As a fan of sci-fi, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of portals. In honor of TV shows and films like Sliders and Stargate, here’s a test of Cesar going through a portal, from an undisclosed location in Downtown Los Angeles, to… well, the verdict is still out on that one.
Just a basic VFX test shot, set up as simply as possible (stationary, on a tripod). My main priority here, and in most video/motion tests you may see throughout my blog, is practicing techniques and tools to achieve effects I find cool. But I do need to get around to practicing some storytelling at some point. My subject for this was my friend and fellow designer from my UCLA Design/Media Art days, Cesar Vargas.
Here I used Trapcode Form to create the main fireball, and combined it with some other canned effects (glows, blurs, and animated masks/solids, inside of After Effects), to create a Street Fighter 2/comic book inspired fiery orb that Cesar grows and throws (yes cheesy rhyme intended). I shot the video with my Canon 60D in the Downtown LA area.
After my last posting (see “One Eyed Monster”), I felt the urge to continue working in 3D space with the scifi theme, but with something more directly retro-futuristic in styling and content. This was the result. I again based my model off an original sketch, but I was inspired by images of old-school tin toys, which I found in a book appropriately titled Robots and Spaceships. The book compiles several examples of US and Japanese space/scifi themed toys from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I combined that with a more contemporary and minimalist aesthetic, like a mashup with a Marc Newson or a Philippe Starck design. Once I had finished it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a certain pill shaped speaker/ipod dock design, but this, again, was completely unintentional. Trust me, I wouldn’t want to bring upon the wrath of Dr. Dre, since he made it abundantly clear in “Forgot About Dre” that he’s held on to his weaponry from his gangster days in Compton. Word.
I’m still not really sure what this is supposed to be – a robot, or some type of alien life-form. Maybe both? It started as a quick doodle that I decided to bring into Cinema 4D, just for kicks. I initially had something more robotic/mechanical in mind, but as I started to build it, I began to veer more towards a more organic form. Hmmm… adding a mouth would probably make sense now, no? But really, who knows how the hell life on another planet functions or looks? I’ll stick to that story for now. Either way, making this has got me wanting to build something retro-scifi inspired. I’m thinking ray-guns.
PS – Any similarities to Mike Wazowski are purely coincidental.