View Full Version : "Sex And The Socket": VFS Digital Design Final Project

Cesar Montero
03-11-2006, 06:19 PM
This is my final project at VFS in the Digital Design Diploma. (http://www.vfs.com/fulltime.php?id=13)This is also the first time I animate, move camera, and do more than still images.

I spent about 450 hours on it, having as well regular classes.
Production started the 24 January to the 7 of March.

Everything was done, produced and rendered in a single machine (Dual BOXX 3.4 Ghz)

Just a single machine to render all, and produce all...oh, and do homework.
So I planned the project to be able to render while I was at school, come back, animate and render by night. Wake up early, change scene let render then go to school. Come back, stop rendering, animate, change scene, render..etc. I did that for about 3 weeks I think.

For the sound mastering Chad York and Alan Wong-Moon helped me.
The voice is from Andee Frizzell. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0969160/)
Music is property of VFS.
Electricity based on Steve Warner's tutorial.
The rest was all made by me: research, interviews, audience analysis, concept creation, planning, documentation, production, lighting, modeling, texturing, animation, soundfx.....etc.

The program doesn't includes Lightwave or more than a couple classes of max. I learned Lightwave in the last year and a half by myself. In order for the department to accept a 3D project, I had to design a idea/concept/solution that would work even in paper,and that would satisfy a certain brief given at the beginning of the project. I'll talk tomorrow more about the design process followed to achieve every detail of the piece.

Video Formats Available:

Quicktime 7 (http://www.archeidos.com/videos/sexandthesocket/final/quicktime/720x540_quicktime7.mov) - 15 MB (720x540) - high quality

Quicktime 6 (http://www.archeidos.com/videos/sexandthesocket/final/sorensor/sorensor_640_480_high.mov) (Sorensor) - 28 MB (640x480)- high quality

Flash 8 Video (http://www.archeidos.com/videos/sexandthesocket/final/flash/flash.html)- 7.7 MB (720x540) - high quality : best viewed in Explorer

The project brief is the following:---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


BCHydro is a government organization that exists to provide electricity for British Columbia, Canada. They want people to conserve energy, and make people save electricity costs by offering services, products and tips. These are mainly promoted nowadays at their website (www.bchydro.com). One of the products they promote is the use of CFL-Lights (Compact Fluorescent Lights).

BCHydro needs an animated piece to promote CFL-Lights. They need to communicate how CFL-Lights are better in many ways to traditional light bulbs.

They need to make people remember the piece, and talk about it with others. They want to increase the popularity of CFL-Lights, so that more people will buy them.

* BCHydro will be referred in the animation as “VanHydro” to avoid legal issues.

The solution will be an animated 3d piece. It will make people remember it and talk about it. It will communicate the superiority of CFL-Light bulbs. With it, the popularity of CFL-Light bulbs will increase, so that more people will buy them.

Design Prerequisites:

The piece must be developed to include the following 3D creative and technical guidelines:

1) Mastering in Lighting and Texturing in Lightwave 3D.

2)Use of camera animation on all/part of the whole piece.

3)At least 45 seconds of animation, it could be more.

4)Engage an adult audience into the animation.

5)It should be original and have impact.

6)Creating controversy is not a must, but desired.


1.Cesar Montero. - It should enhance his abilities as a 3D lighting/texturing artist as well as a communicator. The objective outcome is to develop and enhance the existing lighting/texturing skills in order to tell a message/emotion to an adult audience using 3D imagery.

2.Chad York. - Will be the advisor in this project, and should be comfortable with the overall result regardless of the use of 3D elements to deliver the message/emotion.

3.Audience.- It will be an adult audience living in British Columbia. By watching the piece they should be able to realize the superiority of CFL-Light bulbs. They should also enjoy the animation and cause laughter.

4. BCHydro.· What makes them great?

They are concerned for the conservation of energy. They want people to save money by using products and services superior to the average.

· What is their problem?

Their products offer what they promote, but they lack of popularity among people.

03-11-2006, 09:22 PM
Wow that was great!

I like the way you used the horizontal slits like eyes, having the bulb look left and right. The voice was great, because she is a pro. How did you get her to do it?

03-12-2006, 12:04 AM
wow. excellent.

Captain Obvious
03-12-2006, 04:11 AM
Pretty funny video, and great work. As usual, your lighting, texturing and camera work are great! :thumbsup:

Rendered in Fprime?

03-12-2006, 04:29 AM
Very nice video :)

How have you found VFS? I'll be in Vancouver in September and I'm going to ask them if I can visit, have a chat and look around the place. I've had a telephone interview with them before but it's not the same as actually being there in person.

Cesar Montero
03-12-2006, 05:18 AM
Yeah, I realized the eyes kind of look like oakley glasses. So, then I remembered those action movies where the actor has a bow tie and has a gun, and goes one way, then the other with the gun, watching out for the enemies...haha. That was what came to my mind when animating that part.

As for Andee Frizzell. She is the friend of a Jennica Harper, a teacher I had as an advisor. I made the dialog on paper, and told Jennica if she can help me out to put it into more feminine words. So, she helped me out to say the same phrases but with a more seductive female feeling. In the process. I told Jennica that I was going to need a voice over.

So, one day she talked with Andee about the whole idea, and she liked it. Then Jennica told me that she was interested. I sent her a link to the WIP then, and she loved it. So, she decided to work on the project. She is a really nice person, and really professional. We made 9 voice over tracks, all of them perfect and in a single shot. Amazing actress to work with!

THanks man!

Captain Obvious:
Thanks dude. It is the first time I move a camera. I was a bit afraid at the beginning. I'm glad you liked it

Hey man, well, first you hate VFS, then you love it. I really didn't hated that much VFS at first. It was more about the climate. I'm mexican, and I suffered a LOT for the cold weather. VFS kicks ***! I mean, I'm in the DESIGN program.

I'm NOT into the 3d program. Just to be clear. Many times people confuse that. But overall, the whole way they teach and work is great. Teachers push you to your limit. What I love about the teachers (at least my program) is that they are not just popular guys that want to sell the school. I mean, you get that A LOT in other places, where they will try to sell their school as the most amazing thing. It is on their slogan: "Results Matter". THey are about you to build up what you need to get where you want to go. Hey, I made this piece in 3D, and the program is mainly 2d graphics. I just had to showed them that I was putting in practice the same concepts into another tool that the shool doesn't even owns. Some schools will just let you use their tools.

Here the teachers are really about helping you built yourself as a person, and as a good professional. Part of this is because they are normally people that have also another good job, and teach because they love it, not because they need it. In few words, they are not just "blof" .They are exceptions of course, but that is the overall feeling I get.

so, what program are you getting into?

PD:To whom did you talked to at the phone? Nicole or Liz? :P

03-12-2006, 05:46 AM
Actually I spoke to several people. It was about 14 months ago (just before they hiked their fees right up) so I can't remember their names.

I'm looking to do the filmmaking course....

As for the climate I've heard Vancouver is similar to where I live in the UK so I don't think I'll have the problems you had in dealing with it!

The main problem for me really is the amount of money it's going to cost to go there - even before taking into account a whole load more money I'll need to live on whilst I'm there.

03-13-2006, 11:18 AM
Hi Cesar ...:D

excellent work...
Very original, very amused in the end.
like always excellent work.

((mi más enhora buena, amigo.)):thumbsup: :thumbsup: :D

03-14-2006, 04:38 AM

Seriously Cesar that is so good!!! I saw the early concepts when i didn't fully understand how it would work, but after watching the final version it's just great.

Perfect script too, and good voice acting makes it even better. It could so easily have failed with a poor script, but it's spot on... can't criticise about a single thing!!

Clever, very well animated, extremely well textured, very well lit, and a great completed animation... brilliant!! :D :thumbsup:

Cesar Montero
03-16-2006, 03:06 AM
I don't know people from the film part.
The work load is so intense, that you don't have a lot of time to socialize.
THe school is divided by buildings, so, you normally socialize with the onse inside it. THe rest of the time you are inside working. There are some Londong guys, and they don't suffer from the climate at all. So, I believe you will find it ok, or even better. Money is an issue, yes. Downtown rental is a bit expensive, 1000 dls average single room apartment. You can however rent outside downtown, and/or share with others a same place. It is up to you really. As for food, the Longon guys tell me is less expensive than London. But average 30-50 dls per week of food. 60 dls for montly ticket transportation. Public buses are quite nice, and you can go with them everywhere.

Thanks dude! Everytime it takes me a little more to amaze you guys...hehe.
I'm glad I did it again with this piece :)

Yup, I cutted out the posting on WIPS when the animation was ready.
I decided to show it at the end with all its elements :D
The script was first, and was polished also during the process of animation.
Thanks for the feedback, and I'm very happy you enjoy the piece!

03-18-2006, 03:22 PM
That video is SO COOL!!! I really liked it and the background music is perfect =D!!! Nice work you've got there dude! Congrats!:thumbsup:

Cya l8r

03-18-2006, 08:30 PM
just a word... WOW!!!! :thumbsup:

Cesar Montero
03-18-2006, 08:32 PM
I was trying to edit the links on the first post, as to be able to make an actualization to the links. The following is a link that targets an html page, where you will see the Quicktime Sorensor movie by default, but you can chose from there also other formats as Flash and QUicktime7. THe files where divided into two servers, since I'm having an average of 6,000 visits per day to watch the animation. So, here is the link. Be sure to come back later on the week. THere will be updates and a prettier version of the html:


That video is SO COOL!!! I really liked it and the background music is perfect =D!!! Nice work you've got there dude! Congrats!:thumbsup:

Cya l8r

Thanks man!
Some like the music, some other don't
VFS Owns a lot of tracks of music, and is really strict about copyright.
So, you can't use even sounds if you or them don't have the rights for it.
This ensures that whenever they send material for festivals, there will be no problems.

So, I listened for a complete day all the soundtracks, trying to find which one fitted the best! I came up with this one, and instantly I knew it was the correct one to use. Later on, I edit it, as well as Chad York who at the end helped me out to manage the levels of voice/sound/soundfx. He is an instructor inside school. As for the soundfx, it took me 3 days too to take sound fx, modifly them, combine them, test them, sincronize them, etc. If was fun, but took time. I'm glad you liked it.

just a word... WOW!!!! :thumbsup:
Thanks man!
hehe, I'm very happy for the great response!

03-18-2006, 09:02 PM
I am new with lightwave, I will have it soon, you will be a very good inspiration for me. ;)

excuse my english

04-06-2006, 11:27 AM
dear friends

since you guys are pro.. I need you greatest favour.. i want to do a short movie like yours but the theme is about harvest-a farmer reaping the havest after a long wait and many struggle to get the ripe fruits...Please help..
im counting on u guys...thanks

04-06-2006, 11:28 AM
cesar pls help me..i beg u

Cesar Montero
04-06-2006, 01:49 PM
cesar pls help me..i beg u

Hey man, so, what is the problem?
You need to make a shortfilm?
\What kind of advice do you need?

04-06-2006, 08:32 PM
Very entertaining. I enjoyed it a lot. Definitely NewTEK should add it to there video gallery.

04-06-2006, 10:06 PM
Cesar: Thanks for your prompt reply...

Since, Im a newbie, I need your help to create a short video on 'harvest'..-a farmer toils hard in the field and at last reap the harvest..like that..
Pls tell me how to do...kind what how to use lightwave and what tools u use to make a video..thanks..cesar it will really be a help as i doing this for a good cause..thks alot!

04-07-2006, 10:19 AM
cesar: pls email me @ [email protected]

I need your help in how to make a movie...I really ur help, friend...
Thks alot..very urgent!!

Cesar Montero
04-07-2006, 12:46 PM
Xtras: Thanks dude! :thumbsup:

The best thing you can do, is to post your project in the Work In Progress section in this forum or other. In that thread post the following:

1) Brief.- Description of what you need or want to attain with the animation (movie)
2) How much time you have to make it
3) WhO will make it.
4) What tools (if more than Lightwave) do you have to make it.

"Lightwave Artists" are called like that for a very good reason: To make a movie it takes much more that knowing what buttons to push and what process to follow. Even if you got the talent and dicipline, there is just an amount of work that can be done in certain amount of time. So, know what restrictions you got first before even starting to wonder how you want it to look like.

04-08-2006, 08:52 AM
Smashing stuff, Cesar! I chuckled quite a bit over that.

You're absolutely right about getting the parameters of the animation down *before* actually starting work. It's all too easy to have a huge, shining photoreal vision of glory, then realise it's going to take a month just to make one tiny part of the whole.

04-08-2006, 10:11 PM
*** Edited by Moderators. Message does not apply to this thread. ***

Cesar Montero
04-08-2006, 11:38 PM

Yes, in fact the first thing I did was to model the lightbulbs, and make the lighting setup. That gave me an idea about render times. I spent about 3 to 4 days making just the lighting setup, then reducing and applying tricks to reduce render times. After that, you are ready to do the stuff that is less risky.


Ok man, you seem to have a hang on what you need.
Now, do a NEW thread for your project under Work In Progress.
In that thread, post what you need.
Then, send me a message (also known as PM, private message).
I will then be able to help you with advice.

I know that you are new to forums. One thing to have in mind, is to not try to use other people's threads to promote your own thread or project. People will see this as bad manners. As a result, people will not like to help you. I will help you if you make your own thread. Keep in mind that my help will be limited to advice. Even if I love what I do, I have right now too much to handle as to work for free.

Cesar Montero
04-09-2006, 12:24 AM
Cesar I have this demo reel that I really need to get done, and I want it to look as good as your short. So do you think that maybe you could do it for me when you have an extra minute... Thanks in advance...

I'll send you the two texture maps that I have done so far, and you can email me my reel when you are done with it. Make sure it looks as good as your short. I'll be waiting...

seriously... that short was excellent, congrats on a job well done:thumbsup:

Man, a demo-reel is very personal. I would gladly help, but the intention of a demo-reel is to show your talent. If I work on it, I will show mine, but not yours, and you will get into problems if you can not do what the demo-reel has. That is the case that you want to apply as a light/texture artist.

If the case is that you want to apply as a modelling artist, then I can help, but after end of May. I'm VERY full of stuff to do..hehe. What it is done in that case, is to put the credits at the beggining, during and end of the demo-reel. So that way people know what every person do. As I mentioned, I have always help people, but right now I'm really full of things to do, and I can't help more than giving advice at forums. So, if you post something and you want me to help out, just send me a PM and I will take a look at it at the thread where you post it.:)

Cesar Montero
04-09-2006, 02:33 AM
Thanks to tell me I'm a nice person. You never know what people have in mind. Sometimes web tricks us with what we read. But mostly, I always try to stay humble, and help with what I can.

When I do get sad, is when I get mails of people asking me about a texture or lighting explanation. I send them the texture, and explanation of what I did. Then, they never say thanks. I then realize they just used me, and tell me my work is good mostly because of their own interests. I do not help people that are selfish.

I know you from before and I know you are not like this. Because of that, I decided to answer your petition with a more open mind. Sorry for missing the joke..hehe. In real life I'm much more aware of this.:)

04-09-2006, 04:05 AM
I think Bry's point is that it sounds a lot like Jesuoas is trying to talk you into actually doing his project, rather than giving some help and advice. It reads that way to me, too. I was kind of wondering if this was just a language barrier thing, but the most recent posts make me think I was right in the first place, that this guy wants you to actually work on his 4-minute freebie.

Which, in my opinion, is unfair of him. It's not nice to pounce on people and tell them that God wants you to do their work.


I've just looked up all the posts by Jesuoas, and all he's doing is spamming every thread saying that people need to help him with his short. Which leads me to conclude either that he's some kind of chancer, or that he's agreed to do this hugely-long (4-minute) animation for no-money and suddenly realises that he doesn't have a cat's chance in **** of completing it. Either way, it's very poor manners, and is detracting from a lot of people's good work on here.

04-09-2006, 09:52 AM
Im very sori. Its not my intention to do this as I am a newbie. Pls dun blame God for my ignorance. i hope you understand. Thanks alot.

P.S: If u can help, great! If not, thank you, friends.

04-09-2006, 09:59 AM
*** Edited by Moderators. Message does not apply to this thread. ***

04-10-2006, 03:04 AM
Que chida te quedó tu animación!
Acá en México estoy tratando de sacar 2 cortometrajes igual en LW y Fprime 2.1, pero bueno, mucha suerte en tu próximo proyecto! y siguele echando las mismas ganas caon!

Cesar Montero
07-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Thanks a lot for the comments.

I'm very excited.
It is an award Show dedicated for the best of marketing!
It is specialized for games.
This time, students had the chance to participate, and I did.
Participants vary, but all of them are big, including:
Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Activision, etc.

I won Gold Muse Senet for best marketing!

You can see the winners at:

07-08-2006, 04:10 PM
CONGRATULATIONS! What a triumph! Excellent job!

Cesar Montero
07-11-2006, 10:29 PM
CONGRATULATIONS! What a triumph! Excellent job!

Thanks dude!
The trophy will be sent to me soon.
I hope to have some nice pics of it and post them when it arrives.
Can't wait to have it in my hands!

07-12-2006, 02:53 AM
Well done, my hearty congrats! :D

07-12-2006, 04:03 PM
Cesar, I am gobsmacked! That is an awesome and highly imaginative piece of animation, superbly implemented. It's not often I laugh out loud at stuff on a screen, but that time I did.

And you say that this is your FIRST animation?!?!?!


What are you going to do for your second?!?

Cesar Montero
07-18-2006, 07:43 PM
Cesar, I am gobsmacked! That is an awesome and highly imaginative piece of animation, superbly implemented. It's not often I laugh out loud at stuff on a screen, but that time I did.

And you say that this is your FIRST animation?!?!?!


What are you going to do for your second?!?

Thank you for the comment!
Yeah, it was my first animation :)
The second one...mmm...I'm still not sure.:stumped:
I have a lot of ideas, but I would have to commit to just one.
I'll probably do my demo-reel first, and then another animation.:thumbsup:

Thanks for your support!

07-19-2006, 07:38 PM
Congratulations Cesar!!!

Cesar Montero
07-19-2006, 09:30 PM
Congratulations Cesar!!!

Thank you Nitisara!
Have in mind that for this project I used some plugins for modeler made by you! My favourite one is the one to select loop, and then another one to remove points! Man, those plugins are saving me TONS of time right now at another project:thumbsup:

Comming next... some pictures of the trophy!!!
Im quite excited!
It is on its way here via Fedex!
hehe...never won anything when I was a kid, so this is my first trophy:beerchug:

07-19-2006, 10:35 PM
Comming next... some pictures of the trophy!!!
Im quite excited!
It is on its way here via Fedex!
hehe...never won anything when I was a kid, so this is my first trophy:beerchug:
I just have no words to comment - it is amazing...
It is so rare when someone wins any great prize, and you did it!!! :beerchug:

07-20-2006, 09:07 AM
Congrats dude!:D :thumbsup:

Cesar Montero
07-21-2006, 10:35 PM
Thanks guys!
Here is the promessed update!

"Best Student Marketing Project" at "MI6 Awards".

What is it about?
This award show recognizes marketing strategies mainly focused on the entretainment industry. Mayor brands participate and organize the event. Some companies that participate are: MTV, Ubisoft, Activision, EA, Nokia, Konami etc. Speakers and Judges are varied but all important, going from CEOs, Marketing Consultants, to Creative Directors.

I had special interest in this Award Show and Conference, since the judges and organizers are focused on Creative and Marketing strategies with excelence in planning and execution. Winning this award means a lot to me, since it is a representation of my knowledge in this areas, and not only in 3D and technical aspects.

Keep in mind this is also a trophy for those who helped me out with critique in this work, as well as those who have helped me out become a better professional. One part of this trophy belongs to you, and your valuable feedback and support!

About the Trophy:
The awards are made by RS Owens Co. in Chicago. THey are the creators of the Oscar, Emmy and MTV awards. The trophy is gorgeaus: It is heavy, shinny, golden, polished, and most importantly, it has my name! I share here a pic I took today of it.

If you want to know more about this award and others, visit:


07-22-2006, 12:29 AM
Wonderful prize! :)

07-22-2006, 03:23 AM
VERY well done, and well deserved too!

07-23-2006, 02:19 AM
I'd like to add my congratulations for a job well done... you just want to model the trophy in LW now so you can do a nifty "triumph animation" with it!

07-24-2006, 05:28 PM
Congratulations Cesar,

Great job, it's very well deserved! :thumbsup: