“The Barrier” Scene 1, and Xtranormal Updates 2014 October 12

I think the latest version of scene 1 only needs a few tweaks and then it is done. Xtranormal asked me (and many others) for feed back this week. It looks like they are nearer to a re-release.

“The Barrier”

I did another version of scene 1 of my transportation planning movie this week. I think it is very close to the final version.

It took Blender a long time to output the video. It is a big complex file and creates only about 3 frames a minute, so that a 4 second clip took over a half hour to create.

I made several changes for the new version:

  • I added some interior lights to the car so you can see the inside of the car in the close ups of the driver.
  • I modified the steering wheel; I had placed too high. I spent a long time fixing the steering wheel. It was joined to the car and I had to un-join it before I could do anything with it. I converted it into a child of the car and then moved it. It would have been easier for me if I had made it a child from the start. If nothing else, I am learning more tricks in Blender.
  • I did two versions of each of the close up shots. In one I added a purple screen where the driver would sit, to make it easier to add the driver. I’ve noticed that when I composited the shots that the steering wheel pulses, which I will have to fix somehow.
  • I changed the driver’s expression at a couple of points. I think that helped convey what I wanted.

When I watched the final video, I could see several places where I wanted to make more changes.

  • Near the end, where the car veers out of control, I think I need to cut back and forth between the cameras faster. I hadn’t out put the video from Blender that I needed to do that.
  • The truck currently has no writing on it, such as the name of the company. I did create some for the truck but didn’t use it: “Arrogant Jerk – Transport Services – Why should we care about your junk?” It seemed too flippant. On the other hand, it would pass by too fast for people to read it, so it wouldn’t make much difference.
  • I’d like to improve the sound effects. The car sound, doesn’t really sound like car to me. The tire squeals aren’t continuous, so I’d like to do something to fix that.
  • As I noted above, the steering wheel pulses in some of the close up shots. It is really distracting, so I really do need to fix it.

I had some positive feedback about my voice in the video I posted last week. I’m not a big fan of my own voice. Who is? It has me thinking I should do the voice rather than hire a professional. The one big advantage is that I work cheap.

The scene should be done soon, so I have started to think about what to do next. I would like to update the existing video on YouTube with the new scene. If I do that I want to redo the second scene as well, which won’t be hard to do. There are a lot of other changes I want to make, but I’ll leave them until Xtranormal is re-released.

Of course I have other projects to work on, like “My Most Difficult Case” and “Felix”. They are both projects that seem to drag on forever, so it would be nice to put them behind me.


This week, Nawmal send me an e-mail about Xtranormal. They asked for feedback from former users about what they’d like to see when they rerelease it. I wrote a long note and sent it off. They didn’t reply yet, but that might be a good sign, since it could mean they had a lot of responses. I am optimistic that a rerelease will be available soon.

Someone posted the letter on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=726158394131069&set=gm.646440082140320&type=1

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