Human 2.0 Cyborg construction seq. From new film : The Beyond


(Toka) #1

Hi there. This is just a quick shot progress breakdown of a recent project where I used Blender exclusively for all of the 3D work. It’s a short sequence from a recent British Science fiction film called The Beyond. The debut feature film from director Hasraf ‘Haz’ Dulull. It’s a robotic skeletal construction montage of the Human 2.0 Cyborg astronaut character featured in the film.


Most of the visual effects sequences in the film were made in a Maya V-Ray and Nuke pipeline. I initially got involved in the project working on the rigging and extra geo detailing of the final Cyborg Human 2.0 character. This was originally working almost exclusively in Maya. Setting it up for a combined workflow that utilized both 3D object/actor face tracking and roto-mation. Although I was using Blender a little bit on the side for extra modeling and detailing work.

However when the need arose quite late in post production for some laboratory construction shots of the Human 2.0 I thought Blender would be the perfect go to solution for the whole thing. Especially since I was working on them independently away from the rest of the studio production facilities by that time.

The look we were aiming at in the renders was for something slightly more stylized and dream like. Bleached out a bit as if referencing a distant memory. What we were going for with the design of the mechanics was a sort of basic and classic military or NASA raw engineering look. The idea is that this quite raw and heavy looking mechanical construction is what lies below the more polished and rounded surfacing of the final cyborg body form.

The project had a tight budget and very condensed production time so the original Human 2.0 asset was a Turbo Squid model that was purchased and extensively reworked, re-textured and up-rezed for the film. I used some of this original asset together with other kit based elements to create this half built in the lab version. Some of Tears Of Steel’s Quad-Bot and Robot hand can be seen in there. As well as a few other public domain and commercially purchased kit bash elements. These I was very grateful to have. This is most especially visible I guess in the earlier less built up play blast renders. The final form is about 50 50 custom modeled and kit bashed if I remember right.


I think the ten euro a month I have put into the Blender Cloud these last few years must be the best software investment I ever made. It’s quite incredible that since I completed these shots about a year ago, the render times in Cycles have gone through the floor. This seems to be due to several factors. De noise obviously together with combined GPU and CPU and what seems to be general all around continued optimizations. I ran a recent test on a couple of these recently and the speed ups I was getting were quite incredible compared to the original render times… A bit of a game changer to say the least. I’ve read that de noise is not ideally optimized for animation yet. But with these shots at least it’s working fine.

Right now the film is publicly available on most digital download media. So perhaps give it a look. It tells a big story in a compassionate and human way. There is an open access making of documentary too.

Making of video


(Toka) #2

This is how the final finished ‘ Human 2.0 ‘ CG cyborg suit appears in the movie as played by Noeleen Comiskey. The final form of the Human 2.0 was created in Maya and V-Ray. As were most of the other main shots in the film.

CG supervisor Charles Willcocks shaped the overall look of the Human 2.0 and created the final shaders and lighting. Olly Crawford added most of the extra geometry details and up rez work. I worked mainly on the rigging and wider animation pipeline. Although I did use Blender for some extra last min up rez and detailing. Mainly on the helmet.


One of my favorite aspects of Blender is simply it’s incredibly fast and fluid workflow. It’s common to gripe a bit about the interface when first coming from other 3D software. But once I grasped it I have always found it so natural. This includes the ability to so easily jump around between different disciplines and make fast changes on the fly.
The time was so condensed that I was virtually composing and animating and test rendering shots while still building and modeling the main scene geo. In the end all of the shots were simply one long sequence with the same animated camera on a slow drift then a one frame jump into the next shot and composition.


Poster art for the film :



(asmithey) #3

Wow. Very cool. Thanks for sharing.


(Safetyman) #4

Really cool looking. Nice work.


(rombout) #5

Stunning work bro!

P si see they got some other sci-fy projects as well, did you also work on those?