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Old 01-13-2013, 01:26 AM   #16
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really well done rendering. Amazing quality for the render speeds.
 
Old 01-13-2013, 11:56 PM   #17
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Saw this the other day, it really is incredible. Regardless of how much experience he has, doing something of that quality in his spare time is an amazing achievement. The alien design was actually cool and not just an over-zbrushed muscle/vein showcase. The mech was also interesting and original (despite the multi eye Matrix similarity). Even the city was well done.

I'd pay to see it as a feature, though with the big jaws and muscles around them I'd expect some kind of mouth opening as part of the evolutionary combo (would make emoting a lot easier on the audience for two hours too). I get why it was done for the short, no way could he have included lip synch as well in that timeframe.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:00 AM   #18
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cool story, design, and overall quite incredible quality.;my hat off to whoever did this.;it's a really great short and I enjoy watching it much more that certain high standart short from companies around.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 05:38 AM   #19
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I'm sorry, but I'm extremely skeptical that a 22 year old film student can do all of this in the course of 7 months. An experienced team with time to iterate, along with an established pipeline and workflow? Yes. First year film student? Nope. Some of the things that he states in his blog don't add up either, like his claim of 4-6 minute render times that he makes here:

http://kaleblechowski.tumblr.com/po...-time-on-rha-it

Really? For frames with GI, motion blur, and volume particle effects? In another post he claimed that he was using "Maya" for rendering, so I'm assuming MentalRay? Unless this guy somehow happened across a computer from the future, complete with the processing power of an entire render farm embedded into a single CPU, then those render times are not happening. This whole thing smells like a publicity stunt to build up hype.

Last edited by Array : 01-14-2013 at 05:49 AM.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 05:52 AM   #20
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Seems he landed a job:

http://www.awesome-robo.com/2013/01/rha.html

Quote:
Needless to say, his insanely impressive short has already caught the attention of quite a few movie company execs, and Kaleb will be making his way to Hollywood later this month. Not bad for a first year project.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by iikii
Actually i know that , just saying that he done it in his first year. 5 years is a pretty long time.

why is he wasting his money and time going to school anyway..


I would assume that the school gave him access to resources that he wouldn't have otherwise had. Direct feedback from people, computing time, perhaps even software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Array
I'm sorry, but I'm extremely skeptical that a 22 year old film student can do all of this in the course of 7 months. An experienced team with time to iterate, along with an established pipeline and workflow? Yes. First year film student? Nope. Some of the things that he states in his blog don't add up either, like his claim of 4-6 minute render times that he makes here:

http://kaleblechowski.tumblr.com/po...-time-on-rha-it

Really? For frames with GI, motion blur, and volume particle effects? In another post he claimed that he was using "Maya" for rendering, so I'm assuming MentalRay? Unless this guy somehow happened across a computer from the future, complete with the processing power of an entire render farm embedded into a single CPU, then those render times are not happening. This whole thing smells like a publicity stunt to build up hype.


Of course this is doable in 7 months. The majority of the production value comes from his very skill full use of cameras. Otherwise, I count maybe 6 sets, and 10 assets?
I would hazard a guess that many of the assets are rebuilt using previous ones. The interrogation bot for one could just be a hack-job of the big walking robots (probably happened the other way around, with the 2 main hero assets being built first).


I don't know what render engine he is using (Im a Vray user, so take that as a yardstick), I really don't see the issue with render times.
Those render times, if you are breaking your scenes up into layers are extremely doable. I work in high end architectural illustration, and with pure renders of large cityscapes and such, we need to keep our render times to below 7 minutes/frame for animation, or the farm just becomes too expensive to use. GI is cheap nowadays, and things like motion blur can be done in post with virtually no hit in render times.
Volume Particle Effects can be done in separate passes, so as not to interfere with GI, and takes times down to seconds a frame.

As I write this, I'm rendering an animation on my home PC. Full GI, Particle Effects, flashing and flickering lights, 1 main organic character, and a really large set containing a huge tram station. Its down to 7 minutes a frame, including all lighting calculations.

For me, the most impressive part of this animation is his camera work. No fancy zooms, and 'floaty' camera. He seems to have attacked the shots as if he had a limited gravity-bound camera rig, and has set up his scenes as such. The subtle changes in lighting of the main character are really well done to heighten the emotion.
The sound design is also really top notch, and grounds everything in reality. Really excellent stuff!
 
Old 01-14-2013, 07:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Array
Some of the things that he states in his blog don't add up either, like his claim of 4-6 minute render times that he makes here:

http://kaleblechowski.tumblr.com/po...-time-on-rha-it

Really? For frames with GI, motion blur, and volume particle effects? In another post he claimed that he was using "Maya" for rendering, so I'm assuming MentalRay? Unless this guy somehow happened across a computer from the future, complete with the processing power of an entire render farm embedded into a single CPU, then those render times are not happening. This whole thing smells like a publicity stunt to build up hype.


If you download the original version you can clearly see the GI flickering pretty horribly. It is most evident on the robot. Those render times seem very plausible.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #23
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How is this so hard to believe? It's not THAT flawless/polished to say it would take a huge team to do.

He was clever and practical in his use of limited locations and staged shots, no lipsync, etc. to minimize everything and still tell the story. I didn't see anything that outrageous in the rendering or scope of the shots that it would be impossible.

For someone with years of experience it should definitely be doable..not the easiest thing, but it's not like he had never seen a computer in his life and waltzed right in and did this.

Not to diminish his accomplishments either, it was a very nice effort, but seems like there is too much amazement or skepticism on both sides.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #24
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I assume he planned it well before going to school and just used the school equipment to render it. Maybe also planned the marketing of it well in advance too (i.e. using the claim that he was a first year student to get attention unless he managed to hook up with someone media savvy who knew how to exploit it).

It showed some decent directorial choices, editing and overall design--the improvisation worked for me--using expressionless characters and relying on lighting and other things to make it interesting. I think its impressive for that but I was getting bored by the end of it and wouldnt want to watch a movie based on the concept.

Its very good for showcasing his storytelling abilities and time-cost cutting efficiency, but as a story its pretty generic despite nice visuals.
Good for him if he gets a job out of it.
The speed genius hype is getting tired though.
Next year it will be someone who made a short in 4 months if the trend continues.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 08:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyke
I would assume that the school gave him access to resources that he wouldn't have otherwise had. Direct feedback from people, computing time, perhaps even software.

Of course this is doable in 7 months. The majority of the production value comes from his very skill full use of cameras. Otherwise, I count maybe 6 sets, and 10 assets?
I would hazard a guess that many of the assets are rebuilt using previous ones. The interrogation bot for one could just be a hack-job of the big walking robots (probably happened the other way around, with the 2 main hero assets being built first).


This. Incredible the ways one thinks of completing a film when you know from the off that you don't have resources.

Not to mention he cleverly used the "interrogation" to serve as the main structure. That means for a vast majority of the film the alien doesn't move at all save for some small body movements and head movement.

The alien's mouth doesn't even move. And when the alien runs from the lab, the running is cut off at the shoulders.

All this designed so that he can focus on the bits he really wanted to have in the short which was more on the FX, the lighting....

Very smart guy.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #26
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I think marketing is the keyword here. What better way to get noticed these days where people seem to believe anything they read than to create the cute story of the "1st year student without means" to appear on social networks and forums like the next "wunderkind" who'll end up for sure on tv news and billion views on youtube? From his own Vimeo:

Written - directed - animated by Kaleb Lechowski
kaleblechowski.tumblr.com
Hartmut Zeller - Sound
hartmutzeller.de
Dave Masterson - Voice acting
imdb.com/name/nm2717717/
Scott Glassgold / IAM Entertainment - Representation
scottglassgold@iamsports-ent.com


Really? A professional musician, a professional actor doing the voices AND an agent? How many 22 year old in school do you know with the means to get all that? And an agent to promote your story and animation to the whole world? And people believe in fables about not having the means to do it before school etc? I wouldn't be surprised if a silent team was behind the modeling and compositing. The animation was shoddy at parts (the escape looks like stop motion bobbin' up and down, his cliche'd slow motion jump at the robot head looks terrible specially after the music buildup).

I don't get why these days, in spite of the massive amount of free knowledge around and very nice hardware available for home consumers, stuff like this and other overrated products like the Tears of Steel, the Blender pastiche of bad CG and mediocre animation (they couldn't even get the robots frame-rate right at the end) gets praised. I understand the general audience who still gets hypnotized by lens flares, but not trained artists who should have higher standards and not be mesmerized by fairy tales and a forgiving rethoric "oh, its ok, that shot there didn't even make sense but he's still only a first year student" but then scrutinize to the frame an established studio production.

In my humble and probably against the tide view, once you upload something on the tubes to promote yourself, it doesn't matter your background, if its something from Blur, Disney or a poor "genius 15 year old kid who found a computer while running from a lion and learned 3D in his night time with a book he found on the trash", you should be evaluated in the same terms and standards and your background shouldn't ever affect trained critics, specially with the ease it is to create a nice marketing strategy based on some "awww" story.
 
Old 01-14-2013, 02:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesul
In my humble and probably against the tide view, once you upload something on the tubes to promote yourself, it doesn't matter your background, if its something from Blur, Disney or a poor "genius 15 year old kid who found a computer while running from a lion and learned 3D in his night time with a book he found on the trash", you should be evaluated in the same terms and standards and your background shouldn't ever affect trained critics, specially with the ease it is to create a nice marketing strategy based on some "awww" story.

Yeah it doesnt work like that.
Sometimes a cheap looking website will generate more business than a well designed and classy one. People think the business with the cheapo site will charge less. In this situation quality looses. There goes your theory.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:09 PM   #28
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Quote:
Really? A professional musician, a professional actor doing the voices AND an agent? How many 22 year old in school do you know with the means to get all that?


You would be surprised at how a friendly email will get people involved in your project. I have had some very top tier voice artists, and composers email me about working on my project, for the joy of collaboration, and having a cool portfolio piece.
As for the representation, its the same company who represented the guy who did ROSA. Im assuming that the representation was offered to him after the release by a company that has experience in this area.

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if a silent team was behind the modeling and compositing. The animation was shoddy at parts (the escape looks like stop motion bobbin' up and down, his cliche'd slow motion jump at the robot head looks terrible specially after the music buildup).


I don't understand who you can say in one breath that this is good enough for a team to have done, and in the next sentence say that the animation is shoddy (alluding to it being amateur).

Quote:
In my humble and probably against the tide view, once you upload something on the tubes to promote yourself, it doesn't matter your background, if its something from Blur, Disney or a poor "genius 15 year old kid who found a computer while running from a lion and learned 3D in his night time with a book he found on the trash", you should be evaluated in the same terms and standards and your background shouldn't ever affect trained critics, specially with the ease it is to create a nice marketing strategy based on some "awww" story


Could some people just think that the short is of a very high quality? Because it is. It is a very cool short. Its brilliantly executed, and brilliantly designed. The fact that its actually a completed project with a limited time line just makes all of those other elements more impressive.

Now, is this Luxo Jr? Is this going to revolutionize CG in this day and age? No. But should something that's clearly an impressive act be swept under the carpet because of some strange jealousy of elitism?
 
Old 01-14-2013, 11:58 PM   #29
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@Shesul: First of all, you are 100% correct about everything being marketing surrounding R'ha. The presence of representation means the publicity and everything is already staged.

While it's been true the short has been online for only 24 hours since the call from some studios in California, the truth is the agent has probably been shopping the short around in video clip form for quite a while. Maybe even as far back as 6 months to 10 months back. I know some people who work in that industry. They work VERY hard and the general public is ALWAYS the last to know.

Secrecy is a primary weapon in the business of entertainment.

This is the reason why "releases" (such as the one in THR accompanying R'ha) seem to be too good to be true. They are applying known methods used in studio productions to material as small as "student work".

Because if Secrecy is the primary weapon, then Timing is the secondary weapon.

That said, it is probably true Kaleb did this himself. Again, you have to look at the technical dissection done by some of the people above in this thread. Kaleb reduced the color palette to a bare and repeatable minimum. The alien barely moves. Many of the machines look like quick "hack jobs" and many of the city FX look like they were done with miniatures and stock particle FX.

It's the VFX and rendering that really push this work. That's Kaleb displaying his "tactical mind" as well as his artistic vision.

The only thing Kaleb wanted was to grab a viewer at "first viewing". He has done enough to do this. I doubt there is a "secret team" behind this, because I think he has honestly pared down the complexity quite a lot. It only seems complex because of the lighting and rendering style.

Lastly, as someone who recently created a short himself, I can tell you that when we do these things we do aspire to the same standard as Blur, Disney, Digic, etc. We know we cannot hit that. But it doesn't mean we do not stretch ourselves to try. People who appreciate these things recognize what was done right. But if you look at comments, people also see what was not done correctly or what can be improved upon.

I admit some of the comments like "It's better than studio productions" are probably exaggerated and they come from a different place. I don't subscribe to those kinds of comments - but you can't stop that from happening.

Even a film like "Jesus Christ: Vampire Slayer" has its staunch admirers.

But I also think the view that professionals and critics are lowering standards when looking at student work is not entirely accurate. The standard, as I always like to say, is there in the cinema.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #30
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Quote:
I'm sorry, but I'm extremely skeptical that a 22 year old film student can do all of this in the course of 7 months. An experienced team with time to iterate, along with an established pipeline and workflow? Yes. First year film student? Nope. Some of the things that he states in his blog don't add up either, like his claim of 4-6 minute render times that he makes here:


7 months was quick but then again that is about 1 month per minute. Other filmmakers like Jeff Lew did about 3 minutes per month. It is great seeing how good and how fast he did it. In fact it makes me ask the question is "why aren't teams of people just as fast?" I've seen some nice, good and great shorts around the 6 minute mark and they took 2 years to do it and had a team of about 20. I guess some folks might have to rethink their methods if a dude by himself can match the speed and quality of 20 people. That I don't get.

4-6 minute render times....I think others have already addressed this through personal experience. So yeah it is possible especially as he mentioned with a 50 machine renderfarm.

Quote:
Really? A professional musician, a professional actor doing the voices AND an agent?


One cool thing about actors and musicians, even professional ones, are willing to give support to a project. Many of them love to collab. Traditional and CG artists, modelers, animators usually have a slightly different mindset than actors and musicians. If you go to voice acting forums and musical forums and put out the word for a collab, you'll get 30 responses to every 1 response you get on say the collab forum here. Musicians the same thing. In some instances you can even find famous folks willing to drop down on a collab. The support from those types of artists doing music and acting is very healthy. So I see him being able to get that support. Agents on the other hand have to find good artists and find them work to get themselves paid so if you have some talent it ain't that hard to secure an agent.

Quote:
In my humble and probably against the tide view, once you upload something on the tubes to promote yourself, it doesn't matter your background, if its something from Blur, Disney or a poor "genius 15 year old kid who found a computer while running from a lion and learned 3D in his night time with a book he found on the trash", you should be evaluated in the same terms and standards and your background shouldn't ever affect trained critics, specially with the ease it is to create a nice marketing strategy based on some "awww" story


Awwww stories are great. We as humans love "awww" stories. To think that someone was able to do something out of the ordinary, like make a quality looking film of this caliber. It is good looking. It is on par with many studios back in the day. To achieve this level of quality is impressive, trained or untrained eye. Even some of the negative comments "he didn't do this by himself, he had a team" , should show you that it is not ordinary to do this quality at this level and in that time and he did it. He gave folks something fun to watch, was very creative it making it look better than it was and shows some skill. Imagine what he can do in another 10 years of experience.

I really dig this and Rosa. That dude did his in a year using Poser err....Daz models. But in both folks case it seems to have opened a lot more doors than a demo reel could have.

Last edited by AangtheAvatar : 01-15-2013 at 12:34 AM.
 
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