View Full Version : MTSAT short film

04 April 2007, 02:26 PM

Heya! I'm Michael, currently student at THE GERMAN FILM SCHOOL (

In a team with Bastian Wartenberg, Till Keller, Patrick Geiss and Dirk Paepen we produced the short film MTSAT during the third term of the course Diploma Digital Artist. The production of several short films is part of the curriculum – whereas this most recent project can be considered the climax for us so far, referring to complexity as well as quality.

The intention was to achieve a high-quality look while using the limited time resources to their full capacity. Maximum tension and credibility to meet the requirements of an action movie was one of the objectives too.

I hope you like it! Enjoy!

Direct Link: MTSAT (Quicktime, 40Mb) (

Crits & Comments are most welcome! :)


04 April 2007, 08:22 PM
GREAT JOB!! looks really cool, had a great build up and ending. I really liked going from the cool sunset mood with the warm colors to the rain and cold danger environment. It really drew me in and ended with a 'BANG'.

04 April 2007, 10:35 PM
yeah looks very cool man keep it up :) :buttrock:

04 April 2007, 12:33 AM
You guys are incredibly talented to have pulled that off. That was freaking awesome. 'nuff said.

04 April 2007, 09:02 AM
As I already said that one is an awesome piece guys!
Everything fits so well together!

Congrats on finishing!

04 April 2007, 09:16 AM
Yeah, I saw this one about a week ago and was just stunned by it.. I love every single shot, everything is so detailed.. You guys did an amazing job! Congrats!

04 April 2007, 09:53 AM
That was really intense, made my heart beat a bit faster :p! Good speed and action! Great job!

04 April 2007, 10:17 AM
That was very exciting, great editing, pacing and so forth. Pacing is usually a big problem in non-professional film projects, so yours really impressed me. :thumbsup:

But I do think the shots lacked som rendering finesse... Like motion blur, proper lighting, etc...

And I would like to have seen more of a story ending.... like, who or what was in the capsule with the parachute?

- Jonas

04 April 2007, 10:22 AM
Congratulations on completing a very well executed project. I thought the pacing and overall feel on the film were spot on. Your modelling is insane and It was great to see dynamics and fluid effects pulled off so professionally.

I have no doubt you guys will find employment on completion of your course.

five stars and all 3 thumbs up for me :)


04 April 2007, 10:32 AM
Hej Guys..
that was awesome. Lighting , Renderind etc fits perfect , Keep up

(I´m pretty jealous :bowdown: )

04 April 2007, 10:58 AM
Mate, that's great. Enjoyed it bigtime. A very well done indeed.

04 April 2007, 10:59 AM
I love it.Wonderfull.

How did you make the clouds and how did you manage to render so many?

04 April 2007, 11:08 AM
Nice Job, Had me on the edge of my seat.

04 April 2007, 11:38 AM
Wow...excellent work. I love the camera angles and moves.this and the sound and voices make the movie very thrilling. the effects and all the stuff in the scene are great anyway, but the whole composition of this movie is so good. great work guys!:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 11:42 AM
Yes, good job especially on atmospheric and particles effects.
One crit though, not to knock your work, the two pilots follow the satellite falling and i don't understand why they fly so close and why they didn't shot it earlier. I think it's to make suspense but in my opinion that's a little bit cliché...

congrats on completing all those special effects.

04 April 2007, 12:02 PM
Congrats for the front page, very well deserved! I really loved the look and the speed of the movie. Keep it up!

04 April 2007, 12:34 PM
Great feeling! The CG it self could have been more polished!

04 April 2007, 01:12 PM
Great work guys ! Congratulations !

I think Jussin made comments I'd do ;)

I loved that rain and environment too ! Professionally executed !

Best wishes ! Good luck on the brilliant career ahead !

04 April 2007, 01:23 PM
Fantastic piece of work. I thought the models and lighting could of been better but it didnt really matter, what made it for me was the fantastic camera work, editing and soundfx. The cinematography really was first class, good pace and real tension was created.

Great work guys !!!

04 April 2007, 01:32 PM
Great work, especially liked the clouds. I have a few crits, nothing major though.

Firstly it isn't made clear why the pilots are chasing the sattelite, space craft or whatever it is. I could make out something in the dialogue at the beginning second time around but maybe it would have been clearer if it was subtitled at the start...or maybe have something to set the scene. The same thing applies to the parachute pod, it isn't clear what it is.

My second crit is that the final movie is 5 minutes long & 40mb in size but the intro & end credits make up 2 minutes.

oh, & the credits roll backwards :P

04 April 2007, 01:51 PM
wow man that is super nice, what programs did you used for it?

04 April 2007, 02:12 PM
Wicked mate! Good work!

04 April 2007, 02:33 PM
Modeling, texturing, shading is pretty basic, but it's well cut, nice cinematography, good acting, the plot is a little cheap, but it's a nice project nonetheless!

04 April 2007, 02:47 PM
that's some action, i loved it.

04 April 2007, 02:47 PM
That was incredible.

04 April 2007, 03:00 PM
really GOOD job!!! :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 04:06 PM
Echt nice :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 04:12 PM
Whew! Didn't think that we would make it to the frontpage that quickly, cause there are so many other very talented artists out there!

First of all thank you very much for your clicks, the ratings and the many compliments!
But thank you even more for the crits cause that is what will make us better. We're students so we have still a little bit time to get better... :)

@jussing: You're certainly right with the lighting issues... in the end we had only very little time to finish it up so we had to make some compromises especially when it is such a complex task as light.
You want even more motion blur? There should be quite a lot of it cause we were rendering with Pixar's Prman so we could get 3D motion blur quite cheap...
Of course we would have told a lot more if there was the time. But the last weeks were just like crazy and we couldn't have worked a minute more than in this time... :)
Just so much: the capsule contained important probes and materials from space that had been collected and are of unvaluable scientific value. So the Jets had to make sure that the capsule can safely return to earth. Only then they got the clearance to shoot the remaining sattelite.

@KicoTheMan: Yeah, the clouds were quite an issue actually. We derived them from the standard Maya Fluid presets and made then changes to the shader and the appearance to fit our needs. Fortunately, we had a couple of PCs to render them. But since you can almost always render them in Mental Ray with the setting "Draft" without much of a quality loss it was still managable.

@Tit-Co: See my explanation for the story above... But of course a story shouldn't need extra explanation, so surely that could have been made clearer.

@biliousfrog: Ok same thing with the story... but yeah, because of the walkie-talkie effect in the voices, the sound fx and the music it's sometimes quite hard to understand the first time. But there's actually quite a lot of explanation in the dialogue...
And sorry for the filesize... compressing and encoding isn't really my speciality :hmm:

@hasse32: We used quite a lot of programs: XSI (for part of modeling), Maya (for almost everything else 3d related), Pixar's Prman (rendering jets), Mental Ray (rendering clouds etc), Zbrush (texturing), Photoshop (texturing), AfterEffects (compositing), and a couple more...

So far... thanks again!


04 April 2007, 04:24 PM
Great Work . . AWESOME cameras

04 April 2007, 04:56 PM
Krass! Wirklich super Arbeit. Einige der Shots am Anfang waren mir einen Tuck zu kurz, aber ab dem Zeitpunkt wo der Container in Erscheinung tritt konnte ich gar nicht mehr auf die Umsetzung richtig achten. Das ist wohl das beste Zeichen, dass die Story und die Umsetzung mich gepackt haben und es mir eigentlich vollkommen wumpe ist, ob hier und da ein paar Schnitzer waren. Es war auf jeden Fall voll überzeugend und scheisse, ich dachte echt er packts nicht mehr! :D

Sehr gute Arbeit.

04 April 2007, 04:57 PM
As I said before, I really love your film, it is so well executed and you can see that you put so much of your creativity and love to film itself into it. Congrats for going frontpage. I promised it to you, and so it is, GREAT!

04 April 2007, 09:09 PM
Nice stuff you guys are doing there. Since this obviously was made to learn animation, which you did just fine I will not complain about the story/ content now :)

I've also seen the TV spot about the german filmschool on RTL2 this week. I liked it all pretty mutch inspite of the fact that it seems a bit like money is all that's needed to be an animator - not even a portfolio. Well, that's just my opinion and maybe I've got it wrong.

- Anne

Kurosaki Ichigo
04 April 2007, 12:16 AM
Amazing, awesome... (thinks of another "a" word)... ass? No... this kicked ass! 5 stars, I had a great time watching it, anyone who gives 3 stars or less, screw them, you can't trust peoples vote/opinion anymore, prime example... american idol!

04 April 2007, 01:22 AM
wow! Incredible work.

But I couldn't hear a word they were saying!

04 April 2007, 01:24 AM
Wow. A very well executed animation. The use of a serene opening and venturing into the more intense environment really helped build suspense for me. I really liked the rendering of the clouds and the modeling on the aircraft was also well done.

Few crits:
The end shot (city/industrial plant with all the red lights) doesn't hold the same level of craftsmanship as the rest of the animation. I would revisit the modeling/surfacing to make it look less procedural.

It is a short shot, but the ejected pilot could use some secondary animation on his limbs to pump up believability because, as one would guess, ejecting causes a lot of force and i'm sure he'd be holding onto his arse with a death-grip for dear life. -- too bad he gets slammed anyway :)

Of course don't let any crits (especially mine) make it seem like it wasn't well done. It was an amazing animation. I hope to pull off something even close to that great over summer. Not to be redundant (I checked so far but if it has already been asked and answered then sorry), but how long did that sequence take to complete? (if you could seperate the approximate production time and the approximate rendering time that would be very helpful).

Again, Amazing job!

04 April 2007, 01:57 AM
Yes, I'll second the above comments about the suspense element. I actually very much enjoyed the night/storm atmosphere.

I could see, and understand the reasons behind, the compromises you would have made for the lighting of the scene, so I won't press on that.

I only have 3 real complaints

The pilots themselves seemed to be the most neglected element. Basic modelling, basic animation. I understand you had time constraints, so perhaps they should have had less exposure so as to hide their shortcomings.
The cockpit of the Typhoon also lacked considerable detailing that could have been done in a couple of extra hours. It wasn't a problem for the pace, but, like the pilots, it did break suspension of disbelief.
The sound mixing seemed to be focused on making the feel realistic instead of effective, hence the need to view the film at least twice just to catch the dialogue.
All in all, for a non-professional item, it definitely was top notch. I'm sure the above issues wouldn't have shown up if you had more time to spend on it.


04 April 2007, 02:41 AM

04 April 2007, 03:44 AM

04 April 2007, 06:57 AM
Oh, I liked this animation , especially the camera movement. Congratulations.

04 April 2007, 09:48 AM
For a student film this was awesome, loved the suspensful nature of it. I cant wait to see what you guy's pull off when you consider yourselves...better :twisted:

Great job!

04 April 2007, 09:52 AM
One of the best.

04 April 2007, 11:27 AM
great job! though textures pulled my attention, it is still an amazing short. well done!

04 April 2007, 02:24 PM
sup guys your work is amazing :) i would just like to ask u guys tho about how you were able to render it? like how long did it took...etc. im currently workin wit a 3d short project in school and about to render soon. would really appreciate suggestions.

more power

04 April 2007, 04:00 PM
great job guys

really liked this short

04 April 2007, 05:17 PM
Hmmm, plot wise one might ask why the pilots chose not to fly to the sides of the falling space station. Just as easy to see it, plus you don't get hit by all the debris falling behind it.

Other than that it was an okay animation, I guess my years in the Air Force working on aircraft avionics makes me a bit cynical about the details.

04 April 2007, 05:27 PM
MorituriMax: em and then what would be fascinating about the film?
if it was your way we would be like: "wow how easy did they shoot that down?, the whole film was 3 seconds long and thank god there was no suspence, yeah!"

do u understand? it is obvious we don't care about (using voice from epic movies trailer): "the super extreme Air Force dude working on aircraft avionics" (stopped using cool voice) because his film idea is lame..laaaaammmmeeee


as i said guys great job: really liked compositting, editing, rain, clouds, most materials
and fx.

let poor morituri worry about avionics and u can make cool shorts (way, way, way cooollller).
well except if he was a pilot, but he didn't say he was...

04 April 2007, 05:47 PM
Oh well, I guess the quality of the fans mirrors the quality of the movie..

em.. hahahaha..

04 April 2007, 06:22 PM
morituri: ur answer was as lame as ur ideas on short films. let's study some air flow statistics instead

and then let's see ur short. short? what short? oh it is short, non-existent

edit: i will not take this further, as we have all witnessed the cool morituri's answers and ideas and i have to leave

04 April 2007, 06:50 PM
... I'm just pointing out something so lets be open minded and mature about this ya? Please don't shoot me down.

First of all, congrats on making this short film, its now one of my favorite SFX reference in my HD. Cool effects ya know!

But.. it could have been better if the Space station falls in a 50-70 degree angle towards the ground/factory and not flying straight towards the factory although there's some inclination. It would also create a better impact on the audience. We'll just leave this at that.

Finally the path where the hero pilot's airplane flew off after destroying the space station was slightly awkward as it flew and turned in an almost 90 degree angle. in such a short distance turn. I might be wrong on all this but I really felt something weird.

I also noticed that this post from 5 stars it became 3 stars in 1 day, what happened? There must be some jealous peeps around. Nvm, I'll give it a 5 star vote to get it up to a deserving 4 stars, no more than that.

04 April 2007, 07:28 PM
very nice short ... love it. the environmental effects are awesome :thumbsup:

long time since i saw such a cool short from GFS ^^

c you guys on the 21st ... still thinking about where to get the money from to study myself at the GFS :sad:

04 April 2007, 09:25 PM
You did a wonderful job. I loved how the story was completely different from what we usually see in a short film. Could be improved but everything could be improved.

Congrats on the short film. Good job.

04 April 2007, 09:46 PM
Thanks again everyone! (Special thanks to tonfarben... ;) ) :)

@RJ10110: Yeah you're right with the last shots of the industry site... we didn't have enough time to finish this up for the deadline. And since it's just one shot we didn't want to put too much effort in it to not have to neglect other things.
And good idea with the secondary animation for the pilot!
Concerning the time: we worked on it for about 5 month but because of university we could only spend one month fulltime working on it. So I guess it would sum up to about 3 month fulltime in total... I'm afraid I can't really separate out the rendering times cause everything went parallel in the end. There was no time exclusively dedicated to rendering. All I can say is that we startet about 4 weeks before the deadline with the clouds and then a week later or so with the Jets in Prman. There was also an always varying number of Computers that were available for us for rendering... difficult to make any assumptions on rendertime...

@theanimeister: Hm about rendering... I'm afraid I cant tell you more than what I've just written for RJ10110...

@MorituriMax: Yeah it's really all about pacing and action... we didn't want to make a documentary but an action film! ;)

@Nikorasu: Thanks!
The problem was that we couldn't make it fall too steeply otherwise the pilots would have had problems catching up...

@L-rac: Thx! And most definately see you in a week!


04 April 2007, 12:33 AM
En!Good job!The atmosphere is so fierceness!Good tensity feeling!
Great excite!!!!(My pool English Hu---)

04 April 2007, 10:25 AM
stunning work! i enjoyed watching it. :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 11:32 AM
Best Piece of work Ive seen on CGtalk in ages! Loved it, thought it was awesome. I was on the edge of my seat great stuff!:thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 02:46 PM
Yeah really cool and exciting.

naja, es war ein wenig vorhersehbar...

But, i guess, it would have been more exciting, if we would have the cance to see, WHO (a person/figure) is going to be the victim of a crash--
maybe, a woman, the pilot knows and was flirting with; well, just a face or

But i enjoyed it very much. The Action of that scene was great!

04 April 2007, 05:00 PM
Very good work! I like the idea, it's well done. I think more camera shake would have been good at a few specific spots (like when they zoom into the camera, when they go past the sound barrier, etc).

A small crit is that I believe they would have attacked the thing from the front altho I could be mistaken (I know that was an efficient technique in Ace Combat hehe!:) ).

Anyway it was cool to see! Congrats to everyone!

04 April 2007, 05:52 PM
that was amazing. Loved it. Great work!

04 April 2007, 09:06 PM
Really excellent storytelling; great choice of cam shots.
Something this good can only be tweaked. The head movements of the pilots could have quicker, staccato movements so they seemed more plugged into combat; this would just plus the already exciting action.

04 April 2007, 10:11 PM
Fantastic job :D

04 April 2007, 07:23 AM
I must say that, given the number of people involved and the time you had available to complete this short-film, you guys managed to deliver an impressive result! :D

I liked it very, very much.

However, I do believe, as some people that have posted before me, that most of the characters' animation could have used a little more tweaking.

Five stars as far as I'm concerned, and congrats on a job well done!


- A.

04 April 2007, 01:32 PM
good work. it inspired me a lot... how long did this take you?

04 April 2007, 02:14 PM
You people really did an AWESOME job in this short film. At the end its all those efforts and hard work which made this possible, I understand that because I'm involved in projects like this.

I can't hardly give enough praise. Excelent! Kudos!

CGTalk Moderation
04 April 2007, 02:14 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.