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Lumberton Lake First Scene


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#1 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:37 PM

Lumberton Lake was written by Jerry Hawkins and is produced and directed by myself. This scene stars Lucinda McNary as Rona and Charles Lobert as Sam and Carl Cubbedge as Adam. Since this is a full length commercial feature film, I won't be showing a lot of scenes from this film but this one will be part of the trailer. Lumberton Lake is a crime mystery. Music for this scene composed and performed by Charles Lobert. I redid this scene, redrew the raccoon and reanimated him and he looks much better, also changed the lighting and decorated the bedroom and added a closet to it. I also redid some of the camera work. Did this from suggestions of other users. I am reuploading the movie now.





http://www.moviestor...p;vid_id=109245

#2 iceaxe

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:25 PM

Obviously it's very much a work in progress, and it's clearly early days yet but let me give you a few pointers as to how you could start to improve this.

SOUND
The laid-back keyboard music doesn't fit with the scenario at all. I'd recommend using strings with a build to the reveal. You need to convey a feeling of building discord that something isn't right and this should come to a crescendo when we get to the murder.
What you have in there at the moment is music for when you're in the cake aisle at Walmart.
Also, you've utilised some sort of comedy hooting sound for whatever is going on in the store. It sounds silly, and ruins any chance for drama to build. (Or is this intended to be a comedy? In which case you need to add something which is actually funny)

BEDROOM SET
You need to work at bringing more realism to the bedroom. Where do they keep their clothes for example? I also note that there is no skirting board at the bottom of the walls - I've never seen that in real life, and there are no pictures on the wall or any attempt to make the place feel homely.
Also, there are no mirrors in the room - most bedrooms have some sort of mirror. Unless they're vampires of course in which case the guy with the gun is in for a tasty treat.
It's light enough to see, so it's not the middle of the night. That being the case then the light should be coming from the window. This is not your light source at the moment though so it just feels wrong. Lower the angle of the light and correct the direction.

STORE SET
Rather than stacking the shelves properly it looks like you've taken a shortcut and just pasted a texture with images of cans. I recommend stacking individual cans so that they have some proper depth. Also, when the cans fall (float down) they all land facing the same way up. That doesn't happen in real life. They should land in a chaotic pile with the labels facing different directions and the cans and random angles.


THE "DOG"
If this is intended to be a toy dog then there needs to be some sort of accompanying mechanical sound. If this is intended to a real dog then you need to greatly improve the animation. At the moment it looks like he is on wheels (fine if it is a toy).

SITUATION
I have a question regarding the murder. Why did Sam (or the audience) not hear the multiple gunshots that would have been required to inflict these wounds?
Also, I've made the assumption that this is indeed a murder, but if that is the case why is the corpse still moving and breathing?

#3 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 02:45 PM

Well the problem with having the shelves full of actual objects is that the set would be too high poly and the movie would not render. As far as the lighting, when I do a scene, I don't like it to be too dark because then you can't see the scene very well. I only make changes to a scene if the writer of the script makes suggestions. As far as the animal, it is a raccoon and was very hard to make and animate and I have made a lot of animated animals. I probably will change the camera angle so the animal can be seen from the side instead of the back and that will look better. Also as far as the raccoon, I use Milkshape to animate these animals and characters and I just found out that I can't soften the lines in the body anymore or they won't work in Milkshape.

#4 iceaxe

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2013, 2:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
the problem with having the shelves full of actual objects is that the set would be too high poly and the movie would not render.


I think you should make the effort and try. I thought that the Jaguar I used in The Chapelside Deception would be too high poly, but it wasn't. It rendered a treat.

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2013, 2:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't like it to be too dark because then you can't see the scene very well.


If it is a dark room, it needs to be dark. Once you learn to become skillful with lighting you will be able to place appropriate spot lighting to bring out the essential details. For example, when I was working on Embers, a lot of the movie takes place in a fallout shelter which is in the protagonist's basement so it wouldn't have been appropriate to have high light levels. Through careful use of lighting I think it is visually quiet easy to see what is going on.

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2013, 2:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As far as the animal, it is a raccoon and was very hard to make and animate


But it's not very good. You need to either improve the animation, use someone else's animated model, or find a completely different approach.

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2013, 2:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use Milkshape to animate these animals and characters and I just found out that I can't soften the lines in the body anymore or they won't work in Milkshape.


If technical difficulties get in the way of filming then either resolve the difficulty or eliminate it by changing what you're filming. Ed Wood famously thought that it was OK to indicate to the audience that a plate on a string was a flying saucer and that the audience would forgive the fact that they could see the string. He was universally ridiculed because the audience is NOT that forgiving. Your dog/raccoon doesn't look real. If you need to keep it in then it needs to look as real as the Moviestorm actors.


#5 vphilly

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:32 PM

Lucinda, I think if you were to simulate some moonlight coming in through your bedroom window, it would light your scene nicely. Plus some very subtle fill lighting would help. Then your scene would be lit realistically and still be bright enough for your audience to see. And yeah, what Iceaxe said about the music. If you were to compose something more dramatic it would really charge your scene with the right amount of tension.
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#6 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:05 PM

I haven't been able to find any 3d models of Raccoons that were better than the one I did so I am redoing the one I made.

#7 rampa

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:58 PM

Hi Lucinda,

I think it would be a real treat to yourself to continue figuring out things like your better raccoon, etc. IceAxe has some good suggestions. Sometimes it is good to really explore how things like lighting, camera angles, prop creation really work. Try and learn how other people do it. Using skeletons properly is tricky, but when you get it that they are in hierarchies like chains, it makes a huge difference. As an example, look at how dynamic the movements are for Chris Ollis' horse compared with your raccoon. It's all in how he has the bones interconected, and how he rotates them. There are many Milkshape tutorials that should make it clear.

You have the drive to do it, but I think you need to bring your quality up a notch.

#8 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:44 PM

I'm redoing the movie now. I just redrew the raccoon. I looked all over for a 3d raccoon but the free ones weren't as good as the one I did and the good ones cost over $50.00.

#9 rampa

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:50 PM

You might want to look into this program. It is only a modeller/texturer, so you would still be reliant on Milkshape for bones. There is a guy that makes lots of animals for iClone using this program (the pro version). It will be much better than doing it in Sketchup.

http://www.archipelis.com/

#10 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE (rampa @ Apr 27 2013, 2:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You might want to look into this program. It is only a modeller/texturer, so you would still be reliant on Milkshape for bones. There is a guy that makes lots of animals for iClone using this program (the pro version). It will be much better than doing it in Sketchup.

http://www.archipelis.com/



Well if they had a demo version I could try out before I purchased it, I would do that but they don't seem to do that. It is 35 Euros and I don't know what the exchange rate for Euros and dollars is so I don't know the real price of the software.

#11 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

Oh they do have a demo and I just downloaded it so I will try it out and buy it if I like it.

#12 iceaxe

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:14 PM

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 27 2013, 9:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know what the exchange rate for Euros and dollars


Hmmm... if only there were some sort of magical computer system where you could find that sort of information freely just by searching for it.

dry.gif

#13 lucindamc123

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:35 PM

I found the exchange rate and it is not too high. I also downloaded the demo and tried it out but I am not sure I like it very much yet.

#14 rampa

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:56 PM

There are going to be other good options as well. I am mostly trying to suggest that you find some software that matches your style that is more suitable for organic shapes than Sketchup.

I think you have found before that many organic modeling programs provide way to high a resolution, and must be reduced. There are programs for doing what is called retopology (creating lower rez. versions), but they are complicated to do really well.

I still encourage you to take the time to learn some new skills to take your work to the next level. It will be satisfying when you get there.

#15 lucindamc123

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:34 PM

Well I will look around for other software too but I do like Sketchup a lot and always have. I have tried out Maya and I love it but I just can't afford to buy it. Anyway I redid the scene for Lumberton Lake per some suggestions of a couple of the users here, redrew and raccoon and reanimated him and he is much better. Also changed the lighting, camera work and decorated the bedroom and added a closet too. The new version is uploading now.


http://www.moviestor...p;vid_id=109245

#16 iceaxe

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:41 PM

OK, but fixing the Raccoon alone won't magically fix the scene. You need to pay attention to all those other things already mentioned too.

#17 lucindamc123

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (iceaxe @ Apr 28 2013, 7:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, but fixing the Raccoon alone won't magically fix the scene. You need to pay attention to all those other things already mentioned too.


I did, I decorated the bedroom, added a closet, changed the camera work and lighting too and also used music performed and composed by Charles Lobert which works very well in the video. Also added another scene at the end that you all have not seen. Oh the woman was not shot which is why you don't hear gunshots.

#18 iceaxe

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (lucindamc123 @ Apr 28 2013, 1:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I did, I decorated the bedroom, added a closet, changed the camera work and lighting too and also used music performed and composed by Charles Lobert which works very well in the video. Also added another scene at the end that you all have not seen. Oh the woman was not shot which is why you don't hear gunshots.


I think you're just taking a tick-box approach to this. Just because you've tinkered with the lighting doesn't mean you've fixed it. This new version is not improved at all. You need to take a total quality approach to film making - if there is anything you can see which can be improved then do it. For example, you've changed the music but:
1. The sound mixing is horrible - it is too loud over the dialogue
2. At 00.29 it shudders - it shouldn't do that it should be smooth and seamless.
3. At 00.35 the daffy duck comedy sounds start - it is completely jarring what I'm now guessing is supposed to be a horror movie.
4. At 1.41 there is an almighty glitch in the sound then the amplitude leaps.

Other problems:
The cans still fall in unison.
Where the heck did Sam produce that weapon from?
The camera floats about in a very unrealistic manner. You need to set up some establishing shots, and move the camera with greater subtlety. I don't think you're ready to play with the zoom controls yet, but you absolutely should be working with depth of field, and there is no evidence of that.
The lighting is still not right for all the reasons listed above.
When Sam finds his wife he doesn't react!!! Don't you think he'd be slightly perplexed by the fact that his wife was alive and well just a few seconds ago and now she's just a bloody stain on the floor? Maybe even a tad upset?
And then we've got a minute and half of NOTHING HAPPENING! Why?



#19 lucindamc123

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:02 PM

Sam goes to the closet to get the gun. I left that last scene of Sam long because I wanted to use all the music. I will probably cut it in the final movie and the music will continue into the next scene. Well as far as the lighting, if I made it darker, it is too dark and you can't see anything. As far as the camera work, I had to do some scenes that way because I didn't have the backdrop in this scene that you would see out the windows and I also removed all the trees because it would have been too high poly to be able to render even though I have a 64 bit computer that is new and use Windows 7. And also with the lighting darker, you couldn't see the raccoon at all. I used sound effects that I purchased and I actually like them. I have a program that has a lot of sound effects in it that I use. And everyone else who has seen this likes the video fine.

#20 vphilly

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:25 PM

Lucinda, do you use an outside editor for post work, or do you render from MS what you would consider a finished project? By the way, I believe Iceaxe has some valid points and seems to really be trying to help you.
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