BREAKING THROUGH part 2: Building worlds
In the previous post I discussed the first steps to the creation had to and conceptualization of the short film ‘Breakthrough’. Now, I’ll discuss the next step, which was creating the world in which the protagonist exists.
Film making is a three step process; pre-production (planning), production (filming) and post production (visual effects (vfx), audio etc). However, one should not be fooled by the order. Pre-production and post production tend to overlap. As they tend to say, post production begins in pre production. This is especially true of vfx heavy films. Breakthrough is no exception.
Before I started filming, I got to work on designing the most prominent place in the film; the Lab. Now, this isn’t really the way it’s always done, but I tend to skip the whole concept art phase. Again, I’m short on resources.
As a result, in order to make this somewhat believable, I envisioned where the lab would be located and the type of instruments that would be required for the story. In this case, I knew it would be in an isolated region of a house, so it would have to be small. My first step in this was creating a floor plan (figure1) using a mobile application. (just to make things more comfy). After words I imported that into a 3D Studios Max, where I would construct the assets.
Each of the assets, including the drawrers and cabinetry, were cunstracuted indivudually then assembled into s single scene. The 'Holo-station' in the middle of the room was created in a seperate file then later merged for organizational purposes. Of course, modeling is a very time consuming process, so alot of deatils were done with texture maps as they would never be featured prominantly on camera. Also to dave time I used a free resource called Archive 3d, to download les prominant models that were not were my time to cunstruct (I would edit the models thereafter). Below (figure2) is a render pass of the lab in its finished form.
In addition to the lab, there were several other shots that would have to be entirely digital. The most exasperating of these was the skyline. The city skyline was a critical shot; it’s the first time the audience would see the world in it’s entirety. To accomplish this I built my assets again, in a3d application and imported them into Adobe After effects where I would populate the scene using Element 3D.
Now, being on tight timelines and having limited horsepower (I was rendered all my shots locally), I created the city at a level that was ‘good enough’ (figure3) but nit by any means great. This was done in case I lost time and had to throw it out there. Over time though, it would go through multiple iterations, eventually arriving at what is in the final film.
The creation and polishing of this world would run straight through the production process until the very last minute that the film was finished.