1917 – Movie Review

January 29th, 2020

movie reviewIt makes me wonder why this film didn’t come out in 2017. You know, a perfect fit… a round 100 years. That pointless analysis aside, I often wonder why most of us gravitate towards war movies so much. Is it the battles, emotions, horrors? I guess it comes down to reminding us how bleak and hopeless the world can be. While early war movies tended to be more about the spectacle and heroics than the single person and the impact it all has on the soul or how a single person in that war machinery doesn’t make a big difference. In the past 40 years we started to look at this topic with more critical eyes. War is a beast. You can’t tame it. It’s unpredictable. While it brings out the courage in some of us, it turns other human beings into the worst creatures you can think of. That said, WW1 didn’t get much attention on the big screen yet. Paths of Glory (1957), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) come to mind. Both very strong movies. I hoped for the 100th anniversary of WW1 to get some movies that cover that war a little more closely. Nothing happened. Until now with 1917.

We follow Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay). Ordinary soldiers, just taking a break. Their well deserved break ends soon when they receive the order to cross dangerous territory to the front line and deliver an important order to stop a planned attack on the germans. Thousands will run into a trap if they fail. One of them is Blake’s older brother. So right there Blake has a special motivation to get the job done. We follow them through the trenches and on their journey through the field and the difficulties that the circumstances put on them.

The cinematography makes the audience discover the world along with the characters. They chose a very immersive way of putting us right into this world. By filming everything in the style of a single continuous shot. Of course they used every trick in the book to put in their cuts but it’s all pretty much hidden and invisible. Very long takes that require some fantastic acting and a lot of discipline, which both actors (and everyone else involved) deliver nicely. We get to see the horrors of that war and the immediate reaction of our characters. In fact, stylistically some sequences could actually be straight out of a horror movie. In times where it seems to be the easiest thing to deliver a message it’s a valuable shift of perspective to see how difficult it can be or how difficult is was only 100 years ago.

The film is not trying to be about the big battles with all the familiar noises of a battlefield. It’s not “Saving Private Ryan” and a comparison would be rather unfair I think. It’s a rather quiet film that focusses on the protagonists and how they deal with their task, their reactions, their fight for survival, emotions and how the whole sitation affects them. We follow them to a variety of locations and the camera work makes sure you notice everything they notice. There are a couple of situations and locations that almost make that world feel unreal. Which kind of works since I imagine war itself as a rather unreal experience. An experience I don’t want to make.

The overall experience worked great. The acting, photography, sound and music gel so well that you are right in that world and discover it with the characters in the film. It’s almost necessary to see this film on a big screen with good sound. Especially that one night sequence with it’s lighting, music and composition. Roger Deakins was the perfect director of photography for this film. It is an experience.

A 8.4/10 for me.

1917 on IMDb

Myriada – Terrain Asset Resource

January 11th, 2020

Myriada 8k Mountain Heightfield Package

This is the fourth heightfield resource/asset I created. For $11,99 the contents of this package are intended for personal and commercial projects. Beside the main terrain (8192×8192, 16bit) itself, this package contains a collection of masks (16bit) and colormaps (8bit) that allow you to go into very fine detail when giving the terrain character by adding textures and materials. As usual I have also added some custom made material, I had fun with while creating the terrain, as well. It’s best used with landscape centered tools like Vue or Terragen but can also be used with any other sophisticated 3d package that’s out there. I also included a Vue scene file with an example setup of the terrain. Vue might ask you to reload the materials when you load the scene. Please check the included readme.txt for more info about the contents. Have fun with it! :)

Find it here:

Myriada on Artstation

Regards
signed

Chill Your Base

December 25th, 2019



Chill Your Base

Last one for 2019, with the right message! Three and a half years I’m having this on my drive now. Waiting. For what? I don’t know. Maybe for that one tick that tells me to let it go. There’s nothing else/more to do on it. That’s what I feel now. I started this project to learn a little more about texturing. UV mapping and all that. Learned a lot, that’s for sure. Composition wise it’s not a bullseye but for every down there’s an up. And that up is the lighting, with which I’m faily happy with. Who wouldn’t want to live there and chill out every once in a while?

8000×3652 – Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – World Machine – Cinema 4d – DAZ Studio

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Com-cept 26

December 1st, 2019



Com-cept 26

Finished this a while ago as part of my Comcept series. I had it on my drive a while and when the Aurora artgroup started a new topic, I figured it would fit nicely. No big story for this one though. Just me having some fun with a spaceship chase scene.

4500×2054 – Vue – Photoshop – Xenodream – Apophysis

Part of Project Aurora: Orange

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

Regards

signed

Emma’s Refuge

September 15th, 2019



Emma’s Refuge

“There’s a high class party going on somewhere. She needed a break, contemplating to leave or not. She certainly has enough of all these caricatures, throwing around senseless phrases and drowning in mindless smalltalk.”

Although I worked on this for quite a while, it was a rather spontaneous decision to go for it. I downloaded a free promo pack of 3d cyberpunk buildings by Kitbash3d. When I started to convert them to make them work with Vue properly, I naturally played around with the objects. I found a neat angle and I suddenly had a scene in my head. Then I discovered that the fine folks at Kitbash3d made a contest. All you have to do is to use the buildings. “No problem!” I thought! =D

I don’t have many night scenes and took this as a challenge. Cyberpunk needs to be at night and even better with rain! Still, I decided to add a couple of elements you normally don’t see too much in a typical Cyberpunk environment. I fell in love with this scene while working on it and I think it’s easily one of my better pieces.

I noticed the potential of the scene very early on and spent a lot of time with details. I took apart the building objects and kitbashed stuff here and there for additional details. The lady was created with DAZ Studio. I sat down and modified the dress quite a bit and it turned out rather good. That dress on the right kind of woman would surely be a sight to behold. Rendering was quite a chore due to all the lights in the background. I did separate renders for the back and front. Which resulted in tons of passes I combined in Photoshop. So yeah, there were tons of adjustments in Photoshop.

8000×5333 – Vue – Photoshop – Lightroom – Kitbash3D

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

Regards

signed

Organica II

September 4th, 2019



Organica II

Like so many of my works this one started by just playing around. Suddenly that creative spark strikes and one thing leads to another. Needless to say, I’m particularly proud of this one.

Imagine a field trip on an alien planet. There once were these giant bacteria like creatures roaming the surface (because scale doesn’t matter in our universe)… now fossilized. I imagine this place being part of a park much like the Yosemite National Park in the USA.

The giant shapes were created with Xenodream and imported into Vue. There I did setup the overall scene and assembled all the compositional elements. The terrain was done with Geoglyph2 and World Machine. The rocks come from a variety of sources. Mainly Blenderguru and Megascans. A lot of time went into detail work and multiple renders for adding that detail. Later on I had the idea to add some smoke to the bottom of the hole and decided to try myself on cloud modulation in Vue. Took a while to work myself into it but delivered the material I needed to bring in the detail I had in mind.

7000×3784 – Vue – Xenodream – World Machine – Geoglyph2 – Photoshop – Lightroom

Part of Project Aurora “Yellow” – Project Aurora Website

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Aurora – Exhibit IV – Yellow

September 3rd, 2019

Project Aurora - Exhibit IV

The Luminarium & The Cosmosys Collective invite you to a trip for your imagination and inspiration! Members of the two artgroups sat down and decided to do a crossover artgroup… which by now should be seen as a fully formed standalone group. Represented is art created with all kinds of techniques in all kinds of fields. Again a ‘healthy variety’… how I would call it. I’m included with a piece I’m particularly proud of. The exhibit has the extension YELLOW. So the artworks have a main overall colour theme going on. Still, overall the the exhibit can be considered freestyle. We’ve got some great results and so I want to thank everyone involved and especially the people who did the organisational stuff in the background!

Go check it out and sharing is caring!

Project Aurora Project Aurora Website
The Exhibit on Behance

Regards
signed

Callsign: Firefly

August 28th, 2019



Callsign: Firefly

As soon as she entered pilot training school, she was “The Firefly”. Thanks to her skills and relentless will to become the best, that name soon became highly respected among the best pilots in the fleet.

Yep, this one is a pure just for fun piece. A try in doing something ‘portray’ like. I also wanted to dig myself a little deeper into DAZ Studio and its Iray renderer. It delivers pretty neat results and I wanted to know how it works properly with materials and lighting. I didn’t just use a stock figure and tried to create a character myself. Along with modified textures for the character and props. Did have my fun with it and I quite like the result. I guess especially because of the unusual framing of the picture too.

I did use Photoshop for final touch ups. No way around it. Removed some clipping issues and refined the lighting and colours.

6000×2144 – DAZ Studio – Photoshop – Lightroom

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Calista Square

August 7th, 2019



Calista Square

I started this one years ago and kept it on my drive. Sometimes I tend to keep my stuff laying around for no apparent reason. As if I’m waiting for something. Well, my inner voice tells me to finally release it. It’s scifi cityscape time! It’s certainly been a while since my last one and so far there’s nothing new in the pipeline for now. So this one has to make a splash! It does for me at least and I’m happy to finally share it.

Is there a story to the scene? No. Not really. Inspiration? Yes, sure. Although nothing specific I tried to capture. Still, I wanted to connect this place to my little “Cities Of Linestra” series. Just another city on Linestra, a planet populated with all kinds of cities. Originally it also wasn’t planned to turn this into a project this big. Sometimes these projects decide to take a live of their own and guide you. You cannot just stop there. And yeah, so I added more and more stuff.

However, in the end I was just trying to create a vista/place I would love to see or visit for real. So yeah, I just sat down and had fun. Sometimes that ‘fun’ turned into real ‘work’ but I knew it would pay off at the end. And I was right.

As usual I worked a lot with Vue to bring it all together. But I also used C4D to create variations of model assets I own. You know, to give my scene a more individual look and feel. I think I had this scene done 3 times before I was really calling it done. That is when, having time for your work to grow, pays off. I often need that time. So I ended up adding lots of cool elements I otherwise would have never included into the scene.

I started with rendering a master plate and continued to refine the scene in Vue. That resulted in multiple additional renders that were added piece by piece to the scene in Photoshop. There I changed the overall feel and added some photographic effects. I really enjoy the colours and the overall depth of the scene. Again a picture that allows to dive in, explore and discover new detail each time you risk a closer look.

6500×3514 – Vue – C4D – Photoshop – Lightroom

The artwork on:
DeviantartArtstationCGSociety

wallpapers available

Regards

signed

Godzilla: King Of Monsters – Movie Review

June 23rd, 2019

movie reviewI really liked what Gareth Edwards did with the 2014 Godzilla movie. Keeping the point of view more focussed on humans. Visually and storywise. With a somewhat interesting story and a character that was at least a little bit relatable. For me it worked. For a lot of other folks, it didn’t. They wanted giant monsters fighting. No human drama that stands in the way. The follow up film “Kong” was solid. Even though it didn’t exactly know what it wanted to be in the end. Godzilla 2 now seems to have heard the critics of 2014 and delivers on the monster fights. And it delivers hard. It seems to want to be the exact opposite of the 2014 film. But is it for the benefit of the film?

We find ourselves in a world that tries to deal with the fact that there are giant creatures roaming the Earth. The world tries to find solutions and, of course, often enough opts for the wrong ones. Monarch, the organization that’s monitoring the “Titans”, is on the verge of losing its independent status and become part of the military. The military of course is trying to find ways to weaponize these Titans. Dr. Emma (Vera Farmiga) and Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) lost a child when the 2014 events happened in San Francisco. Both decided to find a way to understand how the Titans communicate. They used their science work as a kind of therapy to overcome the loss of their child. Meanwhile Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), their daughter, has to watch how the marriage of her parents falls apart. Emma continues to work on that communication device and Mark decides to go his own ways. And that sets up the human drama in this film.

Emma and Mark follow different goals with the project and Madison tries to deal with that situation. Things start to go crazy when another creature is about to be born in one of the Monarch facilities. A perfect chance for Emma to test the machine! As soon as the creature is alive, Emma and Madison are kidnapped by some Eco-fundamentalists. Mark is contacted by Monarch and tries to save them. He is very hesitant since Monarch clearly is pro Titans, while he is still traumatized and wants to see these monsters dead. The story does deliver an arc for Emma and Mark but it feels very thin. Beside them we see how mankind is trying to deal with the Titans situation. Which is something I would have liked to see more of.

Throughout the film we see characters from the 2014 movie and it’s good to see them back. They build a neat bridge. Instead of showing a straightforward journey, this film decides to jump all over the place and ultimately there hardly was any character that I was able to relate to. The film also goes out of its way to hammer down some environmental messages down our throat. It’s very obvious and could have been done in a more subtle and clever way. But no, we have to show monsters fight at least every 5 minutes. It’s overkill. Quite literally. The film is 132 minutes long and it feels like at least 100 minutes were monsters fighting. Now don’t get me wrong. The fight scenes were quite awesome. The vfx and sound design are amazing. The sound on Dolby Atmos is a feast! At some point though, you grow a little numb to all the spectacle. I’m more the fan of building up to a spectacular fight instead of having one every 10 minutes.

Where the 2014 movie tries to be a little subdued and tries to deliver a relatable perspective (visually and storywise) – we go full hammertime in this film. Even though I felt never bored while watching it, I instantly knew that when I would try to think about this film, it would instantly fall apart. And not because of the GIANT MONSTERS fact. They’re not the issues the film has. The Titans are great, do awesome stuff and look fantastic. It’s cool to see these new interpretations of these classic monsters. I really don’t know how they want to top what they did here. With all the destruction happening in this film, the next target can only be the moon or space in general. The level of destuction and devastion in this film is insane! Shake your head levels of insane. But those are the element this film lives from. So they better do it right! And they did. Like I said, the vfx are superb. And the sound design brings it all together.

Ultimately it feels like it goes a little too far with almost everything it tries to do. It succeeds in moving the story forward though. A lot of mythology stuff is added. It makes this universe feel more rich and interesting. Still, the movie makes its universe feel incredibly small and huge at the same time. The monster fights are epic and obviously beautiful and big. But the human storyline is as small as it can be. Yes, our characters are all over the world but emotionally it feels flat and unrelatable. The acting by all involved works and everyone does a good enough job with the material. As dumb as the story may be. I always like to see Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe or Vera Farmiga. Obviously, no matter how hard they tried, their work stands in the shadow of the giant monsters, that clearly steal the show. Now it will be interesting what Godzilla VS Kong brings.

A 6.3/10 for me.

Godzilla 2: King of Monsters on IMDb