Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ident Examples

Hopefully this can give anyone an idea of how we can make our ident...




Warner Bros

Paramount Pictures





Channel 4




Icon Films

Newline Cinema





Castlerock Entertainment




inspiration from films Continued

Red Planet (2000)

Space Cowboys (2000)

Starship Troopers (1997)

Inspiration from films

These are all of the best films i could find that could an influence on our own film along with all of their promotional posters. Hopefully this will give you some ideas on both the style of the film and promotional work.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Apollo 13 (1995)

Alien (1979)

Armageddon (1998)

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004)

First Men In The Moon (1964)

Flight To Mars (1951)

Ghosts From Mars (2001)

Mission To Mars (2000) (Take a look at this one closer, similar to ours)

Summary of Ideas / Brainstorm

Hero / Low-angle shot of Astronauts looking down at cracked surface. Light hitting them from below.

Once Astronaut falls in, cut to first person view, lighting a flair / opening eyes (maybe cracked visor) and looking around. "Houston, we have a problem".

Footprint in Mars dust.

Trails once the other Astronauts get down there.

Original Astronaut is found stuck like in Alien / Predator scene.

Start, Mars visible through pod window as they make their decent.

Ident Transition: Glare from the metal logo flashing and turning into a star in the opening scene.

Ident Transition 2: Lucid Logo on screen, distortion across it to suggest blob is sliding over it.

Ident Transition 3: Astronaut footstep leaves behind lucid logo.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Voice and Sound ideas...

Voice over:

A crew....sent by NASA, to the planet Mars, are in for the shock of their lives as they realise the planet is hiding a beautiful secret...However, not everything is as it seems on the beautiful planet. Lurking in the midst of the crimson crevices, is a living creature, invisible to the human eye. Join the crew as they experience a journey of deadly discoveries and life-threatening challenges.

Voices and Sounds:

"What you got there?"
"Whoahh" (ground begins to break)
"Houston, we have found an extra layer of ground, permission to proceed"..."Negative, return to the craft"
"Let's head back!"
"Ahh, help!!! Ahhhhhhh" (one of the crew falls in)
"I ain't leavin him behind!"
*struggling and heavy breathing* as they go down the rope
" I'll be damned" (as we see the new Mars landscape)
"*gasp* what was that?" (as the shadow goes by)
"Cries out name" (member shouts at the member that is taken by the blob)
"Ahhhhhh" (member is taken by the blob)
"Grrrraaahhhhhh" (member hittin blob with built weapon)
"Cryyyy" (sound made by blob as it is hit)

Mars Ambient sound.
Indent sound.
Spacecraft landing sound.
Water spring and vaporization sound.
Surface breaking sound.
Lowering of Rope and against hand sound.
Blob movement sound.
Blob sound as it takes astronaut away.

New story confirmation

Can I just get confirmation from everyone that the new story, with the 'new world' under the surface of Mars is the one we're going with. I know, Matt and Charlotte are all happy with the new story, but just need confirmation/changes as I did assume alot of things while typing out the story we came up with. So, if all of you could comment whether your happy, or believe we should change parts or the whole thing. I'm mainly asking because I've started writing out the sounds we'll need and I realised that we should really have finalised a story before going onto getting some of the sounds.


I came across this BBC website regarding making short films. This could help us with the budgeting side of our film.. It has a lot of information, also if you scroll down to the bottom there are links taking you to other useful pages.

HIdden Worlds and Landscapes

So after todays meeting i have decided to give everyone some ideas on what the hidden world under the surface of mars could look like.. These are all of the films i could think of that have hidden landscapes. Also i am going to add any films that have attractive landscapes for inspiration and images from the internet...

Evolution (2001)

Land Of The Lost (2009)

The Goonies (1985)

Images of caves and tunnels

Meeting summary: Monday 27th September

This is a summary of todays meeting:


New Story:

Set in the year 2000.

Crew investigate Mars, looking for signs of life, e.g. Water.

They find a small amount of water, almost like a spring, pulsating upwards, and then almost instantly vaporizing.

V V V (this part of the story is subject to change) V V V
To further investigate, they begin to drill.
One of the crew members crashes his segway.
More and more crew members gather around the water. And the surface breaks.

All of these possibilities end in a hole being created, with light shooting upwards from it.

They contact Earth, NASA advise them to return to Earth as there is not enough information gathered about what's underneath the surface, to investigate it.

As they walk away from the hole, a crew members falls in.

They decide not to leave a member behind. (A fight between the crew occurs similar to the one in Alien where they argue over whether they should let the infected crew member in). Eventually they decide to investigate the hole, lowering themselves down on a rope, in order to save the fallen crew member.

They see the new world underneath the surface of Mars in all its glory (could look however we want it to).

They reach the bottom of the hole, but the fallen crew member is nowhere to be found!

They begin the search for the crew member. It is during this search, that they begin to see suspicious shadows moving around.

Another crew member is suddenly taken, by an invisible force, and carried away. The rest of the crew begin chase, but can't keep up.

Using what's available on Mars (could be anything) plus what they have on them, they begin to create weapons.

Next, a force takes hold of another crew member, but the crew member pushes himself free, in this time, they use their weapons to hit the invisible force, once its hit, it reveals the actual blob. The blob flees.

This is about up to as much the trailer could show without giving away too much of the story.

The rest of the story, involves the crew following the blobs blood trail after it is hit, and finding the other crew members. A fight entails between the blob and the crew members. After, rescuing their crew members, they begin the journey back to the spacecraft. They leave Mars, for Earth, not knowing that an invisible blob has made its way onto the spacecraft.


Memorable scenes for the trailer:

- Spacecraft landing
- Surface shot
- Search for water
- Segway crash/Drilling/surface collapses
- Decision to return to Earth
- Crew member falls in
- Decision to save crew member
- Shot of the new Mars landscape (inside the hole)
- Scene with the moving shadow
- Capturing of another astronaut
- First time seeing the blob


More reference films:

Evolution, Nausicaa, Land of the Lost,


Question and notes:

- Should we see the blob?
- Ident at the start, could be the 'Lucid' logo being drawn by the Invisible trail (refraction) of the blob.
- On Mars, the sunsets are blue (FACT)
- The plants could be red (satire, referencing an old belief that as Earth's plants are green, Mars' plants are red)
- Astronaut faces could reflect our (Lucid's) faces.



Bharathi: Script

Charlotte: Concept art

Matt: Storyboard

Simon: Weapon design

Everyone: Concept ideas (e.g. the Mars inside the hole), Astronaut character design ideas, Personalities of characters,


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Can't make it tomorrow

Hey guys, I need to keep tomorrow free so I won't be coming in to University. If it's possible, we could use a blog comment thread so you can fill me in with ideas in real time, or if that seems to counter-productive then a summary of the meeting would be fine, just so I can catch up. Sorry, I know it's an inconvenience.

Another story idea...







On Mars, a team of astronauts capture a blob to take back to Earth and investigate.

They keep it in a small glass box as it is only a small blob. They give it food to find out what its diet is. They find out it can eat small fruits and vegetables. The researchers decide to keep feeding it as they believe it's harmless, feeding a blob.

After a while, it begins to get bigger and gets a bigger diet. It eventually breaks out the glass box to find food. It breaks into shops and eats the food off the shelves and sleeps in drains.

It now comes to the publics attention and gets onto the news that an unidentifiable creature has been breaking into shops and eating off the shelves.

It then gets hungrier and starts to eat small children.

Now that this blob has begun eating humans, the town panics and everyone is warned to stay indoors.

Children are all protected, and policemen patrol the streets. The blob isn't seen for a few days, until a policeman is reported dead. It is confirmed that the blob has begun eating adult humans now, and CCTV footage has shown the policemen gobbled up by an invisible force.

The government resort to contacting a secret group of individuals that only operate in code red situations. These people own some of the most enticing gadgets used to protect planet Earth.

Everyone is indoors now, except for this special group. At first they look for the blob, but can't find it. When they finally do find it, they find that everyone/everything the blob has eaten, can be seen in it's 'belly' from the outside (the blob is invisible so we just see bodies floating). The group hesitate in shooting the blob as they did not want to hurt the people inside, as a result, one of the special group members get eaten.

The group realise that the only way of destroying the blob, is by being able to see it first. So, they seek NASA for information gathered from Mars. NASA provide them with all the information they can.

The group use this information to devise a weapon. They use the weapon on the blob, but it still doesn't work.

Eventually, a 'mad scientist' working for NASA is discovered to have hidden information from them regarding Mars, this information is what is needed to devise a weapon to kill the blob.

They use their new weapon on the blob, they see the blob now. The blob knocks most of the special group unconscious. The gun used to defeat the blob falls into the hands of the mad scientist. The mad scientist hesitates, but eventually decides to shoot the blob. Everyone is now free.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Maya Experimentation 1

I know it's early (very early) days yet, but since we know that our trailer is going to involve a few specific objects (an invisible blob, and the planet Mars I assume) I thought I'd familiarise myself with Mental Ray and some shaders that could be used in the project. First up is a camouflage / cloak effect for the blob.

The shader is a Mia material connected to a ramp for the refraction index, with a Sampler Info plugged into it for the facing ratio. This makes a nice subtle refraction around the edge of the shape.

EDIT: I've scaled the images' width to 500 pixels to fit the blog width. You can view their real size by right clicking and clicking 'View Image' or alternatively 'Copy Image Location', opening a new tab, and pasting the image's URL into the address bar. This way you can see them in higher resolution. (Firefox only)

I'm going to get Alan's help next time we're in Uni to see if there's a way to simulate the Predator's cloaking effect in Maya. Another alternative (when the time comes) is using render layers in Maya and just adding the 'invisibility' effect in post production using After Effects. But for now, tell me what you think of the pics above and if you've got any suggestions of any sort, tell me :)

Logo Design 2

I thought I'd go for a different style than the first, to give a bit of variety if people want to choose. This time I used a blocky typeface with a sort of chrome trim to make it look classy and different. Two alternative layouts below:

And Bharathi I've just seen your font suggestions, I'll try those too. Also, whoever made the blog, could you give everyone Administrator privileges please? I'd like to change the blog template a bit if that's ok :)

Edit: I tried a few different calligraphic script fonts and this was the best I could come up with without making it look like Lindt's typeface:

I don't like it.

Other fonts

Some other font ideas, if these don't work, then I am happy with using the original, there are other ways of making it, less 'Lindt-like'.

Another story idea

NASA send their team to investigate a new planet, PLANET X. The film starts with the crew leaving the planet in their spacecraft. We see them shutting the door to their spacecraft, however the door gets stuck on something, after slamming it a few more times, it closes. What the crew don't realise is that an invisible blob has just boarded the spacecraft while they were leaving.

A NASA conference follows We see the Director of NASA announcing to reporters that their crew have arrived safely from PLANET X and have retrieved valuable information, however before he finishes his sentence we see him get wrestled to the floor by 'something'. Then, a few members of the conference get thrown to the floor, and the whole room begins to panic.

We then cut to a TV screen that shows a News Channel with the reporter saying something along the lines of "Mass panic in America, as an unidentifiable creature attacks humans, everyone is warned to stay indoors and keep all windows and doors shut!"

The astronauts take it upon themselves to destroy the blob as they feel guilty for letting it on board in the first place. They use all sorts of instruments to attack the blob.

As the astronauts attempt to kill the the blob, researchers begin to research the data taken from PLANET X. They find that the answer to killing the blob, lies in the information they have gathered from the planet. A mineral in the rock from PLANET X, is the key to the blog being seen/destroyed.

Ways of making this funny:

When the blob takes over the Director, it could make the director slap himself a few times.

A victim of the blob, could be someone who's eating jelly. We see a tear on the blob's face, after a spoonful of jelly is eaten.

At the end, the blob is frozen, and sold as ice lollys.

The blob could meet a Snail and say "look what they've done to you! They've made you carry that giant rock on your back!!!".

The blob, at the start, it's visible but can become invisible at will. We see the blob with it's angry smirk on its face as it makes it's way into the space craft, but when it gets hit by the door it goes 'ouch!'.

Logo Design 1

Here's my first attempt at a studio logo. I tried to make it look classic and neat with the font and metallic gradients, what does everyone think? And what do you guys prefer: 'Lucid Studios' or 'Lucid Productions'? Or something else?

If anyone has their own ideas then comment and I'd be happy to try a new design, or maybe make some yourselves and we can discuss which ones work the best next time we meet up.

I'm also working on some Mental Ray shaders so we can nail the invisibility effect come production time, but I might have to recruit Alan's help before I get anything really good.

Story Ideas!

So i have had a little think about what we can do for the story of our film. Not all of them are great but its just the beginning so we can go from there and refine the story until it sounds good.

The first story is very similar to King Kong.

Story Idea 1:


Astronauts go up to Mars to do research or something like that. After a couple of hours of being there, strange things start to happen and they keep thinking they keep seeing something. Things start to move on their own. Then one of the crew gets attacked by the invisible blob. But the rest of crew cant see the blob. It carries on like this killing members of the crew until there are only two left.


By this time they have guessed that whatever is doing this is invisible, the two remaining crew members try a plan to capture the blob. They hide above a crevice and when they hear the blob coming, throw mars dust at it. Showing its overall size and so they can capture it without too much difficulty. One of the astronauts ends up dying, leaving only one left.


The lone astronaut brings the blob back, claiming he has found a magnificent discovery. But when he goes to show the blob to the world, in like a massive show or something. The blob manages to escape into the city and start causing mayhem, killing and destroying everything it sees.

Story Idea 2:

BEGINNING: The scene opens with the camera looking through the eyes of the blob at an unsuspecting victim. Waiting in the darkness to attack, and then in one swift movement smothers the guy. (Then the story cuts away to like a news bulletin about people who are on their own at night keep coming up dead). Every body that is found is covered in slime and stiff as a plank of wood.

MIDDLE: Two blubbering cops are put on the case. And after lots of mistakes and mishaps stubble across a story about a meteorite hitting earth, so they go to the science lab to find out more. And discover some of the slime that has bee found at the murder scenes. After telling their discoveries to the police captain, nobody believes them. They carry on with the search and see a pattern of the murders. So they stake out and witness a murder.

End: When the blob attacks, it becomes visible for a few minutes. In this time they pursue it. By accident one of the officers trips and spills something over the blob, so that they can always see it. Eventually they capture the blob. But its only after its killed like a thousand people or something.

Story Idea 3:

Similar to District 9 in a way. And transformers because of the humans and machines working together. More of a spoof.


After a planet collides with earth, they are attached through the force of gravity of earth, not touching, but always close rotating the Sun together. The other planet is full of monsters, with there being like a shuttle service that allows monsters and people to live in harmony.


One day both planets are invaded by aliens who want to take over the planets and use them for total universe control. However during the time connected the two planets formed a special force that are called upon when emergencies arise. They are the best of the monsters and humans. Their leader is the blob, the group is a six man team. They are given orders to infiltrate the aliens planet and sabotage their plans for universe domination.


The group make a lot of mistakes, and blow up things for unnecessary reasons. But they finally get into the alien headquarters and destroy their main leaders, which brings down their entire empire. The soldiers return to a heros welcome and so on.

Story Idea 4:

This is sort of like Kung Fu Panda and The Karate Kid


The story is on a planet full of monsters, who are all really scary and evil. But a baby monster is born to the slimy blob family. But he is very different, because he is invisible except his eyes. And his family aren't happy, not only is he invisible but he isn't even scary. Throughout school he gets bullied and teased.


He befriends an old Cyclopes during his teenage years, who gives him encouragement and advice. He almost becomes his trainer if you want. Practicing to scare everyday after school. Making sure he doesn't get bullied. He also finds that when he gets himself really angry he becomes a flaming red colour for a few seconds. There is an annual scaring competition, where all of the scariest characters try to out scare a panel of judges to become the scariest monster on the planet.


He flies through the rounds by impressing the judges with different scare techniques. Until reaching the final, where he has to face his former school bully. Who is the scariest monster on the planet for the past three years. After a long battle, he uses his flaming red blob of a body to win the competition. Finally proving everyone wrong.

All of these stories were quick ideas, so whatever you guys have im sure will be better. But at least we have a footing on where we can focus our ideas or where to put more effort in.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Monster Blobs & Invisible Characters

These are all films that have anything to do with some sort of BLOB in them. Some are funny where others are supposedly scary. Hopefully this can give us some inspiration.

Monsters Vs. Aliens - BOB: (2009)

The Blob (1958)

Ghostbusters - Slime (1984)

The Green Slime (1968)

The Invisible Man (1933)

Fantastic Four - Invisible Woman (2005)

Predator (1987)

P.s Didn't know they were making a new one!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Here are some trailers for films I believe we could form a pastiche/parody/spoof for. One idea I had in mind would be to parody the 'flying saucer landing' scene from Invaders from Mars, where the kid gets out of bed and sees the flying saucer through the window, instead we could have the kid go to his window shout out "I'm trying to sleep!", and close it?

Group / Studio name suggestions.

I thought I'd get the ball rolling on names for our studio, most sound good but are perhaps a bit uninspired. What do you guys think? And also add 'Studio', 'Productions', 'Project' etc. before or after each word to see which sounds most suitable.

Stylus (Sounds like 'stylish' and also relates to a drawing tool so this is a cool one IMO)
Lucid (Like this one the most, means vivid imagery and clarity. It's also better if the word's definition represents us in some way)

Some are really generic / cliché but I think a couple have potential. Discuss, I guess!

Hey Group D!!!

Looking forward to getting started on this project, and yes to the email Bharathi sent, today after film sounds good to me.. I haven't drawn anything for the 'The Day Of The Invisible Blob From Mars', but ive had a few ideas, so hopefully we can talk about it later. Cya

P.S - Take a look at this video, could use this. Nowadays that trailer would be thought to be for a spoof film lol

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Night of the Invisible Blob from Mars

When we recieved this random retro movie title, alarm bells started ringing and films such as Invaders from Mars began to come to mind. I believe we could play on the conventions in these Sci-Fi films, and reference scenes such as the spaceship landing scene in Men In Black, which is in itself a reference to Invaders from Mars.