3D Terminator Future
By: Mike Burnett
Mike Burnett, 3D modeller extra-ordinair, has been interested in the T-800 Terminator since the age of 10... and always wanted to build one. Due to lack of money, technology (and his age) this limited his abilities. Many years later, stumbling onto the TerminatorFiles portal and downloading the fabulous free James 'Tobor' Murphy's Endoskeleton model (check here for download) he was finally able to pursue his childhood dream! Already in possession of lots of models (or after building his own) and his now detailed knowledge of working in 3D environments and software packages, he's now ready to start on a big private project... building an future war animation totally in 3D!
All his models are made into custom meshes, breaking them into pieces, rebuilding and rigging them, so that they are ready for animating. Every pipe, track, gun, head, hydrolic or whatever else the models can move has been redeveloped, taking into concideration what is possible in a physical world.
A script or general idea for the animation is still in its infancy stages of development, so this project can still go anywhere possible. It could become a comedy, a short movie, a future environment only, a Terminator 4 trailer... or an entire story in itself.
Check out the progress, with latest info on top!
- September 9, 2007: A 'bit' of a delay
Sorry for the delay... I've been away working, making a new website, and having a little baby boy!!! But now I'm back and I've learnt a few new tricks on my trip. So I'm going back to the basics and going over the work I previously did. I'm starting off with some new enviroments. Check the latest pic and movieclip at the bottom of this page. More to come in due time ;).
- November 25, 2006: Expressing myself
So here is an update on my 1st guy, he can now express himself. I've overhauled his eyes, skin textures and given him teeth. Next up, making him talk, something I've never done before, which should be fun?! Then I can get back to blowing things up... ;)
- November 16, 2006: Guns and bombs?
The project slowed up a bit as I had to do some 'real' work... Anyway. Back on the case, here's my guy tooled up with some serious weaponry. Next up getting the characters to work properly with each of the weapons. And the special effects.
- November 8, 2006: Resistance fighters roaming the city
"I'm moving quicker than expected through making a resistance fighter, though he isn't rigged just yet (hence the T pose). His hands are rigged (getting them out of the way early on). I've put quite a bit of time into getting his clothes detailed... as my previous characters never seem to have enough detail."
"The skin isn't quite finished yet, around his mouth you can see where the sub-surface scattering doesn't work out. His eyes are also still too white. Though his face isn't rigged yet, I did another face a few months ago and managed to get emotions out of it in around a day (as for talking I haven't tried it yet!?)"
"When he's fully rigged I'll be moving onto his gun and maybe a mode of transport."
- November 7, 2006: Lots more detailing and rigged models
"I have decided to dump the new flying HK for the old one, as this homage should be to the original films. So here we go, my Terminator is 99% finished. His feet and hands are now done (nightmare of a job), so he can now walk properly, with his feet automated. His hands can grasp and point. His head is now rigged for whatever I need him to do and I've even textured his gun properly."
"As well as that I've upped the glow from his eyes and continued the job of texturing/editing the backdrop, started trying out explosions and lasers (early day for those though) and added a different sky."
"Next up, the resistance..."
- October 31, 2006: A more darker foggy look
"Though there have been a few big technical changes to my characters, there isn't much more to see on that level for the moment (lots of work, for no immdiate return). So far I think I achived a nice computer game look, with my previous renders, but I'm still not content."
"I have been looking at the first film for inspiration, as it contains more footage of the future than the other two films put together. The first film uses lots of foreground silhouettes, usually with a strong light coming from behind a building in the distance."
"I have removed the exess objects for a moment, relit the scene, reworked the chrome and have added some backlit fog and removed the sky. I'm now gonna set about putting material on the cars and adding these distant buildings with the strong backlights. I have also started on the weapons and the humans and I've been toying with (semi) realistic faces for a while, so this is where I'm gonna try them out."
- October 28, 2006: A walking Terminator and more depth!
"Still banging away at little bits and pieces. The Flying HK has had an overhaul, getting better volumetric lights with a bit more character. The engines are now automated for animation purposes. The distant backdrop has also been updated with much more detail going into it, trying to get the feel of the film a little more. I'm overhauling all the foreground city objects one by one, and making some new ones to get a random feeling about the enviroment. I'm still building up a library of buildings, I'm presently applying textures to them. I think this will add a lot to my scene. Quite a job as there has to be so much debris. I'm also going to start looking into weaponry and more atmospheric effects, maybe fog and dust effects from the flying HK."
"My T-800 is now up and walking, and though his hands and feet still aren't completely rigged, its good to see him on the move. The head was really difficult, I have a hi res version that I've been doing for ages, it was the hardest part of all the stuff. Then yesterday I decided to go back to basics and make a low poly version, and work up from there. But I didn't have to... I made it using just 170 polygons, which works for anything but an extreme closup!"
"I've looking to make the Terminators move a little more human like, not out of place with the films, look at how Arnold moved at times, thats what I'm going for. It leaves more room for me to do things with them, the films only have to show the endoskeletons walking and shooting, never really fighting."
"As for a script, I'm begining to work on a situation, when thats set I'll start on the characters. Then storyboarding. I've already got lots running round my head, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Enough of my talking... check out the latest updates! As I have more stuff to show, you'll be the first to see it!"
- October 23, 2006: Testing models and environments
"Been busy with deadlines for other projects. After that I'm going to address the look and style of the whole thing, going for a more darker, smokeyer, backlit look. I'll have more images soon!"
"This is a project I'm going to go somewhere with as I don't think people have really tried this. Theres a multitudes of Starwars fanstuff around, etc. I feel a little bit cheated that the film makers have never really give the future enough depth for people to develop, for example why are there only endoskeletons walking around that aren't exactly hard to spot! Not hiding or something. Weeks or months of modelling the models, only to show a few seconds on film. On the upside it leaves us lots of room to write stuff."
"I'm going to keep on with several tests (I already have a Terminator walking around, pistons and all). I'll first need the high quality looks I'm persueing, then go through all the sfx I need to be able to do and then I'll still need to make the resistance characters, quite a bit of work. It could go fast or it could go slow, I don't know right now. The render times are way to high at the moment, so I'm still stripping polygons by the thousands ;)."
"After all of that I'll finally be able to start to look what the animation and story posibilities are."
"Thanx for providing a little hype through TerminatorFiles. Who knows where this might lead to ;)."
- October 17, 2006: Testing models and environments
"So far I've only really been doing visual and animation tests, but I do work quick, as one can see in the animation. They are still tests, but the latest has both sound and music! I already have the T-800 up and walking, though I'm still working on the face, hands and feet."
"I still haven't started to look at storylines. I've decided to first to see wether I could get the look of the animation up to quality. I'm not there yet, but I'm happy with how it's all progressing."
"Speaking of storylines though, I'm looking to do a short film set entirely in the future (as in the film you only ever get to see it very briefly). It could be a small play on how futile war is, or maybe even a comedic short. I really don't know yet. I'm sure there is room for some silliness because of the ability to time travel, paradoxes, etc."
Another little dilemma I'm having is about which flying HK to use; the original Cameron version or the T3 version (which is presently in my test animations). I'll check them all out at later dates."
By the time the animation is finished there won't be much of the original models left, but there is now doubt that finding the models has made me able to be so far into the animation already. Thanx for TerminatorFiles and their great content!"
- September 30, 2006: Found TerminatorFiles and Tobor's model!
"After finding the TerminatorFiles.com portal, found several links to free and commercial models. Started on researching sounds, animations, models, meshes, background music and more through this and other sources. Whenever I've found more info and done some tests, you'll be the first to know!"
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