I just wanted to post a quick note that we're on a temporary hiatus. I'm busy with wedding stuff and Brad's busy with newborn baby stuff. We're hoping to jump back on this project in March or April 2011.


Improved Coruscant Spaceport Texture Maps

Sorry for the delay since my last blog post. I've been busy with wedding stuff, so I haven't spent much time on our project. :(

Anyway, I just finished improving the texture maps on our Coruscant Spaceport model. Here are before-and-after comparisons:

At first glance, they may look the same, but I added shininess and reflections. Here are some places to look to see the difference:
  • The building on the bottom-left "pops out" more.
  • The cylindrical tower and its connecting wall on the top-right is also more three-dimensional.
  • The red airbuses look more metallic.
  • The landing platform surface (bottom-right) is a little dirtier and, in my opinion, more realistic looking.
Hopefully I'll be able to resume work on our movie on a fairly regular basis, but wedding planning is taking lots of time so blog posts may be spotty for awhile. Sorry...



Improved Med Center Room and Star Destroyer Bridge

I added some shininess and reflections to the Med Center Room's texture maps. Here are before-and-after pictures:

It's hard to see the changes in these compressed images, but they're most obvious if you look at the droid.

We don't have a 3D model for the Venator-class Imperial Star Destroyer bridge, so we were using a kitbashed version of the Death Star Tower. However, we were never happy with the way it looked, so we ended up using the Imperator-class Imperial Star Destroyer bridge. Here are before-and-after comparisons of Scene 297:

MUCH better, right?

Here's another before-and-after comparison, this time from Scene F402:

And here's the last before-and-after comparison, this time from Scene F414:

Hopefully you'll agree that moving the Venator-class Star Destroyer bridge scenes to the new 3D model was a huge improvement.

Anyway, I gotta go.



Improved Texture Maps and Script Change

I replaced the temporary "green slab" that Bibble the Hutt and his 3 girlfriends were on with a new-and-improved platform loosely based on Jabba the Hutt's platform:

When I was re-rendering the scene, I saw our original animatic for this scene. I thought it was interesting seeing this scene evolve, so I figured I'd share it with you guys:

The 1st picture (the Brad-and-Theresa-times-3 version) is our original animatic, dated 7-28-07 (yes, it's both shocking and depressing to realize that we've been working on this movie for so long...).
The 2nd picture is our 2nd animatic, dated 10-27-08.
The 3rd picture is our most recent animatic, dated 7-6-10.

I also added shininess and reflections to the Med Center Hallway. Here are before-and-after pictures:

It's hard to see the difference in these compressed images, so I pointed out some of the reflections in the "after" picture with red arrows. I know... I know... the pictures look almost exactly the same, but when you see the full-size pictures, the new-and-improved version looks much more 3D and realistic. Remember, our ultimate goal is for our digital sets to look so realistic that people can't tell if they're looking at a CG image or a photograph of a real set.

On the non-CG side, we decided to remove the 2 remaining flashback sequences (we used to have 3 flashback sequences, but the 3rd flashback was removed a long time ago).

The 1st flashback was Brad (during his Padawan years) learning how to "fight smart, not hard" from his Jedi Master:

The 2nd flashback revealed how Brad obtained his lightsaber (Brad lost his in a fight, but his dying Jedi Master gave him his (the Jedi Master's) lightsaber on his deathbed):

The original purpose of the flashback sequences was to add more character development (showing Brad during his Padawan years), to fill-out our movie to make the story line more like a real movie, and to provide a break from the constant, almost non-stop action in our story.

However, we ultimately decided that we are NOT real actors, script writers, or movie makers, and we're probably stretching ourselves beyond our capacity. So, for now at least, those scenes are gone, condemned to the "Deleted Scenes" featurette.

Of course, there's a slight chance we may add-back one or more flashbacks in the future, probably making them shorter and perhaps even adding some comic relief. But until then, they're gone... :(

On a brighter note for most of you, that also means ALL of my acting scenes have been deleted! (Well, at least all of my "face character" scenes are gone -- I'm still Darth Vader, all of the Stormtroopers, the Imperial Sympathizer, and many other masked characters, so I can still sit at the autograph table at our future publicity appearances. :D )



Jedi Starfighter Cockpit and Imperial Star Destroyer

Brad and his friend, Jim, have completed the framework for our Jedi Starfighter cockpit! This will probably be the only real set we have in this entire movie (all of the other sets are CG models).

Here's a picture of the Jedi Starfighter:

And here are pictures of our Jedi Starfighter cockpit:

Of course, it still needs painting and detailing (hoses, switches, lights, etc.), but it still looks amazing.

Here are screenshots from our current animatic, which show the CG version of our Jedi Starfighter cockpit:

Hopefully you can use your imagination and replace all of those CG backgrounds with our real-life cockpit and visualize how awesome the final footage will look. I can't wait to film it!

On the CG-side, I added specular maps to some of our spaceships. Here are before-and-after comparisons of the Imperial Star Destroyer, as an example:

It's hard to tell at first glance, but there's more shininess on the bottom-right of the "after" picture.

Here's another before-and-after comparison:

Again, it's hard to tell but there's shininess in the "after" picture. You can see it especially well if you look at the gun turret on the bottom-left of the picture.

I was re-rendering our Bibble's Bar backgrounds and realized that I should model a "real" pad for him (and his 3 girlfriends) to sit on, so I'm currently in the middle of that. I'll include pictures in the next blog post.



Improved Texture Maps in Bibble's Bar

I just finished the latest improvements to Bibble's Bar. Here are some before-and-after comparisons:

This is Yane's view of the bar from the top of the stairs, when she first enters:

This gives a quick overview of some of the changes I made:
- The temporary images on the 1st and 3rd holopanels were replaced with video images. (If you're a "Star Trek" fan, you may notice that I borrowed their LCARS displays (which I got from the awesome website www.lcarscom.net)).
- The color scheme changed from the original grey to a more earthy brown.
- The flooring was changed to multi-colored stones to make it look more earthy.
- There's a trash can (set dressing) at the bottom of the stairs on the left. It's one of those little details that helps make the bar seem more real.
- Most of the surfaces have shininess, bumpiness, and reflections added, all of which create a more realistic, 3D look. You can't really tell in these compressed images, but you'll probably notice in the close-ups that follow.

Here's a close-up of the Kel Dorian Pilot and Bounty Hunter (represented by temporary placeholders) playing the holographic arcade game:

I made the yellow and orange lights on the holopanel (in the background) glow slightly. I also improved the texture map on the sides of the chess pedestal, giving it a metallic look rather than the old, grey, fake look.

Here's a close-up showing the seats and walls:

Aside from the change in the camera position, hopefully you can see that the shininess, bumpiness, and reflections in the "after" picture make it look much more 3D and realistic. If not, please don't tell me... I'll cry. :(

Here's another close-up. This is the entrance to the bar. The blast door is on the right.

Again, it's hard to see in these small, compressed images, but hopefully the shininess, bumpiness, and reflections make the "after" picture look more real.

Here's the final before-and-after comparison:

Not much to say here that I haven't already mentioned above, but hopefully the overall impression is that the "after" image looks a lot more realistic.

Not sure what I'm going to focus on next. Re-texture-mapping is very time-consuming, especially on a model this big. I guess you guys will just have to wait for the next blog post to find out...