ALIEN CONTINUUM - sci-fi animated fan-film

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  • Published on:  4/28/2017
  • This film has English-language subtitles available.

    You can see more of my work on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/darkus.marque

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    I made this using my 2011 Dell XPS 15 laptop, with i7 cpu, 8gb RAM, 2gb NVIDIA GeForce GT 540m graphics, 670 gb HHD.

    In order to keep the 3D rendering times down, I didn't use global illumination or ambient occlusion. I also kept area lights and area shadows to a minimum.

    The 3D animation took a total of nearly 800 HOURS to render out of Cinema 4D.

    I created 496 shots, give or take, that are 100% CGI. I think that the first Alien Infinity film had around 100.
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    Please check the end credits for all the different internet resources I used.
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    So, yeah, I started work on this project in late 2015, but never got into full throttle on it until January 2016. I really did think I'd have it
    completed by late-summer 2016; and that the film would probably be around 15 minutes long. The thing is: I got ambitious. And
    then I got in way over my head. But by the time I realised all this it was too late: I was, psychologically, 'all in'; and that's when
    the ass-kicking commenced!

    By the time the summer of 2016 arrived I was fed up. It'd been 7 months of constant work/thought/planning. I was fatigued, and
    in July I just stopped. I couldn't even bring myself to open my software of choice (Cinema 4D) cuz I was that sick of the sight of it. I wasn't sure when I would resume work, or IF. But 10 days later I suddenly opened up Cinema 4D with a renewed sense of momentum.

    I think I'd just needed a break.

    The next few months were very productive. I was working so fast. There were times when I was really enjoying it. But the scale of
    what I was trying to do kept looming over me. And there were many times when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I finally finished the main animation by February 2017. Which was an important milestone in the project for me. The rest would be
    relatively easy. . . . or so I thought.

    I thought wrong.

    The post-production was daunting to me. Not just the editing or visual effects, but it was the sound: creating all the foley; putting
    together a music score (only a small amount I created myself tbh); and then the dreaded voice-acting.

    I thought this project was never gonna end.

    This last element was, voice-acting, probably the worst element of the first film, and the one element I really didn't want to have
    an active role in. Thankfully, a few people had left me comments on Youtube/Google+ offering to do some voice-acting.
    Obviously, I bit their damn hands off. I had NO idea what kind of voice-work I'd get back, but beggars can't be choosers; and
    who was I to judge anyway? It wasn't like I was animating a new Pixar film. I was genuinely grateful for any assistance.

    But, as it turned out, the vocals that I got back were better than I'd hoped for. In fact, one vocal was so much better than the
    animation it was gonna accompany that, during March 2017, I had to remake the scene and up my game. Also, the voice-acting
    made my choice for character design look stupid. . . . because it WAS stupid (in hindsight).

    I learned that, if I ever make Part 3, I'm gonna record the vocals first, before a single frame is animated. One of the downsides,
    also, to doing the vocals last is that I ran out of time (patience?) in my search for people to do voices. This meant I had to do the
    one thing I didn't want to do: provide some of the voices myself. The one thing that, for most, ruined the first film was in danger
    of ruining this one. I was really disappointed, but I felt I had no option.

    It's late-April 2017 and the film is finally done. I've been looking forward to this being over for so long. It's been a real struggle.
    So stressful. . . . BUT, I'm glad I'd made it.

    Many times over the past year or so (in regards to Alien Infinity Continued) I've asked myself "why am I still even doing this?".

    I still don't really have an answer to that. At least, not one that complies to a logical or tangible rationale. It kinda just comes
    down to: I have it in me to do it, and need to get it out; and if I can I must. I know that that there is the kind of sentence that
    will either make complete sense to you or will strike you as hippy, artsy BS. But in a more concrete sense, my main goal with this
    film is to improve upon the first Alien Infinity film. And I feel I have from a film-making perspective. But as from an
    audience/objective perspective? I'll have to wait and see.
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