Flooded carpark - Short film

Hey guys!!
What started as a test animation soon turned into a full blown short film.

Picture this: It’s a hot summers night and it’s pelting down rain. The camera pans around a closed shopping center carpark. We see flickering flourescent bulbs, scattered trolleys, a car that someone is yet to pick up and various bits of loose rubbish. Drops are leaking from the ceiling, and we can hear the strange sound of metal bending.

The camera pans over to the entrance door, which suddenly collapses sending in torrents of water. The car and trolleys are flipped around. With no where for the water to go, it soons fills up the carpark almost to the ceiling. The lights dim before going out.

Maximum 3 minutes long.
My main focus is, lighting, texturing, smooth camera movements, FLUIDS, and actually be interesting for the general public to watch.

Here is the scene, thus far:
(click for big)



I’ve also uploaded a quick 35 second camera fly through animation to give you an idea of the scene:

What I need from you lovely people is honest criticisms!
It’s gotten to that point where I’ve stared at it for so long, that I can’t work out if it looks good or not. So point out any flaws you see (even the minor ones), and I’ll try and fix it.
I’m ready to learn!! :yes:

Still to complete:

  • Texturing

  • Floor - some arrows and lines a bit crooked

  • Ceiling - touch it up so it looks more realistic

  • Walls - Needs painted arrows

  • Modelling

  • Model shopping center entrance

  • Add realistic objects (trash cans, fire hydrants, trolley lanes etc.)

  • More ceiling pipes and electrical lines!

  • Lighting

  • Provide better lighting to poorly lit areas

  • Improve florescent look

  • Get the colour right

  • Fluids!

  • Storyboarding

  • Shot angles and lengths

  • Camera movement

  • Final composition

  • Touch up composition in Blender (glowing lights, soft shadows)

  • Render!!

  • Edit

  • Upload!
    Thankyou for your input! :cool:

Wow…Its amazing!! Its got the photorealistic touch to it…Its really quite well made. I love the render, and i hope you’ll post some more screenshots (My net’s too slow for streaming videos). But i absolutely love your work…i dont think there is anything to criticize (duh…) I also love the idea, though i think you should include more things other than just a car…It might become to monotonous…

btw, what other works have you created? I would love to check them out…

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Fat chance of getting many views or comments because of that. IMHO.

Nice work.

I don’t know how it is in Australia, but in the States I rarely see shopping trolleys in parking structures. Parking lots, yes, all the time, but structures are expensive to build, so they pack in the car spaces and there really is no room to get around if people bring in trolleys and leave them blocking spaces and driving lanes.

It would be interesting to see the trolleys washed around by flood water, but I think you are going to have to find some parking structure that was actually designed for combined car/trolley use and see how they designed it to accomodate the trolleys.

I wouldn’t worry about the geometric perfection of the painted lines on the floor. The people who actually paint the lines don’t always get things perfect either.

Many large parking structures also have some sort of grid numbering (A1, B1, etc) on the support columns, sometimes color coded, to help people find their cars.

As to the filling up with water part – only if the structure is underground. If it’s above ground, there will be car driving lanes going down to the ground, and it will be open to the outside – perhaps a pay booth with a car gate, but nothing to stop flood water from exiting.

If it is underground, there will be a section that is a ramp up to ground level for the cars to drive down. I’d kind of expect flood water to come rushing down this ramp, but I don’t know the storyline that brings in the flood.

Finally, three minutes might be a little long to hold peoples attention with nothing happening but flooding.

Just out of curiosity, how long does 1 frame take to render?

Whoops!! Thank’s for letting me know. I’ve changed it to public, so here it is again:

Good point. I’ll see what other objects I could throw in to make it more interesting.
Here’s two of my other works:

Really?? :eek:
Wow. In Australia they’re everywhere. Maybe our trolley boys are just slack… or maybe our people are.
But yes, in Australia there are usually trolleys everywhere. Above ground carparks, as well as below ground… even down residential streets there’s trolleys. It’s gotten so bad that shopping centers are installing distance limiting devices that lock the wheels on your trolley when you push it too far from the complex :spin:

To give you an idea of what the carpark is based off, here’s some reference pictures:


The entrance to the store that I am yet to model:

And here’s another render for you all:
(click for big)
^This took 6 minutes to render the big version. Which is mainly due to the trolleys, which I still have to sort out.

A typical render (like the one in the OP for example) takes 1-2 minutes per frame.

Whoops. Yeah, I’ve actually already made those, I just haven’t lined them up with the support columns yet. I’ll see about including them before the next update.

Yeah the carpark is definately underground. And there is a ramp that the water will flow down. I’ll do my best to make it realistic.

You could be right. I sort of set that as an absolute maximum.
But I’ll post the finished product here before I go live with it. So you can all have a say on the duration, editing, music score, etc.

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. It’s been excellent.
Keep 'em coming! :slight_smile:

Your render times will go up exponentially once you add water.

It looks great, as someone said, it looks almost photorealistic. (the ceiling not as much as the rest)

Wish you luck!

Looks great, very good rendering and textures.

But the specularity on the pillars is killing me, I think it’s because there is little or no bumpmap on the concrete. While the concrete floors in parking garages are smooth, the pillars are very porus and bumpy. At least I’ve never seen smooth ones.

3 minutes is definitely too long for just a flooding. 1.5 minutes tops… 1 minute preferably. A car park flooding is really only a test, not really a short film. There is no plot, and without a plot there is little to keep the viewer’s attention. You could make it more interesting if you added in a character trying to escape, for example the owner of the lone car.

This really does look nearly photorealistic, though I think maybe there’s too much specularity or something – the walls and floor seem like they need to be more ‘gritty’. I’m also interested in your camera setup, is it a tweaked camera that make it look so cinematic, or just the default camera on a well built scene? The flythrough looks very nice, how long did it take to render? Looking forward to updates.

A quick idea on the shopping carts: in any shots where the carts are a good distance away from the camera, you might be able get away with making the basket at least out of just a four sided cube with alpha mapped textures for the ribs. Especially if the film is not going to be a single continuous shot, you could have two or more cart models with varying levels of detail and perform something like adaptive subdivision or LOD by hand, shot to shot.

Three minutes does seem long for an effects shot, however I’m sure adding a character would be one whole hell of a lot of extra work and would most probably detract from the level of photorealism it looks like you’re going for. Maybe using a handheld camera for some shots could be the ‘character’?

HoboJoe’s right, the specular and bump maps need to be tweaked/refined and need more contrast.

Yeah true.
I guess calling it a ‘short film’ probably isn’t right.
Most of it is going to be establishing shots, with slow camera movement to the music of Sigur Ros – Untitled #1 (with the water flowing in when the singing starts). So maybe it should be classed as a music video, or reel or something. Because as you said, short films need a plot with a problem and a resolution. :wink:

If it’s done right, it shouldn’t be boring. But I definitely know what you mean about films going for way too long, so I’ll cut it back if it gets too monotonous.

I’ll see about making the spec and bump more obvious. All the pillars currently have a color, spec, bump, and reflection map. But I guess it’s hard to see. Here’s an old up-close render (no osa):

I might have come off a bit harsh, so I would also like to add that the environment looks great :slight_smile:

It’s been almost a month since I’ve updated this WIP, so here goes:

The mall entry:
(click for big)

The fire escape stairs:
(click for big)
Still have to make proper signage, add pipes going up the sides, railings etc.

So again, constructive critism is much appreciated.
I’m particularly interested in what you think of the:

  • Lighting
  • Floor Texture
  • Mall EntrySo any tips or pointers on those would be great :cool:

I think you should make the camera look as if it was being carried in the first shot. You know, little wobbles and stuff, not just a huge sweeping pan. If you’re going for realistic, the camerawork needs to be realitic too :wink:

Looks awesome though, I can’t wait to see the finished project!

Nice texture work, but i don’t like the greenish color.

Or did i miss the reason for that color? :confused:

Mainy out of interest. How are you getting the light dispersion effect at the edges?

i love it!!..but the green pisses the shit outa me…lol

Good point. :cool: The first video was more just to show the general look of the place though. I haven’t quite moved on to camera movement yet.

I read an interview with one of the guys who did Wall-E the other day, and he explains how they achieved the realistic camera movements in the movie.
They even brought in the guy who made “No Country for Old Men” to show them how he would move the camera.
Very inspiring interview. I’ve picked up a lot from that.

It’s available here if you’re interested:

I used the “Lens Distortion” compositing node (see the OP for a screenshot). The Distortion was set to 0.5 and Dispersion to 0.4 (make sure to click the Fit button).

Duly noted!!
I’m working on changing the colours right now. The reason I chose green was because I read that it’s the colour that puts the viewer on edge and uncertainty. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice :spin:

Do you think I should try for some cool blues and purples similar to the Blender Magic Fluid simulation demo?

Okay I’ve been experimenting with different colour scheme options and here’s what I’ve come up with:

#1 Bluey-green:

#2 Pale blue

#3 Purplish

#4 Yellowy-orange

#5 Yellowy-green

#6 Plain

Which colour scheme is the most fitting in your opinion?

i liked the green dark depressing scheme. Nice work though! It looks so REAL!
I cry now. I cant do THAT!