Short Film : Into the Wild [update:cycles renders]

Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the big post but I realized this week that it’s been WAY too long since I last dug in and actually did something substantial so this weekend I started work on a short film (3mins) in Blender called “Into the Wild”. The elevator pitch (short short version) is that we follow a woman called Morgan as she releases her childhood pet back into the wild. But the wild is no ordinary wild and her pet is no ordinary pet…

First thing I always start with is the music, I’ve stitched together some suitably epic soundtrack music from It’s still very rough, and you’ll have to mentally block out the nice lady saying AudioJungle repeatedly as I haven’t bought the tracks (yet). But even at this early stage, you can hear the pace and the emotion of the story…

[ Listen to the ROUGH draft here ]

So the clip starts with Morgan walking across a dark cargo bay then catching a lift up to the bay doors in the roof. On the way she releases Levi from her amulet (for the last time :frowning: ). At the top Bri (the pilot) opens the doors revealing the “Tree of Stars” in all its glory, and Morgan has to find a way to convice Levi to leave. Fortunately Bri was able to find a school of Levis kind swimming in the stellar tides which helps…

Ok, so the first bit of 3D work to show is the background environment for the story. In my story, ships travel - actually, sail - between stars using a network of wormholes called “The tree of stars”. The environment inside the tree of stars resembles the open sea inside a giant tube and while I’m using a strong orange color scheme below the idea is that different regions have different color schemes. (Apologies to anyone who’s already seen this in the Blender Tests subforum).

Scale wise relatively in the scene above, the ship will be about the size of the speaker icon in the youtube playback controls. The tree of stars itself is actually just a simple tube with a wave modifier and some noise based bump maps. JackBlack suggested the ocean simulator, so if I can get that working with a cylindrical mesh I might be able to get it looking even better :slight_smile:

The next bit of progress that I spent all today working on was Morgans amulet :

And for the last bit of show and tell, I’m actually going to cheat and pull up some old renders from an old starship project (I’ve posted a few of these around here a while back). But I figure it’s ok, because I finally get to use it in something :slight_smile:
Here is a viewport snapshot of my ship (which you may or may not have seen before)
This is the bridge, I’m pretty happy with it, it just needs the pilot (Bri) and some floaty blue glowy HUD stuff…
Here’s the living area up behind the bridge. Needs some furniture…
Here’s where I’ve been having a bit of fun :slight_smile: I’ve been blocking out the floorplan for the Discovery…

But for Into the Wild I only need the cargo bay (top middle) where Morgan releases Levi and the bridge (first on the left) where Bri opens the cargo bay doors for Morgan.

So Yay :slight_smile:

Next part, Morgan and Levi. I’ll be modelling Morgan from Mena Suvari references and Levi from, well, the amulet above :wink: If Morgan takes too long though I might just switch over to a Daz3D character for times sake.

Hey everyone,

Time (particularly weekends) over the next month or so is going to be in short supply, so I’ve decided to go with premade Daz 3D characters instead of custom building them (takes me about 40 hours start to finish for a custom character). I’m more interested in the end result than the process with this project anyway so I don’t mind doing it this way.

I have a “blank” V4 character rigged up already in Blender - thanks blendercookie :wink: - so it’s just a matter of dialling up a mix in Daz 3D and adding it to my V4 rig as a shapekey. This is what I’ve picked out for morgan :

And this will do nicely for Bri:

The hair in these shots is representative, I’m really looking forward to taking the latest version of Blenders hair tools for a spin…

Hey Everyone,

I changed my mind about using the daz characters above, they’re not quite the look I’m after and also I decided it was worth the extra work to be able to say “yes I made those characters myself”.

So I went back to my original plan which was to create Morgan from a Mena Suvari reference, this is how that’s going (God bless the subsurface scattering in Blender and it’s skin presets :wink: )

I’ve also spent many late nights trying to figure out how to get nice looking particle hair, this is about where I’m at with that:

You can see I’m having trouble with rather baldish looking parts, I would have thought this was what puff was for, but it just seems to make all the hair go mental… Any tips or advice with this would be hugely appreciated, cos if it keeps taking forever to get control of the particle hair, I might have to switch back to polygon hair (which would be a shame because the strand rendering looks amazing).

WOW, very good work so far! I love the ship design, and cool characters!
I love the score, and you know what they say… video is 2/3 audio, so sound is important

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the compliments DDD :slight_smile:

Made some progress with the hair system in Blender, I rendered a few different angles to show it off. Also did a comparison of Morgan with dark eyes and light eyes… opinions?

For her clothing, I’ll be using this as a reference (I’ve had the picture for years and can’t find where I got it from so if anyone recognizes it and knows where it came from please let me know :slight_smile: )

i find the particle hair system a bit funny sometimes and normally lose patience with it lol. its looking very good with the SSS. im not sure whether its the lighting but the eyes dont look very shiny at teh moment. maybe upping the spec or adding a slight ray mirror to it will give it a bit more life :slight_smile:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve done a bunch of tweaking on morgans topology and texture, and have these new renders of her:

Clothing modelling underway…

Hi Everybody,

I’ve been modelling morgans clothing all weekend, and this is what I’ve got so far…


Really fast progress. Congrats! I like the style you are taking here, the character design is looking good. One way to help the bald spots is with texture, if you color the scalp the same as the hair, it hides any little gaps that show through.

very nice work mate. I’d do the lighter eyes. makes her look more ‘alive’ sort of thing.

lol honestly, with that soundtrack it’s gonna be irrelevant how well or bad you create the assets, your short will rock either way xD I’m really looking forward to seeing your finished models though!

Hi Everyone,

First render of Levi…

I’m thinking of calling him a ‘dragon spark’ for reasons that will become more obvious in the short, but not a hundred percent mind made up on this.

And some colors for Morgan…

Amazing. Can’t wait to see this done.

Hey everyone,

Added some wings to Levi, and tried a bunch of shaders for his surface…

and some more…

I like this last shader, thin film interference (Levi is an energy based creature).


Couple more of the thin film interference cos I like it :wink:

wow I really like your orange one,it looks mystical!

Did a bit of artwork in Gimp tonight for my project…