BURT's Place, in VR

It's about Burt, need we say more?
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Action_Burt
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BURT's Place, in VR

Postby Action_Burt » Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:54 am

At Bestbuy I found a great program for $10.00- Sierra Home Architect. Using it, I have begun building Burt's series home- I'm about 80% done. When finished I can take snapshots of the 3D rendered home (complete with phones, lights, etc) and can record a 3D walkthrough.

I'm going to makle the project available to any Tremors site (don't know if I have the room to host at my little site), and am going to ask Stampede to review it and give us some kind of OFFICIAL floorplan. (In the past I asked, and there was none).

So who is going to do Chang's, Nancy's, etc?

The program is a cinch to use, but limited on the exterior/landscaping. There is a Landscaping program that I am betting works with SHA, but I didn't pick it up.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Postby webmaster » Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:35 pm

We have drive space and bandwidth on our site for such a noble venture and I bet we could get director feedback on the accuracy.

I am guessing that for $10 Sierra Home Architect doesn't have an option to output the file into QuickTime VR or some other web ready user controllable format. If it doesn't do that see if it will output a 360 degree (flat) .jpg image I have a program called PhotoVista which will make a 360 degree spin out of it.
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Action_Burt
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Quicktimed Burt

Postby Action_Burt » Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:02 am

Actually, I'm working on a conversion for Apple Quicktime VR.

I found a website that indicates ANY properly stitched panoramic shot can be used;

Basically, you link to an Apple site that provides the actuall applet/plug in, etc. for the picture- you don't host the program on your site, only the stitched 360 photo.

As for stitching, I think the simplest methodd will be to position the VR camera in one spot then take a series of rendered snapshots, rotating in place, then manually stitch them together in photopaint.

What would really be cool is to do the VR tour, where there is a map with selected points that a visitor can click on, then pivot in place to view from those points.

And I have emailed SS about this, and he seemed supportive, but admitted he might not have the time to view the VR and give it an official blessing.

I am basically done with the basement and saferoom, and am now working on how to do an above ground of the compound (program didn't come with chainlink fence, so I have to figure out how to manually make the fence). I am also trying to work out where the underground generators and such are.

If anyone here has any input on this, please post, otherwise I'll probably just be going PM to the webmaster from this point.

Thanks!
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Postby webmaster » Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:31 pm

If you did snapshots all around the 360 from a single point with about a 50% overlap my PhotoVista software will stitch them together into a 360 and compile it into a QuickTime VR type file. The main difference is that they play using a plugin which auto loads from our site, no QuickTime player needed on the client side.

Before a fan reads this and writes, "if you have the ability to take a series of real photos shot in a 360 degree circle and stitch them together into a VR pan of Burt's basement, why didn't you go on the set and shot a real VR photo... why do this with 3D graphic software?", let me explain the logistics of a film set. Many times only certain angles of a set exist, that is why there has been years worth of fan debate about what Burt's basement really looks like... it has never really fully existed in a single film. Doing a real 360 pan on most sets would get you mostly empty, ugly soundstage or junked up work areas with a bunch of equipment piled up.

On the set of T4 the entire inside of Chang's was built but only the small section in which filming was to take place that day was dressed for filming. The rest of the set was so stacked with lights, equipment and props for later use that it was almost impossible to move around. I am always amazed at how well directors pull such structure, order and continuity out of all the clutter and chaos that is a movie set.

It would be almost logistically impossible to shoot a real VR pan of a complete set without some major effort devoted to dressing the entire set all at once and that just can't happen on a Tremors budget. I will try to shoot a few VR's on a set sometime to let everyone see what a jumbled mess there is behind the cameras.

The only way that VR pans could exist is to do them with 3D graphics. Thanks for your efforts in this area!
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VR update

Postby Action_Burt » Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:17 am

At this point below ground is 95% done; just going back and adding light fixtures, wall switches etc. Unfortunately, I don't have all the fixtures available that I would like- so some of the lights won't look right- for example, Burt has several emergency battery lights in his home. Program didn't come with these, so I have to take exterior lights and then extrude a box to mount them on. Looks close, but not dead on.

I have started the ground level, but still am having problems with the chainlink fence. I may have to just try some sneaky stuff- like replacing fence sections with solid walls, painted tan, with chainlink pattern in white, to show where the fence would be.
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Postby Great White Graboid » Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:21 am

To bad you can't use shrieker figures or something. You could make it look like they're attacking Burt's house.
"What kind of supreme being would condone such irony?"

[Burt from T-3]
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Mitsukara
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Postby Mitsukara » Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:33 pm

Wow, that sounds to be a very cool project, indeed. Looking forward to seeing what it's like once it's finished ^.^

Although, I still think that Burt should have a hammock in his basement...
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Postby AtlantaMike » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:52 pm

Although, I still think that Burt should have a hammock in his basement...

Something of a hand-me-down from Hiram. After all, it *is* good for the posture. :)
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Postby Shadoe » Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:57 pm

webmaster wrote:Before a fan reads this and writes, "if you have the ability to take a series of real photos shot in a 360 degree circle and stitch them together into a VR pan of Burt's basement, why didn't you go on the set and shot a real VR photo... why do this with 3D graphic software?", let me explain the logistics of a film set. Many times only certain angles of a set exist, that is why there has been years worth of fan debate about what Burt's basement really looks like... it has never really fully existed in a single film. Doing a real 360 pan on most sets would get you mostly empty, ugly soundstage or junked up work areas with a bunch of equipment piled up.

Not to be a nitpicker or anything... Okay, I'll admit I'm a nitpicker. :) Burt's bunker in the series, as well as the other buildings in the Tremors series (not the movies) were all built fully. Four walls, the whole bit. Doing the 360 degree circle of those sets would have actually worked. In one episode in the series (NOTS, I think), they actually did that on film.

Some of the things weren't built fully. The stairs down to Burt's bunker went up to the top of the set - and ugly soundstage. :) I'm sure the back room at Jodi's wasn't more than a single-angle set. And I'm itching to find out what the rest of Nancy's house consisted of. :)

I've been (off and on) putting ttogether a "Tremors Behind The Scenes" website, and noticed how all the sets for the show are all complete buildings, and realized how really ODD that is. In don't know that that has ever been done on any other show - or movie!
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Full sets?

Postby Action_Burt » Sat Jul 03, 2004 8:28 am

Not really all that odd to build the whole set:

Lois and Clark had these neat sets that featured walls that could be hoisted away into the ceiling to allow filming from any angle.

I think what the Webmaster is saying is this:

1. Stampede basically wrote the episodes. I don't think any ofthe Stampede folks go tto go to Mexico.

2. Even if all four walls happened to be up on any given day, I doubt all would be fully dressed, or that all the lighting would be ready.
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Burt's Place/Perfection

Postby stampede » Sat Jul 03, 2004 9:46 am

The ideas and thoughts all of you have for putting together this little town is amazing. Unfortunately, I am not able to offer any advice that would e usable. On the other hand, since everyone is sharing ideas, I am going to share my own little project that I don't expect anyone else to be interested in, but it has been a hobby of mine that has been passed down, and though many of you feel it may be passe, it is quite rewarding to me. I am a hands on (meaning I am computer illiterate) making of something kind of person, so I am trying to put together a needlepoint of the town of Perfection. Since there is obviously no kits to just stitch on, I have to rely on all the info I get here to set my town up and buy ALL the stuff I need. This is not an easy project, and even though I live in NYC, they are not very big in arts and crafts stores, so I have to rely on catalogs to get my supplies. It will be a long and tedious projedt (I mean that in a good way), but I have been playing around with this idea for a while, especially since I just had a few of my other needlepoint (and the likes) framed for my new apartment. Please, I need ideas, geographical info, architectural info, etc. to do my own little project. I'm relying on all of the info given here to help me start and hopefully can find a place where I can get all my stuff. ANY info will be helpful--THANKS
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Postby Landscaper » Sun Jul 04, 2004 7:08 am

Both projects sound great! I'm really impressed with the work you guys are putting into them! I am looking forward to seeing both when finnished. It even gives me an idea. I wonder if I could build the town of Perfection with Sims street program. ANyone know if this is possible?
The one that plans ahead.
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Re: Full sets?

Postby Shadoe » Mon Jul 05, 2004 7:26 pm

Action_Burt wrote:Not really all that odd to build the whole set:

Actually, yes, it's really odd to build a whole set. Usually, three walls of a set are built, and that's it. Which is what our Webmaster said. There are not a lot of movies that put together whole walk-around sets, and not often entire towns, inside and out. Tremors is odd in that the sets were all four walls.

1. Stampede basically wrote the episodes. I don't think any ofthe Stampede folks go tto go to Mexico.

I don't think they did. I believe that's why MG became a producer on that one.

2. Even if all four walls happened to be up on any given day, I doubt all would be fully dressed, or that all the lighting would be ready.

The sets were four walls. Without removing parts of the actual structure, all four walls would be up on all given days. With the exception of Burt's bunker. That one had removable walls. If you watch the show carefully, you'll note that in several instances, the shots would go in more than one direction, showing that all four walls were up and dressed, for the shot.

Tremors is unique, as we've always known. :)
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Action_Burt
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VR Update

Postby Action_Burt » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:43 am

Burt's basement is done- below ground anyway.

Problem is, when you render the final version, it excludes fixtures, furniture etc.

However, I have figured out a way to take snapshots of the pre-rendered images. This will make the VR basement look about like Duke Nukem levels. Obviously computer imaged, but still good for layout details.

Over the winter I'm going to try and build a 1:6 basement model and use it for some even better photos.

I'll be uploading the VR basement this weekend to Allan, so give him a while to stitch the photos and do the VR presentation.

As for above ground... my program just doesn't include fencing material. There is a companion program for outside stuff. I was considering it, but now that I know the rendering is substandard, I may just look for a wholly new program.
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Mission accomplished

Postby Action_Burt » Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:17 am

After months of careful work, I have been able to render a VR, 3D version of Burt's place. I am now building an elaborate, indepth review of the basement at my website,

For now, you can get a sneak peek at Burt's place in 3D at:

http://www.tremorsfan.com/user_galleries-10006.html

(Feel free to upload any of my VR images to this site or any other Tremors fan site)

I have tried to reconcile the Series basement with the film basements (there are some major problems). Look for a detailed "History of Burt's Place" that will explain the various stages and try and bring it all together.

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