View Full Version : Dark Exodus...the Lowdown!

January 5th, 2005, 04:14 PM
Ha...yeah. It's a Lowdown, alright. Actually, I just kinda thought that perhaps since the teaser had gained so much favorable feed back, I would (for gits and shiggles) do a sort of Lowdown on how I made this little two and a half minute trailer that occupied two and a half months of my life.

Will post more later.
Right now...have to go listen to people sing bad songs, really badly....and get paid for it...Thank God.

January 6th, 2005, 07:00 PM
This was among a series of tedious processes involved in creating the teaser trailer for Dark Exodus, and I had to use a number of different proggies, repeatedly, to make the end result.

First , I took my cheapoid 20 dollar digital camera (that also doubles as a webcam), and computer recorded some footage from Battlestar Galactica.



These are just individual frames taken from the footage..but imagine on the order of 25-50 frames in sequence. I captured them using ArcSoft VideoImpression to get .avi footage (via camera off of my little 5" Playstation 2 monitor...thus explaining the glare over the Galactica in the second pic.

Then, using ShowBiz Movie Maker, I first had to convert the .avi footage down into QuickTime format...so that I could get better frame by frame breakdowns. .avi is too skippy.

Using the same proggie, I would load the new QuickTime Converted movie into ShowBiz, and then break the footage down frame by frame....often dismissing frames that did not show movement. So basically, that meant that I only captured one out of every three to five frames. I did this for both the Basestar and the Galactica.

Then, with all the frame caps I had desired...I went into MS Paint, and using the Polygon drawing function, I whited out ALL the areas around the Basestar and the Galactica.

Basestar shown for example:


These images had to be stored as .bmp files, so that when I used the transparency function on MSPaint, I would not have any interference with overlapping elements when I made my composites. I took the bitmapped Galactica sequence frames, and resized them so that the image would fit inside the white area between the basestar's saucers...to make the Galactica look like she was escaping in the distance.


Once that sequence of frames was composited and completed, I then took the new bitmaps, and composited them over a starry background (which has a sun in it...you can see it around the Galactica). All this, I did with MSPaint.

Then came the next fun part. Taking the new composited sequences, i then used ArcSoft PhotoImpression (a photo editor that is like a step and a half down in sophistication from Adobe Photoshop, or Paint Shop Pro), and hand animated the laser blasts, frame by frame. I wanted to keep the laser blasts at two to three frames, so that they appeared to travel fairly fast.



And that's just the beginning.....

...more tidbits later. (time for commercial break)


January 7th, 2005, 08:15 PM
This shot shown below is composited with the same techniques I described above, save for one major difference.

The Galactica shown in this frame from the battle sequence actually comes from the Videogame...while the Basestar in the background is a static picture. The background is the same starfield shown in the first figures in the last post...just rotated to make it look like the scene was shot from a different perspective.


Basically , for both cases..just imagine having to white out, composite, and hand animate stuff anywhere from 20-50 times over. The price you pay for not having Panavision, steadycam, and better visual fx equipment all around.

Ok..I used one particularly close to home item to create this particular shot, which represents a very pivotal scene in Dark Exodus.


The battlestar seen zooming out of the sun is also from the Galactica videogame. The Vipers, (an element of two ships, and another element of three ships) were all composited in, using the same techniques for most of the battles in my teaser. But the sun...awfully bright isn't it. Would you believe that that sun was created with a very tiny flashlight, that I shot with my cheapoid 20 dollar digital camera?

(Also, notice that the Vipers are firing four laser blasts each instead of two? Well, you'll just have to read Dark Exodus to find out why, if you haven't read it already. So, what are you waiting for? :D )

January 11th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Martok, sometimes you scare me. :D

January 11th, 2005, 12:30 PM
All in a day's work, sir. :D

January 22nd, 2005, 01:37 AM
i just read dark exodus
i could not put it down .
it is one of the top five galactica books i have read :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :salute: :salute: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



January 22nd, 2005, 02:59 AM
i just read dark exodus
i could not put it down .
it is one of the top five galactica books i have read :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :salute: :salute: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



WOW! Most flattering, Xanatos. Thank you for the kind words.

I hope you will enjoy the sequel, "Battlestar Galactica: Reciprocity" which is still a work in progress. Up to 16 chapters now.

Thank you again for the kind praises. It has made my night.

And if it is not too belated....Welcome to Colonial Fleets.

Respectfully, and appreciatively,
:salute: :Nsalute: