The Ian Report #416
Aug 2008 02

A very good week! Tons of work has been coming in from the CG team!

Dolf has made some excellent progress on the Goose’s landing gear, creating, more likely than not, the most complex animation of landing gear extending ever known to man. Seriously. He’s completed his painstaking work on the back gear, and is advancing on to work on the front gear.

Nate had been working on the Tankbot, but due to a horrid computer glitch lost an entire weeks’ worth of work. Fortunately, his spirits, whilst momentarily dashed, were raised once again, and he’s made some good progress adding in details.

Mike Belanger has just gotten on board! He’s a talented animator and rigger, and is starting out his time with us by working on a sweet crazy gun for the top of Nate’s Tankbot. After that… there are rumors of work on Subject C’s skeleton? Ooooo

Paul Spooner. Hats off to this guy. He’s made more models than anyone else on this project thus far, and I’ve only recently really started working on shots with them in there. His detail work is astonishing. He’s been working on the Police Lifter, a model I started playing with the other day; it’s a genius concept with genius implementation; everything is animatable, and the entire craft is actually able to intuitively change form to fit the requirements of the craft (landing, hovering, flying). It’s a brilliant high-detail design, and I’m excited to see where he goes with it.

Branson Anderson submitted a design concept for the beast Subject C, it’s an amazing concept, and will come in handy for both the film and the graphic novel. It’s basically the most amazing design I’ve ever seen in my life? Probably.

I’ve been logging and capturing tapes from the aerial footage we shot last week, and putting it in the background of a few scenes we shot almost a year ago; it looks great. The footage requires a lot of work to be totally awesome (stabilizing it, and tracking it in to match the motion of the foreground camera motion relative to the helicopter), but once it’s done it totally pays off.

We had an audio issue where a take of audio was actually inexplicably missing (scene 18), but fortunately we were able to reconstruct the audio from other takes seamlessly, and the results were even better than the original audio, in my opinion.

As for right now I’m working on texturing Paul Spooner’s insanely complex BEAM satellite that shoots Death Lazers™ from Outer Space™, so that I can start animating a few of the shots for the climax of the film.

Overall, progress is going great! I’m excited to see things really picking up.

Brilliant.

Ian Hubert
Writer Director

Interview: Mike Blanchard
Aug 2008 05

Source photography by Heather Canik

What is your name?
Michael LeRoy Blanchard II

How old are you and why?
27, because the fates conspire against.

Read More [..]
The Ian Report #417
Aug 2008 10

No real GOOD news beyond last week; all of us CG guys are still working hard on our given projects, and some progress has been made, but no real significant checkpoints reached modeling-wise.

Nathan finished a sample animation of the Tank-Bot, which was fun to see (it’s quite a bit faster than it will be in the final, giving it this awful cute ‘waddling’ appearance, as opposed to the intense slow gait it will have in the final).

On a compositing note, I’ve been having no end of trouble with greenscreen footage; I’d tried a couple plug-ins, and one worked amazingly for keying, but during it’s green-screen spill removal pass (the bit that gets rid of all the ‘green light’ that bounces off of the greenscreen and hits the actors) it basically just deleted the green channel and made all the footage blocky and compressed, and the other one didn’t work as well for keying, but at least didn’t degrade all the footage- so I’d been using the lesser keyer.

However! Recently I decided enough is enough, and got down and dirty and went through every single option of the “better” keyer (which I may as well just refer to as Keylight, since that’s what it’s called), and finally discovered how to change those spill options, SO!

I can now key all green screen footage MUCH better than I could before, and have spent the past few days on a green-screen frenzy, going back and fixing all old keying shots, and doing new scenes that need it and finishing them like crazy.

Jen Forbes and I sat down and broke down everything that’s left to be done on the film, and how long it will take. Jen’s compiling this down into a master “To-Do” list, along with a series of deadlines and such- meaning we’re going to be able to get much more accurate with our future time predictions! *crosses fingers*

So that’s all the news for this week. Tons of progress, but all progress in the same direction- which is good.

Ian Hubert
Writer Director

Interview: Michael McCoy
Aug 2008 12

How old are you and why?
Younger than old, older than young (16).

What got you started in film work?
My brother got a camera, and he made tons of movies so when I got a camera, I made tons of movies. (It escalated from there)

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The Ian Report #418
Aug 2008 17

What’s that smell in the air? Is it breakfast? Is it aftershave? Fermented apple juice?

No! It’s the smell of progress! Embodied by the scent of hard-working Computer Graphics Artists and Audio Folks across the globe!

All of Reel 2 was completed this week and shown to the producers! We now have tentative dates for completing each reel. Meaning more and more reels will be able to be shipped out to the Audio Guys.

At the end of every day I’m able to send Jen Forbes a list of completed shots and sequences, and she’s able to change them over to the completed green [on our master tracking list]—and the pace is accelerating!

Some day… some day… that whole list of 475 shots (thus far) will be a pleasant shade of green.

Ian Hubert
Writer Director

Interview: Tyler “Space Laser” Goulet
Aug 2008 19

Bethany Jones does some touch-up on Space Laser’s makeup on the set of Icaria’s Floating Restaurant.

How old are you and why?
20, why not?

What got you started in film work?
A lust for an epic adventure.

Read More [..]
Post-Production Audio: Update #3
Aug 2008 24

The accomplishments of the Post-Audio Team are starting to accumulate.

Ed and Dan have organized their workflow for optimum productivity. Each time a batch of scenes are rendered out, Ed pulls the original dialogue tracks, syncs them up and then FTPs the result to Daniel who applies noise reduction and his special mojo. From there, the tracks are FTP’d back and then laid into the edit timeline.

We recently realized that Kelly McCoy (Shannon) was going to be unavailable for four and a half months while studying abroad in Costa Rica. This is only significant because we had identified a scene where Shannon’s dialogue was obscured by some ambience. So Ed and Dan quickly reviewed all of Kelly’s scenes and determined what was going to need some attention. Then Ed setup and ran an ADR session with Kelly and captured new dialogue performances where there were some audio problems. In every instance we equalled or improved the overall performance. And it was fun. Ed ran the session like a professional and it was great working with him.

We are now prepared to run future ADR sessions and will wait until we have identified a number of scenes before scheduling them with appropriate actors.

Jen Forbes is going to take over the coordination of Post Audio from Phil. We need him to focus on a number of other issues to keep things moving forward as rapidly as possible.
More news to come in future posts!

Cheers,

Phil McCoy, Executive Producer
on behalf of Nathan McCoy (left), Producer and Phil McCoy (right)

The Ian Report #419
Aug 2008 24

Some excellent progress this week! We got the deadlines out for a few of the key models, and they’re being met excellently.

Paul’s doing some unbelievably incredible work on the Police Lifter, updating twice daily for the past few days, each time with INCREDIBLE advances on the crazy complex model. I’m excited to be able to texture and perhaps animate it!

I also textured his other model from a while ago, the BEAM Satellite, and rendered out a few shots with it. It’s a gorgeous model, and the shots were equally so.

I think at last count there are a good dozen guys working hard on things, and the updates are starting to come in with increasing swiftness! It’s a lot of emails- but it’s darn good stuff.

I’ll keep you posted!

Ian Hubert
Writer Director

Post-Production Audio: Update #4
Aug 2008 28

We are pleased to welcome Joseph Vales to the Post-production Audio Team. Joseph is joining at an opportune time to help out with dialogue synchronization, scrubbing, sound design and foley.

Dan and Ed have been catching up on the scenes that they have in their hands. And Jen Forbes has been busy rendering out individual scenes as well as reel 2. The individual scenes are used for synchronization of dialogue bits. The reels will allow our sound designers and foley artists to get started on their respective aspects.

However, our communications computer has been giving us fits… actually blue screens. We use this computer for email, skype conference calls with the Post Audio Team and also to burn DVD-ROMs with scenes to ship out for audio work. It’s a real drag for this box to fail. But we are working on it and hope to have it back in operation soon.

Cheers,

Phil McCoy, Executive Producer
on behalf of Nathan McCoy (left), Producer and Phil McCoy (right)

Penny Arcade Expo ’08
Aug 2008 31

Your Project London Producers (Phil and Nate), checked out the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) with an eye for what it could potentially do for our film. The place was crawling with gamers and game developers. There were a few graphic novels and indie films on site with heavy tie-ins to scifi, gaming, and generally hardcore nerd culture which really encouraged us to believe that PAX might be a great venue to present and sell our film.

MartyAutograph

We were hoping to run into Jen Page, but didn’t see her. Where were you, Jen? We did run into Marty O’Donnell, composer of the most amazing and epic game theme music of all time (for the Halo franchise). He signed Phil’s program. Pretty cool, huh?