View Full Version : CgTalk:FXWars! Dracula's Castle Challenge:8

10 October 2005, 05:08 AM
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Dracula's Castle SIGNUP LIST: Post here those who are looking for partners/teams (

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CgTalk Daily Sketch 485(PRODUCTION DESIGN) "Dracula's Castle" (

CgTalk:FXWars! Dracula's Castle

BY Roberto Ortiz

The Castle
Dracula surely needs little introduction, being the most famous tale of vampirism and the one to which all since it was published in 1897 have aspired to. However, with the numerous adaptations and cinematic rejuvenations and rejiggings of the legend (from Nosferatu to Blackula) have come many bastardisations of the original tale and character. The novel is told via the diary entries of the young solicitor Jonathan Harker, his fiancée Mina, Lucy Westenra and Dr John Seward (who is in charge of a lunatic asylum in Essex). We travel to the Transylvanian abode of Count Dracula, a strange and disturbing castle. His purpose is to settle a land deal for Seward but he is drawn into bizarre and horrifying experiences within the castle walls.
Simulate a series of establishing (either exterior or interior shots). Imagine you have been tasked to do a series of establishing shots for a remake of Bram Stoker's Dracula. This means that how the environment looks and feels like is key.

We have limited the scope to two mayor categories:

Exterior Shot (Imagine a dark and stormy night as the camera comes up from the cliff walls up to the castle tower )
Castle Interior / Environment (Imagine the main chamber of the castle where the count is waiting)
Since this is a environment war you NEED to add at least one environment effect to the sequence. On the exterior shots we could see, moving tress, clouds, lighting, mist, fog. And on the interior shots , we could see fire, fog, or some cool lighting effects. You don't need to do all of the effects, just one or two. Also you might do fully digital shots or if you wish you can do a composite shot/matte painting or a filmed sequence. But because of the tight dateline it is STRONGLY encouraged that this challenge be done in teams.

One of the key of the challenge, for all entry types, is to do believable movie style shots of the castle. Multiple techniques should be used to produce the shots (3D models, matte painting, live action, photographs etc) so good integration of the elements is key. Like the last challenge this is an excellent opportunity for compositors to try their skills. (But a a composite is not a requirement)

At the end pf the challenge a finished entry that looks EXACTLY like the kinds of scene we could see in a live action Dracula movie so keep in mind that the keys are realism and feeling You will have 3 weeks to do the challenge.

Exterior (Difficulty Level MED)
Imagine you are driving on a dark and stormy night and you see on the horizon a creepy castle

More emphasis on shot creation and realistic environment VFX interaction
More emphasis on editing, lighting and cinematography.
The scenes in the entry require good flow and good camera work

In cg It is very easy to do flying ships, but it is VERY HARD to do the whole thing getting the scene to look right.
Interior ( Difficulty Level MED)
Imagine you are in main chamber of the castle waiting for the master to come over.

More emphasis on shot creation and realistic lighting VFX interaction
More emphasis on editing, lighting and cinematography.
The scenes in the entry require good flow and good camera work
HYBRID ENTRY: (Difficulty Level VERY HIGH)

It combines the required of both the Exterior and the Interior shot
The best animation/short will be selected by an open vote
for these categories:

Best Composite Work
Best Animation
Best Editing
Best Visual Effects)
Best Overall Entry
The winner will get bragging rights and a small banner
designed by me.

DATELINE: Monday October 31st 12:00 PM

You have 3 weeks(!) to do the challenge.


No work taken DIRECTLY from an existing tutorial. You may use an existing tutorial only for reference.
You may use a pre exiting models and filmed footage, as long as you have the rights to use them.
You may provide a heavily edited animation with all the trimmings, as long a you provide a written shot sequence OR a storyboard of your work.
Remember the key of the challenge if for you guys to brush up on your composite skills.

The animation and simulations (if any) must have been done AFTER the topic has been
WIP are encouraged if they are posted in ANOTHER
thread. Please provide a link to them on this thread.
WIP thread should be posted on the FXWARS Forum forum and should follow
the following naming convention: FXWars! "Dracula's Castle" (!: MY NAME, TYPE OF ENTRY (Note: Group entries are allowed)
It is Recommended that Final movies should be rendered at 320 x 240 or 640 x 480 in QuickTime* format (Sorenson Compression), but other resolutions and formats are allowed. * The animation format is open for discussion.
The animation should follow the following naming convention:
MYNAME_FXWARS(RESOLUTION).mov. And please add your name at the beginning and end of the animation, and if you can, also add a small non disruptive watermark during the animation.
If for some reason, you can't host movies, sequential images (Thumbnails size 160 x 120 ) are accepted.
Please add a brief text description about your piece.
The artist also has to post total length of time it took and program used.
Collaborative pieces are accepted and encouraged, but Teams entries must have a identifying banner and a name. Shot lists should be included with the entry.
Individuals participating in a team CAN have their own individual entries.
The topics will be picked at random from the list on
this >>thread << (The author will be given credit). So
guys keep them coming.
Post on this thread your link to your WIP thread and your FINAL piece.
You can add multiple entries, as long as they have different WIP threads.
Only participants who follow the rules and submit a final entry will be elegible for the voting process.
Any piece caught breaking the rules will be taken
off the thread.

( 1992 movie (

1931 movie (

The Novel: (

I also recomend to check the moody work by

Mike Mignola...

Good Luck

10 October 2005, 05:05 PM
I'm on it.

-IF- I can just find some time. Which I prossibly won't. Late nights is all I have left over.... very late.....


10 October 2005, 03:38 AM
sounds cool, I just finished school so I should have some free time on my hands to wip up something...whats the deal with the production design sketches? Do we need permission to adapt one, or by them posting them that means we can use them?

10 October 2005, 04:40 AM
sounds cool, I just finished school so I should have some free time on my hands to wip up something...whats the deal with the production design sketches? Do we need permission to adapt one, or by them posting them that means we can use them?
The idea is that, if you wishl, you can use one of the sketches as a basis for your animation.

But please give credit to the artist.


10 October 2005, 06:54 AM
que tal roberto 2 preguntas (no soy muy bueno con el ingles ) ..

1 , solo hay que mostrar el castillo , es decir pueden ser solo tomas ( con movimiento ) pero sin tema ? puede tener un tema ?

2 , entiendo algo sobre que deve usarse la idea original de dracula , pero cual es esta ? dracula vuela y sale por las noches ?

gracias de antemano

10 October 2005, 10:34 AM
Count me in!:thumbsup: I'll try and participate in the challenge aswell!:D


10 October 2005, 12:35 PM
Awesome challenge!

Is it OK to ambitiously sign up for a hybrid entry, but change it to ext. or int. as late as on submission day, in case I don't get to make it all?

- Jonas

10 October 2005, 02:23 PM
Nevermind, I feel stress coming on if I have to make a hybrid entry, so I'll stick to one thing. :)

I'm in: here's the WIP (

Best of luck to everyone!

10 October 2005, 02:36 AM
I'm in too. Going for the exterior first and foremost. If time allows, I'll do a hybrid.

Here's my WIP thread (

Best of luck to all,


10 October 2005, 01:23 PM
I visited the castle about twice. It is a strange place...With small windows and a small gate for such a big building. And it has a very gloomy but nice interior garden...The memories kinda motivate me to give this challenge a try...

google monkey
10 October 2005, 02:26 PM
WIP thread for my exterior entry

10 October 2005, 04:05 PM
And my WIP Thread...also for the exterior shot.:)

Dracula's Castle 3DEffects, Exterior Shot (


10 October 2005, 11:55 PM
A partial re-incarnation of "Team Rio" ... with a couple of new members. We are going to go for the Hybrid category again.

Here is our WiP thread ...

10 October 2005, 08:54 AM
Here's my thread, I do the project all alone, I haven't much time to post WIPs.... (

10 October 2005, 01:57 PM
Uh... our thread has been up for a while, forgot to post link in here. Here we go after all:

Link to thread of TEAM:AMSTERDAM:


Thanks for viewing!

10 October 2005, 03:38 AM

I'm assuming 12:00pm GMT, right? Just curious how much polish time I'm gonna have :)



10 October 2005, 05:53 AM
Here is how we will do this...

You guys have until nowhere on the planet is the 31st of October .


10 October 2005, 07:04 AM
Here is how we will do this...

You guys have until nowhere on the planet is the 31st of October .


Oh, a hair late to join now, then? ;)


10 October 2005, 02:14 PM
Oh, a hair late to join now, then? ;)

The next challenge will be a ton of fun...

Trust me.


10 October 2005, 08:12 PM
The next challenge will be a ton of fun...

Trust me.

-R Yeah but I always wanted to do a castle shot.

But I have had zero time. Work work work.....


10 October 2005, 07:54 AM
Abandoned, not finished :)

Well, there's a ton of stuff left that I'd give another couple polish passes to (stiff creature animation and motion blur glitches on the bats in particular), given unlimited time and lack of a day job, but I'm pretty pleased with the end result (although I reserve the right to do some touchups before midnight tonight):

852x480 Sorenson 3 Quicktime (

640x360 Sorenson 3 Quicktime (

All sorts of details in my WIP thread here.

This is the first (but not the last!) FXWars Challenge that I've entered. I learned a *ton* and really had a chance to work on my direction, timing and camerawork skills.

I wanted to establish the mood, environment and character relationships very quickly, so I started the piece with a rather heavy-handed metaphor (the spider). The piece moves literally from a bug's-eye to bird's eye view and the single continuous shot (with about 27 separate element plates) was terrifying to pull off in this time frame. Got me in the mood for the holiday, though!

The piece was created in Maya (mentalray & software renderers depending on speed), After Effects, Photoshop and Garageband for the score. The characters in the carriage are live action cards, and the castle and portions of the hill are a matte painting -- everything else is 3D.

I had a nasty flicker on my grass plate that I wasn't able to completely get rid of (ran out of rendering time), so I decided to drive the gamma of the entire piece with its flicker and call it stylized :D

In the end, I decided that David Oro's excellent concept art had a ton more personality than my modeled version, so I used his original art to make a 2.5d matte painting with a couple of modifications.

Many thanks to everyone for the encouragement during the challenge, and best of luck getting to the finish line.

Thanks for looking at my work.


10 October 2005, 09:52 AM
Hi Roberto
Can I have until tomorrow 1-11-05, i just need to put all my clips together....Please??

Muchas Gracias...


10 October 2005, 03:49 PM
The voting thread goes up on Wednesday.

Until then, I am not looking.


10 October 2005, 03:51 PM
Thank You

Muchas Gracias:bounce:


10 October 2005, 04:33 PM
Hi Everybody!

Finished just in time to post the final video. I hope u like it, nothing special, but I still hope u enjoy it. are my:

WIP Section Thread:

My final video specifications:
Type of Entry: Exterior
Length of Video: 1min 1sec
Total File Size: 5.1MB

Link to video:
My Dracula's Castle Challenge: Resolution 400x300 (


P.S. This is the picture to be posted in the voting page with my video. Thanks!

10 October 2005, 10:18 PM
Hello, here is my final entry to the challenge :

XviD/Mp3, 10Mo :

Wmv, 9Mo :

...And the thread is here :

11 November 2005, 12:48 AM
Team PXC - Hyrbid

Format : MOV, MPEG4, 480x270

Mirror 1:
Mirror 2:

edit: added second mirror for hosting file.


11 November 2005, 05:15 AM
Jonas Ussing, Exterior entry.

7.8 MB Quicktime, 768*326

Click here to download movie. (

Poster is attached. :)

- Jonas

11 November 2005, 11:51 AM
We (team amsterdam) have finished our entry

Small version (

Big version (


google monkey
11 November 2005, 12:52 PM



11 November 2005, 08:57 AM
Final Entry

Created By Nando3D And SePu..... 32 sec Video, (

enjoy it,


11 November 2005, 02:32 PM
Ok people give me until the end of the day to post the voting thread...


11 November 2005, 08:41 PM
Ok people give me until the end of the day to post the voting thread...


So you're saying it's too late to join now, right? ;)


11 November 2005, 09:51 PM
If it was anybody else I would laugh, but you Master zap have surprised me in the past.
Do you have anything to show?
If you do, well u have until now and the end of the day to post it.


11 November 2005, 07:57 AM
POST YOUR ENTRY! FXWARS !Dracula's Castle Challenge:8 ( -R

11 November 2005, 09:24 PM
any ETA for the voting thread going public ?

11 November 2005, 01:51 AM


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