You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Movie and Tutorial: Suburban Plight


snurgle.pngColin Levy (effstops) has done it again.  Not only has he made another great film, but he's also posted a great video entitled "Breakdown/Overview of a VFX Shot in Suburban Plight."  This overview is what Colin presented at Siggraph at the Open Source Pavillion to show what Blender can do.  Bart never got a chance to film Colin in action so we are lucky to have the overview available to us!

From Colin's site about the movie: 

I've been working on [the movie]for almost two years - shooting and reshooting, developing the cg elements, editing and animating, etc.. If I had known it was going to take so long I probably would never have started. But in any case, I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and above all, I'm just glad it's finally finished!

From Colin's site about the tutorial/overview:

This is basically an outline of the process of creating a CG character in Blender, and bringing that character through the full operation of animating, lighting, rendering, and compositing.

Colin has also already started a thread for comments and questions over at BA.

This is not only some great Blender work (modeling, rigging, animation), but also some great film work too.  So watch the film, then check out the vfx overview to get your learn on!

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. it can't run the video because i get an error: "Couldn't open the file ... because a bad public movie atom was found in the movie". What can I do? I'm using QuickTime version 6.5.2 under WindowsXP. Thanks, bye

  2. I wonder why so few are using bittorrent for distribution of their work, there are many animations with a huge filesize.
    I think its a great piece of work, but i'm waiting for the download to complete.

  3. @john
    You'll need Quicktime 7 to view the H.264 versions. The sorenson compressed versions *should* work (that version is on the right hand side for download), but it's best to upgrade to 7 anyways.

  4. Michael Thoenes on


    Great work - Thanks for sharing it and your tutorials with the community. First of all, - no matter how long it took, ...... you finished it! That is fantastic. It is easily better than much of what I see on television. You have made several nice choices for camera work and done a fine job compositing. I also enjoyed several of your directing choices. I am learning a great deal about visual storytelling by reading the book "Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions)"... I think you could improve on the storytelling as you indicated on your site. More anticipation of what is to come - perhaps a shot of the creature stepping on the grass earlier... or your father chasing off people or rodents or dogs... basically forshadowing the arrival of the full creature. I think you have made a clever choice - twist at the climax of the film... I'm don't feel you set up the level of rage your father had.... Easy to say - much harder to do - I know... once again great job.. . Just my 2 cents - take it or leave it.. My wife is a theatrical director and she tells me that if you are able to identify things that can improve a piece, it is actuall quite good.. the tough part is when you just don't know what to do to improve something - now that would be bad.. :)


    Michael Thoenes...

  5. Thanks everyone! John, a couple people have reported that problem (with other movies) and I still don't know what's wrong. I'll look into it.

    Michael, thanks so much for the suggestions - that sounds like a great book so I'll check it out. :) Good ideas, too - about foreshadowing and stuff. I need more people to brainstorm with - most of my plots I think of completely by myself or with help from my dad. But I think the more minds are working on an idea the better the story will become. :)

    Thanks for all your comments, guys! Glad you're liking my tutorial.


  6. I haven't seen the animation... Still downloading.But I am amazed by the hard and software that's available to you....
    Anyway can't wait for the animation o begin.


  7. Hi,

    it is really superb film. Colin is extraordinary talented. And his dady was really acting, not just filling the shots :-)

    Does anyone here know how to set up render layers for Ambient Oclussion as Colin has noted in his walkthrough video???


  8. @Eugene
    Thanks! I thought he's smashing up these little fellas. But then they were there totally unharmed.

    What I really like is the way you did your credentials especially all your roles in the production.

  9. really cool work, love the vfx and the story
    just watch your video tuts, thx so much they are really cool
    keep on, your projects are really cool

  10. I upgrade Quicktime to the 7.1 version and now everything it's ok! yeah!
    Thanks Colin for the beautifil tutorial!! And now i'm going to see the movie.. ;)

  11. Michael Crawford on

    Good luck doing this again. Icarus (the camera tracking software he used) has been commercialized and is now part of PFtrack. BEWARE of free/oss projects not under a licence such as GPL which guarantees this cannot happen.

  12. Wow, great work. You are really talented and have done a lot of things in your film life yet. But can you tell me where to find out more about you and your work? I also was on your website but there isn't that much about your interests and life.

    Sorry for my english.

  13. a link to

    might be in place here,
    because this is also free to use, although it does image-sequences only.(tga)
    but it will probably evolve to doing .avi or .mov as well
    i'm doing a shaky webcamcapture with icarus on my p3-800
    right now, which took an hour to get to frame 400, and still has 600 to go, but it looks good so far.
    then i'll try digilab
    I wonder if it would be possible to integrate such functionality in blender.
    well it's only a matter of time i guess...
    looking forward to see some stuff you blenderheads will make !
    keep up the spirit !

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.