View Full Version : B-Movie Entry: Alexander Brown

01 January 2010, 07:29 AM
Alexander Brown is entered in the "B-Movie" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Finished Video: FINAL SUBMISSION (

02 February 2010, 08:01 AM
Here is our team so far and main roles. More specific roles to be determined.

Alexander Brown - Team Leader, Director, Rigging, Animation, Visual Effects Lead
Matt Geerling - Co-Director, Storyboards, Screenplay, Sound Design
Jason Heuser - Concept Artist, Modeling, Set Construction
Salim Muhammad - Storyboards, Concept Artist, Modeling
Robert VanderStelt - Visual Effects Artist, Modeling

As you can see there is a great deal of task sharing among members. Some are great artists who are new to 3d, so there will be some hurdles to overcome. But in the end, we will not fail!

02 February 2010, 08:23 AM
Here is our script for now.


MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Man sits at a drawing table staring blankly at the camera.

CLOSE UP: Clock ticking away very very slowly. Cut to EXTREME CLOSE UP (ECU) of second hand.


Grinding gears and then a slamming metal door sound for the final tick of the second hand.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Man takes a very purposeful bite of a non-descript cured beef product (LOLzies) and looks down.

CLOSE UP: Slow shallow zoom on a drawing of an ice monster. Cut to ECU of Man's eyes and then back to ice monster.


Sound of deafening silence swells

MASTER: Man smacks his hands on the drawing table and glides away from his desk on his rolling chair, dragging his feet as he comes to a stop.

MEDIUM: BIRDS EYE VIEW (BEV) directly above man slouched in chair. Flakes of snow blow across the floor from behind him. He leans over to take a closer look.

INt./EXT. apartment/Snowy field

CLOSE UP: Mans face is looking down at the floor and then he slowly looks up. The camera pulls back as he does so to reveal, not the back of his room, but a snowy field. His eyes widen and the camera pulls up and away from him, tilting downward keeping him in frame. He is holding a large t-square. A shadow casts over him from off camera. A beast lumbers into the frame and obscures the man as the camera continues to pull back.

MEDIUM: Monster and man are face to face. Ice crystals on the beast's back bristle in the wind. The monster snorts steam into the air.

MEDIUM: Camera facing man. Man lifts t-square overhead to strike.

MEDIUM: Monster swats man away with a giant, icy arm. Man flies one direction, his t-square flies the other.

LONG: Camera rests on ground. In the distance, out of focus, the man lands back-first on the ground. In the foreground, in focus, the t-square skewers the ground. Rack focus on man who sits up and eyes his weapon. The monster stomps a giant foot in between the man and his t-square.

CLOSE UP: Man's face.



CLOSE UP: Monster's face snarls.

MEDIUM: Man in the foreground, creature in the BG. Man jumps up and sprints away from the monster, towards the camera and then off frame. The monster takes off after him.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Man running away from monster, circling back toward the t-square. He looks off camera (towards the t-square).

LONG: 70s style zoom in to the t-square, POV of man.

CLOSE UP: Man looks where he's running again in time to see a broken down truck in his path.

MASTER: From behind man: Man leaps into bed of truck.

MEDIUM: Man runs over top of truck cab and onto the hood.

MASTER: Creature coming up behind the truck. Man leaps off the hood as the creature grabs the truck and heaves it off to the side (slow-mo?).

MEDIUM: Man roughly lands on the ground and scrambles to the t-square and rips it out of the ground.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Man chokes up on the t-square like a baseball bat and spits on the ground.

MEDIUM: The creature is upon him and it lunges and hulk smashes the ground. The man sidesteps and delivers a wild blow to the beast's shoulder, nicking an ice crystal and loosening it from the creatures body.

CLOSE UP: Steam pours from the wound. Creature groans and pushes the loose crystal back into place, sealing the steam inside.

CLOSE UP: Zoom into mans face as he realizes the monster's weakness. His face grows evermore intense. He grits his teeth and runs towards the camera.

MEDIUM: Still looking at man from the front. Running forward, he lifts the t-square over his head and does a front flip, coming down on a large ice crystal in the creature's chest with the business end of the t-square. In last half of his flip, his momentum, combined with the t-square firmly lodged in an ice crystal, rips the crystal from the creatures chest and steam explodes out from the wound.

MEDIUM: The monster roars in pain and thrashes its arms about, trying pathetically to plug the hole with its hands. As it's face contorts, the entire creature solidifies like a instantly frozen ice cube.

CLOSE UP: The creature falls forward and the camera follows suit, tilting backward into a WORMS EYE VIEW, where the creature shatters, revealing our hero in the most epic of poses: A wide stance with t-square in hand, resting on the ground like a heavy battle axe... AND HE'S LOOKING DOWN AT THE GROUND LIKE A BADASS OMG!

MEDIUM: 70s style zoom into the hero's face as he lifts the t-square up into both hands and looks up from the ground into the camera. When fully zoomed into his eyes, he blinks a few times in bewilderment; he's now back in his apartment, standing in the middle of the room, gripping his t-square with both hands. Paper is shuffling around on the floor in a slight breeze.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Our hero takes a deep breath, but even before he can let it out all the way, he hears a deafening boom outside, and the whole room shakes.

MEDIUM: He darts to the window where he sees a dust cloud rolling through the city streets.


MEDIUM: Another deafening boom and apartment rattling. Our hero pushes back from the window, turns and runs out of his apartment door.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: Shaky camera trails behind hero's feet as he bolts up the stairs and out onto the roof. As he pushes the door open, the light from the outside blows out the camera into blinding white.

CLOSE UP: Hero's face as he slows to a halt and looks up.

MASTER: From behind hero: Over the building tops, he sees the ice monster looming, nearly 200 feet tall. The beast snorts steam and turns to face our hero.

CLOSE UP: Slight zoom. Hero's face; FROZEN with fear (OH THE SYMBOLISM!!!11) Or he looks defiant/badass; don't know how you want to end it.


02 February 2010, 08:32 AM (

Here is a concept piece for our ice monster done by Jason. He will have ice crystal protruding from his rocky flesh in areas which will act as formidable defense, but will also reveal his hidden weakness.

02 February 2010, 11:38 AM
that is one bad ass monster, a cross between king kong and an icy swamp-thing.
not a monster id like to cross!

02 February 2010, 03:12 PM (

Software: 3ds max

This is a shader test I have been working on for the monster in our project.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2010, 07:06 AM
The shaders look really frosty! Can't wait to see them applied to the monster. :)

02 February 2010, 02:27 PM (

Here is the first iteration of our monster's base mesh. I made it from Zpheres and retopoed using Zbrush.

02 February 2010, 07:25 PM
looking good so far :)

think i like the bullet shape of the head/neck of the creature in the concept sketches more than the base mesh, but either way is good.

shader test was nifty too. render times long?

02 February 2010, 01:53 AM
Yeah, I have been in the process of reworking the base mesh to add ice crystals to the body in a matter that correlates to the story. Also, the render times for that ice crystal were about 5 min. a frame at 720p. If I were to add more transparency and physically correct shadows it jumps to about 20 minutes a frame. Caustics adds an extra 10 minutes. I still have some tweaking to do with mental ray if I want a physically correct shader, but I am hoping I can fake it in most of the shots that aren't close ups.

02 February 2010, 02:51 AM
Yeah, I have been in the process of reworking the base mesh to add ice crystals to the body in a matter that correlates to the story.

Ahh awesome. I really like the feel of the concept art, it's got a sinister ape-like quality too it (not that i'd met many sinister apes!). I'll be really interested to see how you tackle the ice crystals growing out, should look awesome :)

render times for that ice crystal were about 5 min. a frame at 720p. If I were to add more transparency and physically correct shadows it jumps to about 20 minutes a frame. Caustics adds an extra 10 minutes. I still have some tweaking to do with mental ray if I want a physically correct shader, but I am hoping I can fake it in most of the shots that aren't close ups.

Yeah I think the 5min result looking pretty sweet.

Faking is probably a really decent way to go with the time limits on this one too. I've been thinking about baking some caustics into my environments to help with render times too. Especially useful if I get the envs out early and can bake overnight.

Also, I guess that's the cool thing about ice is that there's so many varieties of it you can probably pick and choose 'types' to speed you up if render times start to creep :)

02 February 2010, 07:09 AM (

Here is a paint over of the ice crystals we want to add to him.

02 February 2010, 10:08 AM
Great character. Hope youll add more details.

Shader is super, and ready to be applied.

Good luck!

02 February 2010, 05:28 AM
You can look at the storyboard .pdf file here ( (

These are the storyboards created by Salim and Matt. There are some changes in the works but the overall concept remains. Other pages located in the .pdf file mentioned above.

02 February 2010, 05:59 AM (

Here is our ice monster. The modeling and texturing will hopefully be done by next weekend. We actually shot some film this passed weekend, but some of it looks pretty bland so hopefully this next weekend we can shoot some better stuff. I will be putting some of that footage up soon.

02 February 2010, 07:48 AM (

Software: Nuke / After Effects

Here is a truck roll over scene we shot the other day. I took the plate of Salim running and comped him over the truck roll over plate by rotoscoping him out. I also painted out the cable used to flip the truck over then added camera movement and shake. Now I just have to finishing rigging the monster so we can start putting him into the scenes.

I used Nuke for the first time to roto and paint on this shot. I have been training in it for a couple months now and this is the first opportunity to apply that knowledge. It is very confusing at first, but now I find it very intuitive.

We also decided to change the name to "Ice Rage: A New Climate of Fear" rather than "Project Daydream". Matt is currently working on a new logo as well.

I hope to have a rough comp of all the shots up soon, but we still have some more shooting to do.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2010, 04:06 PM
WOOW! so cool !
Cant wait see it composed with cgi!

first i thought it was rendered :)

02 February 2010, 09:07 PM
Nope we flipped a truck for reals! Just an old junker that Jason's uncle had sitting around. Pretty fun stuff.

02 February 2010, 11:08 PM
Yeh, I thought it was CGI to start with :)

I can imagine the comp on this but it's going to be fun to see what you do.

Can't wait!

02 February 2010, 12:51 AM
Wow. Good (and bad for me) to see another live action entry in this thing. Keep it coming.

03 March 2010, 05:19 AM (

This is our high poly zbrush model that Jason and I have been working on. It is close to being done, just needs some coloring.

03 March 2010, 08:50 AM
Very nice guys, very nice!

03 March 2010, 04:44 PM
creature looks great. now ice structure its seen on him,
can wait to see it with textures and shaders, :) and of course how it will flip the car :) this will be something! gl

03 March 2010, 02:07 PM (

Software: XSI

Here is a test animation for Salim getting backhanded that I did last night in XSI. Hopefully this weekend I will have more time so I can do a bunch of the animation that I have to do. There are like 15 shots with animation in them. Luckily they are all short.

Play Video >> (

03 March 2010, 04:53 PM
This is a great project, I'm loving the BG plates so far. Really well done.

03 March 2010, 05:07 PM
hey guys really like the concept work here well done, looking forward to seeing more

03 March 2010, 01:17 AM (

Software: 3ds max

Here is a compositing and crumble test for the monster shot downtown. I still have some match lighting to do and dust clouds to add. Still waiting on some final textures for the monster as well, but by the end of this week I can start rendering out a bunch of animations that are done. Tell me what yall think of this.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 04:54 PM (

Software: After Effects

This is our 30 second teaser trailer. No effects are in these cuts, but Matt is doing our sound and titles, doing his best to make them as cheesy as possible.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 12:19 AM (

Software: 3ds max

Here is one of our most intense scenes, almost done. There is about 11 frames left to render for the end, and some issues with the 3d track that I have yet to correct with the fumefx at the beginning, but I am getting there. So much to do, so little time.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 12:31 PM
Hey Al - great job on this shot. It looks pretty good as is and I'm sure once you finish with your tweaks it will be even better. The first building in the foreground has a piece of rubble that seems to fall a little odd. It shoots up a little before it falls with the rest of the rubble. Not sure if that is one thing that you were fixing with fumefx.

04 April 2010, 04:30 PM (

Software: 3ds max

I just realized I hadn't posted what the final monster is going to look like. Been so busy trying to get all my renders going, forgot to show its final version. I am going to start rendering the turn arounds for the making of now. Hopefully tomorrow I can post some of the final shots.

04 April 2010, 10:13 PM
yes all is super..destruct and fumfx
how? héhé :wip: i have search some good exemple how to make debris and particules like u..but didn t find it :cry:
good continuance :thumbsup:

04 April 2010, 10:25 PM
Well, JUDZIGN, there is a very long fumefx thread on Cg talk here ( that I have been learning from. Also, you can check out the area (, because there are some sweet tutorials in there. Hope that helps. :)

04 April 2010, 10:49 PM
really thank you for all this information which are indeed going to help me for evolution :bowdown:

04 April 2010, 02:56 AM (

Software: 3ds max

Here is a shot of the monster after he gets his ice chopped off and starts spewing steam. I wish I had time to redo the fumefx simulation with a smaller grid size, but that takes forever. Also need to do some color tweaks to match up the plates better. I am having difficult using my zdepth pass in nuke to acheive a DOF effect, so I will probably just use AfterFx.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 03:55 PM (

Software: After Effects

This is a rough cut of our trailer with some of the effects shots in it. Many shots are still left out even though they are done because this is just for timing, music, and sound fx. This weekend is when we will get the chance to put it all together.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 02:36 AM (

Software: 3ds max

Here is a quick 360 turn around thats going to be used in the making of.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 01:07 AM (

Software: 3ds max,After Effects

This is our truck flip scene and its almost done, yay! I have been trying to learn Nuke while comping these shots together and I feel much slower than with After Fx, but I must say I like the nodal approach better than layers. I hope we can finish on time!

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 11:35 PM
this shots is realy cool!

i can feel your pain with Nuke comparing to AE. Nuke is much better soft i belive and much more powerfull (cool nodes) but if you want do something realy fast AE is better choise for Nuke begginers... :) and for sure if you want to put all scenes together

04 April 2010, 12:06 PM
Fantastic work on this shot.
My notice is that monster looks to sharp in composition. Two things on my mind:
Did you use motion blur? I can see you probably did, but monster's cutout layer borders looks way to sharp (and dark 1/2 px envelope) it pops out and kills perception of motion blur. If you have time to make it this would be sweet

04 April 2010, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the comments!

fgdf - Yes I did use motion blur, but in post. As for the dark edge around the monster, nothing a little erode and edge blur couldn't fix! :thumbsup: I still don't really understand how Nuke reads in these premultiplied images. I check on premultiply in the Read node, but it only fixes it somewhat. I also am definitely going to increase the shutter samples of the motion blur for the final output.

04 April 2010, 03:30 AM (

Software: After Effects

We braved the frozen tundras. We illegally climbed parking structures. We sacrificed our once-terrific postures in front of our computer screens. We gave this project whatever we could, and had a load of fun along the way. For the past few months, while living and breathing the cg, video, and music of our video, we came to appreciate the work that goes into the production of a film on a deeper level than we once had.

So having survived the thrills, spills and chills of this challenge, we ask you to please apply your chap stick and brace yourself for the story of a man who thought his life was tragically mundane until one day, one slip of his consciousness hurled him into a world of his own creation; a world in which total control was just a figment of his imagination...

Ice Rage: A New Climate of Fear.

Play Video >> (

04 April 2010, 12:52 PM
good luck

04 April 2010, 01:24 PM
yeah ^^
good project we have here !!
nice job :)

of course, this shot is pretty cool , when the 4*4 rollover But why do your charactere have to jump into the 4*4? why not just run around ^^ he have big monster just behind him and he prefere climbing the car ^^
i wish you the best , good luck :)

04 April 2010, 04:32 PM
Beuda - well, if you must know, I was going to put some rocks there for the monster to bust through, but there simply wasn't enough time for all that. Besides, its more B-movie like for the main character to do over the top acting when it comes to action scenes! Why do the boring thing and run around the truck? ;)

Anyways, setting up that truck flip shot was a huge task. We basically dragged it to the location that was about 10 miles away, with me sitting in the truck trying to steer it with a very destroyed front, end watching the ground go by though a huge hole in the dashboard, as another truck towed it. I just wish we could have got some b-roll of that to put in the making of. I think people underestimate the challenges of bringing a live action piece together unless you actually try to do it, especially one with stunts! The hardest part for me was organizing everything and everyone to meet on a specific day and have the weather be in our favor. The whole first day of shooting (the b-roll from our making of) was scraped because of poor weather and lighting.

Well after 3 non-consecutive days of shooting, two hours of footage, 400 gigs of space, and 2 minutes of final video, I think we are all pleased with the final result. Hope to have an HD version soon.

Thanks for watching! :wavey:

04 April 2010, 09:19 PM
Nice Job !
Very interesting character and effects.
The pick-up scene is amazing. It was your car.
Good job guys.

04 April 2010, 10:44 PM
Well put Al, this was a monumental task. People shouldn't try to look too deep into reasons behind the decisions we made. Most likely these decisions were intentional for the sake of the "B-Movie" feel.

Also, I must say filming was miserable at times (for me at least!) but I could not be happier with the results. Kudos to Al, excellent job man, we couldn't have done it without you. I learned a lot from this guy through this whole process. Even through heated arguments (I was still right most of the time) things always turned out.

Now, let them be judged!

05 May 2010, 12:52 PM
Got an HD version on youtube now.
Check it out! (

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