Before you read on, just watch it. It’s a 5-minute-short.
Restart is in the NFF (Nederlands Film Festival) Online Competition. PLEASE VOTE UP.
Look for Restart in the ‘search’ bar and click ‘Vote up’ (thumbs up). It’s for the audience award.
Recently Ismael Lotz asked me to help out with visual effects for his short film RESTART.
The short actually consists of 3 parts of which the mid section was already vlogged under the name Contact. That was a fun short in itself and Ismaël always makes cool stuff. So sure I wanted to help out, especially since this was once again in fiction.
The first time I encountered Ismaël’s work was in my function as jury member for the Imagine Film Festival. There was a trailer contest for the festival. I had provided the leader for the festival again so was included in the jury.
And yes, Ismaël’s entry was my nr 1 (you can watch his awesome entry below). The others asked me if I knew the guy since he was also from Groningen, but no. I was oblivious but did get to meet him a couple of months later.
All in all my task for RESTART was to stabilize and rotate shots to fix horizons, embellish disappearing tricks, and design and add an iPhone game to the iPhone close ups.
I was even able to help on set this time, and even have a cameo doubling as Ismaël’s character’s at the end. Being a VFX guy these days it’s good to have the rest of the crew know my face as well. And quite a crew it was!
Fun was had. Thanks Ismaël, and crew! You can find them in the credits.
PS: Ismaël’s behind the scenes can also be seen below.
So here is our trailer! “Dubstep Trooper” is a Star Wars fan film. This spoof will eventually run about 12 minutes. It is an open source project, both crowd sourced and funded.
WHAT IS DUBSTEP TROOPER ABOUT?
Dubstep Trooper is an untold but key side story to the Star Wars saga. A secret, kept for decades, is revealed as an epic clash unfolds between a rebellious young stormtrooper and Darth Vader.
We are a group of young rebel filmmakers. Most of us – particularly the initiators – are currently based in the Puddingfabriek in Groningen, The Netherlands. While some of us have already worked together on a number of projects, we have always wanted to combine our talents to raise the bar. Enter this project: a short Star Wars spoof.
We started on this journey in the summer of 2011, principal photography was in december of that year. Since the short film was shot entirely in a blue screen studio our main object at this time is attracting VFX artists to help key and rotoscope all these shots. It is a time consuming job, and since we also have our respective companies to run (and lives to live), we could really use some help. Many have helped us out in getting this far, so ‘the makers’ are many, and might well include you.
You might want to see the whole thing. Crowd sourcing is key. Please share the trailer if you like the project. The right artist might see it.
A list of co-creators can be found at the trailerpage on youtube. PS: Let me know if you’re missing…ahahah…hm.
You can also follow DUBSTEP TROOPER ON FACEBOOK.
I’m sure you’d like to see more cool and funny Mutant Worm explanimations, but instead I’ll share with you some work of a select group of After Effects people/animators that I admire, and who’s style of work I’d love to match at some point if only I had the time or the budget – brazenly assuming I have the talent.
Each of these videos could lead you to more details on the production process, if you’re interested.
Now, bear in mind, I come from a story background so you don’t have to worry I’m sharing these just for the animating style or visual effects. You’ll enjoy them. If not, feel free to chastise me below. At least someone would finally use the comment option :—)
I’ll also add some random animations at the end that do not involve After Effects. Little productional info can be found on those, except for Thought of You.
First off, there’s Carlos Lascano, who combines gorgeous illustrations with stop motion miniatures, 3D and After Effects. You can immerse yourself in his work and there’s also quite a bit of information about the production process on his site.
A Short Love Story in Stop Motion
Amnesty International – 50 years
The Legend of the Scarecrow
Yes, brilliant name. Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata currently have a residency at the Netherlands Institute of Animation. Basically, they mostly create their props from waste material and animate them in After Effects. Their website has a wealth of information about the production process.
Something Left, Something Taken
They Might Be Giants – Electric Car (music video)
Where did I first come across this guy? I think it was a clever and truly funny tutorial on the Red Giant website spoofing Lost. Yeah, that was it. Besides being a master at motion graphics and visual effect, he has a great sense of humor and his fictional work’s right up my alley. I’ll give you a few samples but you’re gonna have to check out his webseries, like The Time Closet – http://www.thetimecloset.com/. If this guy’s willing, he could be big in Hollywood. He is now one of the preset guru’s at Red Giant, with whom he also created Plot Device. This first one he made with his little kid.
The Three Little Pigs
RANDOM COOL ANIMATIONS
I hope you enjoyed some of that. You may have noticed that I didn’t tap into commercial stuff. There are brilliant examples out there, but I chose to stick to fiction to keep it manageable.
Now, there must be huge amounts of brilliant animations out there that I haven’t seen or plain forgot. I have more in my likes on Vimeo should you be interested. Other than that, got any brilliant tips?
Should you be interested in the technical details for character animation within After Effects, I highly recommend this link which references many amazing animation tutorials.
Principal photography on Dubstep Trooper is a wrap! For those who don’t know about the project yet, I’m part of a crew making a Star Wars fanfilm. The initial and core crew being 3 other freelancers at the Pudding Factory (the creative hub where I have my residence), and many have joined besides. It’s an open source project based on crowd funding and crowd sourcing. Details can be found on www.dubsteptrooper.com.
After prepping the set on Friday, we had the weekend of 16 and 17 December to shoot our blue-screen footage at MyFacilities in Groningen. In fact, every shot in the film will be either blue-screen or full CG. We shot 60 slates, covering I don’t know how many shots.
We wrapped at 23:45 on Sunday and I can’t help but admit that the days were long and exhausting. But we did it! Thanks to the patience, perseverance and enthusiasm of our cast and crew. Let’s face it, the Dubstep suits and Vader armor are wholly impractical. That and the wait on this busy shoot made it pretty hard on the actors. You were real troopers, guys and gal: Joe, Ivan, Rick, Rik, Rienk (that sounds funny) and of course indispensable Elleke.
Thanks also to the visitors on the set, who provided moral support to the cast and crew. Our sponsors Wietze and Duco (from Wyldebeast & Wunderliebe) actually got to do some light effects and—literally—pitched in.
A particular thanks to Geert for giving up a part as stormtrooper on screen to support and guide the cast in gearing up and staying alive. Then again, he probably realized what the others were in for so he might be a right bastard
Was it all hardship? Well, imagine standing on set, seeing Joe in his stormtrooper suit arrive, having an actual Darth Vader walk by, looking at footage and thinking “we shot this, it’s not original footage but it sure looks like it.”
We witnessed the birth of the Dubstep Trooper character as Joe brought him to life. It was a joy to behold and I was glad to see his lines triggering laughs on set. Ivan (Darth Vader) had me in stitches when we let him improvise: “You are one big pile of shit!” I am excited to see a first rough edit of the footage. Our fingers itch.
I’m secretly hoping for pickup shoots, to go back to a Star Wars set and spend more time with the cast and crew. But then we only just started. Postproduction is about to begin, starting with a rough edit of the material, followed by more 3D setmodeling, keying, rotoscoping, tracking, compositing, etc. We’re looking at months of work here. Especially with our own companies to run we can probably use all the help we can get.
So there’s plenty more to come and we’ll keep you posted with awesome new stuff. Don’t forget to check out the facebook page; it has a lot of pictures and clips from the set.
Once again a big thanks to the sponsers, cast and crew.
I did several visual effects for this USVA Videocollective production. I don’t have much time these days for being on set, what with two young children these days. Glad to be of some use in postproduction. This is the trailer but you can watch the entire film here at DISEASTER.
This is the accompanying text from the Vimeo site:
A black comedy with fantasy horror elements about an Easter Bunny who returns as a zombie after being shot by a carrot hunter and sprinkled with poison. His family, and especially his hypersensitive son Timmie, try to counter this vengeful freak of nature.
Warning: the makers of this movie had serious fun!
Written and directed by Boki Mekel, director of photography and editing Arno Cupédo, make up and special effects by Walter van der Munnik, visual effects by Joep Veldhuis & Frank Boxman, sound and music by Gijs van Veldhuizen & Bouke Mekel,
starring Jean Paul Oeuf, Jérôme Meijer, Maria Magniet and Joe Veldhuis.
In deze fantastische en grondige herinterpretatie van allerhande Paas- en haasmythes staat de ontworteling van een disfunctionerende familie centraal. Groningstalige gedachtenspinsels van een gehandicapte zoon, over het rustieke plattelandsleven met zijn ouders, leiden een oerhard en absurd wraakverhaal in dat in dertig minuten alle kanten opvliegt.