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3DWar of the Worlds Project, animation

WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
edited November 2011 in Work in Progress #1
Hello all. I so rarely post on this forum because I feel so inadequate compared to the majority of the users here. Also, my threads get little attention.
I haven't posted in a long while, infact the last time I did the forum looked quite different.
So, if this is the wrong place to post a movie project preview, could a MOD move it?

('10 years ago I made a little video on my Pentium166 using nothing but Bryce.
War of the Worlds Trailer
Yes, it's 10 years old.

I'm still using the same program, but I've gotten better at modeling in the mean time. For some reason a few weeks ago I decided to completely revamp and remake this project. My goal is to combine 3 generations of the War of the Worlds theme into 1 storyline:
('1898 original invasion using the Jeff Wayne style tripods.
('1939 Halloween broadcast
('1953 Movie with the manta ships.

I'm choosing to ignore the 2005 Spielberg tripod because I simply cannot animate that with the limited tools I have.

work so far
I'm doing these sequences out of order, and whatever mood I'm in. Not final of cource but I hope you get the feel of what I am trying to make.

I would really like to know what some of you think and how I could improve it.
I am using Bryce6 for the animation, Cinema4 for the modeling and CS4 Suite to put it all together.
But please don't ask me to 'upgrade' to a better program.. I just don't have that kind of resource. :(
Post edited by Wyrmshadow on


  • BuckaroohawkBuckaroohawk2 Posts: 0Member
    Well, I don't see anything particularly wrong with those clips, except that they end a bit abruptly. I usually don't post an animation to YouTube until I have a scene done from start to finish. Of course, I also haven't posted anything in over two years, which should give an indication at how good I am at finishing projects. ;)

    As to the animation: I don't use Bryce or Cinema4 so I don't know the extent of their abilities or limitations. The newer version of the opening is far superior to the original one, but the animation still looks kind of "video game-y" for lack of a better term. The movements of the characters, objects, and cameras aren't natural-looking. Like I said, though, I'm not familiar with the programs you're using so this might be something you can't do anything about.

    As to the story: I am intrigued by your idea to link three of the "War of the Worlds" versions together. How do you plan to integrate them? If the Martians first invaded in 1898, then we'd certainly be aware of them and possibly better prepared for the next attacks in 1939 and 1953. I'm curious how you're going to logically link three versions of what is essentially the same story into a cohesive timeline. The 1953 film is one of my favorite movies, by the way. Anytime I catch it on TV that's where my channel-surfing stops. And kudos for ignoring the the 2005 Spielberg film. God, that movie was awful.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    Caution, long rambling storyline to follow

    Thank you for taking time in making a reply, my threads get so few responces here that I have not bothered in so long. :(

    Bryce, originaly by Corel now by DAZ Studios.. is a very simple and intuitive animator and scene creator, but it's tools are extremely limited. The wikipedia article is actualy quite good at explaining what it is. link
    But it is NOT POSER or other similar programs. There are no bones, or rigging, or built in poses if you should want to animate something like moving tank threads or a real person. There is also no collision alarms or real world physics. You can't even break apart meshes in the program. Easy to use, but very limited. I've been using it for 13 years and I like it because I've learned some tricks to mimic far more expensive and capable programs, yet there are some things I still cannot do. There is just no way I could deform clothing to make it look realistic or flame (although I have done passable explosions and cannon blasts). Essentialy you are the puppet master of a huge marrionette play. Every movement is entirely up to you and you have NO tools to help you, it's all up to the artist's talent and sense of timing.

    Enough of that digression. I also use Cinema4D to model. It's a much more capable program than Bryce.. but I barely know how to use it correctly so I limit myself to just the mesh aspects of it and just import it all into Bryce.

    The unrealistic aspects of the render is an unfortunate condition of the program and the lighting. It can do wonderful landscapes, but other more $$$$ programs are better at the 'realism' you probably seek. I know, sorry.

    For the story, here is what I'd like to show.
    (I've also played the 1998 Jeff Wayne computer game too, and I built a few of those models myself from just watching the vids) If you ever saw the 1989 War of the Worlds TV series, I'll be borrowing a lot of elements from it. It's really low budget and sorta cheesy compared to anything today (apart from MTV programing) which I will elaborate later on.
    The events of the 1898 novel really took place. Mars is dying, so the Martian elders put together a plan to attack and colonize our planet. But despite their massive brains, they did not plan properly. Only 10 cylinders was not enough. And watching us purely through telescopes, they could not have known about our germs. So reports they got from their initial invasion made them plan better for next time. They are coming, no matter what. So the big brains put their collective heads together to formulate a sample return mission, as well as even better equipment for next time.
    That is what the Orson Wells Broadcast Halloween broadcast was about, the recon mission that landed in the NJ farmlands. These new tripods were of an intermediate design between the physical tripods of Jeff Wayne's style, and the 1953 Manta ships. I found a model somewhere, many years ago, that claimed it was a martian tripod. The name of the model was called "nasaraki.obj" (maybe someone can search for it and shed some light). I liked the style and wanted to use it for this project because animating walking tripod legs is HARDDDDDD. Anyway, a single cylinder lands in NJ, blasts the local militia so they wont be bothered, gathers some biological samples and rockets them back to Mars for analysis. What happens with the tripods that are left on earth? I'm thinking they just self destruct in a swamp so nothing could be found later for analysis. Or just SKELETON Beam each other into nothingness? How does this relate to the Orson Wells Broadcast? Well in the TV series the Battle of Grover's Mill was a real incident and the US Government didn't want to panic the poeple, so they contracted Wells to goof the public into trivializing the incident. And those that actually witnessed it would be rediculed into silence by the rest of the public that of cource knew it was just a Halloween radio gag. (Moon landing hoax anyone? LOL!)
    Have you ever listened to the 1960's BBC radio adaptation of the story? It's quite good. They just updated the original novel with 1960's techonology. In the end of the story the narrator talks about government scientists trying to reverse engineer the Heat Ray. But when they tried to open the box, a sub-nuclear explosion happened, and all future plans on analyzing the martians technology was shelved. This is how I'm looking at the original invasion. Both the Red Weed and the Martians themselves quickly rotted after death, leaving little to no real evidence of their presence after a while. All that would be left were the hallow corpes of the tripods, those that didn't "die" with their pilots because it seems to me that martian machinery is partly organic or atleast needs an organic component (like a Shadow Battlecrab?). So what does that leave Her Majesty's Government with? A bunch of tin cans, wild stories of monsters from outer space, and a hysterical population that would just as soon forget it all happened. (as was the case of the TV series when few poeple would even admit there was a 1953 invasion. Collective Amnesia) And since the martian tech was WAY ahead of 1900 Brittain, the debris was burried and forgotten, they learned little from the remains.

    And how does this fit into the 1953 movie? Well, being little more than massive brains with tentacles, the martians went to work to formulate a plan to defeat Earth military, and her biosphere. So they created the ultimate weapons. Ships that could not be touched, and pilots that could not be killed. Enter in the silly little aliens of the 1953 movie and TV series. Barely sentient, geneticaly engineered pilots, soldiers, workers. I'm going out on a limb here, but even massive brain aliens still need workers to maintain both them and their machines. Tiny tentacles just cant build and manipulate everything that is needed, so millenia ago the present martians elevated a subsentient ape-like creature on their world into a worker class. Barely more than automatons. These could serve as the perfect basis to re-engineer a new breed that is resistant to earth germs until a more permanent solution can be found for the rest of the population.

    These guys are small, and so are their Manta ships. I did some measurements of the 2 war machines and came up with this.
    The black cylinder is a 6ft man for scale. I've got the top of the tripod's knees at around 300ft. I did my measurements from stills of the CGI that is played in the background of the Jeff Wayne musical show. Smaller ships means you can make and send more war machines to earth. And instead of using the massive gun that was constructed for the original cylinders of the 1898 and 1939 invasions.. I'm building them a ship. You saw it in the original movie I did 10 years ago.. the large brown macross looking ships. Well it's big. 1.6km across. And it's their mothership they are building inside Phobos.
    This video is just a test to see what I could do, but I will completely redo this one too before I incorporate it further into my big project.
    I can fit nearly 100 remodeled cylinders into the hangar of this massive mothership. How will the martians be able to build such a ship in orbit? Well they can repurpose their original invasion gun into a mass driver to send things into Mars orbit, then mine out Phobos for materials. Mothership brings the invasion to the far side of the moon, and then releases it's swarm of dropships onto an unsuspecting world below. Not sure if I'm willing to venture the Martians have developed hyperspace yet (LOL!) but you never know. I modeled the mothership to the same style as the manta's and will use the same anti-gravity equipment of the smaller ships. If all goes will it will be used as a massive colony ship and transport after the subjigation of Earth.

    So, that is my plan. The video I am trying to make is set up like a trailer to a movie. It tell you the story sofar, then builds up with glimpses of action and explosions, then ends with a plot hole filled cliff hanger at the end that will make you want to see the rest. Or as close as I can come to it.

    As a small note. I hated the 2005 film too. If it wasn't for the actors, it would have been enjoyable. Only thing I'm keeping from that is the creepy foghorn sound. The ULLLAAAHHH from the musical is just too silly.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    I designed this 'little' guy to be an intermediate step between the Martian's mothership and their more land bound war machines. I thought that even a massive mothership would need both fighters/escorts/worker bees to support it, so I designed this. It's a combination of the Jeff Wayne WOTW tripod, the flying machine from the game of the same name, and the Echo Papa 607 drone from the Star Trek TNG episode "Arsenal of Freedom"

    I had originaly created something similar to this 10 years ago for my original WOTW video, but the quality of that model was laughable and today, embarassing. Also, it looked much closer to the EP607 than this.

    This little scout is BIG. Much larger than the Manta war machines its meant to complement. These are the air/space fighters and workers used to mine asteroids and contruct everything in space that is needed for the Martians. I modeled it around the same size as the JW tripod, so it's sized for an original Martian rather than the 1953 pilots. It has a light heatray for delicate work, a heavy blaster for bigger jobs and manipulator claws similar to the Handling Machine.

    Martian 'mothership'
  • moonmanmoonman171 Posts: 0Member
    Hi. Just found this thread. Mmmm, War of The Worlds cg goodness. :thumb:

    I'd like to comment on Wyrmshadow's ship scales. Seems a bit off, to me. To my understanding, the tripods are about 100ft tall, whereas the mantas have a 40ft wingspan.
  • oldmangregoldmangreg198 Woodland Hills, CAPosts: 1,339Member
    moonman wrote: »
    Hi. Just found this thread. Mmmm, War of The Worlds cg goodness. :thumb:

    I'd like to comment on Wyrmshadow's ship scales. Seems a bit off, to me. To my understanding, the tripods are about 100ft tall, whereas the mantas have a 40ft wingspan.

    Please don't necropost. Last post was in 2010, I highly doubt there be any new ones.
    Your right to an opinion does not make your opinion valid.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    moonman wrote: »
    Hi. Just found this thread. Mmmm, War of The Worlds cg goodness. :thumb:

    I'd like to comment on Wyrmshadow's ship scales. Seems a bit off, to me. To my understanding, the tripods are about 100ft tall, whereas the mantas have a 40ft wingspan.

    If only someone cared enough in the past year to post a little more.

    The Manta scale I got from an actual diagram of a model.

    The tripod scale, I had used screen caps from the actual CGI of the stage show of the musical. They were HUGE. It has been over a year since I touched this project so I don't remember much more about it.
  • moonmanmoonman171 Posts: 0Member
    I'm digging around for references with measurements. Will post what I find. I go through cycles on this subject. As it is close to "Martian Invasion Day", when we celebrate the 1938 broadcast, it seemed ripe.

    BTW, "necroposting", what gives? Is there some sort of forum rule that keeps old threads dead? I have been dinged twice ( :shiner: :shiner: ) for commenting on subjects I had just found. Just because I wasn't there when the discussion was "fresh", doesn't mean I can't contribute, right? If people are not supposed to post on a thread, I would expect it to be locked. this kind of treatment would seem to drive off contributors.
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Necroposting generally doesn't get a response from the person who started the thread because they've moved on, or whatever, thus digging the old thread up is kind of pointless, and also pushes the more active thread down on the list.
    So it's generally speaking more polite to send your message directly to the person who started the thread as a PM. That way if the subject is dead it doesn't bother other people. If the subject isn't dead the owner of the thread can always make a post and get it going again.

    On a different note, I know what you mean Wyrmshadow. My own thread gets little or no postings, because it's not a ship from a popular tv show. It can be very disheartening to look back and realize you are the only one posting. For my part I try and keep an eye on the view counter. Even if people don't post they might still be reading.
  • moonmanmoonman171 Posts: 0Member
    Strange forum etiquette. Never seen this on any forum I've ever visited or contributed to. :confused: Oh, well. It is the lay of the land.

    === Making Resurrection of This Thread Worth It ===

    Here are some reference images of the 1953 manta and its eye. These are scans of the studio blueprints. Most studio models (of that time) were 1/12th scale, and you'll see some of the measurement callouts. The Al Nozaki's manta was intended to be about the size of WWII era fighters, hence the 42' wingspan.


    I'm looking for measurement callouts on Mike Trim's tripod drawings, from the Jeff Wayne musical. ...
  • moonmanmoonman171 Posts: 0Member
    Found this reference on the Mike Trim tripod design. The height is called out as 100', as the book describes.


    So, that would make the comparative size, more like this...


    I have never scaled the two together, so it is fun to see how they stack up.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    Your interest in this thread has made me go back and revisit some of my old animations.

    Here's the screen caps of the CGI from the musical stage show.







    Compared to the Thunderchild, those things are massive. So are it's feet compared to a man. I think I used the size of the actual ship class to guess the height of the tripods.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804211 Posts: 11,006Member
    I just looked at the War of the Worlds animation on your YouTube channel and it's great. (though, your yellow text is extremely hard to read against your background) I especially like the version of the tripod with the physical legs, that's cool. The one that's an homage to the classic pods in the George Pal version of the film is great too, but I really like the real legs and how they move.

    So, since moonman has gotten you interested in the project again, does that meant there will be more War of the Worlds goodness to come? Because that would rock. :cool:
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    I'm sure it would 'rock' as you say... but it takes forever to render the scenes. The Grover's Mill sequence took a solid week of computer time to render.
  • Number 6Number 6331 Posts: 0Member
    Very cool work, would like to see more. I checked out your animations and they looked great.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804211 Posts: 11,006Member
    Wyrmshadow wrote: »
    I'm sure it would 'rock' as you say... but it takes forever to render the scenes.

    That's why I don't animate meshes very much. I mostly just build them and then render pictures. ;) However, some people don't seem to mind those long renders, I didn't know if you were one of them.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    The only thing new I've redone so far is a newer Lowellian Mars.
    And I managed to re-render the intro with slightly different effects. That took 11 hours but I may still need to redo it a second time because I don't like how the planet is moving within the frame now.

    On the topic of long render times.. I did this one as a test of effects. It's just a large spaceship leaving a secret base in Phobos. The damn thing took like 20 hours because of the light effects I had. I really need to dumb those down.

    I've got a ton of things going on at the same time.. Also trying to do a Pluto movie but it's turning into 1 hour PER FRAME at 1280p and it's about 3 minutes long. I've got maybe a minute done and that has taken a week to do. I wish I could really focus on this stuff full time and really get polished, but I work a terrible job for little money and I always come home exhausted in the middle of the night, and all that I'm motivated to do is blast tanks on WoT.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804211 Posts: 11,006Member
    There's nothing wrong with blasting tanks in World of Tanks. ;)

    I like the modified Mars, that's looking good. So is the ship leaving animation.

    I feel your pain on HD animation. I was trying to do one at 1080p a while back and it was killing me. Plus, I had all kinds of problems. It would have paid a little money to supplement my meager income, but I had to pass because of the time and problems involved (I wasn't getting paid enough for the time, let alone the problems.)
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Have you considered setting up a small render farm for yourself. Basically all you do is cobble a tower tower out of what ever parts you can get hold of for cheep. (if you're like me you might even already have an old tower at home, left over from an upgrade to your main system.) You install a network card, the operating system (with drivers) and the software you want to render with. And nothing else! You don't need a screen, or keyboard etc, just borrow the ones from your main system when you need them.
    Set up your scene on the main computer and then transfer the files needed to the farm tower. Set it off rendering and let it go for however long it takes.
    That way your main tower is still free to do your other work.
    I only mention it because like you I have a lot of rendering to try and output for my project, so I'm setting up a farm using an old tower from work and a laptop which is on its last legs anyway.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    I did that a long time ago with an older slower system, then the whole thing died on me.

    I dont have more than $60 right now.
  • moonmanmoonman171 Posts: 0Member
    Wyrmshadow wrote: »

    Oh, yeah! Loving that Mars. :thumb:

    Just curious, can you port any of your models/textures into blender? It might be more powerful on older machines. That, and it's free.
  • WyrmshadowWyrmshadow331 Posts: 0Member
    moonman wrote: »
    Oh, yeah! Loving that Mars. :thumb:

    Just curious, can you port any of your models/textures into blender? It might be more powerful on older machines. That, and it's free.

    The negative aspects of that? I'd have to start all over, including learning how to use blender... and I don't have another computer to farm it out to.
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