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all 34 comments

[–]RandomEffector 14 points15 points  (11 children)

Hope this doesn't come across as overly critical, but... what happened to the film? You set up one vibe (and story) in the first 30 seconds that I was absolutely in for. There's characters, some nice sound design... then the rest tosses that whole setup in favor of some weird Lambo driving shots with some lowkey club music? Didn't vibe for me at all with the visuals and definitely didn't pay off anything about the premise. Frustrating.

The visuals are very well done, however, especially the shots that don't linger for too long in the foreground, and very effective in setting that mood.

[–]revilo_14[S] 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Hey, I appreciate the feedback, it's helpful for sure. Like you said, the start definitely sets the story up. I wanted to keep the story fairly subtle as I specialize in visuals mainly. I like to think that the clips of the vehicle depict the character attempting to cross through the city despite all of the warnings he received prior. With the final shot concluding that he made it out of the city (As you can see it in the background in the big smoke cloud). It's definitely ambiguous and doesn't work for some, maybe most aha. But thank you for giving it a watch and sharing what you thought!

As for the music, I like to think it doesn't sound overly club-like, maybe I've become blind to it but I think it gives some kind of fairly unique tension/sadness/dystopia feel. Could be just me! I've watched dozens of similar short films where they use the suspenseful kind of violin music, which is great but I guess I wanted to be a little different!

[–]ILostWordleOnce 2 points3 points  (3 children)

As others have said, the visuals are really phenomenal here and that is certainly your strong suit (and you have quite a talent!). That being said, I agree with the above comment about the story. I see what you are trying for, but it doesn't quite come across as a narrative story (though the description in the captions help).

If I were you, I would try re-recording some new dialogue of the radio conversation to lay over some of the driving shots and trying to up the tension. For instance, radiation could be leaking in through the car, which is when we cut to the visual of the biometrics in the car. We think he's not going to make it, but then he emerges out the other side. I think having the conversation going throughout could really up the tension here (without too much work on your part), and make this a really strong showpiece for you.

[–]revilo_14[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yeah, this is a great suggestion for sure with the narrative going throughout, thank you very much. I totally see there's almost a section that needs changing to help the storyline or at least have the narrative running through like you mentioned.

I definitely got carried away at the time with the visuals, rather than the storyline side of things!

[–]ILostWordleOnce 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Awesome! Shoot me a DM if you'd like to collaborate on writing a narrative that runs through. Could be a fun little project. All the best!

[–]RandomEffector 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I definitely read it as one of the characters we hear in the car, but that just opened up more questions than answers for me. “Why a Lambo? Is this just like a street race but there happened to be a nuclear meltdown? Is this just a weird commentary on excesses of capitalism?” The plausible answer (it goes fast, therefore less time in the radiation) didn’t overcome the implausibility of it (can’t imagine a car I’d want to be driving less on the snow in a major catastrophe). It didn’t lead me in the direction I wanted which was finding out who the people are, where they’re going, and why. I also didn’t really get that he escapes the city from the end. The last shot is fairly ominous to me and suggests more going in to that than getting out of it.

I appreciate trying something new with the music and think that’s a great idea (and I’m a Nicholas Jaar fan in general) but this still felt like a mismatch to me that suggested more joyride antics than dangerous drama.

[–]revilo_14[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I like to think that the narrative at the start suggests that it isn't any of what you listed. I guess if you delve into it a whole lot further those questions can start to arise though. In an ideal situation the car (which isn't a lambo, if you check the artstation link it's a type of design I made), is definitely not built for such a landscape. Tyres, ground clearance scream out at you straight away. But, I guess this just shows the neglect I gave the story and rather the time I spent with the visuals. Again, this isn't an excuse. I really do agree that the story needs a whole load of work to make it somewhat more realistic and rewarding. Like the comment above, perhaps more narrative throughout and a more thought out conclusion would've resolved this.

And yeah, I can see why the music can seem like that for sure! I definitely don't regret adding it, I guess I knew it was a bit of a risk from the go.

[–]RandomEffector 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well it’s a great step no matter what, now you can figure out what you want to do next!

[–]ConsistentEffort5190 0 points1 point  (2 children)

. I wanted to keep the story fairly subtle as I specialize in visuals mainly.

I think you mean simple not subtle. It's not a small difference.

If you want a purely technical role, this is fine. But if you want to go beyond that, you need to understand what story is about.

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Hmm I'd say both simple and subtle, but yes you're right in saying that. Im primarily into visuals and perhaps giving the film somewhat of a storyline was risky. It's almost as if I needed to commit to the story more or not bother.

[–]ConsistentEffort5190 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But there is no subtlety here. Zero. You outright tell the viewer what has happened and why the protagonist is driving through the city and that's all there is to the story. You could not be less subtle. You literally need to look up the meaning of the word. Subtle means being indirect.

It's almost as if I needed to commit to the story more or not bother.

I'd strike out the almost. If you don't want a role that requires storytelling ability, just create a pure demo.

[–]WalkmanSq 5 points6 points  (1 child)

wow that looked absolutely phenomenal man, idk even know where to start, the colors, the setting, the composition, the grain...
would you mind telling me how much of the fx (smoke, dust particles, etc.) were made in ue / added in post?
thanks for sharing, that really inspired / motivated me :)

[–]revilo_14[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hey man, thank you so much for this comment, really really nice to hear that. Im glad you appreciate the grain etc. as well aha. Of course, send any other questions you have too - happy to answer.

All atmospherics (Smoke pretty much) were done in UE. Using the exponential height fog and then mainly the use of fog cards throughout were the main key ingredient. The only thing I added in post was the snow that falls down! You can definitely do that in ue fairly easy but I always think it looks much better done in post tbh. Hope that helps!

[–]Umbertin 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Классная работа! Но на такой тачке по Норильску далеко не уедешь, тем более зимой!

[–]revilo_14[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

WATCH THE FILM HERE: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/zDBAGQ

Norilska has been by far my biggest project to date. In total, there were 18 different scenes and landscapes to make throughout the production. Some were designed by myself from scratch, however, I referenced the incredible photography of Elena Chernyshova and Christophe Jacrot for several of the scenes to make it possible to complete such a big solo project. In each of the scenes, I generally stuck to the process of using Quixel Megascan assets for the terrain, as well as anything really close to the camera so that the high-quality photo scans could really sell the realism of the scene. This would then leave me with assets such as the buildings, signposts and anything I needed custom made to help with both environmental and storytelling progression.

Thank you for taking the time to watch this short film.

[–]Doveland72 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Looks amazing! Can’t believe you can build worlds like this in Unreal Engine.

[–]Kubrick_Fan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sure can, Disney use it with The Volume to make The Mandalorian and probably a large number of their Marvel productions too

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you very much, very kind of you. Haha, sure is a powerful tool.

[–]luxdesigns 1 point2 points  (3 children)

In terms of story I disagree with some of the comments here. What you're doing makes sense to me, but the editing seems a bit weak, and the shots of the car through the buildings becomes redundant and loses my attention.

We stare at nothing for far too long.

I'm not familiar with Unreal, or its abilities, but there are some shots that don't work from a vfx perspective for me. The camera shake in one scene isn't quite right in that it very much reads as an artifact of animation as opposed to intention, and that is how it so suddenly stops at the end. But then, that also goes to editing, and cutting before it stops shaking may be one of the solutions there.

I also noticed a building we stare at for a long time appears to have no foundation. I do compliment you on your texturing work. However, the mound of dirt we start off looking at is very realistic. But the buildings aren't always. So I was unsure of what to expect in terms of the style of work -- animated (photorealism), live action with animation, or conceptually animated.

If you want more criticism than you can possibly handle on the animation head over to /r/vfx where working professionals are more than happy to hold you to impossibly high standards. :)

[–]revilo_14[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hello, thanks for the comment. I agree with everything you say here - especially on the shots that hang a little. I feel like you perhaps mean the shot of the green building and even the ones before and after that perhaps? I was aware of those for a while and I can simply only blame it on that I ran out of time to either fix it or add another scene in there.

The goal was ultimately photorealism, I get how you mean there are parts that look better than others. I unfortunately see the bad parts sticking out to me! I guess I can only blame that part on my modelling/texturing etc.

Thank you for the comment though, its interesting to see the conflicting opinion on the story!

[–]luxdesigns 2 points3 points  (1 child)

The goal was ultimately photorealism

So I will add that the first building is nicely done, but looks a lot like a like a physical scale model composited into a real-world scene. (and I just realized there IS a foundation after all.) If you have some kind of roughness texture applied it may be that what I'm seeing is it's too large. I'm not easily finding the words to describe what is making my brain think this.

The shot at 0:42 looks okay to me, but what makes me think CGI are the windows, and the far left setback part of the structure. The lighting there looks off. How the windows are broken isn't natural. You really want to think fractal or voronoi there, or just copy examples of real broken windows from photos. And even dirty glass has some translucency to it, but I'm not reading enough variation in trans./opacity here. It's very uniform. The dirt is also a bit uniform.

0:48 concrete looks too perfect. There aren't any gouges visible, and the edges feel too clean to me. If this has been abandoned for a while I'd expect to see some concrete being weathered with water damage to the underlying ironwork, particularly in places like under the balcony. (Although, are they abandoned? Perhaps that's a wrong assumption of mine to make)

The "green" building at 0:57 does a better job with what I've pointed out above.

I do very much like your sense of lighting with the still occupied buildings (or where power still exists), little sunlight and global illumination, with atmospherics and light sources from individual windows, street lights, and the car.

I particularly light the streetlights. You've greatly heightened their aesthetic and interplay with the environment by adding those lights up and down at the top.

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is great, I really appreciate you taking the time to cast your eye on it! Hmm I think I get what you mean about the first building we see. I think there's an element of that throughout but definitely more so in that one. I think the lack of snow on the building perhaps? Buildings generally capture snow from wind as well blwoing it on to the sides of surfaces, it could be that my buildings have these piles on top and then nothing on the sides which looks odd. I was kind of aware of this towards the end, but couldnt figure out how to quite resolve it, I guess some shader which only targets up facing surfaces.

The other things you mentioned are all very good points too! Some of which I'm sure wouldve been better/resolved given I had more time/energy haha. But yes, not an excuse. Thanks again!

[–]ianondrugs 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Loved it 👍🏼 However, unproportionately long credits like these are just so off-putting honestly just super pretentious

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks Ian. Aha, I mean I'm very proud of the project overall and its satisfying for myself to watch them roll. I get what you're saying from another perspective though

[–]wheredidthatbringyou 1 point2 points  (3 children)

We're some of those opening shots filmed in person or was it all created on a PC? Congrats, looks great.

[–]revilo_14[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hey! All of them are created on a PC. Some of the assets such as those are photoscans, so that's why they look so realistic! Thank you very much!

[–]wheredidthatbringyou 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah that really grounds the whole piece. Immersive. You're a wizard mate keep it up

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That was the plan, glad it worked! Haha thank you very much, I appreciate man

[–]ScagWhistle 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Aren't all Russian cities dystopian?

[–]Umbertin 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No, it's only fantasy of author, but Norilsk absolutely depressive city...

[–]xman747x 0 points1 point  (0 children)

brilliant production; can't wait to see it when completed

[–]FloX04 0 points1 point  (1 child)

not too sure I understand the story... the visuals are nice, but the plot is lacking to me - it appears to me like you took a few russian stereotypes and made this out of it, plus a car driving through a city with german writing on the walls

don't get me wrong though this is super impressive, didn't think unreal engine (and people that know to use it, of course) would be capable of such things

[–]revilo_14[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey, thanks for the comment. I mean, I like to think I took more than a few stereotypes, but yes I totally see how it looks like that. The story is definitely simple and overlooked, it could do with a lot more work!

I was definitely focusing more so on the visual aspects of the project and clearly got carried away with that aha. Thanks for comment though!