Background Imperial Officers and Obi-Wan Kenobi's Hut

Before taking the set down, I snuck in another night of solo shooting. It's minor -- background Imperial Officers to populate our digital sets -- but it adds another touch of realism to our super-cool fan film.

Here are before-and-after pictures of Scene F201d when Darth Vader chokes a holographic Imperial Officer (off-camera):

If you look carefully, there's an Imperial Officer in the bottom-left of the new shot. After taking this screen shot, I added a little color-correction and also moved him a little to the left to line him up with the control panels better.

Here are before-and-after shots of Scene G307a, when 4 Imperial Shuttles leave the hangar bay on their way to Dantooine:

Even in the full-size shot, the Imperial Officers are small, but they're tiny in these compressed images, so here are close-ups:

In the 1st picture, an Imperial Officer is walking towards the departing Imperial Shuttle with a clipboard.
Behind-the-scenes trivia: On set, my clipboard had a publicity photo of Christina Aguilera with "My Dearest Bob, please take me back. I love you with all my heart. Love, C" written on it in red Sharpie. Yes, the handwriting looks strangely like mine, but I think we're missing the point here. Despite the restraining order, I'm positive Christina still loves me! ;)

Where was I? Oh yeah...
In the 2nd picture, there are 2 Imperial Officers. The Imperial Officer on the left is watching the Imperial Shuttle leave, and the Imperial Officer on the right is inspecting those cargo boxes.
The Imperial Officers are more noticeable in the video footage, because they're moving around.

Also, if you look carefully, I even added their reflections to the hangar floor! Yes, I'm a geek, but it's those little details that tie everything together and make the separate layers of a composited shot look like a single layer.

Here's Scene F414a with Imperial Officers added to the background behind Darth Vader and Stormtrooper Lieutenant Greer:

Again, the Imperial Officers are more noticeable when you see video footage, because they're moving around. Also, 2 of the Imperial Officers are kind of hidden behind the Darth Vader hologram, and 1 is kind of hidden in the shadows. That's O.K. because they're not supposed to detract from the main scene anyway -- they're just supposed to populate our digital sets and give a little more "life" to the scene.
Also, the 2nd shot shows the glass that I added to the window. :)
Finally, although I like the darker shot, I'm going to add more light to the right so that we can see that 2nd window again because it looks cool!

Here are before-and-after pictures of Darth Vader talking to Stormtrooper Lieutenant Greer on the Star Destroyer bridge:

You can barely see my head through the Stormtrooper's holographic left bicep (right next to the tattoo that says "If killing Ewoks is wrong, then I don't want to be right").
Again, most people will never even notice the Imperial Officer. It's just that they might notice if he WASN'T there.

Here's the next shot, Scene F509b:

Hopefully, no one will notice that I'm the Imperial Officer in EVERY SINGLE background shot! I'm usually tiny (like in the Star Destroyer hangar) or obscured (ex: by shadows or a holographic foreground image). But if it's noticeable, we'll re-shoot with one or more people as additional background Imperial Officers to mix things up a bit. It's not like I'm an ego maniac who wants to be in every single shot, it's just that the set's in my house and I'm the most available "actor," so we do what we have to do to make progress on this movie...

On the CG-0nly side, I came up with an idea for a new shot. It's when Brad and Katinka arrive on Alderaan.
In the current animatic, they zoom straight into the Med Center (Scene I500):

One of the problems with this shot is that the city looks too small. I want it to look more like a big city than a small desert town, so I created a new establishing shot:

This new shot appears right before Scene I500 (shown above). In this new shot, the camera slowly pans to the right as the shuttle flies past, revealing a sprawling city in the background. As a result, when we cut to Scene I500, the city feels bigger.
Also, I added an inside joke to this shot. If you look carefully at the rocky outcropping in the foreground, you can see a dwelling, moisture vaporator, and landspeeder that look strikingly similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi's homestead.
Here's a close-up, compared to a reference picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi's hut from "Star Wars:"

It isn't an exact match, and it isn't supposed to be. I do have a life, you know! (I don't care what my psychiatrist says... just because I spent more time interacting with my computer than human beings does NOT make me a geek! If only I could use The Force to choke him...)
Anywho, the moisture vaporator, hut, and landspeeder are all slightly different, but they're close enough that it makes me laugh. And let's face it, that's all that really matters, right? ;)
BTW, the close-up, above, will never appear in our movie. I just took this picture to show you guys a close-up of our inside joke.

This week, despite my vigorous protests, Sarah insisted on coming over this Thursday. I finally caved, but only because:
  1. Theresa will also be here working on our CG Yoda, so hopefully she'll distract Sarah and I won't have to acknowledge Sarah's presence, and
  2. Sarah will be working on Brad's Jedi costume, which we desperately need.
You guys have NO idea how much I'm looking forward to the day Sarah finishes our costumes. Not only will it allow us to shoot a ton of footage, but it's also the day Sarah becomes "expendable." Heh heh heh...
What? Sarah + house full of lightsabers = Bob vs. Sarah death match. I mean, seriously, would you expect anything less? (And she thought the monkey poo fights were violent...)
In the meantime, since I still need Sarah alive, I'm making a special trip to Costco this week to load-up on Cootie Cream. Otherwise, I'll have a nasty rash for weeks... :D


1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm and Bob wonders why I take so long to make costumes. It's "Job Security" or in this case "Life Security" LOL