In his spare time – while finishing Project London vfx and getting pestered by me for Mango – Ian worked with his mate Scott Hampson on a crazy funny short film… just because! It’s a real zero-budget film; made with passion and shiploads of talent! Effects and 3d have been done in Blender, obviously.
The actual start of Mango-production is getting closer and closer and time is flying.
Since we have an awesome script now and even some great concept-art we can really start to think about HOW we are going to make things happen, technically. I mean, camera-tracking good and fine, but how will we, for example, do the makeup? Can we afford some actual makeup arists, who will turn our actors in some jawdropping vfx characters, covered with gore, blood, bolts, cables, jelly or whatever is required?
Or can we do that all digitally?
The basic idea for digtal makeup is easy, as long as you do not think about it too long. Just have a digital double, track the head, body, limbs or whatever, apply the textures, props or clothes to that digital version of your actor and composite it over the actual footage of your actor. Here’s an example:
This was not too hard to do, but it was a perfect situation:
Enough markers, ok lighting, lots of perspective shift, no fast movements, everything quite in focus, not too far away. And most importantly: No deformation! As soon as the markers move and deform in relation to each other you can forget about doing object tracking.
“When Thom decides he’d rather be awesome in space than keep dating roboticist Celia, he never imagined he was planting the seeds of Earth’s destruction. Twenty years after this tumultuous romance he has to go back to the Amsterdam scene of his breakup with Celia to save the world. But are a high-powered robotic disguise and a time traveling battle fleet enough to fix a broken heart?”
So we do, in fact, already have a script! For a month or so, actually. As always, it’s impossible to know how much of it will make it through to the final film, but it’s a good start! I was looking at David’s concept art the other day thinking, “If we make a film that looks as good as this, I’ll be more than happy.” But man- after the whole team puts 6 months of work and imagination into it? This thing is going to be even more incredible. The best thing about this project is going to be all the layers of ideas; it’s already happening.
During a Christmas period is always good moment to challenge your generosity! Here’s the opportunity again to show your commitment to Blender, to support open source development and improve our VFX pipeline, to help realizing a spectacular open film and – last but not least – to get a film credit again!
With Mike Williamson under huge pressure to finish work for his client, we managed to find David Revoy to help on producing concept art again! That’s been a big step forward for us. Ian really could use a visualizer to go over the script, and I wanted enough material ready to present a good application for the Netherlands Film Fund again.
To show our own progress and your enthusiastic artwork contributions, we’ve added a “Gallery” section on this website now. It’s one of my first jobs on Mango (as production assistant) to manage this section!
Are you inspired by our project? Just post a link here or mail it me directly (rob at blender.org). The best ones will be added on our website then!
Major thanks to all of you for the contributions of your great artwork and please keep up the good work!
Thanks for all the great portfolios :) Haven’t counted them precisely yet – Sebastian will make a nice spreadsheet – but it’s over 110 submissions I think.
For everyone who sent in an application, you should have had an email from me to confirm it. If you didn’t, send me a reminder! We will try to get the final answers for candidates in a week… will be tough again!
Procedure: we will select people who get invited immediate, and people who will be put on a waiting list… we cannot fully predict yet how much time people are available, how much they’re needed, and how much work and time we are going to spend on Mango in general.
More news: Ian has been producing several crazy insane cool concepts (including robotic Anne Franks). His last proposal seems to have beaten all previous ones though… when I read it I felt like a rabbit caught in headlights. It’s tough stuff to picture yet, needs to be broken down and analyzed well. Now… should I tell more? Nah. ;)