(Mostly) Animated Film

This past summer, a friend and I set out to make something a bit different than our usual live-action shorts. We decided to make a movie entirely on a green screen, and animate everything around us.

With luck, we’ll be finished in the next week or two (filming is done, we’re ~75% with visuals, and have yet to start sound and music). It’ll be about 7min long. Here’s a bit of our work:

Sept. 19 Edit: We have a trailer

From green screen to an elevator

A robot aiming through a trapdoor into a bank

…And a starship

Any feedback/tips would be much appreciated–we’re fairly new to this type of thing.

Also, if anyone happens to want to write music for us, send me a message.

sweet, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

This can be done at any level of course. If you want it to look good you’ll have to heavily improve every aspect of your cg - modelling needs a lot of more details, you’ll need handpainted textures and improved lighting. Use a lot of reference images. I like the ship shape, but not the robots. Apart from the design of the robot the pose looks weird, take a photo of yourself holding a rifle and pointing it down a imagined opening and then compare your pose to the robots. He should probably be standing with his side towards the opening, not the front of his body. Good luck with your project! (How long do you plan it to be?)

tobbew: Thanks for the feedback! Like I said, we’re new to this sort of thing so we’re aiming for “passable” rather than “looks good.” Do you have any specific critiques of the robot’s shape? As for the pose, that is pasted over an image of me. I usually face the direction I’m firing. It’ll be about 7min long.

This is the first location in the movie. Since we filmed everything first, we knew exactly what parts of the sets we needed, which is why they may look strange. An old elevator…

…leading to a dark room…

…which looks something like this with us composited in

Look at your image and compare with suitable reference images (google old elevator, for example, gives lots of images). The roof requires lots of smaller details. If that trapdoor is possible to open - how is that done? How is it attached? (You might find some referece images googling flat rooftop window.) After modelling is finished you might want to look up some tutorials on texturing and lighting.

Unless the story specifically requires daylight on that rooftop you might get a nicer image on an eveningshot.

Yes, there are a lot of details to add. Virtually nothing I’ve posted is “done.” Also a lot of the models are never seen, and therefore we aren’t working on them–for example, the lamp in the 2nd picture. The rooftop is our most recent model, so it needs a ton of work still.

The trouble with lighting is, since we were on a green screen, we had to get fairly even lighting, and if we don’t do the same on the model, it looks odd. It comes out looking bland, but I think that’s better than inconsistent.

When using a green screen, if you have some more distance between the actors and the screen you can light the screen evenly and your actors as you wish. However, I was referring to your cg lighting which is very harsh, seems to come from one light in the front and casting hard shadows. Switching to 3-point lighting would help read the shapes more.

Been working on sound quite a bit recently, but here’s some more of the VFX.

The elevator, as it looks in the movie. There will probably be a few more minor changes.

The interior of the starship seen in the original post (the second location in the movie). It could still use a fair bit of work… we’re using real chairs, so those seats are just for reference

And the rooftop, which needs some work as well. We’re using SCG for the background behind it. We never see below the railing in the actual movie.

One of the animations for the movie.

Real life has done a good job of preventing work from being done, but anyways…

We’re slowly getting done with this. I’ve never done much compositing before, so I’m learning as I go with this. I would appreciate any tips.

sweet, I’m a noob but I think you’re doing some sweet action!

Thanks! I’m pretty much a noob, too…

I haven’t posted an update in a while because we’ve been working on sound and music, which doesn’t really have anything to do with Blender.

One of the more recent visual components we’ve done is add a bit of grain to the CGI. Just a simple method of filming a wall, and then subtracting each frame from the one before it, and overlaying the result over the entire video.

But we’ve finally made a trailer, so we actually have something to show we’re still working hard.