Tactical Command

Bigature Documentation Thread
Page 1 of 1

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Bigature Documentation Thread

I've been getting more and more into movie modeling techniques and process (sometimes called Bigatures coined by WETA during LOTR) recently. I'm going to use this as a dumping ground for interesting articles, pictures, videos, etc

I suspect others will be also interested in the topic and also a fertile source of terrain and modeling inspiration.

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

First up, some details from Blade Runner 2049 showing their city and terrain builds for the movie. Of particular interest to me are the versimulatude achieved via the weathering and the tonal changes on the stone to bring things to life. The use of MDF makes me smile as it's similar to what we are all up to, just gigantic. Also pay attention to the numerous little details present such as power lines, railsing and.fire escapes, and the broadcasting towers

Author:  uberChris [ Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Hey Jimmy, that was a fantastic video. I've been thinking about working on city terrain for a while, looking forward to your posts.

Author:  epic [ Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Cheers for posting up Jimmy, Very interesting watch,

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

So here's a picture of the Hadley's Hope colony miniature I've not seen previously. Interesting to see the scale relative to the team. Not a terribad view of the build either.
aliens_minicrew1280.jpg [ 176.22 KiB | Viewed 11891 times ]

Some nice natural light pictures of the atmosphere processor which are, again, hard to see during to their hazy lighting in the movie to simulate distance.
processorlarge.jpg [ 491.75 KiB | Viewed 11890 times ]

processorconstruction3.jpg [ 607.7 KiB | Viewed 11890 times ]

On the 30th anniversary release has a new addition to the documentaries called Superior Firepower: Making Aliens, Enhancement Pods 1hour (to go with the original collected 3 hour 'regular' Superior Firepower). On it, around the 3:30 mark they discuss the building of the colony interior sets and how they used truck loads of miscast plastic shells for VCR and TVs and electronics from recycling from a local factory. I suspect that the section could be of inspiration to modellers. I can only find the first 3h documentary not the add on so search it out if you can find it

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

So this isn't really terrain but I still feel this is very worthwhile. If anyone here is a fan of Star Trek then they should be quite familiar with the TMP 'glamour shot' introduction of the movie miniature. For those that are not familiar with it you can watch a good recording of it here (go full screen if you can)

Pay special attention to the details of the craft's paint job, especially how they introduced the suggestion of the hull plating; What they called the 'Aztec' pattern.

A description of the painting/design process was detailed in Star Trek: Creating the Enterprise, 1st ed, p. 106

"One of the things we did with all of the models was to give their surfaces details and interesting designs. A smooth object has no scale so it’s important in model work to find ways of creating scale. Sometimes it’s very subtle but it’s one of the most important elements in model photography. (...) I had this idea of giving the surface of the Enterprise a patterned, plated look and we made masks for the surface to create that surface effect. We did experiments with Crescent Metal Powders and other iridescent and pearlescent paints. So, in the end we made pearlescent body panels that varied from each other by minute differences in color and reflectivity. There were multiple masks that were used to give the surface the complex texture you see on the screen. The painting was phenomenal.
As we worked up the Enterprise it became apparent to me that we needed a special paint technique to give the surface of the ship scale. Literally the different spectral qualities of paint and the thickness of one coat of paint could make the surface detail of the Enterprise believable. I had done some tests with different paints as a painter and knew of the Crescent Metal Powder paints and their pearlescent pigments. Jim Dow and I looked into them as he had used them as well on his 1935 Ford, did a little test and decided some combination of those pigments would work. Designing the pattern and doing the actual painting, now that was going to be one hell of a job for someone to tackle..."

Working on the model, starting with the dish, for the better part of eight months, the most striking part of his work was the application of a high-gloss pearlescent lacquer coating which gave the Enterprise a chameleon-like appearance in the movie, changing its color appearance depending on the kind and direction of lighting. The "Aztec pattern", for example, was only visible if the light hit the model at an oblique angle ("I used four pearl colors that were transparent: a blue, a gold, a red, and a green... they all flip-flopped to their complements when the viewing angle changed. Beautiful. By varying the amount of color, and the mixture of several colors on top of each other, I obtained myriad colors and depth of color.", Olsen later remembered.

"I agreed that it would give the Enterprise more credibility as a manufactured spacecraft, even though panel lines wouldn't be visible at the scale distance needed to encompass the entire ship in a shot. Richard thought a subtle differencing of the paint scheme would accentuate those panels and that worked really well. For the saucer, I came up with 'Aztec Pattern' panels providing a series of interlocking edges in order to reinforce the ship's surface tensile strength."

So while we're talking about one of the most highly regarded studio miniature paint jobs in hollywood history (not hyperbole, it's lamented that the paint job was progressively painted over for subsequent movies as it was considered a work of art) for a starship, I suspect the same process, albeit with different colors/paints is easily applied to other subjects (see the same process being undoubtedly applied on the stone work on the Wallace pyramid in the Blade Runner 2049 video on the OP).

I wonder if such techniques might make more plain models, such as the GW Capital Imperialis for example, really pop and provide a greater sense of scale? What about taking our MDF buildings and bring them up a level with this process?

edit: I couldn't find a really high def version of this opening shot introducing the klingons on what was called, 'the paint scraping pass'. It's regarded as one of the most complex blue screen shots in history (each pass took 18 hours to shoot and you have a dozen long shot passes with multiple orientations to composite together). Again the sense of scale is largely attributable to the panel painting on them. Sadly I've not been able to find too much information about their ultimate fate so if anyone knows...please post

edit 2: Interesting factiod=> This movie stands out as one of the very few uses of a totally self lit miniature for most of the shooting vs relying on large amounts of ambient studio lighting. A technique never redone in the series and rarely performed on a franchise due to the difficulties in duplicating the bespoke lighting techniques.

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Was at Walt Disney's World a couple weeks back and got a good look at this hand built scale model. It's for the new expansion, Galaxy's Edge. This just one of 48 sections done to display the design of the park. Each is made from a combination balsa, hot cut polysty layered with plaster, polystyrene sheets, and . From there it's airbrushed and hand hand painted. Scale is about oh 1.5 or so meters a side.

Untitled.jpg [ 692.49 KiB | Viewed 11586 times ]

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

This looks like a great course from the special effects wizards themselves. Pretty tempted to buy this.

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Apoc shared this with me today. It's a personal project log and build documentation of someone reproducing the barad dur bigature (the model that coined the phrase). Highly detailed build and crafting pictures that I'm sure will be an inspiration

Making_Barad-dur_99.jpg [ 21.47 KiB | Viewed 10543 times ]

http://www.lotrscenerybuilder.org/barad ... _2_def.php

Author:  Kyrt [ Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Hogwarts is pretty impressive in the flesh

Author:  NoloContendere [ Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Wow! I always thought Hogwarts was pure CGI.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Fritz Lang's "Metropolis":

metropolis-02-02.jpg [ 205.28 KiB | Viewed 10429 times ]

Although I wasn't a fan of the movie, you have to admit that building a 0.9-scale bigature of the Titanic was insane:

titanic-set-2.jpg [ 260.71 KiB | Viewed 10429 times ]

The city set from "Logan's Run" has always been an inspiration:

96ecc0a08f8248bcef53421565092ad0.jpg [ 155.34 KiB | Viewed 10429 times ]

Author:  Kyrt [ Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Well Titanic the movie did cost more to make than the original Titanic. That's in real terms...

Going round the Harry potter studio tour does draw your attention to some amazing and really quite lavish exploits people get up to in creating seconds of screen time. It's no wonder movies cost so much to make. Sets (often with some serious engineering in them like moving floors), props, models, even just decorations - how many trips to the zoo gift shop do you have to make to fill a potion room full of glass jars with insects? If you think about how many 'things' you see in a typical movie and that all those things have to come from somewhere. CGI did improve a lot in the time between the first and last potter movie but in general a lot more stuff is 'real' than you might think. I had no idea so much was still done with animatronics. Even when stuff is CGI'd they often scan a real model that someone has spent months making and then screen cap'd.

The Hogwarts bit is after the rest of the model section. First proper architectural drawings, then tons of ridiculously detailed small scale white card models of all sorts of things (including Hogwarts) just to test the designs, then the real thing for filming.

It feels like movies are the 'serious end' of railway and miniature modelling - where there is money to be made, people don't do it by halves!

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

I really love your closing thoughts on that. Well stated.

Author:  jimmyzimms [ Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bigature Documentation Thread

Now THOSE are models.
Atreides Lighter.jpg
Atreides Lighter.jpg [ 76.39 KiB | Viewed 8595 times ]
Harkonnen Ship.jpg
Harkonnen Ship.jpg [ 46.93 KiB | Viewed 8595 times ]

*Dune 1984, David Lynch. Model effects by academy award winner Carlos Rambaldi. The Lighter on the airfield was part of an extreme forced perspective shot used to composite live actors with the models. Effects still hold up 35 years later in HD (if you have it on DVD or stream it).

Actual shot in question.
Direct link=> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSfJUY9It2g&t=1m4s
Embedded =>

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group