View Full Version : Alien Mayhem In Amsterdam, House Of Secrets & Soulbase (Animation)

08 August 2004, 06:38 PM (

Title: Alien Mayhem In Amsterdam
Name: House Of Secrets & Soulbase
Country: Netherlands
Software: Max, Maya, Lightwave, Afterfx

'Geweldenaren Van Ver' (Tyrants From Afar) - A small short, trailer-style aiming at totally blowing away the audience and clear up the common misunderstanding - once and for all - that smaller studios in Holland indeed have enough experience and expertise to fulfill the task of doing realistic animated 3D.

So pop the corn, dim the light, max the volume.. Enjoy! Have a look at the mini-site we've setup:

>> Watch the Movie Here << (

With regards,

08 August 2004, 06:03 AM
Whoops made a you people don't have to copy 'n paste here's the working link.

08 August 2004, 08:41 AM
:argh: :D
I just love it. Boeh!
Like this retro-style of robots and ufos.
...and i like the cow.
fantastic. :beer:

08 August 2004, 08:44 AM
what i've forgot to write:

The way you get the text-parts in the picture is also very super. :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 09:07 AM
Looks great! REally good compositing and smoke effects!
Its a bit short though - it gets you into it, and then ends - but as you said earlier, you wanted it to be like a film trailer, and it does just that.

I sense a front page plug and broken links.......

08 August 2004, 09:32 AM
Realy great!! I realy like the way text is displayed!!

Heel heel goed :)

08 August 2004, 09:42 AM
Excellent work, the particle explosions are great! It's a real teaser trailer, leaves you wanting more...

08 August 2004, 10:54 AM
excellent, the video is very good and very funny
good works:bounce:

08 August 2004, 11:01 AM
Boah, this IS fantastic.
I really like the retro-style, like in old sci-fi films and comics.
Very nice done!

daar hou ik van :)
gezellig en heel heel goed!


08 August 2004, 11:24 AM
Wow, great work, guys!

Frontpage stuff.

I especially love the particle Effects - The explosions, the dust, they are awesome!

08 August 2004, 12:09 PM
yeah, except from the overall ass kicking render the particle effects are just fabulous! :applause:

08 August 2004, 12:52 PM
great anim -- love the graphic animation a lot

08 August 2004, 01:11 PM
Woha, well you definedly prove that there's lots of Dutch talent! Amazing.

Het is zo fijn... om een Nedelander te zijn.. hmmmhmmmm ;)

08 August 2004, 02:59 PM
Amazing stuff. Hitting the ABN Amro bank haha.

Echt zo tof om te zien dat hollanders het ook kunnen. Hulde !!

08 August 2004, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the compliments from the whole geweldenaren crew.
It is nice to that there are so many dutch people on this forum.
Anybody interested in financing a certain scifi alien invasion feature? ;)


House of secrets

08 August 2004, 10:42 PM
I wish i had some money ;)

Hope to see more stuff from this crew.. It rocks :D.

08 August 2004, 11:44 PM
Don't you worry, we have 3 shorts that we're working on...
Some of you might have heard of one of 'm already :

Cheers people, and thanx for the comments,

House of Secrets

08 August 2004, 11:22 PM
wow this was superb :applause: you guys rock!

08 August 2004, 08:22 PM
:bowdown: Bravo!

Time to proceed to the full length feature film! Timing couldn't be better. We all need some really great Sci-Fi, not the crap we've been seeing of late.....Bravo!

~ Gary ~

08 August 2004, 11:11 PM
Very nice guys, I'm in aw, As good as any preview I've seen. When is the movie coming out :D

keep up the good work!!!

08 August 2004, 03:53 PM
Something we made for fun.


08 August 2004, 05:23 PM
I know A'dam rocks!..but with these dudes in town it will rock my pants down! :p

erg goed gedaan...alleen soms zijn de smookeffecten een beetje "gepixeled"...maar erg ERG goed!
gaaf ook, die retro stijl erin!

I want more!

08 August 2004, 12:32 PM
Yeah...pixelated explosion...that would be my bad (that one kinda fell through quality check :) )...But one can do only so much in 2 weeks...

08 August 2004, 12:48 PM
Very nice!! Looking forward to the next shorts!
May I ask which renderer you used?

08 August 2004, 01:16 PM
Thx man. For al the software (Maya, Max and Lightwave) we used the standard renderers.

08 August 2004, 01:22 PM
excellent stuff !!
watched it 3 times in a row :buttrock:

can't wait to see next shorts from you guys !

08 August 2004, 04:04 AM
:thumbsup: Wow That clip is VERY NICE... All the best on that festival.

08 August 2004, 04:30 AM
not too hot to be *plugged* i thought....

nothing really appealed to me.........looks semi-pro....and lacks punch and tightness......soundtrack and sound effects not upto the mark......sounds forced...

haven't read the posts earlier...but if that cow is CG......that would kickAss..

08 August 2004, 05:38 AM
I like the particle debris caused by the explosions. But one thing I noticed with the shot aiming up along the building... The explosion accurse one frame faster then the laser... Go back and try to fix that... Other then that, COOL!

08 August 2004, 06:50 AM
Great work you guys !!! :bounce:

The titles are great too. Especially the last one, 'Sta op en verzet u !" ('Rise and resist', for those that don't speak Dutch) . If I'm not mistaken that line was used by the Dutch resistance in WWII.

And I think it's nice to show that Holland produces more than just cheese and XTC :D

08 August 2004, 07:45 AM
Excellent job! I saw it earlier through some other site and it still rocks. And the animation of the fonts is the best ever!

Goed werk!

08 August 2004, 08:54 AM
Something's wrong with the explosions. The one near the end especially looks like a post process effect. Like you've run a displacement map in after effects over the part that explodes. It's not exactly that but I don't really know how to describe it.

I'm not in the 3d bussiness but as a viewer there are some things in your clip that makes me a little bit hesitant.
You said you had little time to produce that. So overall speaking it looks ok. BUT there are a few things that bother me. For example some funny looking shots, like the mill and the cow scene at the beginning. They look heavily composited. Some of the angles and the editing (at the beginning especially) are a bit strange from a cinematic point of view, and the overall digital quality of the footage doesn't help either. And the fact that the trailer doesn't have a clear structure gives to the whole experience a big minus. All the movie preview clips even though they are not obviously the whole movie they have some kind of structure. A beginning a middle part and an end. They set a mood at the beginning, than they tell you what the movie is about, and finally in the end they raise the viewers expectations so the viewer would go and see the movie. Your trailer didn't have that kind or any kind of structure except the establishing shots at the beginning, that set some kind of place where all these things happen. So if you want the clip to work as a trailer you should work on that a little bit more.

I'm not saying all those things just so I would bring you down and play the wise a$$ that knows everything but I think that if I mention all the things that didn't work for me you could improve on the final product and create a better experience for the viewer.

08 August 2004, 08:55 AM
Hehehe.... erg leuk gedaan! :)
Oranje boven!!!

08 August 2004, 10:00 AM
Oranje boven inderdaad ! Goed bezig jongens !

08 August 2004, 10:11 AM
Indeed I am one of the people who thought the Dutch could not make realistic special effects and computer animations (though the art animations are very highly developed in the Netherlands, see for instance Father and Daughter). Now Guerilla already shower me that computer-entertainment could be done at an excellent level in the Netherlands (games, that is: Shell Shock and Killzone). Now you guys show movie special effects are done here well as well. Good thing.

By the way: I see House of Secrets is just around my corner: I go to school at the HKU in Hilversum. :)

The style of the thing is so cool, by the way. With the flags and the text over it.

08 August 2004, 10:41 AM
It's nice to see Dutch animation not trying to be hollywood animation but finding its own quirky feel. Obviousely not everybody will understand that and will point out things like pixelated explosions or non-realistic compositing.

Personally I'm glad the animation comes with its obvious 'fake designed bits'.

Keep it up!

08 August 2004, 11:15 AM
Hey Phobos.... I'd like to react on what you just said about a structure.

I Think it does have a structure... and it goes like follows

1. Establishing.. Where are we? Holland! We have several shots showing typical dutch situations.. everything is quiete, nothing happening. Yes that's Holland.

2. Big change in normal situation... Splash! We get invaded by beings from outer space... Them tyrants! All gets destroyed, and women and childeren won't be save no more. They are cracking us like a nut.

3. Reaction.... Get up , stand up ! ... A call for arms.... allready anouncing what will be next... probably a huge battle... but will we ever know?


08 August 2004, 11:39 AM
Arme koe.. :D

Excellent work!

08 August 2004, 11:41 AM
Excellent smoke effects

08 August 2004, 11:44 AM
It's fun! feels a bit like starship troopers, especially with the slogan titles.

Knap werk!

08 August 2004, 02:01 PM
That was Beautiful. You prove that small studios are still the creative frontliners in this commercially unenlightened industry.

08 August 2004, 03:21 PM
fantastisch! Lage landen boven!

- Bentagon

08 August 2004, 03:26 PM
Great work. It's worth putting English subtitles, because it sounds like the text is important.

08 August 2004, 03:52 PM
Well, it was definetly a short film, but after someone watches it, they're seriously left hanging. I mean, seriously, other then it being totally done in cg, what was the point of making it. I'm guessing this is going to be one in a series of short films featuring these alien invaders, otherwise this will have been one serious let down.

08 August 2004, 04:15 PM
A reaction on Goldenavatar..

As far as "leaving the audience hanging"... I thought that was the general idea of a trailer? Now, on to your other comment about what being the point. I would like to recommend reading the intro text supplied on the mini-site. It explains clearly why the short was made. I for one am sure that nobody can deny the fact that we unmistakably were succesful at achieving our own objective. Again, once more, I would like to refer to the intro text if you would like to know what objective that was.

We like to hear constructive comments, that's for sure seeing that they can be very helpful... But please, when you do so, don't make a fool out of yourself and first read up on the story behind the project.

Here's a translation of the motion graphics text in English (and in chronological order).. The text indeed is kind of important (the DVD has subtitles by the way... ;-)

"Disaster descended upon us"

"They came from above"

"Be brave"

"Tyrants From Afar"

"Rise and resist"

"Soon invading a theatre near you"

Thanks for all the kind words, all I can say is we did our best. This is what we could deliver in two and a half weeks. We are content with it (not to say that it couldn't be any better, but for two and a half weeks, we are pretty content)

With kind regards,


Soulbase (

08 August 2004, 04:29 PM
great job!

all comments have been already been said.

08 August 2004, 05:15 PM
Now that was fun movie clip.. all the old desing UFOs flying around, and the gigantic robots look funny in the downtown.. made me laugh!!!

Great effects you´ve made up to it... love your stuff!


08 August 2004, 05:22 PM
Poor old Bessy!!! Why is the cow always the first one to get it?
You did a good job of blowing up buildings without actually blowing them up.
I love scenes with giant robots stomping around in cities. I hope Sky Captain is at least as
good. What part did Lightwave play? Just modeling or more? Is it possible to see some images of just the robots and a wire or two? :bounce:

08 August 2004, 10:37 PM
Reading the intro text in the site helped a lot. I think the bad comments you got, -that really weren't bad, they were just suggestions and thoughts about the work,- were because you were trying to promote the trailer as something that it wasn't.

On the very first post you said: "clear up the common misunderstanding - once and for all - that smaller studios in Holland indeed have enough experience and expertise to fulfill the task of doing realistic animated 3D."

Instead you should say something like: this is our effort to create a short stylised clip in a limited timeframe.

Now people can understand that the problems that we can clearly see in the clip were because of the short timeframe. And now we can appreciate the work you've done and the effort involved to do that kind of thing.

The realistic comment is also a little bit too extreme. If you used the term stylised or that you were going for a style that resembles "sky captain and the world of tommorow" then we wouldn't expect to see a realistic animated 3d from a company that has enough experience and expertise to fulfill the task.
By hyping your work you set certain expectations that you have to meet. If the expectations aren't met then you get a really dissapointed crowd.
Not to mention the contradiction of a studio that has experience and expertise, and enters in to a non pro contest.

Promote yourself right.

And please don't take my comments as bad critique or being b!tchy.

Now that things are cleared up, I can say to you.
Job well done!!
Congratulations and keep going!!

08 August 2004, 10:44 PM
...and clear up the common misunderstanding - once and for all - that smaller studios in Holland indeed have enough experience and expertise to fulfill the task of doing realistic animated 3D.My thoughts exactly! Is the 3D industry in Holland then finally maturing? Let's hope so! :)

Fantastic work, guys!!! :thumbsup:

PS. Als jullie ooit nog eens vacatures hebben daaro in Nederland, geef dan effe een gilletje, want in ben Engeland goed zat! :beer:

Oooo spooky... I just noticed this is my 666th post on CGTalk!!! :twisted:

08 August 2004, 11:06 PM
I was just gonna say that!

That's one evil post you have there man!!!

08 August 2004, 11:36 PM

We don't take comments as bad critique or as being bitchy, so no worries there! We received lots of "great"-s and "wow"-s (which is very cool, many thanks everyone!) but offcourse it's also nice to hear some real critique. We're not perfect in any way and therefore would love to learn from others. But then on my turn I would like to give away that critique is only critique when you know the story behind it. Otherwise it's just ramblings. Pretty sure you agree with me on that.

Where I do have to disagree on partly is that you mention "Promote yourself right". I totally agree on that statement, but I would say we did! We've set up a site stating exactly how the clip evolved from start to finish, what we have set as our own goals and what the outcome in the end was. We thought things over and pulled a hype on it for exposure. Again, us being small (but confident ;-) studios can use the extra publicity.

The one thing that was a misjudgment was indeed the contest (that turned out to be "non-pro"). But I think that is also typical for the "Dutch 3D idea". They present the contest as top-of-the-notch, state that they want to show the audience that Holland also can make convincing effects and in effect pull a "too profi stunt" on us. (Another thing I totally agree on with you: Realistic is indeed a bit too extreme and therefore incorrectly used as a term)

Lastly I dont see a contradiction in the fact that we have experience and expertise and followingly enter a non-pro contest. That, once again, defines the Dutch 3D market. We as small studios have enough experience and expertise in 3D but the Dutch market won't let us (talking about more Dutch studios here, not just us) do projects because they all (read: mostly) go abroad. Leaving the Dutch 3D level at a seemingly low level cause of contests, promoting themselves as top-notch to the public, show a much lower quality of work. It's not alone the case of us entering a non-pro festival, it's the fact that the general mentality is that the work regularly shown on these festivals IS the pro standard when in fact at the moment even smaller studios are able to perform at a higher standard. That combined with the fact that "everything" goes abroad or to the (very few) larger studios in Holland leaves the market puzzled and thinking that they actually _do_ have to go abroad. That was the largest drive for us to create something like this! The fact that the development period was rather short also helps to show that it wouldn't have to take forever, seeing a smaller studio means a smaller team works on it... So that drive, the general mentality surrounding the Dutch 3D market AND the given background of the project convinced us we could try and hype this thing for the statement of it.

Having said that I think we did an ok job on setting an objective and reaching that objective. That being: "Our personal aim was to totally blow away the audience and clear up the common misunderstanding - once and for all - that smaller studios in Holland wouldn't have enough experience and expertise needed to fulfill such a task"

Okido, throat cleared! :) Thanks for the flowers and critique! We definately will keep going, we learned a lot and - I promise - never will stop learning!


P.S. How about them Olympics 'ey!!

08 August 2004, 02:18 AM
THis looks really nice. Great job

08 August 2004, 09:22 AM
Wohooow great jobs you guys did :)

heey Arjan, wat was jou aandeel hier in?

08 August 2004, 10:02 AM
Fantastisch werk! Ik vind die retro-look fantastisch!

08 August 2004, 10:17 AM
Awesome Clip... Great work !

Only comment is that on the scene with the cows although the robot that steps on the cow makes a hole on the ground , all others just step on the grass without making any holes.

Anywayz .. It's very impressive... Hope to see some more soon!! :)

08 August 2004, 10:19 AM
Hi Koen

Mijn aandeel hierin was het modelen, shaden en renderen van de robots en het shaden en renderen van de ufo's. Verder het maya gedeelte van de explosies en nog wat andere dingetjes.

Hoe gaat het er verder mee? Ik heb net je site bekeken en ben erg onder de indruk van je werk.


08 August 2004, 11:21 AM
Very,very nice animation, guys!

Hi Floris (one of the animators). Long time no see. How is the south these days?

Dit is ook een trotse kaasdrager!

08 August 2004, 12:17 PM
It looks very cool, even though you probably would like to hear otherwise, the 50s propaganda art style graphics design was my favourite part of the movie. That's not to say I wasn't impressed with the rest too though, especially for a dutch company - and I know you don't like me saying that but I wasn't convinced of any dutch superiority yet - it looked tight. I still have to agree with Phobos to some degree though, it didn't strike me as professional in every aspect.

Personally my main problem was the animation of the robots, those simply didn't move in a convincing way in most of the shots, especially the large march at the beginning. The foot rotation was the most obvious thing, and besides that the entirely rigid spine (I suppose that doesn't make it a spine anymore, but you get the idea) that did have a lot of rotation at the hips made them look very jerky, something that doesn't fit a mech that big, imo.

Other than that, I really liked it. While there are many complains about those explosions, I personally liked them give or take some of the pixellation. Especially the 2D animation feel they had while retaining a pretty convincing and realistic character impressed me.

By the way, Bobby the Groot, you're the animatronics teacher at the HKU right? I did animation last year (quit halfway through the year though)... never knew that course housed such a talented 3D teacher :)

08 August 2004, 12:20 PM
oooohh..that's huge man.....awesome it a lot

08 August 2004, 01:49 PM
Hey Sven, Arjan and Bobby,

Heh, nearly missed this post!
It's really nice to see this little beauty finally getting a bit of exposure. Very cool indeed, congrats! :)
The clip attracted a small audience around my desk as well, the guys over here loved it! Especially the explosions (great as always) got a few oooh's and aahh's, but I love the design, modeling and textures on the robots as well!
Anyway, I really hope everything will work out great for you guys in the future, you deserve it! All this in two weeks is simply amazing!!
Looking forward to discover more secrets from The House of Secrets! Keep up the good work!


08 August 2004, 08:51 PM
Wow this short anim is one of the best ive seen! Really nice camera work and animations! Love the big giant bots squished the cow >:) Poor cow tho. Great work!!! Love the style :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 09:03 PM
Excellent work, I LOVE the music, very polished indeed.

08 August 2004, 10:25 PM
to mezzy

Originally posted by WeZzy:
P.S. How about them Olympics 'ey!!

Well to be honest I've only seen the opening ceremony of the olympics... And I was really impressed!! I didn't expect it to be so nicely done... Lately I don't have so much time doing fun stuff. :sad:
I'm in UK right now doing my MA that is full of deadlines... :argh:
So there's no spare time for watching the olympics.

I should probably stop right know and let the thread return to its original subject matter!

see ya!
It was nice talking to you.


08 August 2004, 04:31 AM
Love to see a city you know so well being blown to pieces!
Great work,
look forward to seeing more!

Groetjes Kanga

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 11:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.