The concept for Metroid Brainclone Genocide spawned from an addiction to video games and an intense love for filmmaking. However, it wasn’t until a Turbosquid harvested mesh of Nintendo’s Samus Aran was rigged by John C. Martin in 3DStudio Max for use in iClone that my two true loves could meet for the first time. I placed the Samus model into a Daz 3D scene that was converted for use in iClone with 3DXchange and just thought it would be cool to give the character some idle animation and light the scene. That was December 28th 2007, 5 months to the day later Metroid Brainclone Genocide was complete.
The story follows a side mission assigned to Samus to rid the galaxy of MotherBrain once and for all. Little does she know that the collective MotherBrain is a group of five creatures; and her attempt at saving the human race may end before it begins? Join Samus as she travels to distance worlds and battles new and exciting enemies, brought to life in the real-time production environment, Reallusion’s iClone.
Metroid NES console
Samus Aran rigged for iClone with 3DS Max and the iClone exporter
In this screen shot, you see Samus engaged in combat with what was my attempt at recreating a Space Pirate enemy from Metroid Prime. This was a mech-style model found in Google 3D Warehouse using the Sci-Fi keyword search. This model was broken down into upper torso and left and right legs so I could have some secondary animation on the legs. In this case the prop became a character and I didn’t have to spend extra time modeling, rigging, weighting and texturing anything. I simply searched for the model, updated the textures and animated the action.
Google 3D Warehouse made it a lot of fun to build scenes. When I came up with the idea for our character to navigate a “pinball” like environment I knew the hardest part would be building the scene. The idea that it would be something like a pinball machine made the concept that much more difficult. When I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I was given the idea to use skateparks and waterslides to create the environment. I downloaded and retextured 2 parks and 2 slide and threw in some terrain and a rollercoaster, all from Google 3D Warehouse. After adding opacity, diffuse and reflection maps in iClone the models were ready for production.
Creating a machinima film with a classic title such as Metroid came along with a game history and storyline that is very familiar to a wide variety of players. This also meant that there would be elements of the animation that must match elements from the game. Since this project was not going to be Machinima Beyond the Game, but, Machinima WITHOUT the Game, I needed to find assets that would closely match the sci-fi worlds of Metroid that we have all come to know and love. Google 3D Warehouse came to the rescue once again for me in this respect.
In the scene where Samus finds and item collect point, I wanted to insert a model that would resemble the statue in the game that houses the item before it is gained by the player. After some searching, I found a fantasy model using keyword Dragons that fit the bill perfectly, again saving me time and effort once it was imported and retextured in iClone.