(Links and images got lost)
OMMP = One Man Movie Project
This blog will tell the process of how my first movie gets made, after several failed ways to address this dream, i have finally reached the concept of “One man movie project”, as a way of:
Explore and fortify the knowledge needed to make a film, in all the diverse areas of expertise that a movie needs.
Make a dream come true, a dream that has been with me since i was thirteen.
No need of the will of others in order to make my dream come true.
No need to be oppressed by the non-artistic vision of the person that finance a movie.
Assure that every effort made for the project, is always the best possible effort that can be made in a reasonable amount of time. This is a way of deny the earlier failed attempts to make my dream come true,a variable that it was present because i wasn’t the only one involved, and the others ones involved didn’t receive something that they value as much as i do.
Don´t need more money than the one that a middle class chilean family, and my own means can provide in order to make my dream come finally true.
As part of the ¨OMMP¨ since January 2012, i have been recording samples to make music, as i´m using Hydrogen (opensource, available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS) a drum machine, running on Ubuntu (opensource OS), i have created several drumkits, that i will be uploading from time to time, this post is to let you people know that, as there is currently a drumkit contest organized by the developers of Hydrogen, i´ll be uploading 4 drumkits to this contest and they are going to be released under a CC-by license, yes, that means that everyone is going to be able to use this drumkits, even for commercial puposes, as long as they give me the proper credit (Gabriel Verdugo Soto, www.belofilms.com), the 4 drumkits are: Acoustic guitar-normal, Acustic guitar-normal strums, Acoustic guitars-muted, and an eclectic drumkit of fruits, cans, books, leafs, human noises and a djembe from Senegal.
Everything was recorded with a mono-unidirectional-condenser shotgun mic and also a stereo-cardiod-condenser mic in an AB pattern at 96khz 24bit (best possible audio quality), mixed and edited with a little reverb on Ardour (opensource available for Linux and Mac OS), an imported later into Hydrogen.
The drumkits will be available for everyone, once the contest finish.
A movie made only with opensource software and only by one man, that´s the aim of the OMMP, and if everything goes according to the plan, it will be released on late 2013, as of right now, i´m on schedule (:
The OMMP started on January 2012, and this is what i have accomplish so far:
60 minutes of music, made with personal recorded samples at 96khz 24bit, on this picture i´m on Ubuntu (Operative system) using Hydrogen (Sampler), QjackCtl (to route the output from the sampler to the input of the mixer), and Ardour (as the mixer of the samples), the lovely kittie is called “Masita” :3
As of today, i have drawn 774 shots, the first storysketch book is full with 654 shots, i´m currently drawing in the second one (the lighter one of the frame), in my personal way of storytelling, 20 frames = 1 minute; 200 frames = 10 minutes and so on, so my goal for the OMMP is 1400-1500 frames, wich means 70-75 minutes.
Here is my animatic, done on Cinelerra CV, at the moment i have reached 31 minutes in images, and i have premixed the music for the first 7 minutes with my original score.
Here i am using Blender(3D software) making a character for the movie, this pic is from late may, the design has improved a lot and as of today the rigging (animation control) is almost ready for this, my first character.
So, there is a lot of hard work still to do, but, everything is moving forward, and according to the plan (:
i won the spring drumkit contest :D, XD i sent 5 of the 11 eleven drumkits so it was ovbious that i had more chances of winning than the other participants XD, anyway, the drumkit will be available to download for everyone soon, here is the winners announcement , and to celebrate that i won the first prize here is another drumkit, a xylophone, recorded at 96khz-24 bit-Stereo, thanks again to the devs of Hydrogen.
Thijs Van Severen one of the developers of Hydrogen (opensource sampler) told me that for the Oficial HYdrogen Feed, my drumkits were going to be recompressed due to problems on the server backup, thats why I made my own feed with uncompressed drumkits:
Saludos desde Chile!
The award of the Hydrogen drumkit contest has arrived from Belgium :), thanks to Thijs Van Severen for sending it, and organize the contest, and to Michael Wolkstein (aka Wolke) for making with his own hands the awesome H2 Drumbody :); here is the prize:
And to celebrate with everyone, i have just finish a new drumkit, a Glockenspiel, you can download and enjoy this new drumkit from my own Drumkit Feed,
i have also updated the Xylo drumkit that it was already up on the feed.
The first minute of my first movie
Hopefully the next 74 minutes will be ready by the end of 2013, early 2014…
Tech specs: 4k, 96khz-24 bit, (for now, only stereo audio, i will make it in 5.1 eventually)
This is the OMMP, at first i was going to make it in 3d stereo, but due to lack of technical equipment and too much render time, i decided it to make it just in 2d, but at least in 4k, i hope to find a cinema distributor once i finish.
Happy new year everyone!*
Just a little update on the OMMP, here are the three model stages of the comet from the scene 60:
1:First i carved a polystyrene ball
2:Then i added epoxic clay and modeled craters and holes, i printed the pattern of a rock that i have, applying pressure with the rock over the clay, i also use some round sticks and my hands.
3:And finally i painted the surface of the model using a technique called dry brush
(First you apply a black paint all over the model, then you apply several layers using each time a lighter color. To apply the lighter paint layers you first wet the brush on the paint, and then you remove the paint excess on a absorbent surface (like cardboard), and then, with the dry brush you paint the model)
Now i have to see if a can make a 3D scan following this opensource tutorial
This is the current progress of my first movie
8 x 3D Characters modeled, textured and rigged<
4 x 3D props, modeled rigged and textured
2 x 3D chartacters modeled and rigged
*** I still have to model, texture and rigg more characters
<span style=”color: #808000;”>Backgrounds:</span>
26.154 x photo files, complete backgrounds of 64 scenes (real locations)
Almost 9 scenes have a color graded background
*** There are 8 more scenes that i still have to make the background, but those scenes will be made in 3D
92 minutes of original music made with original recorded samples
I still have to mix 2 more themes (4 more minutes)
To make the music i made a total of 41 hydrogen drumkits from wich 8 have been released under creative commons and are freely available to download and use.
*** I would probably make 1 to 3 more themes.
127 pages of storysketch, with an average of 12 to 15 drawings per page
After the storysketch i wrote the script (just to understand better the story)
I´m currently working on the color grade of the backgrounds, then i will make my first cut with the graded backgrounds and music, later i will make the 3d characters that are still missing, after i will animate, and the final stage will be the recording and mixing of the sound FX.
Hello!, a little preview of my first movie (on the making), showing some color graded backgrounds!
The original size is 4k (4096*2160 pixels), the camera movements are made from stills in a stop motion dolly, the music is part of the original score i did for the movie (96 khz-24bit).
I have just passed the 500 color and pre-composed (cuted) backgrounds frontier yay!!
Unfortunately from a month or so, my computer is kind of dying, problem after another i have manage to sort it out, but right now is currently on intensive care, i´m now currently installing for a second time in a month the Operating system, i hope it breaths again :/, at least everything seems to point out that the hard drives are fine, so Elulu seems to be safe for now, but i´m getting behind schedule again…. i have lost a week of work now, and it seems that i have to change my computer for a new one, but i´m in bankrupt :/ so… my first movie is in stand by for the moment until i manage to have again a computer up and running… damn it :C
Elulu is back on production on monday!
I have a new computer!, so i can go back to work on monday :D!, it´s 3x faster than the pc that died, so i hope i will be able to speed up a little the workflow and recover the 2 weeks that a i lost making no advance in the movie… anyway, i´m not in schedule but at least i´m moving forward, :)
A quick update about the Elulu movie status, i hope to finish the color grading of the backgrounds and the music this year, then i will make an animatic with those, and after that will model some models that i have left and finally animate the movie.
I have reached 1.000 colored backgrounds!
So, to celebrate with everyone i want to share with you 2 videos, on one you will see the modeled, textured and rigged 3d characters that i have so far, and on the other there are some animated backgrounds that are part of the “other dimension”, the music is part of the original score i did for the movie.
It´s been a loooong time since i write here but!. Finally i can see something!!, after 2+ years, i can finally animate :D, the render takes too much though, but i´m happy with the outcome, i hope to finish all the animations (not the renders), before my next birthday :P (end of may), but who knows hahahah, maybe… i keep moving forward, so that´s something valuable i guess, anyway, here are the fisrt two minutes of my movie, there are still some minor mistakes to fix, but no showstopper so :D, no sound fx yet though, just my original score :), also the following video is not on the original size of the movie wich is 4k (4096×2160 pixels), but the video is only on hd (1280×720 pixels), because i dont know yet what codec to use for 4k hhahahahha.
It has been a long time since i posted here, but, everything is moving forward still, lots of work though, running a blog seems just more work, that’s why i haven’t posted in a while, but! here is a teaser for my upcoming movie, i reallistically expect to finish it within the first quarter of 2017.
2015 goal was to reach the 20 minutes animated mark, i´m currently on 19mins. animated and 17mins. rendered, composited with the backgrounds, and mounted on the timeline, so hopefully i will reach the 20 minutes milestone before 2015 christmas.
On my procastinated ToDo list, i still have to make the 3D backgrounds and the tree character of scene 51 and 70, but i will worry about those when i reach them on the timeline.
Is not even summer yet and is really hot in Santiago, Chile, i worry that the PC will burn and melt, like two years ago, when i was working on modelling a 3d character, i believe?, and the graphics card just died on me, as always i don’t have any money so that would be a stall on the movie proyect.
The ultimate goal is to finish Elulu for 2017 Annecy film submission deadline, wich, if they don’t change the deadline, should be by the end of february.
Greetings from Chile!
Things i’ve learned on filmaking while making ELULU.
It’s best for video editing that you render the music in instrument separated layers and then arrange it as you like on the video editor, you can even mix layers from diferent tracks to make new music as needed, and of course make the track you did on the first place.
It’s handy to render the main musical riff of the movie on his own layer and in many variations, in different tempo, with different velocity, with different samples, that way you can express different meanings within the same melody and you can mix it with the layers of the other music in the video editing process.
I’ts better to aim to a higher amount of work than a lower, that way you will always reach the goal.
A restless 24/7 is nonsense and it works only for 2-3 months after that the productivity decreases, so a day rest a week minimum is needed, 8 hours of sleep are priority and it’s better to stop watching a screen 1 hour before bed time to get a proper rest otherwise productivity decreases the next day.
You can work all day from get up to bedtime, for six days a week but your body will hate you (pain in the wrists and the back, dry eyes, weight gain etc.)
It’s better to render during the night, for temperature issues and to make use of the pc during the day, if you have to render during the day and cannot use the computer during that time, and you can’t move forward in the project without the pc, you can use the spare time for rest.
If you are going to stare a monitor for a long period of time make sure to light the enviroment properly so your eyes dont hurt, also change the focus from the screen to something that is far away for 5 mins after 1 hour of screen time (oftalmologist told me so hahhah)
You have to prioritize in animation, first and most importantly the story must be told, and along that, emotion is king, second is rythm, as i have already arranged the music i can sync some reactions to a certain change or to a particular sound in the music, third is beautiful movement, and fourth is 3d artifacts, like a rigging brake or a hand trasspassing a body for a fraction of a second or something. As i have a limited amount of time, because i want to finish this project someday… i have to prioritize, emotion is king, if i animate something and it has the right performance then i move to review and fix, i try to animate beautifully but i push my knowledge boundaries in animation so that’s not always possible in the first try, and if i brake the rigg during that time, only if it’s too notorius i will fix it otherwise it will stay, because i expect that the audience will be focus in the emotion of the storytelling, if the movie works the audience will be focus on the story, and it’s going to view the shot not as a single shot, but as a scene, as a movie, as a whole, and animation artifacts, if they don’t interfere with the emotion they can just, be there, only if they are small and hard to see at first glance of course.
Invest in backup harddrives, its safer.
Lesson learned after i loose a 17min. animatic when a pc died on me like 2-3 years ago.
My current filenaming goes like this:
Escene number-Shot number_Big current version of the file-Layer or small change(-optional comment_reversion)_.
Order it’s important, i currently have like 250.000 files, so if i can’t find the proper file, i loose time.
Don’t forget you are also a human being C:
New site is online!
Hello!, as i’m currently making a render that takes forever (of a new scene i added, in wich i have to use the photorealistic render engine instead of the normal render engine), i have some spare time so, i redesigned the website and logo of BELOFILMS.
*The silhouette you can see on the new logo is actually based on one of the members of my kitty family, the lovely “Naranji”.
Elulu, this year so far
For the past six months i have been making some big changes, structurally wise i changed the place of some scenes, and using the same backgrounds i redesigned some scenes to add new content, also i made some new conections between the characters, because i realised that it was lacking some human cohesive force, and that realisation took a lot of time of thinking and false starts, but i’m pleased with the outcome; i’ve deleted some animated shots and 1 scene completly animated, rendered and composited, was trashed, like 4 months of work- 2 minutes in the timeline trashed, that’s one of the risk of imitating the Miyazaki way of work, not making a script but making a storyboard (storysketch in my case), still, i have written screenplays in the past (4 i think?), and that takes me like 8-14 months, so still, i feel it’s faster and better this way, because nothing guarantees that a scene written and shooted isn’t trashable in the timneline, the editing process is reckless in that way, but it’s for the greater good, the movie as a whole.
I have rearrenged the entire begininig of the movie and added 2 new scenes to wich i didn’t have the backgrounds, one of those backgrounds were shooted on the backyard of my house, so that wasn’t a big .trouble, but the other scene took place on the forest so i had to make the forest on 3d, in blender, and use cycles, the realistic render engine, to make the backgrounds of that scene blend well with the backgrounds of the scenes of the rest of the movie, the problem with that was, that one, i haven’t used cycles before, so there was a time consuming learning curve, and two, that it took ages to render, so each shot took like 4-12 days to render, a looot of time, like 3 months in total only in the backgrounds of just 1 scene, luckily, but just recently, my dad support me with a new pc so, right now i can work with two machines, and that have speeded up the process in like 15 to 20%.
Now, for the past 2 months or so i have been remaking some shots that i wasn’t completly satisfied, because i can animate a lot better now than 2 years ago, and also i have recorded some sound fx for the first 5 minutes of the movie, so here are 2 pictures of when i was recording the best actors ever, Don Plomo, and Chicopopo, my kitties.
Btw, the rig setup is a 4 channel recorder, that has a stereo xy condenser mics using 2 channels, a shotgun condenser mic with a guitar linear booster preamp conected to the third channel, and a piezzo electric microphone with a guitar preamp+eq combo conected to the fourth channel, that way i can have the stereo pair if i want the sound with a wider image, the shotgun if i want the sound isolated and more direct, and the piezzo mic, if i want the sound in an odd, closer, bassy way (the piezzo is a surface mic, it doesn’t get the sound transmited by air but rather the sound transmited by a surface, so it always gives a super clean noiseless image, it’s really cheap to get, like 6 usd, but it has a really distinctive sound, i couldn’t use it all the time, and is not useful all the time, but it can work wonders and creepy moments alike, so it’s great for sound design.
*Lesson learned this month: a good sound design can improve a lot a not so good animated shot.
For what’s rest of the year i will be animating full time, so hopefully i will manage to get to the 35-40 minutes mark this year, the past week i was able to animate 1 minute of a complex scene with 3 characters, so if i can keep working this hard i can make it, right now though after these delayed 6 months i have only 18 minutes completly rendered and composited in the timeline, 2 minutes less than in december last year, so, not much improvement in the timeline, but there is a big improvement in the content, it feels like a real movie now, and that makes me happy, also the final goal is to have a working piece by october 2017, and the final piece by the end of that year, hopefully premiering in Annecy 2018.
Elulu new teaser
Almost a year ago i uploaded Elulu’s first teaser, so i’ve decided to upload a second teaser of the movie, with some new images, and the final version of the movie logo and the final version of BELOFILMS corporate image.
To be noted though, that it is not a trailer, a synopsis of the story of the movie, because i don’t know how much of the actual story i want to show in the trailer yet, and because i haven’t animate some key scenes yet, so it’s not time for a trailer yet.
So her it is, the Teaser #2:
And for your comparison here it’s Teaser #1:
I’ve reached the 30 minutes mark!
Yay!, i’ve finally reached the first half hour of movie, wich means a bit less than half of the movie so :D
I also made a tiny little turntable video with the three main characters of the movie, the textures were made using Gimp painter, with the GPS brushes, 3D on blender.
A tiny adventure in sound design
I did some sound design for Elulu, Beldrum v2.0 it’s the name of the instrument i invented and used in this video, the version 1.0 of Beldrum it’s part of the Original score i’ve already did for the movie.
The Beldrum was recorded in this video using a piezzo-electric mic (the black clamp that you can see me using on the video) that sended the signal to a guitar pre-amplifier and then to a digital multifx device, and finally to the camera, on a second device i recorded the signal on better quality but i didn’t use that recording on this video, but it could be used for the movie, if needed.
How i have endure with this project for so long
I think that the most important psycologic aspect that has enable me to endure this long (currently 5 years), is that i have learned in the process; as my goals in this proyect have been beyond what i, at the moment of setting the goals, knew, the uncharted territory and the joy of solving problems have enable me to feel like i’m moving forward in achieving my dream, to make the best possible movie that i can; the uncertainty has taking me to the boundaries of my artistic, technical, and human knowledge, and in understanding the unkown i have found enough satisfaction to keep moving forward.
Prior to that of course was to set a high goal, a goal that speaks volumes of who i am as a person, meaning that in the path of trying to achieve that goal i was confident that i was going to find myself confortable enough to convince myself that it was something i needed and could do.
The biggest delays have also been part of this learning process, either i didn’t knew what to do artistically, wich is hard to solve as it implies a trial and error to wich the answer is subjective and even the question is sometimes unknown, meaning that time passes by and you either settle with a solution to a problem that isn’t the real solution, and that you probably must rectify it later, or, that you were trying to solve a problem that was actually only a consequence of a deeper and more meaningful issue meaning that whatever solution will prove eventually meaningless and more time will be spend eventually. Or the delays were that i dind’t knew what to do technically, wich it’s something easier to solve as it’s a matter of searching the right words on the internerds.
Elulu, is looking fine at the moment, i think i finally have the scenes in the proper order up to the minute 50, january and february were devoted to that task, i deleted 4 scenes, scenes that haved the backgrounds and music already done (A lot of work still 180 shooted, composited and colored backgrounds to the trash ), but it’s for the greater good.
This week i’ll reach 33 animated minutes, edited and composited in the timeline with the music, and some of the sound fx.
SO, even if i die i will finish it in exactly one year from now, no matter what, this is the final year of this proyect and i’m excited to make it happen.
I’ve finally reached the 40 minute mark
Uff, it was hard, the scene 31 at one moment had 8 characters in the same shot and also a lot of different simulations (rigid body, hair particles, cloth), so very very time consuming. Also i have added a few flashbacks to make it more misterious from the begining, and also to make some new conecctions between the characters. I have also animated a new presentation for BELOFILMS with his own music wich i like a lot.
Also i have been procastinating :P , and i think that is because i have set the weekly goal for 60 to 75 seconds animated, or around 300 frames newly animated daily (and been doing so for the past 2 years i think, every time i have to animate (and not all the time i have to animate to make this movie)), so as the scenes are getting more and more complex to animate, the goal it’s getting more and more unreal, thus every time that i did’nt reached the goal of the minute of animation i was kind of down and felt that it was pointless to continue at a high effort level, so what was set for one week, then became 2 and sometimes 3 if the scene was unexpectedly difficult for some reason, or if i did a mistake or something…………
So, for what is left of the year, starting in august i’m going to change the workflow strategy, and my goal it’s going to be set the goal in work hours, hopefully making the productivity increase, fingers cross, but that schedule of frames per week goal wasn’t working for me anymore, because if the shots were too complex i was unable to reach the goal, or if they were too simple i would stop working earlier and leave the computer rendering, being unable to work on it anymore.
This is the final shot of the new BELOFILMS presentation (:
The new presentation doesn’t tell a story though, but it does work as a welcoming screen before the movie.
Teaser #3 + NDM 2018 Fair notice
Hello, i’ve made a new Elulu teaser:
I’m also letting you know that i’m going to be with a tiny stand at NDM 2018 fair in Santiago, Chile. In case somenone wants to pass by and say hi C:
Elulu it´s currently at 55 animated minutes of 60, the music is done, and i’m recording the sound effects, i hope to finish it by february 2019 so i can send it to the Annecy film festival of that year, finally.
The feature film is going to be finally ready by early october 2019!!
I’ve finished the movie!
Miracle!! Elulu it’s officially a movie!!
i’ve finished the movie and managed to send it for selection at the Berlin film festival, this is the begining of the journey through festivals :)
i finishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ittttttttttttttttt!!!
Now is finally done :p
I was just rushing things last year, the movie wasn’t fully done yet. And after the chilean social uprising of october 2019 and the pandemic since early 2020 and so many other hurdles and burdens the movie it’s finally ready today.
PS: The reason why there are no images or links is because this archive blog it’s what I had left as a backup on the e-mail. I self sabotage the website last year when I realized I hadn’t actually finished the movie in 2019, the emotional breackdown, along with that the world of the movie where I have been living my life was gone and that I had to comeback to the actual real world, and I realized that to make this movie I’ve actually spent ¼ of my life sitting in front of a computer and that after I had a movie, I was literally in the same spot where I started, with the same issues and uncertainties + the social unrest of october 2019 + pandemic, I colapsed… I thought of changing career path and not sending elulu anywhere or showing it to anybody, but I’ve arrive to the conclusion that I needed some validation a quarter of life couldn’t had been pointless, so I started to send elulu to some film festivals, only those that are free of charge.
I’m feeling better now C: and the movie is going to have it’s world premiere at Animafest Zagreb (Croatia) on june 10th at 22hrs of 2021.