THE REVENGE OF MAJOR WEST
PREMIERE OF CGI MOVIE
Lost in Space: The Revenge of Major West
Produced by Phil Hamilton
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE REVENGE OF MAJOR WEST
This little animated episode is the culmination of several months work – most recently since January 2010 when I decided to create the episode to begin with. I took the suggestion from a posting on another forum who liked my original faux trailer for a Lost in Space movie. They suggested that I create an episode where Major West gets to punch and deck the nefarious Dr. Smith. After all, this payback for al the bad things Dr. Smith has done was long over due. So around that idea I came up with the story. I decided to make the episode about 6 minutes long with a new opening and closing credit sequence.
Since I had no voice talent hired I decided to use pre-recorded dialogue extracted from the series DVD release. Finding lines for Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) was extremely easy since the writers centered most of the stories on him. Finding lines for all the other characters was a challenge. Now I know why Guy Williams and June Lockhart were irritated that they didn’t have any lines or stories directed towards their characters. Oh the pain….at least for them.
I created the characters in Poser Version 7 software using screen shots of the actors faces and from that attempted to mold likenesses of each character using Poser faceroom tool. You need a really good straight on shot and a good side shot to do this effectively. Finding these is difficult. With better source material I could have done better. That being said I think I like the way Smith, West and John Robinson turned out the best.
The B9 Robot, Chariot, Pod, and Jupiter 2 were available for download off the internet – mostly free 3D models for Poser. For the Jupiter 2, I rebuilt much of the interior to be a bit more accurate. A special thanks goes to Steve Armstrong who provided the Jupiter 2 model and to those great guys at Pendercrafts where I was able to use some of their textures and mapping from their Flight Simulator Jupiter 2 to complete my model. By the way that is an awesome and very accurate model that is fun to fly.
The flight deck and chairs were built up by me using primitive shapes (i.e. cones, boxes, balls, cylinders, etc.). I had to apply colors and mapping to make them come alive and look generally close to the way I remember them.
All animation and editing was done by me with the exception of some motion capture files of basic movements like running or standing around loitering. These motion captuers were available free on the internet and were created with actual models and give some really good movements to your figures.
Finally, the main reason I did this is because I love Lost in Space. I’m 53 years young and did this on all on a five year old computer. Makes you wonder what a studio with more tools available could create. I believe that a CG movie or series could easily be released with the proper voice talent that captures the tone of the original – preferably the one of the first season when Dr. Smith was more like a villain. Maybe someday via CGI we can see our beloved characters make their way back to earth.