Waking Hour Pilot WIP (Crowd Funded Movie\Sci-Fi Series)

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  02 February 2012
New Updates

Hey there folks , after some time and project restructuring and much work , I want to invite you guys to check out the newest update.There's a new pitch video with new material and a production schedule.If you like the idea , please share the campaign and help us get featured on IndieGoGo

The pitch video
The IndieGoGo Campaign

Let me know what you guys think !

  02 February 2012
Abbigail Brink

This is Abbigail Brink , the main character in Waking Hour.
Over the course of the next week , I'll be posting more concept art and WIP images here and on the Waking Hour Blog Concept art Compliments of Scott Harris.

For the most part she is a sweet girl of 18 or 19 ,blond haired tan skinned and blue eyed , fresh out of high-school . Her musical tastes are a little eclectic , ranging from Rap and Hip-Hop to Punk Rock and Neil Young , as eclectic as her taste in music is her sense of dress.

When she was a child she was exposed in a radiation wave, her father tried to protect her and died in the process . she fell ill for a short while but the doctors accredited it to sunstroke and as a result of this Abbigail became more of an indoors person and something of a night owl.

Often sleeping during the day and struggling to sleep at night ,she takes the early late shift at a local convenience store to justify her sleeping habits.
  02 February 2012
Introducing Lt.Rushton

Another Day and another piece of concept art , this is Lt.Rushton.

Enjoy !

Lt.Edward Rushton came from a comfortable background , growing up he did not want for much else but to hang out with his friends , he excelled academically and as such his parents allowed him the freedom to do as he pleased.
Provided ofcourse that he behaved himself , at the age of 18 Edward Rushton or "The Rush" as all his friends called him,began hanging out at "Live Bars" listening to local bands and drinking socially.Times were good , but tensions between his nation and their neighbor to the north grew, unfortunately war broke out not long after his 20th Birthday when the city was attacked in a series of strategic bombings.
He joined the army along with his friends to defend his homeland , he lost many of them during the fighting that followed and by the age of 25,he is a synical young man that finds himself faced with the task of extracting a particularly important civilian from a hot zone that is about to erupt.

Last edited by ChromaFlux : 02 February 2012 at 12:31 PM.
  02 February 2012
Introducing the Antagonist

Hey folks , got another update for you here.
This is the PRF Officer (People's Revolutionary Front) he is the main antagonist in the story.

The PRF officer is a man who takes pride in his work and pleasure in the suffering in others , he is very well disceplined and as such he keeps his uniform imaculate.
He grew up in very unforgiving and tough circumstances as a child , he was left by his parents with his disceplinarian grandmother ,she was a tough woman who hated his mother for leaving him with her.
As a result of his regular beatings,he channeled his resentment and anger into bullying other children.Living in the country side afforded him the oppertunity to familiarise himself with fire arms , he became an excellent shot and joined he military at a young age.
He progressed rapidly through the ranks and soon proved himself as a ruthless and efficient leader.Once he reached a high enough rank in the military he returned to his grandmother's home , the woman had not changed at all and proceeded to nag at him and wear him down until he lost his composure and strangled her with his bare hands.He buried her in the woods in an unmarked grave and never returned .
  02 February 2012
A New Member Joins The Team !

The team and I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Atey to the team !
Atey is a fantastic Swedish concept artist , he will be working on the storyboards and concept art for the film.Below you will find a sample of his amazing work and a link to his blog , where you can see so much more of his beautiful art work.

  02 February 2012
Waking Hour Movie : Contribute , Become a Sponsor , Claim Your Rewards

Hey there folks ,
This is the new video that we created in order to tell people,what they're getting for their contributions to the project.
We also have a new team member joining us , I shall post more on this tomorrow though.


  02 February 2012
Thumbs up Its all about Character

Hey there folks . more exciting updates and news for you !


The Waking Hour Team and I would like to welcome Dani Garcia (Woody) to the team !

Woody is a fantastic character artist from Spain,below you’ll find an example of Woody’s amazing work and a link to his website, where you can see more of his work.Woody will be helping us create the “Hero” characters in the world of Waking Hour.



Today’s update comes with two fresh renders , testing out Zbrush’s new Fibre Mesh functionality and Blender’s Node Based shaders and the Cycles Render Layers.

Zbrush’s Fibre Mesh is a fantastic tool for creating hair and fur for your character, its grooming tools allow you to quickly and intuitively style the hair or fur in almost no time at all .Creating realistic hair that looks good and renders well inside of Zbrush itself , as with all things that look good in 3D it does come at a cost and that cost would be the poly count. I am sure that there is a way to reduce the poly count in a minimally destructive manner to the hair , I shall do some tests using Zbrush’s Decimate plugin.

Below you will find two renders of a base mesh I brought in from Daz Studio Pro (Which they are giving away for free at the moment) to Z-brush , isolating the head and chest I changed the facial proportions and then sculpted in more detail using the claytubes brush.

Fibre Mesh was applied and the hair was groomed , after that the mesh and Fibre Meshes were exported separately and reassembled in Blender.I will be speaking in length about the use of base meshes from applications such as Daz3D or Poser.

There is also the issue of ensuring that the hair is animated , something that I think shall be saved for another post.


Because the cycles engine doesn’t have an SSS shader to speak of , you have to combine three shaders to get a similair effect.Below you will see a combination of the translucency shader,diffuse shader and glossy shader to achieve the same effect.I have used a noise node to break up the specularity of the skin aswell as to randomise the mixing of the diffuse and translucency shaders. With a nice texture map applied to the mesh and mixed in on top of the skin shader , this should look pretty damn good.


The hair node is fairly straight forward , a spherical Gradient Texture to guide the roughness of the hair color on the Diffuse shader and a glossy shader for a little bit of specular action , you could also use a grey-scale texture map to control the shape and intensity of the specularity of course .

The render settings are fairly straight forward , the samples were just boosted for most of the setting and in terms of lighting , all that was really used were two point lights and a background light with a sky texture applied to it.


The Cycles Render Engine now outputs to render layers and this is the first attempt at compositing them.Once we’ve established a nice clean workflow for the compositing process , I’m sure it will be much easier.


This one is just for fun , playing around with Fibre Mesh and the bpr filters in Zbrush was quite enjoyable.

We hope that you’ve found this update to be interesting and somewhat informative , don’t forget that you can get involved with the project on our campaign’s page HERE or by simply sharing the link using facebook or twitter.

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team

Last edited by ChromaFlux : 02 February 2012 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Niggly Bits
  02 February 2012
A Quick Update

Before it was mention that I may use Daz 4 Pro’s Genesis as a base mesh , in order to create the background characters in the film.I have of course decided that it would be better,if I sculpted the characters from my own base mesh. The image I have attached to this update , is the first in a series of sculpts that I’ve be working on in order to brush up on my anatomy,texturing and topology skills.

The model was sculpted from a base mesh I created before hand , the mesh was brought down from 15 Million polygons to about 22 Thousand.The texture,displacement and normal maps were exported from Zrbush at 4K, where a basic polypaint was applied pending a photo texturing session later on.

There should be a video update soon with a mocap test for this image aswell.
  02 February 2012
Hey man! Cool project! Definitely deserves more replies..! I really like your open-source approach - sounds very clever as you'll develop quite a library of props along the making! And I'm looking forward allot to seeing some mocap footage!

I'll def keep checking your progress
multidisciplinary creator of films and spaces
• design • image • film • music •
  02 February 2012
Waking Hour Mocap Retargeting Tests

Thanks Dutchman , I'm glad to see that someone likes the idea of what we're doing.

This is an example of the motion capture process , being in a living room there was ofcourse less space than I would have liked , being in a larger space would give me more freedom to move around. The rendered example was taken from a different take of the same action , my anatomy and rigging skills do need brushing up.

Mocap Retargeting Tests

Let me know what you think , if there are any questions just ask away.

  02 February 2012
More Contributions and More Renders :)

Hey folks ,

We've received another contributor to the project today He brought up something that the team members and I were discussing the possibility of doing , making a detailed tutorial of our re-targeting and mocap production workflow in blender.
Would it be worth making as an additional reward for contributing $25 to our project ?

Below I have included some renders of my progress with the character as shown in the previous post.

Blender Render
22K Mesh with Texture,Specular,Normal and Displacement Map applied along with a little SSS.

Blender Cycles Render
22k and 86k meshes side by side , similar shader from previous post used.

ZBrush BPR Renders
The ears in these renders have since been fixed ,photo reference from 3dsk was used for texturing the head , along with some polypaint. Hair and Beard Via FibreMesh (Fantastic new feature !)

All in all , while the model is far from ideal for close shots I feel that it would do well in medium to long shots. Development marches on , soon there shall be a render test of the textured mesh combined with the mocap data.

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team
  03 March 2012
Cool Test Footage Coming Soon !

Just wanted to pop by to keep you up to speed.
We’ve been hard at work on the project, at the moment we are creating some more test footage.

You can expect to see some stereoscopic test renders and facial motion capture tests , in the next couple days.The stereoscopic renders will be provided in two formats
1: Anaglyph
2: Side by Side Squashed
You’ll be able to put these files on a flash stick and play them on your smart tv or display them on your 3D display.
Don’t fret if you don’t have either of those two, you can still view the video with a pair of Red/Blue glasses.
Looking forward to posting some awesome videos for you all to watch !

For the time being though, here is a new bust sculpt from my side.
Over all I think its an improvement over my previous sculpt , though there is still plenty of space for improvement.

The mesh has multiple subdivision levels , from 2K polygons to 2 Mill polygons , its already been retopod and UVmapped for texturing.We will be doing the facial motion capture tests using this sculpt.

Please feel free to pitch in with any comments or suggestions ,as my sculpting skills and anatomy work are a work in progress.

MrNexy and the Waking Hour Team
  03 March 2012
Facial Mocap Tests

Hey Folks ,

We’ve been hard at work doing some more motion capture tests , this time we’ve been working on our facial mocap workflow using Blender’s Object Tracker. We filmed some test footage , tracked it and rigged a mesh to the resulting empties , the rig was very basic and the data captured from the tracking process wasn’t cleaned or smoothed in any way.

Mocap Process Sneak Peek

Marker Placement

While it is important to have adequate geometry , to support surface deformation it is also equally important to have enough markers , placed to drive the underlying geometry.

Too many markers and it becomes tedious and overly time consuming to track. Too few markers and the movement is ill defined , leading to an unnatural look. Its important , to also put markers in places that don’t move as much.

Motion Blur and Marker Occlusion

As in camera tracking , these issues can make a relatively simple shot take quite some time to track.A good solution would be to increase your shutter speed (if possible on your camera) Or alternatively you could use a higher speed camera , ideally something that shoots 60-120 frames per second.

Marker Occulsion can throw your tracks off and cause one to do more manual adjustments than one would care for.In the case of facial mocap/marker tracking , this is caused by the performer moving their head from side to side or up and down.A good solution for this is to mount a fairly wide angle camera to a helmet or hat , with a boom so that it sits in front of the face of the performer , thus eliminating a lot of marker occlusion issues. One of these camera’s could be sourced from sites like Alibaba.com for a reasonable price.

With all these things taken into consideration , better marker placement and a more sophisticated face rig could potentially yield some great results.We shall do another facial motion capture test soon , however the next test that we’re currently focusing on is the stereoscopic 3D tests.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions , we look forward to hearing from you !

Best Regards

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team
  03 March 2012
Stereo Tests and More Set Renders

This is our first stereoscopic test , using Blender and the Cycles Engine .Many lessons were learned in the process,we worked on our own stereo camera rig initially but ultimately , chose to use the stereo camera add-on available here : Stereo3D Script

One the most important things we learned , that will make things easier for you when configuring the stereo camera is the scene scale.It makes determining and setting an accurate stereo depth a whole lot easier, it should also give a more real world feel to the sets.We ran across some difficulties , rendering a single stereo image using the node presets included with the add-on , we’re assuming that its a result of our using an experimental build.

We did a workaround by rendering each camera separately , which was faster than usual thanks to CUDA , then comping them together using the node presets.You’ll find below a anaglyph render below if have some Red/Cyan or Red/Blue glasses lying around , alternatively you could download a side-by-side version of the file to watch on a 3D tv or monitor.

Anaglyph Stereo Render Test

Side by Side Render

Below you can find some WIP renders of the layout for the first scene , once again there are still many details to fill in such as floor tiles, furry rug , nice set of curtains and various odds and ends to make the place feel more lived in.

Set Renders
Set Render : Overview
Set Render : Lounge
Set Render : Kitchen

Comments and suggestions are always welcome , Enjoy !
Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team
  03 March 2012
Waking Hour Creative Commons Script Release

Hey folks ,

The team and I have been discussing something lately , as our funding campaign on IndieGoGo comes to an end in the next couple days , we were discussing what we could do to get people more excited about the movie and how we could further motivate people to get involved.

While we have only raised $100 from the campaign we do not see it as a failure , simply $100 more towards the project than before.
If you have visited the blog recently , you would have noticed that all of the materials on the site, including the content of the posts have been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

We're more than happy to share what we have learned thus far on this project , we will be releasing models and scene files as we move along with production but what we've really been debating is wether or not to release the film's script under this same licence.

We have decided to release the script under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License , in the hopes of getting more people interested in the project and spreading the word.As it stands it is still a Work in Progress ,with a number of scenes that still need writing.Some of the story elements that we have put in place are more or less intended to introduce characters and situations , that would be clarified and continued in the form of a series.

We hope that you'll enjoy reading through the scripts and share it with your friends , this is something that we'd really love to make a reality.

Kind Regards

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team

Waking Hour Script
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