A few weeks back, I participated in the San Diego 48 Hour Film contest with some friends and coworkers. We also just found out that we were nominated for Best Film! For this competition, we were required to write, film, edit, and submit a four to seven minute film within a 48-hour time frame. Along with the time frame, we are given a character name and occupation, an object, and a line of dialogue that must be incorporated into the film. For 2018, here were the elements given:
Character Name and Occupation
Fernando/Fernanda Huerto, Lifeguard
"That's (or That is) outside my comfort zone."
We were also given two genres to choose from, Romance or Mystery, and quickly decided upon a mystery over a romance because we felt like a mystery would be more interesting. However, I have no experience with mystery. I mean none... So it was a challenge for me. Once we got into the groove of things, the writing got easier. Overall, I was pleased with what we came up with in the short time frame, but would have loved to edit the script further.
As to be expected, we each took on multiple roles. I was credited for Motion Graphics, Screenplay, and Assistant Director, granted the motion graphics were just for a few seconds at the beginning. Here is an example of the motion graphics below. We decided to add it in last minute. It was
just a quick masking job, but that's cool, I'll take the IMDB cred...
Feel free to watch the film here, its about 7 minutes. For poster creation, read on below the video. The film is also currently available on the Videos page.
Now onto the more fun stuff...well, more fun for me. Movie poster creation...
When we decided to make a poster, I knew we wanted to do something with the boot print. I wanted it to feel simple, yet impactful and I wanted to use Substance Designer to create it. The first step was tracing the bottom of the boot, which was done in Illustrator.
Oddly enough, the boot had little coffin shapes all over, which fit the theme, but I thought it may come across as a bit cheesy. Fortunately, I knew that I would be distorting the alphas created from the trace in Substance Designer.
I created a multiple alphas, and ended up using two. One was the main tread of the boot, and the overall shape of a boot from the bottom. The tread was used for many different aspects of the final material, while the solid boot shape was used for the small sections of dirt around the tread and extending past the actual print. The image below shows the flat print. In Substance Designer, I ended up expanding the bounds of the boot print and blurred it heavily.
I love using Substance Designer, and really enjoyed messing around with the settings to get the desired look.
To get the shape of the boots, I ended up using different tiling nodes. However, part way through the process, I decided to switch to one boot print covering the word Zoey. Below (2 pics below) I have the alpha of Zoey, which also acted as the title of the film. This was created from scratch as well. After writing the title of the film down on a whiteboard for something else, our director really liked the look, and asked if it could be reworked into the title.
So, I took a few pictures with my phone and started editing the title. The photo was inverted, so that we could put the title on black. The handwriting was then extracted and edited. The levels and contrast were edited, etc. The alpha is shown below.
The final alpha and movie title came out very ghostly, which was awesome... The Zoey alpha was used to create a bloody text under the boot, and I used a gradient node to adjust the coloring of the blood based on the thickness, and the thickness was defined by the brightness of the pixel.
Anyway, here is the final node makeup of the material. I need to work on my node organization...
Aaaaand here are a few if the maps used...Overall, I used a diffuse, normal, roughness, height, and opacity map. A metalness map was also technically used, but it was just a set to black... The maps shown below represent sections of the diffuse (left side), normal (top right), and opacity (bottom right) maps.
Aaaaand here is the final poster.
Here is a closeup view of the detail.
The final product was rendered in the Marmoset Toolbag, then exported to Illustrator to add the text.
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