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Gilbert's War - 2/8th West Yorks (Leeds Rifles)


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#1 Gmanx

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

My grandfather Gilbert Myers fought in, and survived the Great War.

I'm a professional animator, and I hope to relate his story in a 20 minute short film to be made by 2014 - a century after hostilities began.

I've managed to find some of his war records, and have some personal mementos passed down through the family.

I've set up a website (which is just a blog for now) here: www.gilbertswar.co.uk.

This is a one-man show, hence the long lead-in time, but it's such a great story that I'm determined to get it out there.

My avatar was embroidered by him while he recovered from his wounds (and was then sent back to fight).

#2 Gmanx

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

I now know a lot more about Gilbert's wartime experiences - thanks in no small part to the helpful folks here.

I'm looking at styles for the animated content, and, excuse the 'anime' look of the following, but if I can emulate the painterly look for Gilbert's War - I'll be a happy man.

EDIT: Just to be absolutely clear - the way the 3d elements are rendered is ALL that this will have in common with Gilbert's War. Definitely NO anime characters or fantasy content!

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=sJPhasMsayI

#3 Gmanx

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:45 PM

I'm figuring out how I'm going to shoot this... A combination of traditional drawn animation and CG. The CG is there mainly for 'hard-surface' elements like tanks, environments, buildings. Men (and possibly horses) will be hand drawn.

If I drew it all, I'd never get finished!

Anyway, I made a good start on a basic MarkIV - this one will be a low-detail background model.

I'm starting with this to get the workflow sorted, then I'll move on to more detailed work.

Bear in mind that I've just begun, and this is very much a work in progress at a very early stage - but I thought I'd share.

#Sorry for the big pic.#

Posted Image

#4 ericthornton

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:50 AM

Gary

This looks to be a great project and I look forward to seeing more posts as your work progresses. Being a bit of a Ludite I know nothing of how computor generated images are created or even how to use the basic computor painting tools available. If the tank shown wasn't drawn is it a basic photograph tha'ts then enhanced and to get the 3D effect and do you then have to programme in all the dimensions? (seems very time consuming) Either way it's looking good.

I looked at the websight and had a listen to the toccata. Although it's not to my own taste I can see how it would compliment an image of armoured masses crashing forward and why you've picked it.

good luck and keep the posts cominng, ET

#5 Gmanx

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:27 PM

Thanks for the interest, Eric. :)

The tank is a 3d model which can be filmed with a 'virtual' camera - much as would be done in a video-game, or film, like Toy Story etc. I built it using plans, photos and videos of the real thing. I'll also have to model the environment, wire emplacements and trenches.

I'll combine that with traditionally drawn animation of troops in action. I've also secured some isolated footage of explosions, shell and bullet hits which I'll use to flesh out the scene.

#6 Gmanx

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

Here's a video of the tank as it is at the moment. Still a lot to do, but I'll get there!



#7 Chris Noble

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

This is a fascinating project Gary and one that i wish you the best of luck with.
If i can be of any assistance as regards the actions of the 2/8th West Yorks, please feel free to drop me a line.
My very best wishes.
Chris.

#8 Gmanx

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Chris, that's very gracious of you. Life and work have taken precedence of late, but I've started on Gilbert's character sheet - the first vital step in animation.

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I also found a 35mm slide (which I presumed lost) of me with Gilbert.

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Given what I know now about Gilbert's history, his bravery and his compassion throughout his long life, this is now a very precious picture.

#9 Gmanx

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:00 PM

Here's a little test of the MarkIV posted earlier, moving. The model is about 50% there - there's no fascine, lewis guns or unditching beam yet - and a lot of paint detail to add/change. This is a mid-distance model, so won't be super-detailed. I appreciate that it's going about twice as fast as it ever would in real life.



This is really to check on the visual style of the animation, which is on the right track (pun intended).

#10 Gmanx

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:05 PM

I've begun work on the 3d maquette I'll use to rough out the animation, using the resulting video clips to produce the 2d animation. This maquette will also be used when finished for background characters or for crowd scenes.

Posted Image

#11 Gmanx

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

I've started to roll out some simple animation cycles using this basic model. They'll form the basis of drawn animation. The first (test) output is a 'weary walk'.

http://www.gmanx.com...lk_12080601.mp4

Click the link above, or go to www.gilbertswar.co.uk to see the clip.

#12 Gmanx

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

I've made a start on what you would call 'proper' animation. There's a sneak preview over at http://www.gilbertswar.co.uk

[Note - I took the full stop off the end and now the link works properly]

#13 Pighills

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:40 PM

It's really great to ssee how it's coming along, I can't wait for the final product.

#14 Gmanx

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:12 PM

Thanks Pighills! Here's another little update - a sneak peek at a work in progress for the trailer:



#15 Gmanx

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:06 PM

Work carries on apace. I've just won an award for a short film I directed - so I'm even more fuelled to get Gilbert's War out there. I've been getting on with testing, and I'm ready to start compiling scenes together, with audio, music and video.

Here I'm doing some lighting tests. Gilbert walks!

Please watch full-screen and in HD for the best viewing experience!



#16 Gmanx

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 06:28 PM

I have a wonderful update on the blog - "Following on from a suggestion by an ex tank commander (of both Chieftan and Challenger main battle tanks) I asked Bovington Tank Museum if they had any audio of their Mark IV, and they're sending me a recording this weekend. So, Gilbert's War will feature absolutely authentic tank sounds!"

I can't wait to get some tank scenes worked through with the proper audio!

#17 Gmanx

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:58 PM

Just recently I won a short film award. It was my first live action shoot as director - and I'm really pleased with how it went.

I'm third from left (stripey shirt).

Posted Image

Full story is here: http://www.iomtoday....-fest-1-4970063

That was a real boost as work continues on Gilbert's War. It can get very lonely sat here toiling away - but the end result will be worth it!

#18 Gmanx

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:41 PM

I just uploaded a video of the 2d drawn element of a scene where Gilbert is lying wounded in a shell crater:



#19 Gmanx

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:06 PM

I've been busy with this lately, and have been working on various scenes for the trailer, due out in two weeks time. Check out what I've been up to over at www.gilbertswar.co.uk.

#20 Gmanx

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

I've got a good lot done this weekend. Weekday evenings I only get an hour or so, what with family etc.

The trailer's looking really good - I'll be so pleased to finally get it out there, so people have something tangible to see and react to. Then I can get started on the meat of the thing. Can't wait. :)

#21 Gmanx

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

I've come a long way since starting this, an awful lot of progress has been made and I'm really happy with how it's coming together. I've just been interviewed for the local newspaper - which I'll put on here as soon as it goes online.

The (1 minute long) trailer is virtually done - just a few tweaks now. Then the real work starts. The few people who've already seen it have given me a very positive response which makes it all worthwhile. So, roll on Sunday!

For those on here who've offered advice and guidance - thankyou, sincerely. You'll all appear in the credits of the final thing in 2014. I'm sure I'll have a lot more questions between now and then though.. :)

EDIT: Here's the news article - http://www.iomtoday....s-war-1-5113781

#22 Gmanx

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

The trailer is online now and available:

on Youtube:

or Vimeo:

The full, 20 minute film will be completed for August 2014.

#23 Gmanx

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

There are a couple of new blog posts up at www.gilbertswar.co.uk.

I've asked (in Gilbert's thread in the soldiers section) if anyone here could help with a couple of questions I have about the battle at Cambrai: http://1914-1918.inv...25#entry1871068