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The 2-Minute Battlestar Galactica

February 24, 2008

Neil’s Blog Entry

In June of 2007, I was asked by Kevin from the UK about making an in-game movie for his upcoming Battlestar Galactica game. He had seen some of my animation work and thought I’d do a good job with it. Well, I just finished the video and so I’m posting a low-resolution version here for you all to see.

The idea was to compress the first 2 seasons or so of BSG into a 2 minute video. For those of you who follow the show: it starts at the ending of the miniseries and goes up to the point where Pegasus rescues Galactica at New Caprica from the third season. After the TV movie “Razor” came out in November, I included a few scenes based on that. All in all, it was fun – but it was hard work and rather tedious at times.

All of the animation was done in Cinema 4D, a 3D modeling/animation program. The guys making the game sent me a great set of fan-made, low poly 3D models of the Galactica, the Pegasus and the rest of the ships that appear in the show. “Low poly” means that they can be drawn by the computer very quickly and therefore are very well suited for computer games.

During the animating, it was important to emulate the look of the show – like the shaky hand-held camera effect and the high contrast lighting and overall blue color tone. It was also important to me to not just simply copy the scenes from the show, but to add my own personal take on these scenes. And I think I achieved a balance between recognizable shots from the show and my own creative interpretations. One of those interpretations, the scene showing the arrival of the Pegasus, is one of my favorites. I enjoyed making it look like a hand-held camera trying to get the smaller ship into focus as it gets closer and closer.

Once the scenes were animated, they were composited in After Effects. The particle work (gun shots and stuff) was done mostly in After Effects using the great Particular plug-in from Trapcode. I also did the sound effects – for that I used Soundtrack by Apple. The music is the remake of “All Along The Watchtower” from the BSG Season 3 soundtrack.

So that’s it. It’s finally done. Which makes Laura very happy because I’ve been spending many evenings glued to my laptop rather than to her. And that’s all I’ve got say about that.

Still with no pithy catchphrase,

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2008 8:00 am

    Fan-bloody-tastic, makes my 2D creative efforts look very quaint! I never got to see the short film you made either, can you post that? I tried to watch it a while ago and the link wouldn’t load ;-(

    Brilliant work…

    A n d r e w

  2. February 25, 2008 10:50 am

    Andrew, sorry you couldn’t get his SciFi contest movie to load. He can’t post it on Youtube or here because of submission rules from the SciFi Channel. Here is the link again – it is very slow to load. I just tried it and it was working. Hope you can get it to work!

  3. February 25, 2008 9:05 pm

    Andrew, thanks for the nice comment. But your “2D creative efforts” are far and beyond my own. From what I’ve seen, you are a maker of excellent design. (Insert sucking up noise of your choice here.)


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