireLight
11-13-2007, 06:45 PM
Wow! That was great. I loved the dancing. Well done. :thumbsup:

Kyena
11-13-2007, 09:07 PM
Really fun and the same time thought provoking to watch. Not to mention how well done :)

Djampa
11-13-2007, 09:16 PM
Fantastic !

Thanks for sharing ! Congratulations !

Would love to comment about it a lot here, but I just prefer to watch it over and over and enjoy ! :)

It's really well done ! I'd love to hear more about it here, maybe an interview of the production ?

Cheers,

IkerCLoN
11-13-2007, 11:41 PM
I second the idea of an interview! Congrats on the job, it's quite awesome. For me, the compositing works fine (yeah, there are some little gaps sometimes...), and I like a lot the simplistic design on the CG characters. Dude, they scare me...

kasana
11-14-2007, 03:37 AM
Beautiful. five star to film and 7 stars to your entire team... :)
but If we can listen from the director about the story as for me its something related to your mental blocks. just want to see if I got it right.
Again let me congrats you guys. surely it ll b a big launching pad for you.
:buttrock:

NovaKane
11-14-2007, 03:43 AM
very nicely done. Really good job with tracking, lighting, sound and compositing.

:D

notsocreative
11-14-2007, 04:02 AM
u guys have done an excellent job.really hats off to embassy vfx.
every thing was photorealistic.
i just loved it

veljko-lemonade
11-14-2007, 07:55 AM
Excellent stuff guys!
really inspiring to see fellow lightwavers do souch great work!

the story is clear and the point obvious to me-
the concerte man and all the other sutff following the people are their own mental problems
and barriers that we create and that hinder us in our lifes and control our lifes. (this was shown with the fact that only he could see this concrete man). The explanation of what his object meens to him (the concrete man) was explained when he was talking on the phone to someone that "he will not make it" (obviously some kind of a date or some othe social event), looking at the concrete man as the reason- this explains that his concrete man is low selfe asteem and poor selfeimage. You could see his poisture and his apereance shows him as a man with low selfe asteem and no friends- cought up in his own mental projections..and the dead givaaway was when in his dream he saw that he himselfe was the concrete man, explaining the whole thing..

This is what i got from the movie...
:)

Pixelbrush
11-14-2007, 08:17 AM
Just great! Models go very nicely on surrounding environment and the story is good. A little freaky but good and clear to understand nevertheless.

Overall very finished work!

Pixelbrush
11-14-2007, 08:32 AM
the concerte man and all the other sutff following the people are their own mental problems
and barriers that we create and that hinder us in our lifes and control our lifes. (this was shown with the fact that only he could see this concrete man). The explanation of what his object meens to him (the concrete man) was explained when he was talking on the phone to someone that "he will not make it" (obviously some kind of a date or some othe social event), looking at the concrete man as the reason- this explains that his concrete man is low selfe asteem and poor selfeimage. You could see his poisture and his apereance shows him as a man with low selfe asteem and no friends- cought up in his own mental projections..and the dead givaaway was when in his dream he saw that he himselfe was the concrete man, explaining the whole thing..

Close to what I thought but how about the end? After bus accident concrete man goes to dance by seemingly random person and I get the feeling it all starts over again.

MarcoTomaselli
11-14-2007, 10:46 AM
great work.....very good.

andrebranco
11-14-2007, 12:17 PM
Wow! That was very pleasent to watch, man. Great Short.
Congratulations :)

andrebranco
11-14-2007, 12:27 PM
Wow! That was very pleasent to watch, man. Great Short.
Congratulations :)

wireFrame
11-14-2007, 05:02 PM
The stiry was derived from the meaning of the title:

ter·mi·nus /ˈtɜrmənəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[tur-muh-nuhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -ni /-ˌnaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[-nahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, -nus·es.

1. the end or extremity of anything.
2. either end of a railroad line.
3. British. the station or the town at the end of a railway or bus route.
4. the point toward which anything tends; goal or end.
5. a boundary or limit.
6. a boundary post or stone.
7. (initial capital letter) the ancient Roman god of boundaries and landmarks.
8. term (def. 10).

[Origin: 1545–55; < L: boundary, limit, end]


*Source Dictionary.com

wireFrame
11-14-2007, 05:06 PM
The story was derived from the meaning of the title:

ter·mi·nus /ˈtɜrmənəs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[tur-muh-nuhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -ni /-ˌnaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[-nahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, -nus·es.

1. the end or extremity of anything.
2. either end of a railroad line.
3. British. the station or the town at the end of a railway or bus route.
4. the point toward which anything tends; goal or end.
5. a boundary or limit.
6. a boundary post or stone.
7. (initial capital letter) the ancient Roman god of boundaries and landmarks.
8. term (def. 10).

[Origin: 1545–55; < L: boundary, limit, end]

*Source Dictionary.com

TristamGieni
11-14-2007, 05:43 PM
Thanks again for the great feedback and kind words!

for mocap we first created a library of moves we needed based on a rough edit of the short (which had temp, grey shaded, rough animation renders)...it costs far too much and would take way too much time working/editing with mocap if we had a different sequence for each cement shot..

eg.
cement walk forward
cement walk and stop
cement dance and stop and dance
cement stand and turn 180 degrees
and others

this created a library that was used for almost the entire short. for certain shots we had to tweak rotations, etc. to eliminate geometry passing through itself, or when eyelines dont match.

I wore the cement leg props you see in the short during mocap so my movements appeared to be heavier and match the live action.

furbit
11-14-2007, 06:03 PM
That was a great short, by far one of the best I have seen in a long time.

The creature moving along the wall freaked me out a bit, i thought it was so cool, when you realized it probably trails back all the way to the guys home, maybe beyond that.

Great idea for the animation library, we have used similar techniques for a few projects over the past few months,

This was a great film to start the day with, I feel inspired and happy. Thanks.

crazybread
11-14-2007, 08:41 PM
Very weird and fascinating flick. At the same time extremely well done. Congratulations to all who worked on this short. 5*****

HRG
11-15-2007, 09:58 AM
it was interesting to watch, the style of 70ties was the coolest thing to me.
something like Tempbot, but not that strong :twisted:

sad_raven
11-15-2007, 05:19 PM
LOVED it! Congrats, everyone who worked on this. I thought it was very cool. These are the types of short films that I like to see.

Highlights:

I liked how each affected person had their own version following them. Much more creative than having everyone being followed by a Cement.

Laughed out loud when the conveyor belt smacks the guy on the back of the head.

I thought the CG was very well incorporated into the live action, particularly with the small details such as the snow on Cement's feet.

Kudos!

helsing
11-17-2007, 02:45 AM
Really enjoyable watch! Great job : ]

akhlaque
11-19-2007, 02:38 PM
Every element of the film makes it gr8.



:thumbsup:

oktawu
11-19-2007, 04:58 PM
very intruguing short film
could any of u guys that worked on it at embassy give us some info on the team and tools used?
im really curious since i heard u guys use a mishmash of off the shelf stuff, and id love to hear what ur pipe is for bringing the mocap from rainmaker all the way to comping and rendering.

cheers

lulu1315
11-27-2007, 09:13 PM
hello
I loved the film and find it very well done.

what striked me are the similarities between this film and a comic strip
called CHHHT by JASON a Norvegian artist.
http://www.bdselection.com/php/chroniquebd-2226_Chhht_!.html

the story is 20 pages long and tells the story of a guy followed by a skeleton (death obviously).after having tried to get rid of him without success he dies crushed by a bus.
then you see the skeleton following another guy... and the story restarts.

I don't know if the authors of Terminus are aware of this book ,
if not I thought they could be interested to know.

cheers

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