Final Year Short : Skyfall


Absolute Masterpiece…:slight_smile:


[left]:eek: WOW!!! That was awsome! All all that was CG? That was really excellent. I like the bit when everyhting went backwards and you see the woman, great work.
Godspeed is one of my fave bands, awsome insparation, and you nailed the visuals to go with the track. Good work!


I’m speechless…

the mood is incredible, superb work :applause:


impressive work, i like it. :cool:


woah, i go to bed with this thread at the depths of page 2 and I wake up frontpage with an extra 2000 views :slight_smile:

First things first thanks again everyone who’s had something to say about my project, it makes such a difference to me to know that complete strangers enjoyed watching my piece and not just as an exercise in pure CG.

Next thing - I need mirrors! Two of My coursemate kindly agreed to mirror this after my badnwidth run out but I’ve probably already stolen way more than I should have done and my own site is now completely down (images now hosted on photobucket). If anyone could donate any of their webspace temporarily it would be greatly appreciated.

It’s worth noting that I intend to make a very small making of video at some point over the next day or two showing shot breakdowns and how I approached doing the main collapse stuff. For now though here’s my rough approach to doing the collapse sequence:

  1. All buildings were modelled with smoothing in mind so that they would maintain shape and volume when subdivided, they were all also fully UVd.
  2. I used a random cut script I wrote which subdivides and objects and places random cuts over its surfacem these new edges will be used to define shatter lines.
  3. I developed a script for seperating geometry into random chunks but it proved to create slightly unreliable pieces that were too small so I ended up doing a lot of hand creating of chunks using repeated uses of the extract tool, this took over a day of solid repetitive work.
  4. All geometry is then extruded to create thickness and seperated. In theory I should have reUVed the edges but I felt this was a corner I had to cut.
  5. I used NIMA for dynamics as there’s no way maya’s dynamics can handle the amount of rigid body stuff going on I needed. I simulated each building seperately and on average each one consisted of 500-1000 seperate pieces. Note to get round NIMA’s “free explosion” issues caused by only proxy collision meshses I had to scale down all objects before simulation to reduce the size of their collision meshes and then scale them up again once cached.
  6. All dynamics was brought into one massive file (around 10,000 rbd objects although probably a third of that was instanced), this ended up weighing in at 220mb and 1million polys which was pretty much the limit our computers could take without crashing. Most of the rendering was done in maya software and mental ray (although the translation times were nasty). I would have liked to have used renderman but the amount of space needed for RIB files would have been astronomical. To get around the slightly clunky rendering I had to use a LOT of relatively “simple” passes and try and make it look good in comp.

It’s worth noting I briefly considered blastcode but I rejected it because a) it would have forced me to work in NURBS and b) it’s still not a great deal of use unless you are willing to do particle collisions.

Pichoo and webhead: Breaking the models was a headache, hopefully the above was enough info, let me know if you want to know any more.

Ivanisavich: Thanks for the compliment, it means a hell of a lot to me!

MasterX: Thanks, the first section takes inspiration from Hiroshima archive footag, the look for this was a relatively easy choice, I wanted a really degraded and siturbing feel to the footage which kinda of works but does obscure a lot of detail (and a lot of people including me feel I went to far with grain). For the second section it took me a while to choose a look and in the end I took a lot of inspiration from the grading in black hawk down, however its possible this section ended up being a little bit too colourful.

Infernoskull: Yup, it was a deliberately open ended piece as I didn’t want to muddy the power of the piece with some clunky political ramblings. Also the message in the original soundtrack isn’t exactly clear so I didn’t want to warp the direction of that either. I guess your interpretation of the message is pretty close to my own one, to me its a piece about loss and therefore conversely what you should do with your own time.

Jadetiger: I don’t want to turn this post into an essay but there’s a lot I could talk about if you’re really interested (I wrote a 50 page report on this project). Let me know if you want to know any more than the above.

Luft: Well spotted :). There is also some russian on the road sign in shot 4 but it’s probably too degraded to make out, note I can’t speak russian at all - it’s all done from online translators. One of the original plans was to show dark indistinct silhouettes walking across the landscape in the background of both sections of the piece to represent ghosts or lost souls (as thats what I assume the narrating character is), this idea got dropped but the hotel sign is a nod towards it.

GrM: Yeah, I’m always amazed that more people don’t know GYBE, their music to me is absolutely inspirational, listening to it creates such powerful imagery. I’d love to see more pieces inspired by their music.

Iest-Rob: Everything is CG apart from the matte paintings in the first four shots which are generated from a lot of difference reference pictures (and some hand painting) and the woman in the blast who I felt didnt warrant the time to do in full CG so I just filmed a friend and roto’d her in.


I immediatly recognised Godspeed, well place sound choice!.. fantastic work Matt! Very smooth deconstruction of the buildings, great lighting and fx… Top work mate :slight_smile:


Very very nice man! :buttrock:

No crits but from me man! :thumbsup:


I dont like people like you. Its people of your kind that make the industry so hard to enter.

This was really nice work hope to see more like this from you later:)

I am really interested in the script you made for breaking things apart. Have you by any chance posted it on highend3d or something?


Wow… that was downright amazing.

Beautiful and poetic - the visuals are astounding and heartbreaking.
The music and voice-over set a wonderful somber mood.

Truly an amazing piece of work. :thumbsup:


Simply breathtaking!

therefore lost for words…



Astonishing, really exellent. The seamless composition between sound and animation was well done. Loved the degraded look of the second shot. How was it composited? Looking forward for the breakdowns :slight_smile:



Very nice work. The mood you’ve set with the music and the grading is fantastic. Keep up the good work, you’ll probobly have a nice job lined up after school if you keep that standard.



Simply amazing and stunning work! I was thoroughly impressed… and then I saw that it was a solo project done in only 3 months, which blew me away even more! (pardon the pun)

It’s inspiring to see such a powerful and evocative short, which is almost entirely comprised of VFx. Definitely the best apocalyptic explosion vfx I’ve seen since T2. :applause:


Amazing work, great animation! The music fits it very well!
Congrats on the front page, 5 stars well deserved


Thanks for the description of how you acheived the effect - really impressive stuff!
My only question would be: Would the buildings collapse down like that or would they actually blow apart, or at least parts of them, from the force of the nuclear bomb? Any nuclear physicists out there?


Hehe, I think my project is a hell of a long way off being considered realistic, I’m pretty sure in real life everything would have happened much much faster and with much more instant force and less collapsing. However to make it visually interesting I felt I had to slow things down and try and make movements feel a little more graceful.


Nonetheless, I still think you managed to achieve some very powerful imagery here.


Really like this piece, the slow start was really menacing which seems sometimes hard to pull off.

very interesting those red green rims on everything at the beginning, not sure whether to like or hate those.

Hats off!!! :thumbsup:


congratulations this is a top work :bounce:


Hey Father Hackett…

Excellent work. Like it alot. It has great feeling and depth. A very unique peice.