More of the same… sort of.

Pre production continues.

Production or modification of the HEV suit is going slower than hoped.  The undersuit is really pissing me off. The effect I am trying to achieve with the ribbing is proving to be difficult to create without the tools of a seamstress. I am going to try cannibalizing some existing garments and I’ll share that progress next week once it arrives from amazon.

So from the images below: The horse shoe shaped thing is the padding that goes into the top of the chest piece.  It was red before, but I had to re-cover it in pleather so as to match the look of Half-Life.

I finished the other wrist and some modifications and details.  I have decided to take the whole suit to a more orange look, as per Half-Life.  The HEV Mk5 concept art from VALVE had a yellow/orange de-saturated look to it and I tried to emulate that first time around.  This time I want to emulate the Black Mesa model based on the HEV suit in original game with some additional stuff and a bit of my own flair. I can only do so much, as the suit is just one part of the film.

I have added a kind of jump/fall shock absorber to the boot for effect. This is a bit of creative license. The feet will be the least seen part of the suit so I can practice and have my screw ups on parts that don’t get a lot of screen time.

The suit is still a big work in progress. None of the really fine detail is done yet.  All of that, i will leave until the very end.  Right now it looks like a big orange thing. Although I think the suit will be 3 or 4 times better in this film than the previous. I was never happy with it.  It just looked fake to me and it had no weight to it. This time I am improving something that already exists so it’s more interesting.  Oh and I will also put weights in it. The chest electronics are being tackled soon as well as the chest itself.

Location scouting continues. Some shots of ones I particularly like. We are still waiting on costs of these. Conceivably we could do a 3 day shoot but depending on the cost of locations it could end up being two. I was originally planning 4 but then the producer told me in a nice way I am an idiot and to get my head out of my ass out of the clouds. 🙂

FREEMAN VFX BREAKDOWN   Google SheetsVisual effects are being broken down and prioritized.  Work on the Vort model and the nasty green lighting has begun.  The modeling of the barnacle has also been started. There is a small team spending a few hours each per week now.  It’s really opening up the possibilities for what will might be able to do in this episode.  And don’t worry, I will avoid using CG for the sake of it and I am not a fan of CG that obviously isn’t real so there wont be any of that either.

barnaclewipEpisode one had only a single computer generated shot (slo mo bullet). I made it in 3D studio max after I got excited watching an Andrew Kramer tutorial. There was a bunch of compositing in post production but it was all 2D, guns, smoke, bullet hits, blood splats, etc.

For this episode we have done far more complex work simply for testing.  It’s really an exciting process but very time consuming. VFX production on the first episode was pretty 2014-11-11much a solo affair and my experience in 3D is was very limited. It still is, but the experience of the guys working on it right now is not limited at all.

Lastly I have been breaking down what props and costumes are absolutely necessary for the film.  I had a bit of stuff from the first film plus the teaser we shot.  I have added a bunch of soldier uniforms and weapons that will be needed to pull of the scenes that feature many HECU marines.

IMG_20141111_160903There is a urge to buy a bunch of props and what not, but the budget doesn’t have the leway for that, so it’s better to get the minimum required to get the shot.

There will certainly be instances where we shoot multiple shots of the same scene to composite many more people than we will have available on set, thus reducing the need for people, equipment, props, food, transport, etc.

IMG_20141111_161218We need to do several large scale gore effects for this episode and I am breaking down those scenes to see what we can achieve for the money we have.  Major death count, gibs and some crazy burn makeup would all be ideal.  Whether or not we will have the budget we still need to fill the spots on the team that will be taking care of this.

IMG_20141111_162527I am hoping for the return of our SFX artist Leanne who I have worked with a couple of times now.  She has bene stellar but we have never got any money to pay her what she is worth so it’s fingers crossed time again. If she does have a gap in her scedule I am sure she will need help on this one, we will be looking for additional people as we get closer.

That’s all for this week.  We have a mountain to climb to get this thing done, but we have some great people along for the ride.  It’s always best to get the great people first and then figure out how your going to get there after.




P.S. Remember to get more Freeman glasses this time!



Posted on November 12, 2014 in Behind the Scenes, HEV Suit, Pre-production

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