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Plagarus: Part One


By Daniel Brown.

Daniel writes:

The first part of the short computer animated film, Plagarus. Rendered in Blender 2.62, Cycles and internal renderers combined. Numerous mistakes in it, but I pushed through it and this is probably the best I can do at this point. Hopefully you all like it. =) I'd like to thank the Blender community for their helpful suggestions and hope they enjoy it, too!

Lead Artist: Daniel Brown

Music: Amotz Plessner /

The people who helped:

Planet Model: Chip Cunningham

Sound Effects: / / Gunshot: SteveyGos93

Lethgoshis' Outfit: Bobbie25 /
Padoen's Outfit: Vampir3Princess / Lesthat / Sarsa /

Textures: / Humanoid Textures: Daz 3D

Software Used:

Blender 2.62
Daz Studio (for humanoids)

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. There are some artifacts, but this is an impressive work.  The world and ship look real, and even the actor is on the far side of the uncanny valley.  Of course, he hasn't moved or said much, but so far, an excellent start.

  2. Yes, you teased me. Please more! The story has a dramatic start. Do your special effects as good as you can, but do the story as best as you imagine. 

  3. Marion zimmerman on

    I love it!  The plot sounds promising.  I'm trying to get to the point of posting something like that myself, hoping to get to the same level where you are now.  So, be proud of your accomplishment!

  4. I like this movie a lot. Lot of details. I love the opening of the ship door. The only flaw I see, is that the feet of the man and the robot are affected by the most known slipping effect. The feet of the character are seen a very short time, but it is very noticeable on the robot (maybe he has hidden wheels under its feet ?). As the walk animation is very short, this flaw could have been easily avoided by keyframing all steps.

  5. The cape cloth movement is great. The character mesh/Textures  are OUTSTANDING.  The main figure's movements are very good, subtle and composed, which adds to your presentation.  There is some slight foot skate.

    And like someone else said, the door opening is very well done

    The only critical comment I'd add is the coloring of the ship, in the initial sequence, should have much darker shadows and less luminous color.  The ship is almost cartoon-like in appearance in the deep space shot.   I only say this because the rest of this short looks REALLY Good, and so the initial 15 seconds could better establish that visual sense of tension/threat you're building.  

  6. chromemonkey on

    I noticed some "moving grain" on the ship as it landed (when full-screened).  Which part of which rendering engine causes it and what is the solution for purging it?

    • This is because cycles uses the same random seed for rendering each frame by default. Rendering animations where some grain is still visible will look a lot better if a new seed is used for every frame. This can be done be entering "#frame" in the seed value (under Integrator->Samples).

  7. Numerous mistakes you say? Sorry haven't noticed, I was too busy following the story. The creators of movies like Terminator Salvation, Transformers and Star Trek (2009) could learn from you. For one thing you kept me watching and wanting for more, something that McG and J.J.Abrams just failed to do. Not to mention Michael Bay.

  8. Dillbobaggins on

    Excellent job! :D 
    Only critique would be the main character audio... It wasn't as clear and distinct as the rest of the sound effects pulling away from the Video.  Maybe a better mic? Also the voice acting felt fake, as if they were trying to act serious also pulling away from the movie.  But other than that this is incredible! :D

  9. Great work, Daniel. I'm curious to know if you animated the daz humanoids in Blender or Daz studio? If in Daz studio, how was the animation data exported, FBX?

    Again, great work. Can't wait to see more.

  10. Excellent.  I am totally amazed.  My only comment is I expected to see some dust kicked up from the ship landing, and some shimmering heat waves from the main engines and from the surface of the distant landscape.  I love the character.  I also expected some more clutter at the edges of buildings and some more people in the background.  Great work!

  11. Hi all,

    Thanks for your nice comments! =) 

    Daz 3D Models: I exported the Daz models into .obj format and imported them into Blender.  I exported each individual phoneme and expression (i.e., right brow arch; left mouth smile) as a separate .obj and used a script in 2.49 which combined one file as a shape key for the original mesh.  This took about two or three weeks for the Michael 4 model alone.  The Victoria 4 model also took roughly the same time, although she has more morphs, including the creature morph package that Daz sells on their website. (Great for alien creatures!)

    Facial animation and different morphs are then done entirely in Blender using those shape keys. Armature animation is done inside Blender using the Michael or Victoria armature from Daz, which was exported in .fbx format.

    Textures are the Michael and Victoria Elite texture packs available also from Daz 3D.

    Altogether, the characters took about a month and a half to get right.

    Thanks, everyone for your nice comments and interest in the little movie.  Part Two is being rendered and animated, now. =)

    Best regards,


  12. Visually, this looked great.
    The only thing that bugged me in this regard, was the walk-circles. Though it's hard to comment on that with more details without seeing more. of them.

    It was the audio that bugged me the most. The recording quality seemed fairly poor. Sounds like you don't quite have the greatest mic...

    When watching it, I immediatedely thought of Tatooine (Star Wars), heh.

    •  Hey Kram,

      Yeah, the walk cycles were a tough sell.  My expertise isn't in animation, unfortunately.  I'm learning as I go. 

      Apologies to Dr. McCoy, but... I'm a modeller, not an animator! =D

      I got a better microphone last night from a friend who does sound recording!  So hopefully the recording quality is better in the next installments.

      Hope you're all doing great, and thanks for the kind comments and interest in the movie. =)


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