Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Admiral Buzzkill, Jan 7, 2009.
Hey that looks great.
(I may be biased).
It's great to see the work is coming along nicely on this.
The tracking is good, the matte painting and the integration isn't. I suppose it's not a final?
There's color correction to be done, and a couple of touch-ups.
I hope this isn't inappropriate to ask, but, since Polaris is an original product, there should be some attempt made to get distribution. I worked in advertising for 20 years, 10 of those years were spent in various European countries. Smaller TV stations were always looking for inexpensive programming. The UK and Germany are fairly big markets for science-fiction products, as is Japan.
I left the industry in 2008 and probably a lot has changed since then. I live in Asia and last year I met with the second largest TV station in the Philippines to discuss their programming needs. As a market it was a bad choice. They have no real cultural love for science-ficton products, and their highest rated TV show in prime time consisted of a what was essentially a three hour game/variety show. And they aired this program SEVEN nights a week.
Nice shot there, but I have a couple of observations (feel free to ignore if that shot is considered final):
- You would not be able to see a galaxy this clear in bright daylight with an earth-like atmosphere. I would use the rim of another planet or two moons to establish that we are not on earth.
- The background matte painting behind the white lander looks ok, but the colors do not match the red foreground area. Also problematic at the end when the camera pans up.
- If the big sandwall that hides one half of the frame in the later part of the shot is a seperate element, lower it - it takes far too much space and feels wrong - probably needs to be slightly out of focus as well.
- The tracking in the later part is not 100%stable - the background is moving slightly against the foreground.
- The mattepainting of the crashed ship need serious rework. No signs of an impact, not enough debris parts, no light on the ship, depending on how long it is crashed - either some sand/deterioration on it or, if it crashed recently, some smoke emanating from it.
It could be a great shot, but it needs some work for that...
Duane, we are interested in distribution but given the extended post-production schedule on the show we haven't approached that yet - with no fairly certain completion date we can't really deal. I'd love to talk about that, though, if you're willing. Thanks.
northstar, thank you - that's all useful. It's good to have a fresh pair of eyes on this after so long.
Dennis, I need to contact a former colleague and will send you a PM as soon as I can.
*shrugs* I think it's pretty. It has a very "painterly" look, if that makes any sense. And for all we know (from the very, very short sneak peeks we've seen), that might be exactly the visual sensibility that Dennis and the F/X team are going for with this movie.
I hope you're able to strike a distro deal. I know I can't wait to see more!
The "painterly," 1950s-plus-a-little look is exactly what I want, but that doesn't mean that there aren't still possible issues with the way it's come together here. I'm pretty happy with it right now but if there are things like color matching and some movement of the elements against one another that are apparent to others on first or second look, that's useful to know.
I do appreciate specific criticism. At least when I'm fully clothed.
I suspect the average viewer just goes with the flow and gets caught up with it. Northstar makes some good points I suppose but I didn't notice any flaws on the initial viewing.
Well, the foreground is brighter and yellower than the background which is dimmer and bluer, so if you know about that, then that's the biggest issue jumping out I have with it. It almost looks like the sun has already set on the background, but it's still up on the foreground.
Neither did I, but I'm painfully aware that I don't have the best eye for this sort of thing. Other people spot things in VFX that I never would.
Good thing I don't do effects work.
It's a binary star system. Didn't you get the memo? (Just kidding.) I have no idea what alien worlds look like so it seems fine to me.
Re the galaxy. You wouldn't see stars in orbital shots, either, and rarely does anyone complain about that. Artistic license to establish where we are (and how far from home).
As to the landscape, I won't get into the particulars other than to say the color difference between foreground and background is intentional, and at least a little based on some photos I took in the Valley of Fire, where there's red stone in one area and hills and mountains of completely different composition not far away. Whether the balance is correct at the moment is another question.
Re the galaxy. I saw that as a sort of "title card" before the actual footage. It didn't seem odd to me at all.
Overall I think it looks pretty good. Since you're interested in first impressions, though, here are some comments I have to offer:
1. I like the way the shot opens on the galaxy, sort of the "title card" effect Duane referred to. I also agree with Maurice that creative license applies to how vivid it appears in the sky; however, it might be a nice touch to fade in the blue sky on top of it as the camera pulls back and tilts down. I'm thinking there might have been a similar transition with the Death Star above the moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi.
2. There's a subtle lens flare that seems to be coming off the bright center of the galaxy but I question whether you would get such a flare off such a large and diffuse object, particularly through atmosphere.
3. The lander looks great but it desperately needs a more obvious sharp-edged shadow falling to the right to match the bright sunlight from the left and the shadows cast by the people walking around and other live action elements.
4. The edges of the separate elements, especially the midground ridge lines, are noticeably blurry. The ridge in the foreground toward the end of the shot is an exception.
5. Speaking of that foreground ridge, if there's any way possible to get rid of it, I would do so. I assume it's being used to hide the lower halves of the people on the left or the one person who walks out of view behind it that were not captured in the original footage, so maybe it isn't possible. Problem is, the way that shot is composed, it almost seems as though the camera is centering and focusing in on the foreground ridge as though something momentous is about to happen there but never actually does. The first time I watched it, I didn't even look at the crashed ship because that big lump of dirt seemed to be demanding all the attention. Maybe you could have the camera zoom in right at the end on a tighter shot of the group of people below the crashed ship and the ship itself.
Just my two or three cents worth.
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