Alien-style movie trailer development thread

I kinda sorta get what you mean, but in my opinion and experience, with today’s tools it’s possible to iterate close to final quality without needing to work in quality stages like what you’re doing.

I say this, but I’m also used to working on a certain type of machine, so I don’t know if you’re running Blender on a more modest set up that can only handle very low poly/low RAM scenes.

For instance, I find the pipeline of Ian Hubert to be a good example on how to iterate in a way that yields high quality results even in the early phase of the project. Ian works on very low poly meshes, and utilizes cheap or free textures, but the results speak for themselves:

Of course I am not suggesting that Ian’s workflow and esthetics should be used across the board, I am merely using his work as an example of what the currently technology allows to create from a very early phase of design all the way to final output.

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I started this from absolute scratch, so it does not represent my goals well. The version 5 quality today is going to be the low initial quality (LIQ?) on the next project, and so on. Other parts of the method involve every significant resource spent having to be reusable, i.e. no cheating and everything I make, I make as a tool for later use in future projects. The machine builds itself, so to speak, the trailers are in many ways just byproducts of this. Which, btw, is why I am not making full scenes right now only content. I want to make scenes, but the machine needs content to be made ahead of that. It’s… complicated…

Kinda modest. I bought some old hardware at low cost, thinking it would make for a good work tool. Now that 2.9x is out, turns out it’s not supported, so I need a full upgrade and am limited until then. The rendering times may prevent me from advancing the quality all that much until I get the cashflow to upgrade -everything-.

Due to the “make no stuff, make only tools; stuff is byproduct” angle, I cannot follow Ian’s footsteps very closely. I do, however, use any trick that I can cram in from him, the man is a genius! The same problem keeps me from just inserting MakeHuman or Character Creator models into my work, etc. If I can’t make them part of this growing “organism”, I can only use them for insignificant things, and at times, not even that.

Again, I hope this makes sense. I really need to polish up some way to describe what I do here…

Isn’t what your describing though just pre-vis? You have the blocky, generalised shapes, and rough camera movements etc…and you use that rough cut - so to speak - as a foundation for a more final piece.

It seems the way your doing it is actually way more work than more traditional workflows. Not that there’s anything wrong per say about that, you do you. But I am struggling to understand what exactly you’re trying to achieve with the workflow you’re trying to create.

If you’re struggling to convey to people what it is you’re actually doing (apart from the making a short film part - that much is obvious) have you considered that you yourself aren’t exactly sure?

I mean it constructively. It may genuinely be that you’re not explaining it well. But even from watching the thread (which I enjoy seeing it come together, btw) it just seems like you’re creating more work for yourself.


For now, I do create more work for myself, yes, simply because I need to understand EVERY part of the process. The goal is to build on that so I make less work for myself in the future. This includes with my explanation and own insights, so you are not wrong on that either.

Previz is my goto explanation, actually, but many get confused because they think of architecture or machine previsualization, so I need a broader phrase. The method starts out as previz, but it is the transition from that to a finished “product” that I am fiddling with. Basically, I want previz to form a full framework to snap details into easily, rather than just provide a visual foundation. In a sense, previz becomes 70-80% of the finished projekt. The details are a bunch of unstable scripts and asset transfer files, which I should get working better before describing.

I am not doing a project, as much as LEARNING to do this kind of project, mind you, which leads to a lot of inefficient work that needs rooting out. All suggestions are welcome; even what is not used may give me ideas!

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I am starting to really hit walls now. It’s my own skill level that’s the obstruction, I simply lack the experience and knowledge to make things look, I don’t know, authentic? They look very rendered, like plastic models. But I am in it to learn, so I will just have to do that! For now, I got a rifle, a gun, and an updated flamethrower based on said rifle:

Just for the 3-4 people following this project: Things may slow down a bit, as I just held my three years old cat Goldie in my arms today while he died of the same cancer that took his sister Choco a year ago and their sister Silver the year before that. I now have their mother (who immunely carries the cancer gene) and their surviving brother Carrot, while the fates of their two adopted siblings are unknown to me. I am down in the dumps. That breaks my concentration. I will hopefully return at some point in the near future.

Rest in that ethereal window sill in peace, my sweet boy, till I find you and hold you forever each and every Day <3


Sorry to hear that. I have three aging dogs here and it’s just a matter of time before they’re gone too. It’s sad, but remember that they’re not here for us, we’re here for them!

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Yeah, but they all deserved more time here. Three years is like a human dying at 28, Choco’s 20 months is like a human at 20, and Silver’s 6 months is like losing a 10 year old child. I hate cancer with all of my being, and the vets who advised me to “wait vaccinating, it’s not a pressing issue”…
Hope your dogs live to be old farts. All animals deserve to become old farts. And some people do, too.

That is heartbreaking. You are right, they were far too young.

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Okay… I am still a mess, and my cat shelter is still under close watch for more issues, but it seems Goldie ‘just’ had the same cancer that his sisters died from. Hopes are that this is just the remnants of old tragedies.

I am sloooowly getting back into Blendering, but expect very little compared to before. Also, I am having some hardware issues, and with the vet bills, an upgrade is not in the foreseeable future, sadly. But I anaged the head and torso parts of the soldier, the last vharacter needed (I think). Once he/she is done, the last (I think) location is the ruined building, and then, everything can be assembled.

The soldier, without arm or leg armor (not made yet). I am not a great concept artist:

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Soldier i finished. Just need the ruin now, and then I can assemble the trailer. And yes, I know his nails are poking through, slight mishap, will be corrected. And there is some clipping, but the poses will not be as extreme in the trailer. Beyond that, I am not entirely satisfied with the result, but it will do. I sorely lack design abilities, it seems…

I am remaking a lot of scenes, because the scripts cannot automate some work they were meant to, because something is completely wrong with the API for Libraries, everything comes in wrong and broken and useless. So this will take longer than expected. Because of that, I am doing this on the side now, since the scripts were a big part of it and will need a complete rewrite, probably after the dearly awaited overhaul of the Libraries system (in 3.3, I think?). But for now, a shot from the scene of the morphing victim eating raw meat from a fridge:

Another scene finally completed! Only 16 more to go…