StarShip Troopers..Again

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  05 May 2012
To slightly OT some more about the book and Verhoeven's movie: To say Verhoeven did a satire is highly overestimating mister Verhoeven, I'm afraid. He didn't do a satire of "Starship Troopers", he just basically didn't get the book and its author at all.
His adaptation of "Starship Troopers" has at least achieved one thing in that it IMHO killed off any hope of ever seeing a decent Heinlein-based movie, that would do the author justice, ever again, which is a shame.
But having reread "Starship Troopers" again recently, I must admit it's far from Heinlein's best work and thus is perfectly suited for maiming into a movie franchise.
Won't be watching this newest incarnation, that's for sure...

PS - "Starship Troopers" was, like "Total Recall", that other famous Verhoeven SF film adaptation, a very entertaining movie, but IMHO a very poor adaptation of its respective original book.

Last edited by HFnord : 05 May 2012 at 11:55 AM.
  05 May 2012
I am not meaning to be inflamatory, but how is Starship Troopers not a satire? It is so obviously made like a propaganda movie, which is really a perfect critique of the book which is way too pro-war and takes itself too seriously. I think he totally understood the book, but was maybe not a fan of it, in which case I agree with him.

Verhoeven often makes somewhat satirical movies, like Robocop, an action movie, but one that makes fun of evil corporations. Robocop himself is a goofy character which is a funny counterpoint to his brutality.

Total Recall is similar to Starship Troopers, in which I think he really did understand the source material and made his interpretation of it. Phillip K. Dick is one of my favorite authors, but there is some cheese in his works (that he often seemed unaware of) that needs to be interpreted somehow, otherwise they lose the charm, like Paycheck. The book of Total Recall, it's not a masterwork, it is not high literature, it reallay is at the same level as the movie, which is thoroughly enjoyable.

Blade Runner is a drastic re-write and in my opinion the film is much more sucessful than the book.

Chris Smallfield
Freelance VFX Supervisor / Artist, Berlin
  05 May 2012
Well, it's your opinion against mine. I respect that!
I think it would seriously stretch the OT-ness of this thread to go into further detail, but I truly disagree: "Starship Troopers" wasn't a satire. Paul Verhoeven might have even thought so, but judging from his interviews at the time he never understood Heinlein and what ideas Heinlein tried to convey, which were located in another part of the "right-wing" than Verhoeven thought them to be. Paul Verhoeven merely highlighted some elements inspired by the book for maximum effect and made it into a highly-enjoyable movie, that has hardly anything to do with the original. Making an enjoyable movie is no small feat btw. But Verhoeven did Heinlein a tremendous posthumous disservice with this movie IMHO. Again: merely IMHO...
  06 June 2012
On New Trailer:

I think lighting is too flat and it's too bright. When SSS is switched on and the lights are too bright, human actor faces tend to look flat and even if you try yanking the rig the movement doesn't come through visually.

When I say "lighting" of course I mean "colors" and that can be also down to texturing. It might have been too simple or missing the use of Normal Maps or Specular Mapping or shadow maps to control where you want darker areas for more expression.

But the bottom-line is that the features of the face are too flattened out. And it handicaps the rig, which if ever it occurred that the rig was also lacking in Facial Action points will handicap the CG Actor or mocap source trying to drive it.

I think many of the shots have this problem.

The solution I think is to focus on the eyes, the lighting for them, make sure characters have enough normal mapping contour, and regardless of what lighting conditions are (basically flip the bird at realism) and just make sure characters have enough "color-variance" so that their contours come out:

Like in this example.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
  08 August 2012
Watch the first 10 minutes of Starship Troopers: Invasion
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

  08 August 2012
Hard surface design, modeling, and materials looks good.

Lack of eye movement in all actors. They don't squint or narrow their eyes, and eyelid region doesn't seem to react to eyeball position.

Some "editing lapses". For example at around the 05:30 mark, Dougherty moves to meet with the Evac Team. But your only clue to their arrival is one shot with feet moving and when he runs down the corridor there seems to be no Evac Team there.

Similar thing occurs at the 06:30 mark where it is not totally clear that the guy in the beret and long coat was the one who stepped into the shuttle. This particular character also caused some concern for me. His skin tone was much paler than the girl.

Gag about soldiers shooting bugs while they're all planted at the doorway goes on for way too long in my opinion (more than 5 minutes in the 10 minute clip). All monsters seem to drop into the same death animation with heads tilted at 45 degrees. Although it is implied there should be a swarm of monsters, the framing and editing shows that the monsters only come out in ones and pairs.

Editing overall seemed choppy... the Dropship pilot landing was needlessly rough and the troopers jump out so fast and start blasting all in synchronicity. They come out so fast I thought they were shooting at the walls.

The simultaneous reloading with the framing of characters arrayed shoulder-to-shoulder reminded me of something from Tokusatsu team shows.

But it is not flat-out ugly. Just feels to me like it could have used some elegance here and there.

This last comment is purely subjective: I did not like the opening with the "Tough Marine Soliloquy". Seemed to contribute very little to the show.

Needed to be more like "Dead Space" in my opinion, but everybody who knows me knows I love to ramp things up slowly... :P
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
  08 August 2012
Kinda sad that a 10 year old cg movie "spirits withing" still beats today's minds. If only blizz would do a full movie on Warcraft or star-craft universe. God that would be the best money I would ever spend.
  08 August 2012
Trailer looks awesome, what's not to like

  08 August 2012
Seriously? This is bad... IMHO (and only IMHO) obviously! Very unconvincing. Two things that caught my eye: The Troopers look too much like toy soldiers and the texturing seems not up to the challenge (nicks in metal and grime and such, the stuff they did to give everything a beat-up, worn-out look).
  08 August 2012
I will usually watch almost anything through to the end, but I couldn't even make it through 5 minutes of that. It was like watching paint dry. The only exciting thing was how the ship landed in the bay, and even that was immediately killed by how boring their exit was. Then the repetitive shooting and repeated death animations. Besides, didn't they learn to aim at the nerve clusters by the end of the first movie, to take them down with one shot?

Again, really really put me in mind of Capcom's first Resident Evil: Degeneration movie. Like this stuff was thought up as cutscenes and staged/shot without much thought, and it's all just kinda "there".

This one looks even more like it could or would be an in-game cutscene.

No mocap cleanup, dull voice acting, bad face texturing, bad face acting. No, just no.


  08 August 2012
Why don't they ever use grenades? I mean really? I found it extremely boring watching them shoot for 5 minutes straight. It took like 200 rounds to kill each bug. Of course then there is a sniper outside the window killing the bugs in one shot, and I thought "Hmm...why not give all those space marines sniper rifles? They'd save trillions on ammunition! Thought the camera works was boring, and the characters, especially the humans were right out of Final Fantasy: Spirits Within.
Work:Straightface Studios

  08 August 2012
Dang, tough crowd lol

  08 August 2012
Quote: "especially the humans were right out of Final Fantasy: Spirits Within."

I disagree Mate

of course FFTSW had many problems but I think Final Fantasy TSW is a notch above this trash in all respects especially the "Dr Sid" Character and the Aki Ross Hair Effects.

  08 August 2012
Originally Posted by tonytrout: Dang, tough crowd lol

Well no.. I must say that it's not "terrible". And obviously their work is of a pretty high level.

But it's in the "soft aspects".... the things you test with Preview Audiences. That's the sort of stuff they missed out on.

Let's say.. granting.. we don't change anything about the Story or Plot of these first 10 minutes.... There are different ways of setting the characters up. Even if all the "hard aspects" (technical attributes) aren't changed. I think if they paid more attention to "easing the audience in" the response would be more positive.

The "dishonored noble soldier" is not a bad character. But granting he is introduced here, he's not given much to work with. He's just angry at the beret-wearing man for some reason. There's some Ivanhoe going on in there maybe but it may be fleshed out more. It's played down here in favor of the rat-at-at-at "fish-in-a-barrel" sequence that I already stated goes on forever. This is also one busy glass corridor because the Girl (Captain of Ship?) also comes out right here to talk to the Beret-wearing guy who then eventually goes into a shuttle.... Maybe these things will be fleshed out later...But from my experience watching similar fare (Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Final Fantasy Advent Children) that these are the sort of story events that get chucked away and it becomes "Something that could have been done differently".

Speaking of things that could have been done differently that I already know could be changed, let's go back to the rat-at-at-at part....Couldn't they have done it in a way that Dougherty actually leads the Extraction Team so they go in there and do the rescue? The script already requires Dougherty to talk to the evacuees... so might as well let him meet them - right there - in the midst of mortal danger. They can still blow up the ship on the way out.

Oh and they should turn out the lights around the ship that's already been overrun by bugs.... It's a cheap old trick, but James Cameron uses this to good effect.

Wouldn't that have looked more interesting, more thrilling, more dangerous?
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation

Last edited by CGIPadawan : 08 August 2012 at 12:22 AM.
  08 August 2012
Originally Posted by THX1311: I disagree Mate

of course FFTSW had many problems but I think Final Fantasy TSW is a notch above this trash in all respects especially the "Dr Sid" Character and the Aki Ross Hair Effects.


yeah not to mention the environments, props and vehicle designs which imo are damn nice.
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