Check out this cool sci-fi short film called “Vengeance” about a man that has the things most important to him taken away by a a sadistic alien, but is offered a chance for revenge! Created by the talented Julian Fitzpatrick! For more information on the making of this short,, please see the details and links below:
Vengeance is an original IP that I created a year ago. I took on this project to challenge myself with taking on multiple roles and completing a cg driven live action short film with a small budget . I initially set out to do this entire film for under 1000$. In completing this short film I only used 800$ of the total amount. I did this by taking on more than 1 task and doing the majority of the work myself. All the while I was working my day job at various studios, so my time was limited to working at night or in the morning before work.
I started writing the script for this short roughly around January of 2014. Once I had the script almost done. I had a concept artist design the cg alien character. This concept took roughly a month or two to finalize. I then had a modeler/ texture artist come in and create the character based off the concept art. After he was finished with the model I then started to shade and light the character within the environment that I created. During the shoot I took an HDRI of the environment so that i would get correct reflections and lighting.
While this process was going on I had my rigger start to work on getting this character prepped for animation. We needed this rigged in a way that we could apply mocap information very easily. We decided to go with a HumanIK setup that is native to maya. This helped tremendously with applying mocap.
On shots where the mocap wasn’t working very well , we had a seperate rig which was very useful for any animators who didn’t want to use the mocap. During this whole process I started scouting locations to shoot the short film. I found a spot in the desert about 20 miles outside Indio. It was the perfect location to shoot this film since it was in the middle of nowhere and we wouldn’t be disturbed.
I shot the film with a Canon Mark III using a 50mm Prime, 18-50mm Tamron, and a 70-200 mm lens. I had two actors ( one who played the marine and the other who was playing the alien character). The shoot took roughly two days to finish. After the shoot was finished I started to throw together a rough edit so that I would have an idea of what shots I was going to use. Once the rough edit was done I flew over to The Dave School in Orlando, Florida. This is where I shot all the mocap for the short film. The Dave School’s mocap setup was ideal for my short film and it came in very handy when I started setting up shots.
The Dave School employee’s were extremely helpful and without them this project would have taken me years to finish. Once I had all the mocap that I needed I then started to revise the edit. This is when i started to put together shots of the alien over the live action actor who played this character. I would then finalize and lock shots within the edit so that I could start to paint out the live action actor (who was the alien actor on set) and replace him with the alien. I would also start lighting shots and rendering them out so that I could start to put comps together of these shots. In all there was roughly 100+ cg shots that I tackled.
Once the edit was about 90% locked I reached out to a sound design artist/ music composer. I researched a bunch of different artists and finally came across Andrew Shcherbak. He did an amazing job coming up with an original score and also doing the sound design. Of course, in any project, you will come across some obstacles. One of my biggest obstacles was tackling the 960 frame shot in the beginning of the short. Keep in mind that I am only using 1 computer to render out all these shots.
So I have to optimize all of my scenes so that they can render as quickly as possible.I decided to render the intro shot with Vray GPU rendering. This saved me a ton of time because I was able to render a full HD frame in less than two minutes.Which in turn made that entire sequence take roughly 32 hours to render. Imagine rendering that sequence with a cpu and the times were roughly 10-15 minutes, that render would take forever!
All of the other shots I had to render with the cpu because of limitations from GPU rendering. All of those shots varied from a minute a frame to 20-30 minutes a frame.My rig for rendering these shots was a I7 3930k , 32 gbs ram, and a 780 Ti video card. This entire process took a little over a year to complete and none of us were working on this project full time. This was an amazing project for me to complete and i learned so much from it. Thanks for taking the time to watch it!!