View Full Version : B-Movie Entry: Alex Williams

01 January 2010, 03:01 PM
Alex Williams is entered in the "B-Movie" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Work In Progress: Street wip (

01 January 2010, 03:15 PM (

A quick draw-up of the star antagonist for my video entry. (Haven't drawn in a while though...)

This is a quick sketch in GIMP for my video entry for the B-Movie Challenge. I have been working with Blender for almost exactly a year, and would like to see if I can manage to finish this project.

Apologies for the horrible quality, I haven't drawn much in a while.

01 January 2010, 08:31 PM
Right now, I am working on a Tank, modeled after an actual tank from the 50s. I hope to have most of the major modelling done today (just leaving minor details, then on to texturing). (

01 January 2010, 12:59 AM
Well, looks like I won't get as far as I had hoped today. Oh well. At least the tank is shaping up nicely. (

01 January 2010, 08:24 PM
Today's update on the tank (M551 Sheridan in case anyone wonders).

I realize I should probably start on storyboarding/scripting, but I will want to collaborate with some of my friends, who will be in the live footage (which will be composited in) and they tend to have great ideas, so I don't want anything to seem too final too soon. (

mainly on this one, I added the under turret hatch, detailed the looking box thing, added its flap, etc. Did some correcting due to confusing reference material and tweaked some more things.

Unfortunately, I won't get any work done over the weekend, heading back home this weekend, leaving my desktop in my dorm... (Freshman in college)

01 January 2010, 07:14 PM (

What I have so far done on the tank. I had felt like it would be unnecessary to update what I had done on a single tank, but as I watched other people's updates, and my thread fall to the bottom, I felt that I might go ahead and throw this out there. Hopefully, I will get a lot done today, and have a much better update tonight/tomorrow.

This is a quick paint over for how we will add makeup for a character (played by a friend of mine) to be featured in the short vid (which I have decided will likely be an involved trailer, but I need to make sure I don't make it stray from the basic premise of 50s movie trailers...).

01 January 2010, 02:17 AM (

Probably finished for tonight. A lot got done, so I figured I'd show what I have.

01 January 2010, 02:16 PM
Alex Williams is entered in the "B-Movie" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Storyboards / pre-visualization: Tank wip update (
how did u upload ure pics???
i need some help with uploading

01 January 2010, 02:57 PM

I can't describe how excited I was to finally have someone comment on my work so far. I guess it is because I don't have a script yet, nothing to comment on there, but at least tell me whether it looks like my modelling for the tank (one of the most complicated things in my composition) looks like it is coming along well...

but this is what you do:
go there^

login, choose the pic, upload it (less than 150 KB), choose the category (yours will likely be previs/storyboard), give it a caption, submit entry.

01 January 2010, 02:51 AM
Hi Alex. I like your idea and the tank looks great! I am new to Blender. Good to see another Blender guy in here! :)

01 January 2010, 04:59 AM (

I have every major detail (besides treads and wheels) finished. A whole lot of location/scale/shape correction has taken place, making it a lot more accurate. I still don't know whether I want the rivets to actually be on the model or not; I have some ideas for how to do it pretty easily using dupliverts... But I think that I will save texturing until I get the Plane, then finally the robot done (I wanted to go in this order to make sure that I could handle this sort of thing; the tank is pretty regular and sharp, so I should get some practice in getting that to work well before doing something so smooth as a plane, or the main character of my short, who I want to be perfect).

@BUZZFX: Yeah, I guess I am sort of new to it, only been working with it for one year so far, with zero prior 3d experience. However, I pick things up pretty fast. I am thinking about going ahead and selling this tank on turbosquid, but I doubt there are too many projects that need a tank from the 50s...

01 January 2010, 07:25 AM
Nice Model.

I noticed you use 2.5a. Do you think the alpha build will hold up for a short production? Or will you animate/render in 2.49?

01 January 2010, 02:48 PM
The tank's looking mighty awesome... clean looking and great.

01 January 2010, 03:02 PM
@zen: Well, I intend to use 2.5 for the most part in order to get used to, since I have just messed with it occasionally rather than getting anything done. However, I doubt the compositor is up to the task yet, so I will probably just do all the rendering/compositing in 2.49b.

@Yongkiat: Thanks! I have to admit that I was pretty afraid, having not done something this complicated before. I tend to start things with high hopes but low expectations, but so far it is looking good.

02 February 2010, 02:40 AM (

Software: Blender

I turned off some subsurfs, and tested my rig. The treads animate right, and I don't know if I will bother with the wheels, but the turret works, aiming directly at a target Empty (or null or whatever), and the gun on top of the turret has its own target.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2010, 02:48 AM (

I have finished the tank model and have a working rig. See the previous post for a (squished) example of it in action.

02 February 2010, 04:49 AM
woh. The tank rig superb man. :cool: the belt is working really well.

02 February 2010, 05:37 AM
very nicely done

02 February 2010, 02:29 PM (

I almost don't want to post this, not because it is bad, but because the tank looks so much better... But yeah, my first model of a plane, the topology could use a lot of improvement, but it isn't deal-breaking. For my purposes here, I THINK it is perfectly fine.

EDIT: Immediately after posting this, I realized that the very back (bottom right in the pic) looked a little "lumpy". I already fixed it, but I won't repost.

02 February 2010, 03:18 PM
Hi Alex, I looked to your jet problem and got a suggestion -
kill all subdevisions you added to your jet and look for topology examples. for example here:

because really what you need is nicely textured low poly model with champfered edges :)

to proove my point here you go:
...this model is 1000 poly and looking good, how many polys is your model?!

hope that this was of any help :)

02 February 2010, 03:28 PM
Yeah, I thought about it, but thought that it wouldn't make too much of a difference... But i may go ahead and break out the Retopo tool. I won't be able to mess with it until after my next class though...

but yeah, un-subsurfed, mine has 2 halves of 521 faces. (

edit: fixed some strange useless angles in the wings, see them in the unchanged pic above...

02 February 2010, 07:32 PM (

Some better topology on the F-11 Tiger.

I feel like this flows a lot better. Does it need more work? Amidoinitright?

Also, it has 788 total faces (not subsurfed)

02 February 2010, 06:28 AM (

Software: Blender

I made some vfx tests for my short. The first is a modified smoke particle composite, the original created by Nyrix/Azmisov. The second used a tutorial by him as inspiration before beginning to attempt the glass breaking simulation. The third one is of sparks (entirely me), which could use a few less, and is a bit of a workaround, but the camera won't be near them any time. The third one will be the raygun's beam effect, also created entirely by me. When the raygun is fired, the green smoke shown at the beginning of the clip will be shown. Finally, the last one is an altered version of a .blend created by Ben Dansie.

All of the frames took less than 7 seconds to render.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2010, 04:56 PM
I have begun work on the robot, and have been attempting to make some way of transferring the relative angle of the sun to the camera so that I can import the data into another .blend with my 3d lens flare. My math is sound, but due to error, it is not at all perfect. Blender's parenting system is much more accurate than the calculations I have figured out. If you know of how to more accurately keep an object in a position relative to another as you transform and rotate the second object, please tell me.

My current setup moves the camera to the origin, and does the same transformation to the "sun". This is a simple subtraction. Next, I convert the sun's location on the xy plane to polar coordinates, and change theta based on the amount the camera's zrot requires to be zeroed.

Next, I do the same thing in the yz plane, calculating the correction for the x axis, then the zx plane, and its corresponding y axis. This process creates a reasonable amount of error, and I'm sure there is a faster way.

02 February 2010, 09:00 PM (

Started this today, probably more detail than I need, but I needed some sculpting practice, and kept going.

It will be used for whenever an individual disintegrates near the camera (only one shot is planned, though), and will probably be placed amongst some rubble.

Also, in case no one has noticed, I change all of the links so that when you click the pictures, it shows a larger version of the image.

02 February 2010, 10:52 PM
I have just written a script!!! This is by no means final, but definitely helps me realize what I need to create next.

It goes as follows.

A man is standing on the side of the road, facing towards someone implied to be somewhere beside the camera, offscreen. The camera faces towards the other side of the road.
"Alright, well, seeya later, man!"
He turns to the other side of the road and starts walking towards it. The camera follows him, slowly looking upwards to reveal something falling from the sky. It hits quickly, squashing the man. The shockwave of its landing pushes people/cars/debris out of the way, and maybe cracks the camera slightly.

A man sits on his couch, watching tv. The window is visible above and to the right of the tv (may change if I can film on location, instead of composited cg). The robot (FROM SPACE) meanders by the window, and the man doesn't react at all.

The camera is now facing down the road, with the robot walking along it. People are screaming and running down the street. A man grabs the receiver from a payphone offscreen.

A phone on a desk rings. In a very official tone, a man answers it, replying "This is the white house." he pauses, then turns to the side, saying "President, we have a... situation", pausing for dramatic effect.
The president turns towards him. "Get the army on the phone."

The army officer on the other side: "We are on our way, sir."

You see M551 Sheridan Tanks rolling through the street. They fire at the back of the robot. It appears to be in pain, and turns around slowly. "I think we are hurting it!"
It pulls its hand into its arm, and out of the hole comes a raygun. In one fire, sweeps across the tanks, destroying all of them.

The army officer "Damn." he turns, "Get the air force on the phone"

It shows a large screen with little green dots moving towards the city.

A shot of the planes, in formation. "Within firing range in T-30 seconds" a pilot radios.

The camera shows a pile of rubble, a skull resting on top. the camera pans upwards, passing the robot, and the planes are revealed.

You see the jets again.
the planes let loose missiles, which fly past the screen.
They appear to do damage to the robot.

a person on the street: "His arm is too heavy to shoot towards the planes! They are safe from his grasp!"

a closeup of the robot's head. A trapdoor opens, revealing another raygun, which fires at the planes, destroying them all.

Back to the man "Can science do nothing to stop this unstoppable force?!"

Scientists in a lab, a wall sized computer behind them. "we can do nothing to stop this unstoppable force."

A gruff voice from the shadows "Then perhaps I can be of assistance. My name's Ross McDuff"
He reveals himself, a stub of a cigar sticking out of his mouth. "My team faced something like this 2 years ago. Musta been some sort of scout."
Scientist:"did you defeat it?"
Man (Ross):"yes, but my team couldn't make it. I was the only one to survive. We have to defeat this one, or they will just send more."
Scientist:"But how?"
Ross:"at the end of World War two, the russians were experimenting with atomic energy, trying to make their own atomic bomb. Their first attempts failed, but produced a device that is capable of destroying these monstrosities."
Scientist:"We need to get this device"
Ross:"unfortunately, the device went missing two years ago." Pause... "it went missing because I stole it. This is the device." he sets it onto the table. On it is inscribed "плот", which should be pronounced "plot" (plot device, haha... but I think it translates to boat...)
Scientist:"how do we use it?"
Ross:"It has to be placed inside the robot. An insane, reckless, and impossible mission at best. I'll do it."

He runs down flights of stairs, and walks absentmindedly across the street, the robot behind, approaching whilst destroying things in its path.

A couple seconds of him in the elevator, music playing while he loads his gun.

The elevator opens. He fires across the large office room (full of desks and stuff), breaking the window. The beam from the robot's head raygun tears through the room, barely missing our hero.

He runs, and leaps as he reaches the window, latching himself by his hand onto the Robot's back. He stabs a small knife into its back, and drags himself down, leaving a long gash in its back. He spreads the gash open and throws his device into it.

The camera shows onlookers staring onwards, as you hear the robot falling to its death.

The camera shows Ross walking away from the destruction. "Thank you for saving us!!"

"I wouldn't thank me just yet."
you see the front plate tear off of the robot, and in a shadow cast across the side of a building, you see the shadow of large tentacles emerging from the rubble.
"We're just getting started."

02 February 2010, 08:13 PM (

I have finished the robot's modelling. This does not yet include its rayguns, and it only has a little bit of rigging. I still have to make the legs and body move right. However, the arms, hands, and head seem to be in working order.

02 February 2010, 09:09 PM
Nice robot! We should have our robots fight each other lol!

02 February 2010, 08:59 PM
I created a list of the scenes I need to create in 3d, and am in the process of creating them from the ground up. Right now, I am working on the oval office, only visible for long enough for the president to turn and say "get the army on the phone", but I hate doing things just halfway, and it would be handy to have a complete set for future productions.
wipshot: (

the scenes:

road scene with varying levels of destruction + payphone?
tv room
Gov't phone
president office
army office
air force room
rubble pile (road scene?)
office building
inside robot(expendable scene)

03 March 2010, 08:58 AM (

Unfortunately, I have been very unproductive this last week, due to being distracted by having to get braces, and I honestly couldn't concentrate on getting stuff done for a couple of days, but now I am back on track.

I still need to put some finishing touches on the oval office, and haven't actually started any other sets, but I have some tests for the street (mostly checking if camera mapping would be sufficient for most of the buildings). As it stands right now, I only have those 2 buildings, sidewalk, and street.

Also, keep in mind nothing is final yet, just testing the waters.

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