Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome :: Production Focus

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Old 11 November 2012   #31
Good stuff! I have always considered LightWave to be the space scene production tool. Its more to do with the fact there are quite a few people with 10+ years of experience making spaceships and battles using LW so each relevant feature has been extensively used/tested with proven production history. I'm a Max/Maya/Zbrush guy who sometime in 2002-2004 was looking at Lightwave as a serious tool. What let me down was the lack of customer resources, but was always impressed with my friends who stuck with LW and spent less time re-learning tools, and spent more time mastering their craft.

Congrats to everyone who worked on the show. Sci-fi is awesome and its a special kind of privilege to be working on cosmic battles
 
Old 11 November 2012   #32
Pooby, while in theory I agree with that statement (talent and experience have their relevance in this discussion, obviously) it seems to me that we never get to know about non-LW based productions with a similarly small team pulling off comparable quality and quantity.

I know that sounds like marketing talk, but it is actually true that LW was and continues to be the main tool for mostly everything vfx we´ve seen on tv over the last decade.

So, quite honestly, at this point I simply can not understand that image of a marginal software that many continue to cultivate throughout many forums. It´s more than proven its value in the field.

After all the excellent results in almost all fx driven tv shows it´s a bit bizarre to still read the same nonsense over and over again..(that´s npot directed at you, pooby, you are my rigging god, lol)

Originally Posted by pooby: Lightwave is quite capable at this type of work. However, the writer trying to imply that Lightwave has some secret advantage or speed gain to be made is a nonsense. If anything, I have found the opposite to be true.
Its simply down to the user/s and their familiarity with the tools.
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Old 11 November 2012   #33
Will this only be played on the machinima channel on YT or will it be on TV as well?

I very keen to watch this series because I'm also working on an all-green-screen production as well.

I watched the 2 ep so far.

Looks pretty good.

The wide shots are really amazing I think for all green screen, seems like a lot more care went into those shots.

The lighting in some shots is a bit unflattering for the actors.

So the budget was $2million for how many minutes?

It says minimal previz was done, which seems strange to me. Previz seems like a great way to go for an all green screen show. The ability to light a shot rough in 3d first before shooting would help the DP a lot for his lighting on the actors I would have thought. Plus all the previz would be used as a first pass for the final back ground?

Love to see more behind the scenes on this show, maybe fxguidetv could do one?

I think fxphd makes the best making ofs by far.

Did you use Nuke for comps?

Great work.

Thanks
 
Old 11 November 2012   #34
Originally Posted by gauranga108: Will this only be played on the machinima channel on YT or will it be on TV as well?


It's being shown online first broken up into webisodes. After that the 2 hour movie will be aired on SyFy and an enhanced version will be sold on dvd/blu-ray. It's also a pilot for a possible series.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #35
Having missed Galactica when it was current I went back and watched them all,.. very nice. This work looks very sexy indeed! Nice article

Thanks.
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Old 11 November 2012   #36
The webisodes so far are really quite good and I can't wait to see more. The green screens not too noticable for the standard audience and has some really nice environments such as the hangar.

I hope someone can enlighten me but do online series on Youtube make any money? I mean it's seems to be becoming more predominantly used as a medium, first with Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn and now this. Also how do they get things into motion, as investors would want to see a return?
 
Old 11 November 2012   #37
The Youtube (web publishing) route is all about exposure. We can talk up our spots/shows etc in forums for ages w/o an appreciable turnaround in real audience numbers when our efforts make it to TV. Thus far, it looks like the YT/Web process might be yielding more reliable results - I say might be since I don't have access to those numbers; but the idea makes sense. It would certianly help explain the trend
 
Old 11 November 2012   #38
Originally Posted by TheRazorsEdge: You guys are so funny!
I doubt that any of you would be bitchin' about any huge number of mentions of Maya or 3DS Max etc in such an article. Gee... lol.

Cheers!


I wasn't "bitchin'" about anything. I was commenting on something I thought was funny. I'm actually happy to see Lightwave get mentions on important projects.
It's very repetitive how they use the word in every other sentence, that's why it's funny. It could have been any other word...like people that use "parallax" at least 10 times a day...it's funny....
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Old 11 November 2012   #39
So far, I'm enjoying the show. The serious lack of scifi out there means BSG:B&C will get scifi fan's full attention.

As to the article, it does feel like Lightwave propaganda.
As to Lightwave, I've used Maya, Max, and Lightwave professionally and I have to say that *in my opinion* Lightwave actually does have a few advantages over the other two applications.

1) It has been developed and owned by Newtek since the beginning... this means that it hasn't been sold, as Maya and Max have, multiple times. It also means that development cycles have a better chance of keeping their momentum. Even with the Luxology and CORE issues, I still think that Newtek has kept significant momentum. This also means that the users of Lightwave are coming in with intimate knowledge of the software.

2) There is an advantage to having the software split into modeling & animation applications in that things take less resources to run. If Maya or Max could operate using half of the computer resources that they do currently, it would no doubt improve the speed that the artists can work at. I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had to wait for Lightwave to catch up to me while I was working, in all my years of using it. I would need an army of hands to count the number of times that I've had to wait for Max. And I had a far better machine running Max. My biggest complaint is having to wait for the software to do what I tell it. Maya has also been pretty quick, but still doesn't really compare to Lightwave.

3) This is a big one for me... it seems a bit rudimentary, but there isn't really a 'history' or a 'modifier stack'. I hate modeling in Max for the simple reason that I have to click multiple things sometimes in order to do a one click operation in Lightwave. Simply moving a vertex in Max means selecting the object, then switching to the subobject vertex mode, then selecting the vertex that you want to manipulate, then doing the manipulation. Lightwave allows me as a modeler to simply toggle through selection modes with the space bar and directly select the things that I want to manipulate. It doesn't sound like much, but for me and my workflow, LW seems to do a lot of stuff with fewer steps and it all adds up.

4) Animating non-organics in LW is super simple. The animation spline automatically shows up for whichever object is selected and the every frame shows up on that line as a dot, and keyframes as little a 'x' on that line. It's a clean, simple way to deliver the information to the user. I've seen Maya's version which was clunky and visually intrusive (though that might have changed, I haven't checked in a long time). Moving a space ship around the virtual environment and adjusting timing becomes easy because the distance between the dots scales when you adjust the keyframes in x,y,z space.

Lightwave isn't without it's compromises though (for example, I DO like the way Max handles spline shapes... that said, I haven't checked out the latest tools, so it is possible that Lightwave has caught up).

Honestly, for the amount of shots that these guys did on this show, to this level of quality in this amount of time, I have zero doubt that Lightwave deserves all the praise it gets. And even with my belief in the software as a super-efficient CG machine, those guys musta put in some long hours to do what they did.

That brings up another thing that might be worth a new thread: With the (sure to be) success of this series, at this price, does it mean that more productions will be looking for similar shot counts for similar prices? By the virtue of them breaking this 1800 shots under $2 million and doing almost all of it on a greenscreen mean that they've just pulled the rug out from under us as artists? For a producer, where is the value in the work when it costs so little money to get so much?

To be honest, as an artist, it concerns me. As I writer though, I gotta say I love it.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #40
Episodes 3 & 4 are up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXCn...=2&feature=plcp



And the BlueRay will be on sale early next year

http://www.amazon.com/Battlestar-Ga...+chrome+blu+ray
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Old 11 November 2012   #41
Originally Posted by Pixanaut: So far, I'm enjoying the show. The serious lack of scifi out there means BSG:B&C will get scifi fan's full attention.

As to the article, it does feel like Lightwave propaganda.
As to Lightwave, I've used Maya, Max, and Lightwave professionally and I have to say that *in my opinion* Lightwave actually does have a few advantages over the other two applications.

1) It has been developed and owned by Newtek since the beginning... this means that it hasn't been sold, as Maya and Max have, multiple times. It also means that development cycles have a better chance of keeping their momentum. Even with the Luxology and CORE issues, I still think that Newtek has kept significant momentum. This also means that the users of Lightwave are coming in with intimate knowledge of the software.


Max has always been owned by Autodesk


On the show, I too would be concerned about how this would set expectations for other projects, it's an extreme amount of work they did for this,

But---I think maybe that could help with other projects, I'd like to see if maybe a TV movie for Firefly/Serenity could be done that way. I don't think the show will come back but a TV movie wouldn't be ridiculous, and CG sets would allow for them to save money by not having to rebuild the whole set for the ship. Then again, I'm not sure CG would work for the Firefly set considering the size and the interaction that would be needed.
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Old 11 November 2012   #42
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Episodes 3 & 4 are up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXCn...=2&feature=plcp



And the BlueRay will be on sale early next year

http://www.amazon.com/Battlestar-Ga...+chrome+blu+ray


Thanks for the heads-up, Roberto.

Cheers!
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Old 11 November 2012   #43
Video shows how Blood and Chrome recreated BSG sets using “90 percent greenscreen”

http://io9.com/5962622/video-shows-...ent-greenscreen
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Old 11 November 2012   #44
In another article, Doug Drexler mentions that they didn't work overtime on the project (or at least, very little overtime). If that is true, it just makes it even more impressive.
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Old 11 November 2012   #45
Given the length of time they had, and the size of the team, they did a really bang-up job putting it together. My hat is off to them. Particularly in light of this "almost no OT" revelation. I don't believe it. Everything is always in OT always, as far as I know.

But the spectator in me is not terribly happy with what I've seen so far. As far as the aesthetic goes, the Star Trek lens flare situation is a little out of control. And I LIKED that look in Star Trek. The clean, Apple Store, LED light source look of the Enterprise and energy weapons and matter transporters lent itself to a lens flare-heavy look. I'm not sure that I can say the same for the BSG universe.

Here's why. For starters, if we're linking BSG(2003) to BSG:B&C, the former was gritty and dark, not shiny and flashy. Indeed, despite the cool nebulae sequences in the 4th season, I thought even those looked outside of the visual lexicon that had been developed. Here, B&C has a completely different look that is somewhat at odds with the source material.

They've mentioned that they've expanded some of the spaces and sets, making them more vast. I could see the inspiration for that, but part of what made BSG effective was a certain claustrophobia that comes along with being stuck in a radiation-shielded tin-can for months at a time, on the run from genocidal robots. Granted, that's the not the through-line for B&C, but losing some of that "submarine feel" I think changes the atmosphere considerably.

Finally, the biggest failure of the show has nothing to do with the FX team, but it bares mentioning anyway. The webisode format is not a very good way to tell an engaging story. Each episode is built on having something EXCITING happen in the 9 minutes they've got, and winds up feeling very videogamey. There's no time for thoughtful drama or build, it's just "flashy action now!" Essentially, their biggest problem with this thing is a script that feels at odds with the gravity of the 2003 series, which, if you'll remember, takes an entire quarter of the miniseries (a full episode) to reach anything that would be considered EXCITING. B&C on the other hand FEELS cheap. I know it WAS cheap. But the script doesn't have to feel that way. The show just isn't that good. Don't get me wrong, I'ma watch it, but I doubt it will function as a backdoor pilot, and I doubt the series will run beyond this initial pilot. It lacks the humanity so far of the 2003 series, which is what made a sci-fi reboot into a cross-demographic phenomenon. I just wish the FX team had been able to support a better story. Then they could be proud not only of their artistic/technical accomplishment (and Lightwave, which they seem to be very proud of), but of being part of a really good show.

Can't win 'em all, I suppose.
 
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