Our New Bundle of Joy!

Nicole and I are proud to announce the arrival of the newest member of our family. :D



Alderaan Royal Palace

I'm currenly re-texture mapping the Alderaan Royal Palace interior.

Here are before-and-after pictures of Scene I651 between Yane (currently represented by the CG Stormtrooper stand-in) and Yoda:

The new-and-improved model looks even more realistic without the CG Stormtrooper and Yoda. Remember, our goal is for every picture of a digital set to look like someone went on a real set and snapped a picture with their camera. I think we're gradually approaching that level of photorealism with our digital sets.

Also, some of you may remember that we're using part of Padme's Apartment for the Alderaan Royal Palace. Here's a picture of the beautiful 3ds model of Padme's Apartment:

We're using the left side of this model for Scene I651 (above). We're changing the texture maps not only to make our digital set look more real, but also so that people don't recognize it as Padme's apartment! :D

Here's a close-up of Yoda in Scene I652, before-and-after:

Hopefully the new texture maps make the 2nd background look much more realistic and less CG.


P.S. No, the Nikko R2-D2 hasn't arrived yet (see 8/14/09 blog post). In fact, I just found out that the seller didn't even ship it until today. :(


Headless Stormtrooper and AWESOME News!

I haven't had much time to work on our movie this week, but I still wanted to create a blog post because:
1) I improved the shot of the "Hover Gurney Stormtrooper" getting his head blown off, and
2) I have AWESOME news that many of us have been waiting for for a long time!

First, here are before-and-after pictures of Scene K603b when Brad (represented by the CG Stormtrooper in the foreground) shoots the "Hover Gurney Stormtrooper" in the head with a blaster:

Isn't that blood splatter cool? :D

Here's another before-and-after, a few frames later:

We have to re-shoot my "Hover Gurney Stormtrooper" footage anyway (the current footage was just proof-of-concept footage for our animatic), so we'll add blood splatter during the re-shoot to tie the "blood splatter" layer in with the "live Stormtrooper footage" layer and make them look like a single, homogeneous image.

I know you guys may think I just did this because I'm morbid (which may be true), but I also added blood because it makes the shot look more realistic. Plus, if I recall correctly, earlier versions of the script specifically described the Hover Gurney Stormtrooper's head disappearing in a "cloud of red mist." So I'm only being faithful to the script. :D

But here's the REAL news...

We finally have the super-cool Nikko R2-D2 projector!!!!! (Well, almost...)

Here's Nikko's promotional video showing all of its amazing features:

I've wanted one of these ever since I first heard about them, but they were pretty expensive and I didn't really need one. But Nikko only made 1,000 of these R2-D2s and before I knew it, they were sold out and I couldn't find one for sale anywhere, at any price! :(

Fortunately, I setup an auto-e-mail notification on eBay to let me know when someone posted a Nikko R2-D2 for sale. I got a notification on Tuesday and bought it within 5 minutes!

Unfortunately, it hasn't arrived yet. :( I can't wait until it gets here! We'll probably have a small R2-D2 party and use him to show "Star Wars" (how appropriate :D ).

Also, once our movie is done, we'll use the Nikko R2-D2 at our world premiere because I'm planning to rent a movie theater, but our movie will be on DVD, not film, so we'll have to provide our own R2-D2, um... I mean "projector."



Revised Jedi Temple, Part 4

I've been busy this week with other stuff, so I didn't spend much time on our movie. However, I made a simple change that, in my opinion, made a huge impact on our Jedi Temple model.

Here are before-and-after pictures of our Jedi Temple model:

While looking at reference pictures of the Jedi Temple from multiple "Star Wars" sources (i.e. "Star Wars: The Old Republic" game, "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" game, and the movies), I realized that ALL of the statues in and around the Jedi Temple are of Jedi wearing their hoods and robes:

So I decided to change the statue outside our Jedi Temple model from a statue I stole from the Galactic Senate model:

...to a Jedi statue (which I had to create).

In the following pictures, you can see the bottom of one of those Galactic Senate statues (from above) in our old Jedi Temple model (1st picture, below), compared to our new Jedi statue (2nd picture, below):

(Yes, those are the same pictures as above -- I'm just adding them again so you don't have to scroll back up to see them.)

Since I don't know how to use 3ds very well, I had to kitbash the Jedi statue together by combining Darth Maul's head (minus horns) with a Handmaiden's hood with a Tusken Raider's body:

...then I added a lightsaber and re-texture-mapped everything to look like stone:

Voila! Jedi statue! :D

I'm going to be out of town next week, so there won't be another blog update for at least 2 weeks. Sorry. :(