I’ve been involved in the Hardcore Modeling mini-challenge, and it was kindly pointed out to me that my entry – The Daleks from Doctor Who – are something of the invading persuasion. It was further pointed out to me that I happened to start said models on the very day this contest was announced, and it just so happens that I really need to practice my VFX-learnin’. Funny how things work out!

I’ll give this a go; the streets shall run rampant with Daleks! Roberto has kindly offered background plates of the D.C. area, but I’m still evaluating my options for a location – Will make a decision in the next day or so. I could also sorely use a team member or two to really make this shine – especially people versed in sound design and particle-effects, and anyone who can provide live-action footage to composite over static background plates.

Here are the models to start with:

The final sequence, wherever it takes place, will be designed in tribute to BBC-Wales and the Doctor Who dept. in the spirit of the Canary Wharf onslaught seen at the end of this video.

Let’s see where it goes! Anyone interested in joining the party?


Just so y’all know, I haven’t given up already. I’ve been doing all background stuff – Literally I suppose; I’ve photographed the background plates of Charlotte seen in the Assets Warehouse and been simplifying my Dalek model for the hordes I’m gonna need in the distance. I’ve gotten a copy of the Dalek down to less than 1/3 its original poly-count; that should be helpful for the ones off in the background! I’ll post WIP’s as soon as I’ve done something crowd-pleasin’.


Oi! Been meaning to upload a video-update for the past two days; I’ve only now figured out how to render out something small enough for my FTP to handle. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to want to chug through anything larger than 10 MB… Aw well, sorted now with a 4.5-MB video! (Thank you, Super C!)

Here’s my current progress. With luck I’ll have time for a shot of a couple’a the Daleks touching down on the ground, but I feel like I should work with what I’ve got first. We now have Dalek Action over Charlotte, NC. A couple of the shots are playblasted; I’ve come to realize there’s not much sense in rendering until I’ve figured out a few things about soft-shadowing with raytracing, and about working with HDRI. The Dalek Hordes in the sky and the laser blasts are all governed by instanced particles.

[download - 4.5 mb, Footage01.mov]

Priorities right now are to get rid of matte-edges, study HDR and lighting, extend the Dalek-eye-view shot for a few frames, and get goods rendered. Advice, as always, is appreciated!


Heads up!

Fxwars Invasion: Two Weeks To Go


I’ll do what I can… As long as I only bite off what I can chew (or at least have a backup plan), I should be good to submit by then.

Here’s the latest version! Changes made since last night:

-Removed that attempt at a faked lens-blur in Shot 1
-Worked on some of the animation in Shot 2
-Fixed matte-lines in Shots 1 and 4
-Extended Shot 4 a little so it’s a less jarring cut
-Lowered the camera angle in Shot 5. (This one didn’t make it to tonight’s upload; I’m having trouble playblasting it.)
[download - 06_18.mov, 4.6~ish MB]


hey i thought that you were going for something simple, such as a single static shot…
Good to see you are directing your own Dr Who episode :applause:

I would only suggest that in the opening shot, have a single line of Daleks visible (or even just a couple of Daleks), so when the rest appear behind the building they have a bigger impact on the shot…

looking good and i mean it :wink:
keep it up man!!


Well, you know the adage… If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing :smiley: At any rate, everyone else in this contest is doing numerous shots. I’ve gotta step up to the challenge however I can.

I’ll try that out, man, thanks!


I always find a really nice piece of music, and then feel like i HAVE to make multiple shots. I wish i was only doing one. But cant pass up comping shots of UFOs everywhere… its classic! Stuff’s looking good, son! Keep it up!


Thanks man – Yours is looking awesome, by the way!

Tonight’s update. I lowered the Daleks in the first shot to Stage-Gr’s suggestion; left just a little hint of the second line behind the facade so that they don’t all pop outta nowhere. I also rendered out the final shot, after fixing some problems with the camera angle and the generated-Daleks in the background, and I threw a little faked motion-blur on them too… In that shot the front Dalek has a color pass, a glow pass for the lit-bits, and an occlusion pass. I think I’ll see about working out a separate shadow-pass though; it’s looking kinda flat, especially on its ‘bumper’. Just gotta keep it controlled, seeing how diffused the lighting in the environment is.

Hope ya like it!
[download - 06_22.mov, ~4.5 mb]


Small update – Added that shadow-pass to Shot 5 I mentioned in the previous post.

[download - 06_23.mov, ~4.5 MB]

Okay, now I’ve added it. Seems that earlier I somehow managed to turn off that layer in AfterEffects before I rendered :\


Nice! I did not know that you were in this challenge. Looking good! I hope you finish on time. Good luck!


Thanks, man :slight_smile:

Non-update: I rendered out the second shot overnight, but something about it looks really low-quality. Gonna figure that out and render it again.


Update: It’s rendered out, sort’a properly. I still need to figure out how to get the background Dalek to reflect in those windows… I tried a few days ago and it screwed with the lighting.
[download - 06_24.mov, ~4.5 MB]


Heads up!

Fxwars Invasion: ONE WEEK To Go (July 3rd!)


Update – Web-space is becoming a bit of a premium, so for this one I’ve only rendered out the shot I’ve worked on. May need to wipe WIP’s after this contest is over; I hate that this thread won’t have a lot to offer people looking at it a month from now, but I don’t know if that’d be a big issue anyway :surprised

Got the reflections working and even figured out how to soften them a bit, but dang if the windows haven’t inherited some weird shadows around the edges. Makes them look sort’a… Punched-out. Today I’m going to bevel the window-frame model for a little more definition and try again.

[download - 06_26.mov, 881 KB]

By the way, question regarding audio – I know there’s a lot of attention paid to copyrights here on all visual assets, but what about music? If we use any copyrighted audio, do we need to secure permissions and such for it? I’ve been able to fake my way through a few FX-shots but I know nothing of sound design :sad:


That looks awesome…

For this kind of contest I usually recomend royalty free music databases…



Thanks, man! :bowdown: I’ll check those links out and see if I can find something that goes well.



Okay, it’s not perfect still but I can make my peace with the windows… I’ve realized though that I have a much more basic problem; the Dalek in the background is out of perspective. Check out his size in relation to that window-frame from the beginning to the end >.> I’ll correct that – Or more honesty, fake it – And then hopefully I’ll be able to call this a finished shot. I’m getting a bit tired of finding around-the-house stuff to do in the 12 hours it takes to render.

[download – 06_27, 881 KB]


[download - 06_28.mov, ~620 KB]

Ya see that? That’s a Dalek that diminishes properly into the distance! …Well… I dunno about properly; it diminishes indeed, but if I’m honest, distance is only half the equation :smiley:

There’s still much I’d like to fix, and maybe one or two more shots I could make, but I’ve got to call the visuals done for the most part at this point. I have other things going on that I need to focus on for awhile. If anyone has suggestions for little tweaks I can make, of course I’m open to them!

Aside from pondering whatever tweaks y’all can offer, I’m planning from here to just test music 'til I get the right feel, work in some laser blasts, and upload the sexy.

By the way, I don’t like to brag, but right now I’m sipping at the best cup of coffee I’ve ever made. Yummers.


[b]Heads up

[/b]FXWARS INVASION (Post you Final Entry ):July 7th Date