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New Member & A Request For Services


Pen8
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Great forum you’ve got here! A couple weeks ago I went in search for Macross info and stumbled onto this site. Info overload!

Now to my question. I’m working on a Live Action Macross fan film. Well more like a fan short. It’s looking to run about 6min. My boss wants me to shoot for a full 30min, but I figure I’ll aim for something that’s actually obtainable first. I have just about everything I need, except for modelers/animators. With all the other bases I’m covering I just don’t have time to give the 3d work the attention that it requires. So here is my call out to all you skilled & talented artist. Now keep in mind that I don’t have a large budget. Actually all the funding is coming out of my own pocket, and they are not very deep. But if you’re a modeler/animator that wants to work on a fun project and earn a little something on the side, give me a shout. I know I’m giving very little info here, but if there is enough interest, I’ll start painting a better picture of what I’m working on.

And once again great forum.

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Great idea! I have a demo clip that is 7mb, but my personal site is down. I’m willing to send it to someone if they can host it for a couple days. If not, then I’ll have it up and running on Monday.

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Great idea! I have a demo clip that is 7mb, but my personal site is down. I’m willing to send it to someone if they can host it for a couple days. If not, then I’ll have it up and running on Monday.

410550[/snapback]

I can host it. I've got plenty of space and bandwidth at the moment. I'll PM you with an address to send it to. I should be able to upload it when I get off duty tomorrow morning and I'll post the URL here.

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Great, thanks Vinnie. The clip is not Macross related. It’s a short sample of work that I do to pay the bills.

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Great, thanks Vinnie. The clip is not Macross related. It’s a short sample of work that I do to pay the bills.

410586[/snapback]

I'll keep this up until you tell me to take it down. I don't expect to go through my bandwidth or diskspace quota any time in the next few months.

This is of course a quicktime file, make sure you have the appropriate players/plugins to view.

http://www.removeb4flight.com/temp/Demo.mov

Edited by Vinnie
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Here's my take as a quasi 3D modeller and wannabe indie filmaker:

Your demo reel is a spiffy piece of broadcast work. Clean crisp visuals designed for your medium to keep the short attention spans of viewers and deliver your points.

It doesn't however showcase your ability to put together a low-budget sci-fi film, which is essentially what you're proposing. Demonstration of camera work, compositing (in the sci-fi special effects sense,) directing, etc.) is what modellers for free are looking for. We've all seen the Star Wars and Star Trek fan-films, so we have this pre-concieved notion of how things go. Ugh...

Still, I'm keeping an open mind because it's one thing I wanted to do a while ago. There's a few fundamental issues that need to be addressed though, and these are what ultimately killed my ambitions to do a live-action film.

-Costumes: Getting any type of UNS space suit that looks right on the camera is just damn near impossible without trained costumers and professional facilities. Cosplay quality outfits, which look great at cons, just will not do for film.

-VF Cockpit mockup: presumably most action and story-telling will be done from the cockpit of a variable fighter. Once again, the pain is constructing one that looks both real and good on camera. And short of the AVFs, you need to do seperate Fighter/GERWALK and Battroid mode cockpits. Then there's the matter of getting them to a suitable green-screen sound stage.

-Sets: while concievably a colony world could look like rural Texas or downtown DFW, there's little elements that you're going to have to add to make them look 20-30 years more advanced. Will you build and film props, or leave it to post-production compsiting? That's if you're going with a 2012-2045 story on a colony. If you're doing it in space, then there's the matter of constructing believable UNS Ship sets or doing it all on green-screen.

-Music: Simply said this is Macross. One's favorite techno tracks, the high school garage band next door, or obscure orchestral pieces aren't gonna cut it. Even a 3 minute piece that's essentially a music video like the Macross M3 opener needs to have a killer original track. This is what elevates from simply a sci-fi fan-film with transforming fighter-robots to a macross work.

Those are the four big roadblocks that need to be addressed. There is of course the minor issues of actors, script, directing, filming, post-production, blah blah blah, but that's for the producer to work out. I'm sure a freebie 3d artist is going to want some input on it, but that's of little concern.

In any case, if you can sufficiently address the 4 issues, I'd consider going in on it with my VF-4 when I returned from Iraq. I don't speak for the other modellers/animators here, but I'm sure if you could hit those 4 things, you could get some of them on board too.

Also, here's a short sample of my work on Super-low budget live-action macross fan-film effects! That's $50 in lumber and paint for the greenscreen and for costume materials, a few nights building a set and sewing, one night convincing my sister to star in it, and a few more nights figuring out how to make the compositing work in Final Cut Pro 3.0. Originally intended for Doktor Gonzo's VF-1 demo piece, it was me seeing if it could be done at what I call the "Public Access TV" level.

http://www.removeb4flight.com/temp/Open.mov

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Beware Long Post

Vinnie thanks again for the bandwidth.

Here is some of what I’ve got in mind.

Costumes- The biggest stumbling block here is the Valkyrie pilots. Uniforms that look good in anime can look just down right silly when created in the real world. I’m leaning towards the uniform worn in flashback 2012 for the pilots. They look a little more real world-ish. That is for a suit that meets the criteria of space and terrestrial combat. But I’m undecided as far as the helmet and boots. I’m not a big fan of the ones used 2012, I prefer DYRL and Macross 2. I figured I would get the opinions of other fans before writing anything in stone. And you are right about needing professional costume builders. Especially for the pilots. This is one of those times where having a wife that use to create costumes for TV comes in handy, and her friend created several of the naval uniforms used in Pirates of the Caribbean. Between the two of them I think I have most of the clothing covered, except for the VF pilots and the Zentran armor.

VF Mockup- The hurdle on this one is not the building, but getting it to look as close to the VF cockpit as possible and still be useable. I’ve settled early on, on building 2 different cockpits. One for Battroid, and another for Fighter. Before he started working at our studio, one of our engineers built simulators that were used to train fighter pilots. He and I just started building the pieces needed for the Battroid. We’ve had to rethink the way we were building a couple different times, but I think we’re on the right track now. The Fighter will be a little bit more tricky, especially since it is going to need an outer shell as well. I met a guy in L.A. that built a complete F14 nosecone with cockpit interior. I’ve supplied him with designs for a VF nosecone, and he’s willing to create a VF prop, but before I plop down that type of money I need to make sure that I’m going to use it. I’ll also post progress pics when we start to assemble these.

Sets- Here is where it can get expensive. The story will take place in space. I’ve got room in the studio for set building, (this would be easer on the wallet and I have greater control over lighting) but I would rather shoot at a location that would only require minor tweaks to get the correct look and feel. As far as green-screen, I’m not a big fan of complete green-screen sets. The realism can be achieved in 3d, but for an actor to believably act within that imaginary environment is another thing all together. Not to mention the abilities of the director. Star Wars 1-3 are great examples of what I mean. Some of the best 3d sets ever created with some of the best actors available, yet at times it just didn’t get the job done as far as realism. And I won’t know exactly what sets I will need until the script is finished.

Music- One of the most important parts in a film or trailer. Some shots can be fudged or “fixed in post†but bad music is just bad music. I would like to say I was hiring someone to create an original score but that’s just not possible. Over the last couple of months I’ve had time to research this a little with our audio guys. And with the near endless supply of stock music that is available, and the skill level they (our in house audio team) are working at, purchasing a readily available score then tweaking it for our purposes is the way to go. Now if Universal, Scifi or FOX would like to get their hands dirty, I would gladly use their money for an original score.

Actors- Again thanks to my wife. Her Aunt runs a talent agency, and a good friend of mine runs one as well, so I’ve got this covered. The real heard part is finding actors that have the right look and can act without overacting!

Script- One of our writers and I are currently in the brainstorming faze. When I approached her with my idea I was suppressed to learn that she is a Macross fan.

Director- I’ve got one of the directors at the studio on board the project as well.

Filming/Camera Work- This is part of what started the project. We just switched over to HD cameras for the studio and in the field. My boss informed me that I could take a few and give them a good workout. (try to test their limits) I’ve got 4 camera guys willing to shoot when I need them to. 2 of them are Macross fans also.

Post Production- This is the other part of the start of the project. They just replaced all of our PC’s with these monster fire-breathing liquid-cooled HD workstations. And we are waiting for Apple to release the Intel replacement for our current dual G5 towers. And since this is where my current line of work is I was told to see if I could break ‘em. So, I asked for some cameras, to keep the workflow HD from start to finish, and here we are. It also helps that my boss is a sci-fi nut as well.

I’m not approaching this project lightly, because of the large workload and cash outlay it’s going to require, with no monetary compensation at the end. This is not something that will happen overnight either, because I want a quality piece when it’s complete. Being an artist myself I know how much hard work goes into the different pieces needed for this project. (2d, 3d, writing, lighting whatever) I’m not apposed to paying for a 3d artist either. This could take the form of buying the models outright, or securing the rights to use the models on this project only, or having the models built & animated with only the rendered video clip and alpha channels changing hands. There are many different ways this can be handled if an artist wanted to get involved but wanted compensation for their time. And above all else if you want something done right and in a timely manner you have to pay for it. So if you or any other artist out there want money for your work let me know what criteria would have to be met, or what conditions you are willing to work under.

I know this is a long post, but I wanted to try to answer some of your questions, and give you a little better idea about where I’m coming from. And again this project is still in its beginning phase so questions comments and/or suggestion are welcome.

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I am intrigued by the resources that you seem to have at your disposal and the potential for the project. I wish you all the best with it. I wish there was something that I could do to help, but alas, I've not much in the way to offer of art since all my work is low-poly.

I think I speak for all the Macross DYRL mod team though, that if you wish to use our models/textures for low-poly placeholders in your production (we have modelled and textured most of the DYRL-era Zjentohlauedy, Meltohlauendy and UNS ships and fighters), you are more than welcome to use ours.

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Wow, thanks. That’s a generous offer, and would come in handy when I start previz.

As far as resources go, I’m very lucky; it helps working for a studio that encourages outside projects. If I worked anywhere else I wouldn’t be attempting this.

I’ve been quietly watching your Macross Mod for some time now. You’ve also taken a very big leap. The mod looks awesome though and I can’t wait till it’s done.

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Hmmm...well you've sold me for the time being.

I'm just not sure how much help I could be.

1) I have a high-poly VF-4 and I'd be all about working with. Unfortunately I'm only an amatuer artist and have no experience animating in Max. I'd be willing to learn though. I'm also willing to just prep the model and hand it over to a quality animator, somebody that would take good care of my baby. ^_^

Although, I'm under the impression that you're more looking for the recognizable form of the VF-1 Valkyrie rather than the Lightning. So I'm probably not much help there. Doktor Gonzo or Aztek would probably be your best candidates for ready to go VF-1s. Dok Gonzo is also a professional 3d artist, and has experience animating in Maya.

2) I'd be willing to help sponsor the project. My pockets aren't too deep either, but I have no dependents or living expenses.

So if either can help, let me know.

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Vinnie, thanks for the sponsorship offer, but I would rather not use any money other than my own. Don’t take that as an insult, it’s just too easy for bad things to come of it. Because the project is at such an early stage comments/suggestions/opinions are just as helpful as anything.

Thanks for volunteering the VF-4. We decided to place the video within the DYRL timeline, so I’m looking for a VF-1 along with other ships. But it would be cool to see the VF-4 sitting in the background with a couple mechanics working on it.

Also, I noticed a couple post ago that you’re in Iraq. Keep cool, keep safe & make sure you and your buddies come back.

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Hello, I am somewhat intrigued by your project. I have been working off and on with what little spare time I have on some Macross CG and might be interested in helping out. Again, I don't have alot of free time but if you keep me posted as to the details of this project as they progress, I can maybey make some time for it if you are interesed.

Here is a link to my previous thread here on macross world with my current CG work.

Macross CG thread

Thanks,

Jason

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Amazing Work! Your attention to detail is incredible. I will keep you posted as things start rolling. Like I’ve said, we’re still pounding out a compelling script, but I will let you know when I have some storyboards for you to look at.

Thanks

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Let me know when it's time.

Oh, and Jay-Lew, I'd love to see you tackle the DYRL Macross too! Your models kick arse.

Edited by Lestat
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mac- keep us up to date on your SDF as well.

I’ll keep posting as things start to get more concrete. A lot of it is still just concept. Deciding between what we would like to do and what we can realistically accomplish. I’ll be posting questions and to get opinions along the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

After a lot of thought & planning we’ve (writer & myself) have settled on exactly where within the timeline our story will take place. And I’ve started the storyboarding process.

More updates to come. Just thought some of you might like to know.

Jay-Lew I’ve sent you an email. We’ve been having trouble with our outgoing mail server; so let me know if you didn’t receive it.

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