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Kilowatt - Batteries Not Included

Kilowatt - Batteries Not Included

Max McGookin
by maxmcgookin on 2 May 2022

'A friendly alien visits Earth, exploring it's new surroundings' - This shot is based off of the 1987 film 'Batteries Not Included'. My first year final VFX project, featuring the 3D character of 'Kilowatt' as he visits an environment similar to that of the film.

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For this project I was tasked with creating an updated shot from the 1987 film 'Batteries Not Included'. The goal was to create a similar shot to one of the shots in the movie but re-create it with modern Visual Effects practices. 

In order to do this I first had to pick a character from the film and design them in 3D software. I would then follow the VFX production pipeline in order to integrate the final CG character with live action footage. 

This is my final VFX sequence with the chosen character of Kilowatt, composited onto a live-action background plate I found. Everything in this shot was done by me except for the filmed plate. Including the model, texture, rig, animation, lighting, render, 3D track, rotoscoping and multi-pass composite. 

Kilowatt - Breakdown 

Below will be a breakdown of the key steps I took whilst creating my project. In order to create this shot, I worked through the entire pipeline process; from researching references, modelling in Maya, creating UVs in Maya, , texturing in Substance Painter, rigging and animating in Maya and rendering with Arnold Renderer. 3D Tracking, rotoscoping, compositing and additional adjustments were all made using Nuke X.

Turntable showing off a breakdown of some of the passes used when creating my final character composite.

Look at the model after being textured in substance painter and some of the details of the character sculpt.

Multi-pass renders of my model. Showing the RGBA, Diffuse, Specular, Emission and ID passes. 

SketchFab of my model to have an interactive look around and see the topology.

Hope you enjoyed my breakdown of Kilowatt. This was my first ever 3D character and also my first time completing the entire VFX pipeline. I really learnt so much from this process and I am very proud of my final results. I know that there is lots to improve on and will be hard at work to produce more fun projects like this one. Any feedback would be really appreciated, thanks for looking through this post. 

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