Props, Improved Texture Maps, and the CSD Studios Title Sequence!

We finally have a "CSD Studios" title sequence!

Thanks to everyone who voted. It was surprisingly close among the top 3 choices, but this version won in the end. I'd also like to thank Videocopilot.net for their awesome tutorials which have helped us tremendously during this project.

I think I mentioned previously that we're scheduled to shoot live footage next Sat. I can't wait! In preparation for shooting, we've had to buy/create a bunch of props:

The Jar Jar Binks doll is for the scene when a Stormtrooper steps on it after massacring the Carinda family. I can't wait to shoot that scene (mostly because I can't wait to step on Jar Jar Binks)!

The 2nd picture shows 2 props: a Jedi comlink, and a prototype command-detonated bomb.

Rather than building our own Jedi comlink, it was faster, easier, and probably cheaper to just buy an off-the-shelf "Jedi comlink" walkie-talkie. Unfortunately, it looks a little different from the Jedi comlink props used in the "Star Wars" movies:

As you can see from the 1st Jedi comlink and the 2nd Jedi comlink (above), there appear to be slight variations in the actual props (look at the top of each prop). So it shouldn't matter too much that our Jedi comlink walkie-talkies are a little different too. Of course, we'll paint ours silver and cut-down the antenna, but other than that we'll probably use our off-the-shelf walkie-talkie as-is. (BTW, the 3rd Jedi comlink, above, is just a rear view -- it isn't a 3rd variant.)

Also, back up to the picture of our Jedi comlink walkie-talkie and the command-detonated bomb prop (a couple pictures above)... since we were originally going to shoot live footage a few weeks ago, I rushed to throw together a "bomb" prop. It looks pretty crappy and I wasn't very happy with it, but it was better than nothing. Fortunately, since shooting got postponed a few weeks, we have time to build a better "bomb" prop, so we'll have something cooler-looking in the final footage.

On the CG-side, I tweaked our shot of the Stormtrooper getting his head blown off. When we shot this live footage, Brad missed catching me and I fell flat on my butt. As a result, you could see me backpedal trying to cushion my fall -- good for my butt, but bad for footage of a Stormtrooper who's supposedly dead and falling to the ground. :(

To make the shot look more realistic, I switched to a "digital fall." In other words, I digitally moved/rotated the live footage to make the Stormtrooper fall straight backwards, limp as a noodle. Here are pictures of the original scene:

You can definitely see my knees bending as I backpedal to soften my fall. Here's the improved scene, using a digital fall:

As you can see in the 1st picture, I'm stiff as a board as I fall backwards, and I also fall faster since my legs aren't slowing my fall (that's why I'm missing in the 2nd picture). I also added a digital blur to simulate motion blur.

I improved the texture maps on the Carinda shuttle. Here are before-and-after pictures:

More weathering and realistic textures on the "after" picture. I also improved the background mountains.

Here's another before-and-after comparison so you can see the texture mapping up-close:

Finally, I improved the texture maps on our Jedi Databank model. Here are before-and-after comparisons:

Here are reference pictures from "Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars: Movie Battles II" (an online game):

Here's another before-and-after comparison:

Aside from the fact that Brad's "Stormtrooper stand-in" is missing, you can see that I changed the wall detailing to more-accurately match the reference photos above.

That's it for last week. I don't know how much CG work I'll get done this week, since I'll be preparing for our live shoot on Sat. We'll see... Either way, there should be some awesome pictures -- live footage and/or CG!


1 comment:

  1. That title sequence is awesome. I still can't believe how cool the stormtrooper "falling" looks.