Monday, January 21, 2013

VFX ideas and initial concepts

After thinking a lot about how my film is going to play out, I came up with a few ideas that I'd like to incorporate.

Inspired by films like Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, I've thought about switching to a first-person perspective seen through the photographer's camera once he reaches the ship. The reason behind this would be because it's black dark, and the only way he would be able to see is if he kept the flash switched on his camera - i.e. by filming. I thought that this would be quite suspenseful as the viewer won't be able to see anything beyond a meter or so, and it would be quite fun creating a scary atmosphere this way as we follow the photographer slowly discovering what's inside the ship. This would be quite practical, too, as I wouldn't need to worry about the actual structure of the ship as much, leaving me more time to focus on the compositing and the alien.

I recently played through the PS2 game Shadow of the Colossus, and found myself inspired by the designs and scale of the colossi. This led me to consider my alien being similarly massive, which, combined with the previous idea, could be reminiscent of films such as Trollhunter.

(obviously not to this level of detail).

I've been struggling with inspiration with my alien, as I don't want it to look too cliché. I found the unique "feel" of the colossi really interesting and inspiring - although they are huge, they don't feel that threatening or dangerous, and in the end their stories are actually quite tragic. Their designs range from humanoids to creatures, and combine organic fur and flesh with stone and architectural structures.

this size chart shows the vast range of shapes and forms, and will hopefully be a source of inspiration to help me create something less typically human-esque.

So although I obviously don't want to directly copy a design like this, it's helped me consider some more unique aesthetics.

Below are some very early alien sketches, where I tried experimenting with skull structures first to help create a more solid foundation for ideas. However I still wasn't too interested in any of these designs - they either leaned too close towards Alien or just didn't look very good.

Below are some very quick ideas inspired by Shadow of the Colossus. I'll be developing more ideas for this sort of look, and will be trying out different forms and structures.

 (I still need to scan in my sketchbook designs, which I'll do soon to show some more development of concepts)

Also, yet another little update on sculpting.
I modelled a face based on Nyreen, the female turian from the Mass Effect 3: Omega DLC.

And a human guy, done without using reference.

I need to practice creating a low poly mesh in Maya which roughs out the overall shape of the alien, which I will then export to Mudbox and build upon. I've only been focussing on facial features, even though that's only a tiny portion of the actual alien... I still need to practice sculpting bodies and anatomy. 

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