Thursday, 6 December 2012

REVERSION Covered in Philippine Daily Inquirer

REVERSION's appearance at the Animahenasyon 2012 Festival did not go unnoticed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which ran a short feature on the Festival, and even featured a screenshot from REVERSION.

Click the image to see larger version

On a personal note, I find it quite odd that this particular screen capture, and another one in the Security Room, both with Eve's helmet off, seem to be the most popular with journos.

Friday, 30 November 2012

REVERSION wins Best Technical Quality at ANIMAHENASYON 2012

REVERSION was given the award for Best in Technical Quality at the just concluded ANIMAHENASYON 2012 Animation Festival.

We are very thankful to the Animation Council of the Philippines for recognizing the hardwork and artistry that our team put into this short film and for including us in this special event which was graced by notable persons from the global stage.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Animahenasyon 2012 List of Entries

Animahenasyon 2012, which will be held from November 26 to 29 at the DLS-CSB SDA Campus in the Philippines has released the list of entries for its Animated Film Festival.

To decide the winner for a special "Audience Choice Award", Animahenasyon 2012 is choosing to run a viewer poll using a special 4-digit local Philippines SMS text number.
A few weeks ago, REVERSION won Best Design at the 2012 Suzanne Awards, becoming the first Filipino-directed animated film to win an award outside the Philippines.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

REVERSION Wins 2012 Suzanne Award for Best Designed Short Film

REVERSION was given the Suzanne Award at the 2012 Suzanne Awards for Best Designed Short.

We thank the Blender Foundation for giving us this award.  In particular we thank Ton Roosendaal, whose Blender total production software made the film possible.

Watch the 2012 Suzanne Awards Video

Sunday, 14 October 2012


It gives me great pride in announcing that REVERSION has been recognized by the Animation Council of the Philippines for airing as a Category I Finalist at the Animahenasyon 2012 Animation Festival.

Animahenasyon 2012 runs from November 26 - 29 and will be held at the DLS-CSB SDA Campus.

Details at the link:

Monday, 6 August 2012

One Day Early....

Due to an issue brought about by record levels of rainfall in the Philippines, I am making the decision to launch REVERSION many hours ahead of its planned launching time.

Around two other team members can launch the film actually even if something were to happen to me.  But I wanted to be able to do it regardless of what happens where I live.

Throughout this experience my team has not been short of supporting me and finally patting me on the back when it was all finished.

Today I want to pay tribute to them.  My team.  My guys.  Today we realize a small dream.

May we achieve many more in the future.

And also to you, our viewers, audiences, fans, even the inevitable haters.  You are the reason people make motion pictures.  Long may you continue to watch them.  Long may you talk about them and long may you inspire others to make them.

Giancarlo C. Ng

REVERSION Feature: The Render Guide

For our last VFX document we will be taking a look at a set of Blender features and scene-building methodologies which I think a lot of people take forgranted.  Or if you are like we were before 2010, too intimidated to really look into.

This is the document covering the topic of scene layering and the use of Blender's render layer management system to manage render times separately per element through the use of built-in masks.  There was a time we considered emulating how some early CG films were done with separate specular, diffuse, and shadow passes.  But as testing progressed, it didn't seem to make sense on this current production to do that.  However, what did make a lot of sense strategically was to render in layers that allowed us to make changes very late in the process without affecting parts of scenes that didn't need changing.

This meant that re-renders and detail-fixes were highly managed.  But this approach was also important in ensuring each layer (and by that logic, each effect) could be rendered in its own time, manipulated, enhanced and associated nodes and calculations could be done before all layers were merged per shot for best results.

This Layered Images approach, while it sounds simple enough, is actually integral to many of the Visual Effects on-screen in REVERSION.  Early on, there is a pretty convincing "mirror reflection" effect that was attained by using layers cleverly inverted and placed within other surfaces, preventing us from having to use time consuming Ray Mirror calculations.

Here is the final VFX Document: "The Render Guide"

Friday, 3 August 2012

REVERSION Feature: Principles of Set Lighting

Today, we will be releasing the second VFX document "Principles of Set Lighting".
For me, though, the alternate title could very well be: "Principles of Scene Coloring".

For REVERSION, we wanted the images to appear "serious" but we knew we didn't want them to be photo-real.  This is partially by choice, but also partially due to the fact that we knew our limited resources wouldn't allow us to attain full photo-realism.

To that end, we took our inspiration more from how light and shadow is treated in traditional animation where they are literally "just colors" and how Stage plays use colored lamps to create atmosphere in spite of the limitations of sets on a stage.  We took note of these and then leveraged two strengths of using CG animation: 1) limitless scale for detail 2) limitless color control.

We called this approach: "Starting with the Art instead of Reality".

The document will show you research and implementation to do this type of lighting.  I do not think every film can use this technique.  But it was definitely a good technique for REVERSION.  It also reduced our reliance on time-consuming features like Ray-Tracing.

What is not mentioned I think in this document is that we also relied on a lot of "Color Scripts".  Painted images that help baseline the look of each scene.  This allows the Art to have precedence over Reality.

Here is the second VFX document: "Principles of Set Lighting"

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

REVERSION Feature: Anatomy of An Explosion

As promised, here is the first of three documents authored by Mitchell Sahl, one of REVERSION's Visual Effects Technical Directors.  The document is entitled "Anatomy of an Explosion" and details some of the research we did in bringing to life  this staple of the action VFX picture - the fiery explosion.

In this document, Mitch talks in detail about our research method, and in the formulation of the effect which follows within the document, you will see the approach our team took to realizing the research in "animated form" (as opposed to super-real form which is not possible given our resources).

The document also shows the "Re-Purposing of basic Blender Features" that allowed us to create this effect.  This philosophy became our standard in formulating VFX Solutions throughout the picture.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Beginning Draws Near...

As I write this, 3 GB of HD Video with Stereo Audio are now being prepared for their final installation into the streaming service of our choice.

In less than a week, we will be ready to share REVERSION with all of you.

(More after the page break)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

REVERSION Is In The News Again

Hello everyone,

The milestones keep coming for REVERSION.

We're back in Blender News again.  But this time we talk a bit more about the de-centralized Production System that was used for making the film.

You can read the Blender News feature here.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

REVERSION: Production Focus Interview @ BlenderNews

Recently completed an interview for BlenderNews regarding our film REVERSION. You can read about the interview here: PRODUCTION FOCUS: REVERSION

The editors must have felt my original answer detailing the team members was too long.  At any rate, you can finally read all about the principal team members in detail here.

N.B.: To all the fans and the faithful who have been checking in regularly... 
You won't have to wait long now.
Start counting down those days, my friends....
(Magic Movie Machine Team Roster profiles after the Page Break) 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

(Click on Thumbnails for Full-Size Images)

Are you ready for the trailer premiere?  So are we.  Just ten days to go before our trailer hits the web.
In the meantime, we have two new stills from the new 11-minute short film.  The first image shows our Unknown Soldier accessing a panel at what is clearly the lobby that we revealed in our earliest updates.
The second image is taken from another part of REVERSION and shows a portion of the interior of the Security Room.  This is a place where "sonar video records" (SVR's) are retained, as well as conventional real-time video surveillance. 

In the film, sonar recordings of all angles of an event (where you can look around an event from a single recording) play a key role in the film.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Some Stills From the Short Film

Click on Thumbnails for Full-Size Images

With the 30-second trailer for REVERSION set to hit the web middle of April 2012, we will begin showing some stills from the final 11-minute film.

The stills above are taken from two separate points in time while the Soldier is exploring the now-abandoned Ethercorp facility.  The danger lurks somewhere in the corridors, maybe even behind the walls...

Saturday, 24 March 2012

"Toys for the Big Boys...."

Click Thumbnail for Full Size Image

For every large weapon load out, there is always a sidearm.  This is a fictional Cal 0.45 chambered hammerless pistol.  It doesn't look like much, but it draws quickly and is handy in a pinch.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

"Breaking Out the Big Guns..."

Click on Thumbnail for Full-Size Image

When doing business in a volatile region, backing up your claims requires more than just money.  We continue where we left off with the last update, with an image of one of our more intricately built props from the film.  This Sniper Rifle has been heavily modified to suit both an outdoor and indoor functionality.

The rifle's magazine is loaded horizontally instead of vertically to provide the least encumbrance in moving the rifle quickly.  The ejector slot is on the rifle's right side.  A rectangular bar over the scope protects it from damage while also allowing good clearance if the shooter wishes to hide under foliage while decreasing the chances of an obscured view from camouflage falling on top of the rifle.

The crates feature Ethercorp's icon-style "Octagon-E" logo, a prominent symbol in REVERSION.

The prop is lit differently from how it appears in the film to allow more of its details to be visible.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

"Beneath The Heel of a Steel Boot..."

Click Thumbnail for Full Size Image

For today's update we have an image of a character turntable.  The story of REVERSION depicts the ordeal of an incident's last survivor in an Ethercorp facility in the African Congo.  This turntable shows in great detail this key character of the film.  The design was used to help depict in some ways an off-putting side to Ethercorp's operation in the Congo in that it employed a militarized form of security in a region where regulation is known to be very fast and loose.

Monday, 12 March 2012

From The Magic Movie Machine Mailbox!

Today, we're going to answer some questions that were sent to us by some of you readers out there.  You can reach us through many channels if you know us already.  But even if you don't, you can email us at .

Our first letter comes from Juan Martin, a 3D artist and animator from Argentina, who writes:

Saturday, 10 March 2012

(Click on the thumbnails for full-size images)

Alright, it's time to let the proverbial cat... er... lizard out of the bag.  We were planning to release these later on as part of a possible collection with a number of variants.  But this particular piece of our kit is probably the worst kept secret of this project.

So we've decided it's time to let it out officially.
Yes REVERSION should be available on selected video streaming sites this Summer.

The images are HD sized for Landscape or Vertical displays.  Perfect for tablets and HD monitors.  So enjoy these, people.  It's all in the spirit of sharing.

In the meantime, we will continue to talk about how the film came together and we have some interesting content lined up.  Have a good weekend, everybody!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

"If The Halls Could Speak, What Stories Would They Tell?"

(Click on the Thumbnails to see Full Size Images)

Our first update involves two renders of sets used in the film REVERSION.  The first one above is the Lobby of Ethercorp's biological research facility in the Congo, and the second image is from the Office set in another part of the facility.  At one point in time, prior to the events of the film proper, Ethercorp may have had a sprawling facility where this ruin now stands.  Insulated from the outside world, and isolated from peering eyes, what stories would the halls tell if only they could speak?  Would they tell of the disaster that befell the place?  Or perhaps there is a more intriguing secret to which the walls are now mute witnesses?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Coming Up Next...

We take a look at renders of some of the sets that were made for the film REVERSION and talk a bit about the back story of the short film.  We will also be discussing some aspect of the significance of the places you are about to see from the world of REVERSION.

Watch out also for our Director's Commentary section where we take you behind the scenes about the images you will be seeing, the reasoning behind some of the things you will see on the sets and images, as well as other stories from behind the veil of creating the film REVERSION.

That update comes up this weekend.
So stay tuned...

Monday, 5 March 2012

"It's All Part of The Plan..."

This is a thumbnail drawing of a quadriped running cycle drawn by our Chief Animator, Anton.  It seems like such a long time ago that everything we are seeing now come out as fully realized renders started life as text files and drawings on paper.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

"The End is only The Beginning..."

Welcome to the official blog page for our animated short film, REVERSION.

REVERSION is the first 11-minute animated film for hobbyist writer and film director Giancarlo Ng.  The film also represents the first film project effort by The Magic Movie Machine collaborative animation team.  The team was formed on January 10, 2010 and for many of its members, REVERSION represents their first foray into Computer Generated animation.